Thursday, March 14, 2013

So many new kids, I lost count

I have a lot of great news. We have started construction on the new building. Now that it has started, the first phase should be done in 8-9 months. Usually with building projects here, they give a monetary initiative to actually finish the contract in a certain time period. Hopefully this means, we will be in the new building by next Fall!
Last blog I told you about the new kids, well now we have more. I can’t even keep track of how many new ones are joining. I actually don’t have pictures of all of them, but I am working on it. 



Josue David

        Axel is 4 years old. He is Genesis’ younger brother. He is very quiet and very shy, but a sweet kid. He usually observes the other kids playing, especially when they are playing rough. He doesn’t participate much, but has warmed up to me. Today he pops around the corner and says, “Jenny!” It surpised me, because he never talks, only occasionally smiles at me.
      Jamie is a 2 year old girl. Genesis and Axel’s cousin. She is being raised by her father. It is common to see single mothers in this country and especially this community, but to see a single father is unheard of. She is very strong willed, but has a sweet side. She is very small and malnourished, and usually in my arms. Her dad said that he has seen a big difference in her behavior since she entered our program 3-4 weeks ago.
Ian is also 2 years old. Although they are not related, Bessy considers him her nephew. They live very close together and Bessy is best friends with his mom Keren. He has very light features, so they joke that he could be my kid.
      Jeferson is  2 ½ years old. From what I have heard, he had a special needs brother that recently passed away. To put it nicely, Jeferson is a fighter. No one has taught him how to play or be around people. His arms are always swinging, and although he has a 2 year old temper, sometimes he is just playing. I have been working on seeing who he can play well with, so that he can learn to play with others.  I try to pick him up and love on him a little at a time, and he is starting to open up and smile, without trying to swing at me.
      Gabriel and Josue David are brothers, 2 ½ and 4 years old. They could not be any more different. Gabriel, the younger one, is lively and loves to eat. He always wants me to hold him. Today he walks up and says, “I love you.” (which to me was sweet because even the kids I know that love me can’t verbalize it). He is my shadow. David is the same size as Gabriel, does not like to eat anything, and is very quiet and reserved. He speaks when spoken to, but is not loud and energetic like his little brother. Usually Gabriel (the younger one) takes the food off his plate. The first week Gabriel would not enter the building, gradually we got him inside to eat, then the next day to sleep, and now he is completely adapted.
      Kacy and Daniel have been in the program before, but were not regulars. Kacy is Debbie’s daughter. If you remember, Debbie is usually the lady that comes to substitute. She will be part time in the mornings teaching the kindergarten classes. Which has allowed me more time with English and the little kids.
        Abel is 5 years old. He is the cousin of Heydi and Oliver. The first week, he was great and so excited about being with us. After the first week the tears came. He is a sweet kid, but around 11am starts crying for his mom.  He is a great kid and outgoing.
        Fauricio is 5 years old and today was his first day. He is Debbie’s nephew. I don’t know much about him or his personality, but he seems like a sweet boy.
I’m not sure if I have forgotten anyone, like I mentioned there is a new one everyday, so I have lost track of how many new kids there are. I will save the new ones for the next blog. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

New Year, New Kids, Life Changes, and Too Many Pictures!!

Our kids are back from the holiday and we have 3 new kids so far, and word of 3 more coming next week. They are three very different kids, who I am excited to learn about and get to know better. I don’t know any of their stories, but as I have found recently, their stories will unfold over the years. We haven’t had all of our old kids return yet, so we aren’t sure how many kids we will have this year.
In introducing the new kids, I will start youngest to oldest. Jonathan will be 2 in March, a sweet shaved head (here the parents shave the heads of baby boys and girls to make their hair grow in thicker). Jonathan is like any other kid his age that probably has never been away from his mother for very long, we have spent most of our days holding him and keeping him away from the door. It doesn’t matter who is leaving, he knows what the gate means and starts wailing. One surprising difference in Jonathan is that someone has already taught him to say thank you.  A lot of kids we work with have never been taught to say thank you or be grateful, so it surprised us when he said it.
Another little guy is two year old Josue. On a side note, all three new kids have the name David, but since we already have two other David’s we are using middle names. Josue might be a few months older than Jonathan, but a lot smaller. The only reason I would guess he is older is by what he says. He is going to be a very smart kid. Within 2 hours of meeting him, he knew my name; and on the first day could tell you every teacher’s name. A few days ago we gave him popsicle sticks to play with and he started counting them. It surprised all of us, because even some of our 5 year olds can’t count to 20. Yesterday, he was playing with the blocks and I thought I would see if he could recognize the numbers (something very hard for all of our kids). Our jaws dropped when he could recognize numbers 1-10. He is very verbal, but he is two so he doesn’t know words yet. He just looks at you and starts talking. I don’t know his story, but as you will see in his picture he has some kind of allergy or bug bites from his house. The bites/ or irritation is all over his body and they itch, so he has scabs from itching. He is adapting very well only after a few days.
Our third new boy is Moises. He is three year olds and reminds us a lot of a little boy named Manuel that left our program (and the city) 6 months ago. He is sweet and shy and does not like to have attention focused on him. There are a lot of boys around his age, so everyone wants to play with him.

Ariel, Oliver, Moises, and Calil

Cristel and Heydi
Me and Aben
Since I haven’t updated my blog since before Christmas, it is time to let you know that I will be getting married this summer. Some of you have met him, Aben works for Youth for Christ here in Honduras. I could write a lot about him and what he does, but I will try to keep it short and you will get to know him in time.  In joining with his ministry, I will start teaching English to some of his youth. When we had a team here, I realized how powerful it would be for them to share and speak without translators. Aben has started a school for kids that have never had the resources to go to school, he does evangelism outreach in the public high schools, and has a feeding program at the city trash dump.