Foreign eXchange–Video from the amigos (by Rachael)

Since everyone in this group blogs, we decided to break things up and each tell different stories. Be sure to go to Scot, Shawn, and Jody’s blogs for more stories, pictures, and videos!

As for me, I am happy to report that today made up for yesterday. That’s saying a lot when you consider that yesterday was a long and frustrating 17 hours of travel.

We started our morning by taking the Baby Home kids to the daycare. Can I just say there is no sweeter sound than hearing these kids say our names? Even though it’s been three and a half months since we’ve seen them, Danni and Alejandra remembered our names right away, with zero prompting. Well, almost zero prompting. At first, Alejandra said my name was “Nate,” but, hey, close enough, right?

We spent the afternoon at Eliza Martinez. In preparation for this trip, the Foreign eXchange amigos recorded video messages to each of the boys. Nate gets all the credit for this idea. I admit, when he first suggested it, I shot it down. Most of the Hautian amigos don’t speak a word of Spanish. Technology seems to create as many problems as it solves. Was there even a DVD player at Eliza Martinez? Would the boys have the patience required to sit still for 20 minutes while a bunch of strangers butchered their language?

Thanks to some helpful eXchangers (thank you, Donna and Jay!), the video was most definitely not the huge headache I anticipated. The boys circled the TV and watched the video and slide show over and over and over again.

I loved watching Isaias get embarrassed and hide behind his friends when Jen called him out, said his name, and told him how much she cared for him. I love how Ambrosio (one of the older boys with special needs) started clapping when his amigo, Adam Pomfret, said his name and held his picture of Ambrosio up the screen. Ambrosio’s reaction caused a chain reaction and soon all the boys were clapping and cheering.

After the video, we told the boys that, instead of an individual gift, this time their gift from their amigos was a pizza party. That news got the best reaction of all—a standing ovation.

To finish off the day, we asked the boys to help us make a video for their amigos like the one they had just watched. They were happy to do us this favor, and now we have some fantastic footage to show the friends at home the video of these special kids smiling, waving, and saying “thank you for the pizza!”

Tomorrow’s schedule looks a lot like today’s, except with a lot more partying. We’re going to a surprise birthday party for Estuardo in the morning and the Foreign eXchange pizza party will be happening in the afternoon!

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