What a gift this Friday was! I have been hanging out with Sammy for the last (nearly) month watching the day-to-day activities, chores, and interactions at the kids center, and completely falling in love with the staff and children there.
The team that's in town has been supporting Sammy and the Center for a while now--having donated everything from school supplies to dairy cows to money for the new building site--and, while they are in town, devoted a morning to repainting the current home and visiting the purchased land that will soon hold the beautiful, new, specially-designed Precious Kids Center.
We went to the house early to move out the furniture and clean-up a bit.
There were about a dozen pair of shoes (including a pair of Sammy's) scattered around the living room--under couches, behind tables. I put them outside by the back door--and next to the large bunch of bananas.
The three that typically lay in the living room for most of the day were moved outside for the morning, so they wouldn't be trampled by the paint team.
True to form, Willie found a can and a large rock and was making tons of noise in the backyard. When I asked what he was doing he replied just like he does every other day, "hitting this!"
The photos had to be taken down from the wall for the painting day...I tried my hardest to convince Sammy to have them paint around the photo of David. It's just too good to lose.
Jabal, a visiting kid, had a few tumors removed from his elbow and foot this week. We're waiting on test results to see what the next steps toward treatment and healing may be. For the day, he lounged around the yard.
The team came to pick us up and Sammy directed the vans to the plot of land she owns. I was so excited to watch her lead the team on a tour of the in-progress building!
Check it out! The future site of Precious Kids Center! The roof is coming along nicely!
She walked everyone through the sitting room, kitchens, rooms, bathrooms...as everyone commented on how beautiful--and spacious--it is!
As we prepared to load-up and head back to the current home, the team stopped to pray for Sammy, for the kids and for the new land and what it will mean to the Center.
When we arrived at the house, everyone was in class. Only Christine was wandering around...she walked right over and put her arms up to be carried around. Gladly.
Bramwel, hearing the commotion of visitors, left class to see what was going on. He was promptly handed a stack of school supplies donated by the team to take back to the office.
There are two women on-site who do laundry all day, everyday. Okay--about seven hours a day, six days a week. It's such hard work!
Phoebe and I were accidental twins
Japheth had a huge smile on his face all afternoon--smiling and singing and clapping...
On her last trip, Becky fell in love with Rael. So they sat and talked and played together.
Willie and Christine sat on that mat and played, pretty nicely, together for a long time.
Even the staff joined the painting team. Here's Mike painting the kitchen.
The team was amazing! The plan had been to paint the living room, kitchen, and hallway...but they were quick and efficient so the paint went all the way to the back bedroom as well. They were also done with enough time to play with the school and house kids before lunch.
James came over to say hello to the team and hung around with the kids through break.
Suzie, who is excitable and difficult to keep still, was the one child that the staff was concerned with keeping an eye on while the team was painting. (She also licked off the first few fingers worth of nail polish we put on before we figured out a system to keep her distracted while it dried, so I wouldn't put it past her to lick the wet paint off the walls!)
I immediately volunteered to be on Suzie Duty for the day--keep her entertained and out of the house. She was so great! We sat for a little while and played with this deflated balloon.
Then went for a walk around the neighborhood. (As long as she's holding someone's hand, she'll stick with you.)
The team came out to the front yard and the kids left their classrooms...the whole place became a wonderfully loud circus.
Willie chased this balloon (well, this one and then two others after this one popped) for nearly an hour.
Phoebe, Mike and Japheth cozied-up on the couch.
I've been mending some clothes for the house...specifically patching up the knees of the pants worn by the kids who crawl around all day.
When things got a little more chaotic, Sammy and I took turns giving Suzie piggyback rides. She was beside herself with joy.
And, obviously, so was I
Our last resort to keep Suzie distracted, and over-the-moon happy, is to put her in the car. We weren't going anywhere, but she sat in that seat and excitedly jumped up and down for a really long time.
As I stood by the car, Denis came over to talk with Suzie and this little girl came right over to make friends, too.
We stood at a distance and watched this magic happen
After lunch, the team did a little shopping in town. At the check-out counter, Deb was handed this baby.
We had left Sammy's car at the kids house, so we took a piki ride back over to pick it up. The furniture was back inside the living room and the whole place looked so fresh and bright!
We ended the night with dinner at our new favorite place, Ruby Deli. I'll leave you with a photo of Sammy and her tasty samosa.