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Babies and Teenagers–Guatemala Day 3

November 1, 2008

Okay, despite the cute pictures, I gotta admit…yesterday was rough. Among other things, we weren´t really prepared to spend the morning at the babies´ home without John and Emily. You see, John and Emily are fantastic planners, and they always bring great games and activities for the little ones. We thought we´d be at the babies´ home with them and therefore be able mooch off their thoughtfulness. The three of us did the best we could with what we had, and it all worked out fine; it just didn´t go according to our plan (which is, admittedly, not necessarily a bad thing). However, while we were having a bit of trouble trying to entertain a crowd of energetic, Spanish speaking toddlers and children, John and Emily were having much greater difficulties at their meeting at the U.S. Embassy. One minute they´re told they´ll be able to bring Juan Pablo home in a matter of weeks, and the very next they´re told they might never be able to legally adopt him!

Thankfully, today was better. First of all, John and Emily had another meeting at the Embassy and this time they were told all they need now is JuanPi´s new birth certificate! I hope and pray that this is the end of their roller coaster, and that Juan Pablo will be home by Christmas.

After their meeting, John and Emily met us at the babies´ home, and we got to take the seven oldest children to the children´s museum. When I think about this morning, I can´t stop thinking of Alejandra. I wonder what she felt when she was strapped into a harness flying through the air like an astronaut in zero gravity space? Or when she watched Jody´s hair stick straight up in the air during the electricity demonstration? Or when she sat in the dark planetarium and watched the guide light up Pegasus, Hercules, and the Big Dipper? Two days ago, she had never even been to a restaurant or used a hand dryer, and today? Well, today her world exploded.

In the afternoon, Jody, Nate, and I went to an orphanage called Eliza Martinez. When we came in August, the 37 boys at Eliza Martinez were crammed in a tiny, ten room apartment in Guatemala City. Fortunately, they have since been moved outside of the city. At their new place, they have room to run and play soccer, new washing machines given to them by the First Lady of Guatemala, and storage cabinets that lock! Can you imagine how it must feel to have no personal space and then suddenly get a key to a tiny cabinet that is all yours?

Our purpose of this visit to Eliza Martinez was twofold. First and foremost, we went there to make the boys feel loved. We want them to feel special. We want them to know that they´re more than just a dirty face in a crowded orphanage. Our second goal was similar, but more task-oriented. We wanted to collect information about the boys, so that we can make profiles of each kid and then connect each boy with a family at our church (eXchange). From there, the families will write letters, send gifts, pray for, and maybe even visit ¨their¨ boy. At least that´s the idea. It´s still a work in progress, so a lot can and will change.

Anyway, accomplishing the second goal was, of course, a nightmare. A lot of the boys at Eliza Martinez have special needs and can´t read, write, and\or talk. Some of the boys don´t have last names or know their birthdays. And all of the boys would much rather skip the question and answer session and get straight to the part where they get gifts. Who wouldn´t?

Lucky for us, we get a second try at managing the chaos, because tomorrow we´ll be doing the same kind of thing at San Gabriel.

They love technology!

Danny y Nate

Alejandra wore her princess cape to the museum. 🙂

I love her smile!

Jody is quite the entertainer.

Danny wouldn´t let go of me when I tried to leave tonight.

You have no idea how special it is that Mili TOUCHED Jody!

Los ninos (and John) en el museo

Well, that´s one way to learn about electricity...

The Vigo County Youth Soccer League donated about a hundred of these soccer jerseys! They were PERFECT for the boys.

Eliza Martinez

Be sure to check back again tomorrow for pictures of Spiderman´s surprise visit to the babies´ home. I must say, Nate made quite a convincing super hero, especially when he scaled the wall!

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