Buenos tardes! I'm so sorry I couldn't hop on the computer yesterday, but we had a packed schedule! Things at the center are running smoothly and we are getting the hang of taking care of many young toddlers and babies. We have the routine down by now, and it helps that these kids are very used to their schedule!
Good news! We counted and there were 10,644 diapers added to the inventory this week! That is a lot of diaper changes, but I guarantee you that they need them!
When we arrive at the center we go to our different age groups. I am with the Bunnies- they are around the age of two. The ladies at the center are busy giving them baths, so we come along and grab kiddos from them to dry and dress them. Each morning it takes a minute to recogize faces and remember names, but we are doing well and they even recognize us!
Throughout the day we just simply keep them entertained by holding them, rocking them, and even helping some to walk! They are right at the stage where they can stand up and balance and think really hard about taking a step. Little Thelma is walking stronger each day and I know that Cindi wants to walk so badly! She just keeps holding on to the table ledge or the wall. She will walk if you guide her though.
Snack is one of the favorite times of day, well anytime there is food involved is a favorite for these guys. They recieve a sippy-cup of warm milkly stuff. About an hour later, we are running them in to change diapers! I'm getting better and better at that, by the way, seeing as the very first one I put on was backwards! When you have about ten toddlers wanting your attention and there are only 2 or 3 adults, you move quickly.
Lunch is an involved process as well. We learned yesterday that the more food goes in, the more that will eventually come out. The wake-up and diaper changing session was a little cleaner today!
We can be thankful for many things! A little boy in the Bunnies, Juan Miguel, was very upset all day yesterday. He had to be held and it seemed like nothing could make him happy. Today however was a different story. He was moving around in the walker, smiling, and even laughing! It is so sad that some of them are very reluctant to smile. Don't worry though, most of them are hams and will crack up at the slightest tickle or kisses.
Most of Tuesday I held on to a little girl named Ashley. She and her twin brother, Brian, are at the center although you can tell that Brian never misses a meal! She can be a bit fussy when left alone, so yesterday she was on my hip or lap. The same thing was happening this morning, but after lunch I sat her beside me so I could hold another little girl and Ashley only pouted a little. She made sure to stick right by my side (she is a bit of an attention hog) but was ok that someone else was in the lap.
During one of the many diaper changes of the day something really struck me. I was changing Cindi- such a cutie with a great giggle- and I noticed that her pants were size 3 month. Now, I'm not exactly sure of her age, she might not be 2 just yet, but I know she is well older than 3 months. She is a good eater, though, and I'm sure that as she continues her stay at the center she will grow and get healthy.
Not all of us are at the center now. The men and some of the women had the opportunity to build two houses in a community outside of Antigua. We were very thankful that the two slabs were poured yesterday despite rain around the area. One of the men reported that a dad helped his kids write their names and put hand prints in the concrete.
Today the went back out hoping to finish both houses so they could come to the center tomorrow. Unfortunately, the rain did not hold off today and they were soaked. So, they will work in the morning and hopefully they can make it to the center for an afternoon of playtime.
They get unique witnessing opportunities while they are out in the neighborhoods. One of the men from the Keys, Augie, did magic tricks for the children. All of the construction crew gave up their cookies and other snacks for the children in the area. They are really experiencing what Guatemala life is like for the people of this country.
Please pray for Brian in the Bunnies group as he was not feeling well today. There is a girl in the Canaries (bed babies) who has chicken pox. Please also lift up Miss Doreen's grandson who has lukemia; she is from Kathleen. Pray that the construction crew can finish up tomorrow so they can hang out with the kids one more time. Also, pray for the ladies who work tirelessly everyday at that center. While I'm changing a diaper, dressing a baby, or washing dishes I can't help but think what it would be like without all of our hands that day. Then I realize that they just do the best they can and make due as God provides.
Also, pray for the parents and families of these younsters. They can only visit on Fridays and SUndays and that is if they can. A mother brought her child to the center on Tuesday and was reluctant to leave. They love their children so much, that they will do what is best for them to get them healthy.