Thursday, March 31, 2011

Moving on Up!

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Four Doodle-Bugs moved up to the next dorm yesterday.  They look ridiculously happy about it.  I had to bribe them to make them smile, really they were crying just moments before!

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Jerome                                               Jose

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Rafael                                                       Mito

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Just kidding - they weren't crying.  Stinkers.  For weeks, I've been teasing them - "don't cry, come on stop crying" and they burst out laughing.  They have known for over a month they were going to join their friends who moved up in January so they were very excited.  They love the idea of growing up and the freedom to be able to play outside after dinner.  These kids, all they think about is playing!  :)

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The classic over-the-shoulder goodbye shot.  Their bags are almost as big as they are! Proof positive they should have stayed with me!

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See!  They were crying after all!  Oh, that could be because I said, "Act like you're crying!!!" 

We walked up to the next dorm, found their beds and put their things away and by the time I arrived back at my dorm, one of them was already back there!  So, they aren't that excited to leave me after all. 

It was lovely seeing them today, running up to me to tell me about their new home, big hugs and kisses and off they went to play with the "big boys." 

Although I am light-hearted today, and looking at the bright side, it does hurt to "pass them on."  It never feels natural.  They are still so teeny tiny.  But they are moving into good hands to care for them, Sonia and Sam and Tio Raul and Tio Joao. 

And, as always, the loving hands of their Heavenly Father who never passes them on!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

New York, New York!

Summer 2010 192I was looking thru some photos from my time in the US and came across these from my day trip to New York City with my cousin Maureen. 

We drove from my mom's house in NJ to meet up with a commuter bus right into Port Authority. Spent the day touring on the hop-on/hop-off bus tour, had a great time and got home by around 10pm.


Is this not classic New York city??  All those taxi cabs!

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The amazing Empire State Building. Summer 2010 124.1 

I've been fiddling around with editing, in case you couldn't tell!

At nighttime? 

No, just fiddling to make a not-great photo a little better.

Any tips anyone?

I get so lazy about editing but it can make a good photo so much better and a poor photo pretty good.  Fun!



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I don't know why but I love this photo and this angle!

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Me and Maureen, one of my favorite people in the whole world and must be one of the best travel buddies - she's so fun and so easy going!  Where should we go next Maureen?

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My mom used to take the State Island Ferry to work in Manhattan every day!  A real live New York City girl!

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There's not much I can say, during a post about a light-hearted tourist visit to New York city, about the tragedy these three photos represent.

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I couldn't help but wonder over and over - what would Mozambicans think about this crazy city with it's masses of people, traffic huge buildings and billboards everywhere!

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Nice to visit - but I wouldn't want to live there! 

But I will be back again sometime soon I hope!

Who wants to go with me next time?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

In the good old summertime . . .


Mana Natalie, here with Shelton, deserves her own blog post so for now I will say that she is my lovely co-worker in the dorm and she has loved taking the boys to the pool on a regular basis this summer. 


Mana Sam has joined her on occasion, here with Paulito Bebe'!


Mito, left, and Neto, right having fun in the sun!


Joao, all kitted out for the day


It looks like some of the other pool guests had fun entertaining the boys - who doesn't love these pumpkins?!?


Does anyone else remember being a kid and not minding laying right on the hot cement (or pavers here) after getting out of the pool?


Well, at least we can pick our boys out in a crowd!


Do you think Shelton needs any more flotation devices???

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Two new little lovebugs!

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Meet Paulo, above, and Feliz, below!  Our two newest pumpkins whom arrived in February (but I'm a bit late in posting).  They came to us from another children's center, a government orphanage nearby.

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Boys who come from this center are always a bit rascally at first but they have been adapting well and have made new friends here at the center.

They came with no known information about family or where they are from but we are hopeful they might remember some things that give us a place to start investigating. 

Please pray with me that if they have family that we can find them and help them to make it home.  In the meantime, that this home will be loving, nurturing and joyful for them, however long they are here. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Reunited - a miracle story!

SO amazing that THIS photo:

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Was transformed into THIS photo:

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Little Crisilda, five years old, never came home from school on Tuesday, March 1st.  Her father, Tomas' is one of our workers here at the center.  His family were searching everywhere, going to the police, etc. but no one had seen her.

The most common way of looking for a child here is putting notices on the television or radio.  The family has to pay for each announcement, more during peak hours.  Which bugs me because these aren't commercials!

This Sunday, there was a children's program, during which they spotlight certain children.  Tomas and his family were watching and they suddenly saw their daughter with a phone number to call if anyone knew her!  They quickly called and made arrangements to meet - Tomas said "I didn't even take a shower or brush my teeth!"  When Crisilda came out of the chapa, she saw her daddy and ran to his outstretched arms.  There was "much emotion" he said, in what I'm sure was quite an understatement!

It seems that a very kind woman had seen Crisilda at a market/bus stop without shoes and without her school bag but in a uniform.  She asked her questions and Crisilda knew her parents names and school name but couldn't say where she lived.  The woman took her to the police and the three schools in the area, as well as the Chief of the neighborhood, but no one knew her. 

Well, it turns out, she was about 4-5 miles away from home!  And sadly, the police here don't really have a lot of inter-communication, so even though it was only that far away, they weren't in communication with one another. 

Crisilda hasn't been able to explain what happened to her or how she got to that other neighborhood.  Please continue to pray for her that the shock and fear and sadness of being lost from her family for 13 days will quickly fade.  And that if anything happened to her before that lovely lady found her, that she won't be scarred or bruised by it. 

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Thursday, March 03, 2011

Please pray for Shelton

March 2011 002  One of my little pumpkins, Shelton, has been ill, off and on, for quite some time but we haven't been able to get to the bottom of it.  He's had noticeably swollen cheeks for awhile but his kidneys tests have all come back fine, as did an ultrasound of his belly.  But now his belly has gotten quite swollen as well. 

March 2011 006We (meaning our medical staff) are taking him to the hospital tomorrow where he will likely be admitted while they try and find out what is wrong.

Some of you readers might recall that my Naftal entered the hospital a year ago this week with a distended belly and he died less than a  month later.  This is a little too familiar.  I am not being ruled by fear but am quite concerned for this precious boy.

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The Birthday Boy ~ Pedrito

February 2011 004     One of my precious pumpkins turns eight years old today.  Where does the time go?  This little turnip arrived in January of 2009, so he's been with us two years.  When he was six!!  No matter that I try and squash their heads down and command them not to grow, they do it anyway!

I love this little guy to pieces!

And I'm pretty fond of his friend, Rafael, too!

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The boys get to wear the Spiderman pjs and sleep with Spiderman sheets on their special day.  They also get to give out candy to all their friends.  They think that's just terrific. 

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Happy Birthday Sweet Pedrito!

Deus te abencoe!