Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The "B" Party!

December 2009 092 My sweet friend Meghann is heading back to the US soon after a couple years here in Zimpeto.  I find it so inspiring that she came here right out of nursing school.  What boldness, what bravery!

To celebrate, we had a Good "B" Bye Party to see her off.  She had heard about my old letter parties back in my immediate post-college days and thought it sounded fun.  We both agreed an M for Meghann party didn't offer enough options and B was the optimal letter.  A "B" Party was Born!

My great friend Sam (she's Meghann's great friend too!) and I set to planning.  We made B shaped invitations that were personally delivered strung to a banana - that's where the fun began!

For a letter party, essentially, everything revolves around that letter.  People dress in clothes beginning with the letter, bring food beginning with the letter, listen to B music and play B games.

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A smattering of offerings:  banana bread, bruschetta, bacon bites,  bear bread bites, baked apples, bacon and brocolli quiche, bread and butter, balls of chocolate, bon bons, and more.  And, because this is a bi-lingual party, Portuguese and English, we had all the Portuguese B words to bring: bolachas, bolo, beijinos, batatas and more!  My personal favorite for creativity (and taste!) - the Bolo de Bocaria = Dump Cake!  Bocaria is what the city dump here is called.  Hilarious!

We played Bingo and Bean Bags in a Bucket and Bowling for Bottles.  No one was interested in the Backgammon but it was on offer.  We Beaded Bracelets for Meghann and we made a Book of cards for her as well.  She was presented with a Bouquet of Blooms and Blossoms (although there were no blue ones to be found in the city!) and we had Bunting Banners of B words around the walls.June 2011 040 June 2011 047June 2011 046













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Sam poses with his strike, the first of the night . . .

And Papa Steve posing with HIS strike!!  June 2011 065 June 2011 045 June 2011 066 June 2011 074 June 2011 077

Natalie won Bingo three times in a row!!!

The real creativity shone thru in people's outfits.  Although it wasn't "required" to wear a costume (we thought, blue, brown, black, boots, belts, etc.) many people did!

Batman, Beany Baby, a Bag, a Bow, a Bankcard, Boxers and Bikinis and Brown robes, a Bearded lady, Beauty Queen and even a Bride.  One of my favs was a British offering, Bill and Ben, whom I don't know but thought was so clever!June 2011 048 June 2011 049 June 2011 051 June 2011 052 June 2011 053 June 2011 054 June 2011 057

If you're looking for a fun theme party, I highly recommend a letter party!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Something for Sunday

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Just a lovely, simple reminder of what I need to remember every single day. 

I love the little reminder of the butterfly as well.  Some of my boys arrive here looking more like caterpillars - I want to see them transformed into beautiful butterflies!  (Ok, the analogy works better with sweet girls than rough and tumble boys but it works for me all the same!) 

Thanks Debbie for the lovely card! 

PS:  I love getting mail!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Fun on Friday!

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Look at the fun these boys are having learning to read and write!

The lovely Anna, whom I first met my first month here, back in 2003 when she and her dad first visited, was here this month for a visit and it was so great to have her here!  After that first visit in 2003, when she was just 18, Anna returned to work here as a long-termer with the girls for several years.  She went back to the US two years ago but came back this month, again with her dad, for a wonderful visit. 

She spent so much time before she came preparing some reading materials for me to use with my boys.  Have you ever heard of Mat Man?  It's amazing and I will have to show in a future photo.  She also created a Portuguese alphabet for me, with photos to go along with the letters. 

When she was here with the girls, she created her own reading/writing program and I asked her to come help me see it in action with my boys.

All three above, Felizardo, Sam and Pedrito, learned to read and write Casa (you see on the chalkboard) and Bebe.  So Fun!  They loved it and were so proud of themselves!

(You might think they're a bit old to learn such simple words.  This isn't a very written culture and they don't watch TV with adverts or see billboards or hardly any other items with words on them.  And the school system?  Well, let's say it's not exactly stimulating and it's not uncommon for our 5th graders to not know how to read or write. This is why I was so excited about Anna's ideas and materials!)

Friday, June 17, 2011

It's been a year since I've seen my Pedro

April 2010 086 Although Pedro died on September 20th, I left Mozambique on June 16 for studies and an extended visit with my mom in the US.  He was with me for a few wonderful days and I took him home on June 15.

