Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Day 5

Today we visited an orphanage run by some nuns from the same order as Mother Teresa. There were about 30 kids there, mostly under the age of 5. The facilities were much worse than the government run center we've been at. They don't have wipes for the children, no sheets for their beds, and most of them didn't have shoes. It seemed like the nuns give them as much care and love as possible, but with no money and few workers it is a challenge. To top it off, 3 workers were sick with dengue fever (along with many of the kids) so they were short staffed today.

Since this orphanage isn't run by the government, they are not as strict about taking photos. These two boys are Dustin (on the right) and Alexander (on the left). They were SO naughty. Alexander kept opening the gate and running across the compound, making me chase after him. They certainly knew how to get attention. I realized how starved for attention these kids must be, with so few people there to work with them.

I'm not sure of his name, since he couldn't speak, but the boy at the center of this photo was so precious. He has something wrong with his legs that caused him to have to kind of bear crawl instead of walking. I picked him up and carried him around for a while, and his face just lit up. He'd probably never been that high up in his life. He was touching everything he can't normally reach. Then I lifted him above my head, and he just laughed and laughed. I hope I never forget the joy I saw on his face.

So much happened today that it is difficult to put it into words. I hope that as I process it all, I'll be able to articulate it clearly.

This afternoon we went back to Casitas Kennedy to work some more. We showed the older girls the movie "Enchanted" and fed them pizza, popcorn, and coke. This was a special treat for them, and they really enjoyed it. I think they enjoyed the good food more than the movie though. They're the group that is the most challenging to interact with, and they seemed to talk more with us after that.

I've learned that I make an excellent jungle gym for these kids. Within about 10 seconds of walking into the orphanage this morning I had 2 boys climbing up me. At Casitas Kennedy, there are a few kids who always want me to carry them or put them on my shoulders. Jessica and Kimberly are always fighting over which one will be carried, so today I thought I'd see if I could carry both at once. I found out I could, so I spent the rest of the afternoon with a kid on each shoulder. One of the older girls gave me the nickname "papa grande" or big daddy. :)

Another funny thing happened while I was setting the movie up. The older girls were talking to Janell about the baby, and Janell told them that I was the daddy. They all started laughing so hard. I'm not sure what exactly they were laughing about, but their reaction was hilarious.

Here are all the photos I took today.


  1. Alexander and Dustin certainly don't look naughty...they're so cute!
    I wanted you to know that our family's been praying for you and the team from Tanner Trails...that you'd be safe, healthy, and able to make a difference while you're there, but more importantly, that you'd know what God would have you do with what you've learned and experienced when you come back home. :)

  2. You articulated your heartfelt thoughts very well, Andy. It is evident how deeply you care for these children, and feel their pain. It must be very hard to experience that, and yet such joy to bring love and happiness to them. I fear it will be very hard to leave them all behind.