Friday was a very fun, and very full day. When we arrived at the center, we sat and played with a few of the kids awaiting their turn for physical therapy. I went to ask Sammy a question and found Willie in his version of a superhero costume: 3-D glasses stuck underneath his helmet. He had a huge grin on his face--so happy (and maybe a little dizzy?)--and, for the first ten minutes he wore them, he did not speak. Kid knows a good bit when he sees one.
During break, I took a few pictures with my sweet friends: Suzie and Japheth. I wish I could bottle up Japheth's laugh and play it whenever I want. I also wish I could capture one of Suzie's happy dances on camera, but they're unpredictable...
Friday was also Praise's Birthday. Praise is a boy in Class 1 who has cerebral palsy. He does not speak and can not walk (you may remember him from the post about a donated wheelchair!) but he communicates his joy through various sounds and signs. The teachers, staff and physical therapist can all understand him so they spent the morning asking about his birthday and raising Praise's excitement for cake!
Right after lunch, Praise's mom arrived and began to set up for the party she'd planned. Sarah and I went to the office and made Praise a paper crown.
Praise's mom is unreal. She cares for and loves her son more than anything. She told Sammy that she'd like him to come to school at the center, but not live there...she said, "Praise would be fine, but I would not sleep without my Praise!" She arrived on Friday with cake, cookies, sodas, and candy for everyone: about 100 kids and nearly two dozen adults. As a single mom, she's on top of her game. (The majority of my experience here has been with street children and/or families in the slums...I have never seen a parent in this neighborhood who cares for her child this much. Honestly, I've worked with teenagers in America for nearly 15 years and Praise's mom trumps many US parents as well!)
She arranged it all and had the teachers hand out the snacks...and then the group sang Happy Birthday!
Here's Praise and his ladies: their househelp, his Grandmother, mom's friend, Praise and his mom...who is amazing!
These three beautiful sisters were at the center for lunch and stayed for cake and singing. Celinah, Jennifer, and Esther.
After the party, we were wiped out! We headed home for a bit to rest. We went back to the center to help the house moms feed the kids dinner and then headed in to town for Chinese food. (I'm trying to figure out a way I can have Chinese food delivered to the house--maybe calling the restaurant and placing an order and then having a taxi driver pick it up and deliver it to the house?! It would be the most amazing treat to have dinner delivered...even once!)
We came back to the house, turned on a wonderfully cheesy 90s movie (Drive Me Crazy--Melissa Joan Hart and Adrian Grenier), made some popcorn on the stovetop and I brought out my needlepoint. Just wanted you to get a small glimpse at what our evenings are like around here.
(Note: I spent the majority of this afternoon googling stovetop recipes using ingredients found in developing nations...if you have any meal ideas that don't include a ton of bread, fruit, or cheese, please please pass them on!)