Few things could be better than spending all day with the kids you love. Few things could be worse than saying goodbye.
Our morning at Elisa Martinez was wonderful…aside from the fact that it had to end, and we eventually had to leave. What can I say about those sweet, sweet boys? It was wonderful to be tackled by them when we got off the bus. It was fun to see that they had not let the pencil boxes out of their sight for even one day. I love their sloppy kisses and their tight squeezes and the fact that they are so, so glad that we came back one more day just to see them.
While we were there, we had a Bible lesson, played soccer and baseball, took pictures, made bracelets, and even got to see Spiderman. Before this morning, the thought of bringing the Spidey costume to the other orphanages hadn’t even crossed my mind. But then I noticed that a little boy named Jeferson had a Spidey t-shirt on. Of course! Those kids would be excited to see him, too! So Nate climbed into the Spidey suit and let the boys chase him all around the yard. They finally captured him and brought him back to the group for hugs and pictures.
In the afternoon, we took the older kids from the babies’ home to a pizza party at one of the transitional homes. When we got to the home, I saw a pretty little girl who I thought looked familiar, but it wasn’t until she came over and gave me a hug that I realized who she was! This little twelve-year-old girl was Ali Cena, a girl we had met at the babies’ home in October. I hardly recognized her! Just a few months ago she was listless and had no energy because of her cancer treatments. Today, her hair is long, she’s full of energy, she has a beautiful smile, and the cancer is GONE.
While the teenagers from the transitional homes made bracelets and played soccer, Nate was able to sneak away to, once again, don the Spidey suit. I’m happy to report that Spidey managed to make only two babies cry.
Of course, we eventually had to take the kids from the babies’ home back and say our goodbyes. This was the hardest part of my day. Estuardo asked if he could come with us. He said he’d hurry and go “make” his suitcase if he could come. And the other kids clung to us and wouldn’t let us leave. Danny cried.
My only consolation is that we will see all of our friends here in Guatemala soon. Not soon enough, but soon.