Me gusta tu pelo, Chabalita!
Rachael and Leslie
Check out Crystal’s smile when she saw we were giving her Disney Princess clothes!
It’s nice to have an artista in the group. Emily made bracelets for all of the babies.
Mi amigo, Danny, y yo
March 25, 2009-
Today was a day for being flexible. We went to the babies’ home and single mother’s home where most of the toddlers go in the morning. We were supposed to go to back to Elisa Martinez in the afternoon, but it seems we scheduled it on the same day as some bus driver’s have chosen to protest their working conditions… closing the road to Elisa Martinez and subsequently making Amed, a Buckner director, nervous for our safety in that area. So we went back to the babies’ home in the afternoon which turned out be absolutely fantastic!
When we got there, the older children were so excited to see us and immediately started “claiming” playmates. They seemed much calmer than the last time we visited them and they certainly have grown in maturity and height in the last 6 months. Danny opened his photo album, pointed to a picture of him and me together and then hogged my lap for the rest of the afternoon. We played a game with playing cards and a bouncy ball that was kind of like jacks. He picked it up quickly and stuck with the game long after the other boys his age had moved on to other more active things. This is amazing for him since kids with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) are supposed to have problems learning, paying attention, and finishing tasks. They are also supposed to have problems with motor skills, judgment, and making friend. It appears that he has been spared for the most part these other side effects of a mother’s poor or ignorant decisions. He spent the better part of a half hour laying next to me, both of our heads propped up on Rachael’s lap, reading a comic book in Spanish about being a superhero. His little finger pointed to each pane as I read, and he would wait for me to finish the whole dialogue before moving on to the next. At one point when the sun had set a little and was streaming in on my eyes, he noticed that I was shading my eyes with one hand and he covered the side of my face with his hands so I could hold the comic book and continue reading to him. We were kind of in our own little world.
Rachael was able to initially attract Alejandra, whom the boys call Ali, and make some bracelets with her. This may seem fairly normal for us, but Ali has been hanging around with 4 very energetic, slightly-martial-arts-prone boys for the past 7 months. So she’s become a little bit of a tomboy, which made it that much more special to have some girl time making jewelry. But even more than that, her image of adult males is pretty whacked out- she’s in the orphanage due to several instances of terrible sexual and physical abuse by her father and uncle. I got to help out along with Danny in making bracelets and showing a slightly more calm and gentle side of an adult male. Most of the caretakers are women and they are doing a wonderful job of taking care of Ali and treating her differently and fairly from the boys. But it just felt right to be showing love to this little girl in a way that was probably familiar to her but coming from a source that has, in the past, represented such horror.
Tomorrow we’re moving up our visit to the market in Antigua and the girls’ home at Manchen. Hopefully this will give the bus driver’s time to settle down and allow us to go to Elisa Martinez Friday and Saturday! Please pray that we would be able to make it back to EM without any trouble.