"Mana Laura! MANA LAURA!!!" Well, I braked and pulled over quickly when I heard that being shouted when I was in a town called Matola recently. Matola is about 40 minutes from our center and I was visiting some friends who had recently moved there. I was driving out of their neighborhood when the sound of my name being called stopped me quickly.
As it turned out, it was Albano calling me! How lovely! Albano had gone back to live with his family in September of 2007 (click on his name above to read the post I wrote about when he left) so it had been nearly two years since I'd seen him. Although he was often naughty (what we might be tempted to call a kleptomaniac actually!) he was a delightful little boy with a big heart and a sharp mind. I have missed him and often wanted to ask one of the reintegration team to take me to his home so I could visit.
The funny thing was, as we were driving thru Matola, one of the boys in my car had told me that they thought Albano lived near there. We were talking about it at the exact time he saw my car and called out to me!
We were running late to get back to the center in time for dinner so I couldn't go visit his home then but he told me the general whereabouts and I'm sure, with the help of a friendly person on the street, I'll be able to find him next time I'm in the area.
His clothes were little more than rags and quite filthy but he looked healthy and seemed happy. I hope that is so! My little Albano - what a great joy to have reconnected with him again!
(This last photo was taken on his birthday when the boys get to sleep with the Spiderman sheet set. He's surrounded by all his artwork - Albano is very clever and always took good care of his creations!)