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Saturday with Orphans (by Nate)

January 24, 2010

Usually, I think of Saturday as a relaxing and restorative day, but I realize that relaxing on the weekend is a luxury not everyone can afford. Today, a woman who cares for the younger orphans shared with us that she works Monday through Saturday at two jobs to take care of her four children. Oh, and then she mentioned that she also takes care of her cousins two children who live with her because the parents are dead.

We started today with a trip up the mountains to find the home where Crystal and Celeste now live. After a few stops for directions, several phone calls, and a couple of good guesses, we pulled up to a beautiful home where seven “babies” now live. Crystal remembers us and hardly took any time at all before claiming arms as her personal space. Celeste apparently has three legal names and this new home has chosen to call here “Lupita.” I have a hard time thinking about people switching your home and name at the same time.

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After lunch, we spent a couple hours with the boys at Eliza Martinez, teaching such practical things as wound care and how to tie a tie. Remarkably, no boys tried to hang themselves with the ties or strangle each other. I did notice that when we asked if anyone had a fresh wound that needed care, some boys were so eager to volunteer that they tried scratching their scabs with the hope that they would be selected. That’s how badly they want attention.

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Here’s the group of “normal” kids, proudly displaying their GQ achievement.

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And of course we saw everyone’s photo album multiple times since the boys carried them around with them everywhere they went. They’re just too valuable to leave sitting around.

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I’m worn out. But the good kind. And probably no where near as much as the woman who cares for the babies at Crystal’s home. I have no kids to take care of and didn’t work two jobs today. I am so grateful for what we have and are able to give to everyone here.

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