I can't believe it's been a year since I've seen that smile, hugged that body, heard that laugh, lost to him at Yahtzee, made him his favorite foods, asked him to fix my (phone, tv, radio - whatever needed fixing), talked and talked and prayed for his future every day.  A million tender moments that are so missed. June 2010 026

Our last photo together

Oh, it still hurts, I miss him so much.  What a precious gift he was for the time I had him.  My darling Pedro.

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The last photo I took of my boy.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I broke the record!

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Well, my record  . . . for living the longest time in one place in my whole life!

I just today realized that I've lived in my home in the boys' dorm for nearly seven years (in August) and that is the longest I've ever lived in one home! I couldn't believe it, but it's true!

I've been here in Mozambique for 8 1/2 years but I moved into the  dorm after I'd been here 1 1/2 years.By the way, that gorgeous photo above of my living room right after it was painted?  It doesn't really look like that any more!  The table and chairs were given back to their owner (they had been on long term loan), the plants died while I was on a trip to the US and lots of little boy things have taken over much of that space!  But you get the gist of it!                           

                                                  Here's me in my back door!



And here's my kitchen, taken from my bedroom doorway. 











I walk thru that gate in the fence, into our dorm and my home, countless times a day - I can hear that gate in my sleep!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Fun on Friday

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These precious doodle-bugs live in Room Three, my youngest room.  I recently had a team bring me some things I ordered on line, including these aprons.  My thought for ordering them is that it might create a distinction between being in my house for Afternoon Program as compared to being in my house for any other reason. 

Well, whatever my reason, they love them!  They remind them of the aprons the kids wear in pre-school but also of cooks - so we'll need to do some cooking soon!

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Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Got Milk?

June 2011 005 Yes we do!  We received a very generous donation from Nestle and have been given a ton of powdered milk.  So my 29 boys and three Tias will be getting a cup of milk, three times a week for two months.  That will be for the Afternoon Program in lieu of juice, Thursday night after church, and one other night per week.  Nice bedtime snack!

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Friday, June 03, 2011

Children's Day #3 - Presents!!!

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Oh sweet Elidio with no front teeth!  You love everything you're ever given including this deck of cards!

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What's in there??? What treasures await discovery?


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Pretty hard to get a group shot after they get their pressies but we tried! Children's Day 2011 105 Children's Day 2011 106

Paulito and Elido enjoying their new cups!

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Jamito is so excited about his pressie, he didn't want to put it down!

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Handsome boys Joao left, and Shelton, right just chillin for a bit!

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Another Joao, left, enjoying his Spiderman towel that grew and Paulito, right, got down to business drawing in his new notebook!

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Ryan is just excited about life!  And his soccer ball! And Pedrito is determined to win the happy face maze game - the boys loved this little toy!

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Neto, left, and Antonio enjoying their new cars.  

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Alito and Jose (and their runny noses!) have had a fantastic day!

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And, not atypical, a big day comes with some big emotions!  Pai is upset that someone took one of his candies, but he soon recovered and played the rest of the day away!

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I love how excited my boys are about the simplest things.  They really love Children's Day and it's my privilege to be able to help make it special for them.

Thanks so much to all of you who are helping as well! 

Who wants to be here for next June 1?  Start making plans now!!!

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Children's Day #2 - New Clothes!

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Room #3, the Littlies, didn't have time to put on their new shoes!  In case you're wondering why they're only in socks!  They look so cute in their new outfits.  I feel a bit bad they got shorts and not long pants but I couldn't find eight matching pants in their size.  They love them anyway!Children's Day 2011 046 

Room #1, the Middlies, are so close in height, you can't see them all, we didn't have enough shorter ones to put in front.  But they look dapper in their new outfits! Children's Day 2011 057

Room #2, the Biggies, are full of mischief and good fun in their new duds.  Don't ask me where Antonio, on the right, learned the Charlie;s Angels move, it couldn't have been from me!  Children's Day 2011 059

And here's the whole dorm, waiting for their pressies!  Aren't they handsome? 

Thanks so much for your love and support making things like this possible for these precious little boys who are so easy to please!

Next up: the pressies!!!