Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Cap-i-tan America visits–with gifts!


My wonderful co-worker, Alisha has her amazing parents visiting her and the boys.  They fell in love with the kids via skype long before they arrived.  The boys call them “Mae e Pai” – (mom and dad), so cute!

We suspect Alisha’s dad IS Cap-i-tan America (as the boys pronounce it!) and he loves everything about him.  So naturally the boys love him too.

They came with a surprise for the boys for every day of their visit, can you imagine?  So thoughtful and generous!  These are the best – new t-shirts.  Alisha prepared them well and they had all the right sizes, different color for each room!  I was impressed!

Are you seeing that Cap-i-tan America brought his own shield???

They also brought fun masks – adorable!


Nothing wrong with a little mix-n-match superheroes is there?


Our littlest Superhero!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Meet the Meninos ~ Lulu


What is with the cheesy over-smile at this age?  Anyway, Lulu is short for Luis, very common even for grown men here, I had to get used to calling a man “Lulu!”

IMG_1994He is cute – obviously!  He is also earnest, trying hard at learning new things, which almost everything here is new to him, even coloring.  He is quiet and usually content with whatever happens.  He seems often uncertain, trying to see what’s expected or what the norm is or what this new crafty project is, and what in the world is the alphabet?

He’s also very proud of himself when he tries something new he was previously afraid if – like the swimming pool!  He must have told me at least 16 times after his most recent visit there that “I went in the water Mana Laura!”

He’s not overly affectionate or clingy but he does enjoy a good hug and kiss.  He seems to be finding his footing!

Love, Laura

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Little Belated Birthday Post

The boys love a birthday – anyone’s birthday cuz they all get candy!  Of course, they love their own the best.  They get to wear the birthday hat (it’s now in tatters after so many uses!), sleep with Spiderman sheets, use the Spiderman towel and washcloth and wear the soccer slippers.  What more could a kid ask for, really?

 (they were pretty stoked when my feet fit in their slippers!)
For my birthday this year, way back in July, I wanted to provide them with cake.  Not because I’m more special than they are but cuz there’s one of me and 34 of them.  There’s lots of things I do for these cute-patoots but making 34 cakes a year, (enough for 40 people when you count our workers) isn’t one of them!
(I admit it – I didn’t make these either, I ran out of time and bought them and slathered them with jam!)

Bummer – I didn’t get a group shot with all of us.  That’s Room Three behind me, worried I’ll eat the whole cake and there won’t be enough for everyone!  Lucky I showed some self-restraint!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Four Eyes are Better Than Two!


Letter O in the Afternoon Program gave us a great Opportunity, get it?, for wearing Oculos!  That’s glasses in Portuguese.


Dave and Josh of the Buttershaw Team brought up some giant pipe cleaners (how did I not know about those before?) and the idea was born!


I had to jump in and show off my Oculos too!


Looking very chic don’t you think?  Igor pushing up his glasses to see a little better, Jeremias chose his colors to match his shirt and Josh – what a great sport!  Thanks for sharing with them about prayer (oracao) as well Josh!


(sorry for going backwards in my Letter posts – I had written this and lost it in”drafts” so here you go!)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Timber! And seriously, so grateful.


Crash, bam, boom!  Nope, not an episode of Batman being filmed here in Zimpeto, but about  1/4 of our wonderful big tree in the middle of our playground came crashing to the ground this afternoon around 2pm!


Amazingly, in a center of about 400 people at any given moment, 260 of them kids of all ages, workers, pastors, missionaries, visitors, community members . . . not one person was hurt or killed by this falling tree branch.  Praise God for his mercy in this situation.


About an hour later, 35 or so little toddlers would be playing under this tree, primarily in front of that wall you see but many little ones toddle out and about under the tree.  Scary to think what might have happened.  And about a half hour later, 11 of my boys would have been walking right in that exact spot from tutoring back to my dorm, which you can see in the photo below. 


My dorm is barely visible in the center of the photo, the edge of a roof and the fence is all you can see of it.  The noise was so loud from there!


There was a little boy raking up leaves and such and putting them that bin when the tree broke, but he heard the noise and ran clear, thank God!  My friend was sitting on the little wall you see in the photo, a little to the right, and her son was playing under the tree, but in the clear space you can see in front of where the tree fell. 

SO much to be thankful for today!  This story could have had a very different ending.   We praise God for his mercy and protection today!

It makes me think of all things we are spared or protected from and have no idea.  In this case, we know it was miraculous that no one was injured and I am thankful!

Monday, September 08, 2014

Selfie self-improvement!


Well, it took a little practice but I finally got a shot of me and Felizardo – much better when someone else steps in to help though!

At least Felizardo looks good in every shot!

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Q is for Quiosque, of Quorse!


IMG_3933For the second week of school holidays, I was again on a quest to get the boys off the center to “passear” which is a great Portuguese word meaning something similar to “go out and about.”

I had a brainstorm when I realized that the little snack bars here are often called Quiosques (Portuguese for Kiosk if you didn’t gather that!).

(Here’s little Lulu, looking doubtful I was showing him the right stuff and then thrilled when we hit the pocket!)



So three days in a row I took one room at a time to the somewhat local Quiosque for Quiejo (cheese) and crackers and a soda which doesn’t start with Q but is pretty much a sure thing at a Quiosque.


While I didn’t get a photo in front of the Quiosque sign (it was too close to the busy road to risk it), I did get plenty of shots of the unexpected bonus – a pool table!


I love playing pool!  Even more, I love surprising the boys who were certain that Mana Laura would NOT know how to play pool!

IMG_3922Manuel 2 was pretty excited for me when I made a shot!  The boys loved running around to the side to watch the ball fall into line.IMG_3951Basically the Tias and I played one another while giving the boys lots of chances to shoot.  Not one of the three Tias had ever played before, they were so cute to watch!

IMG_3923All the boys got to take a turn or two as well.  Here’s Felix getting ready!

IMG_3926I couldn’t convince them it wasn’t a good thing for the white ball to go in the pocket, they were just as thrilled!

IMG_3954Jan joined us and did a great job showing Manuelly-Belly how to shoot.


I love, love, love this action shot when Mana Zaida, you can barely see her on the right, made a shot.  They were so excited!

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

P is for Peixe at the Praia (or Fish at the Beach if you will)!


Could they be any more gorgeous?  But I digress . . .IMG_3810

As you might know, we are going through the alphabet in the Afternoon Program and this week is Letter P!  It is also week one of two weeks of school holidays.  It’s always fun to take the boys off the center during the holidays so Alisha and I came up with a great plan.

IMG_3813Alisha took one room at a time to the nearby pool for Pizza at the Pescina (pool)!

And I took them to the Praia (beach) for Peixe (fish)!

So fun!  So perfect, couldn’t have planned it better myself.

Here’s Dave, who with his son Josh joined us one day.  They were great fun for doing guy stuff with the boys!IMG_0214IMG_3885

I love seeing the boys at the beach just being goofy and having fun!IMG_3887

They couldn’t wait to get to the water which was WAY out!IMG_3891

Except little Dio who needed some coaxing to get out with the big boys!

IMG_3815I was so excited – as were the boys – when Mana Zaida joined in the fun! 



It’s a lot of work getting the fish off the bones for the boys.  These are cheap fish – like 20 cents each, and they have tons of bones.  But, that’s what was available and I had to stick with my theme! Thanks Dave for tearing apart those fish!

(And in case you’re curious, I have three rooms of boys and do the same Afternoon Program three days in a row, once for each room. These photos are from two of the three days.  The third day is when my clutch went out and I was a little too preoccupied to take photos!)

Wait til you hear what we did for Letter Q!