The entire Pfamily was back in full swing today. Rhiana had her first day teaching in her class. I am sure that she will blog about that so I will move on. Gracie went and worked mostly with the 3 year olds and she hasn’t stopped talking about the experience. Clover stayed with Rhiana at first and then ventured off in the main the area. This is a giant step for her because she gets very nervous and anxious in new surroundings. I wish that I could say that this new found freedom ended well, but she had a pretty rough day. The children, who as I have mentioned in previous posts are fascinated by “Blancs” (white people). A group of the children who wanted to play with Clover starting yelling, “Blanc” and chasing her in the courtyard. They were smiling and just trying to have fun with her, but as you might imagine this sent her into a panic. She handled it as well as anyone with her disposition, at her age could handle it. There were a few more small instances, but she made it through just fine. I’m proud of the her.
I started on a few smaller construction projects. First, I needed to repair the door and frame on one of the upstairs storage rooms. The Orphanage has been having problems with mice getting into the room. My goal is to use discarded wood and other materials to make as many of my repairs as possible. There is no extra money here and everything costs triple what it costs in the States. I found some old hinges and repaired the door. Then I cut some old wood scraps and made an exterior door frame to completely seal any areas where a critter could get into the room. Many of the older boys crowded around me while I worked and gave their input on how I was doing. These boys are really good at working with there hands.
I moved on to work on patching the tin roof that covered the eating area. It has tons of holes which makes eating in the rain a real chore for them. The Orphanage suggested that I take metal from the roof of a nearby chicken coup and move it over. I explained that I felt as though that was wasteful and I would repair the roof with screen and tar. So far, so good, but probably a few days away from completing the entire roof. I fixed a few power outlets that were nothing short of dangerous and then decided to take a break to play with the kids.
The playing soon turned into hugging and was followed by their repair requests. I was led by hand to different places on the property where a couple of the older boys pointed out things that were not working. The boys room had no light bulb and they really wanted to be able to see at night. There was a crack in the water line that fed the reservoir. There was no door on the boys bathroom, but they quickly pointed out that the girls had a door for privacy. The list went on and on. I am ready to do as many things as possible to give them simple comforts that we don’t even think twice about back home.
I ended the day at the Orphanage with one last ladder climb to a roof near where the younger children stay. I had noticed that their were lots of colorful things up there and thinking that they were toys – I wanted to retrieve them for the kids. I climbed up the ladder and quickly realized that these were not toys – they were shoes. I retrieved about 12 pairs of Crocs, which would explain why some of the children were missing their shoes. I asked how they got up there and everyone pointed at a little boy who could not walk. He might not be able to walk, but he has the arm of a major league center fielder.