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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Mother Teresa and more tees

This morning we had a wonderful breakfast of oatmeal, passion fruit juice, and mango. Then we went to the Mother Teresa orphanage. Again, we had to wait a bit to gain entry, but it was nothing like the prison fiasco. First we met Sister _______ from India. She explained that lepers make the cloth and material and sew their habits, then the nuns purchase them from the lepers in India. This gives them an income, and a skill.     This is the only picture from inside the orphanage.
First, we were shown where the sick babies are--malnourished, HIV, TB, you name it. They were not handicapped, but in dire straits. Picture 30 babies in metal cribs, row after row. One cries, you pick her up and she wraps her little frail arms around your neck and lays her head on your shoulder. What would you do? We cried. We stayed a few minutes, cuddling and loving these beautiful little creatures. I could barely stand to put her down. A few older children wandered around in this ward, very happy to see us, clinging and laughing and holding our hands. Again, sick children that most likely will not get well.

We were then taken upstairs where the handicapped children are. We were handed over to Sister Guadeloupe, a spitfire from Costa Rica. And what a place this was. We were totally unprepared for this visit. Everywhere we looked we saw happy children, much loved and very well cared for. There we're a variety of ages in there, from infants to a few teenagers. There was a blind boy less than two who was practically doing gymnastics in his crib. We were fearfull of him falling, but Sister G explained this is his fun, and he never fsls out. He was standing in his head, with his toes curled around the top of the crib. There was also a tiny girl grotesquely bent out of shape. I would have guessed she was 2 or 3 years old, but we're told she was 13, and has menengitis. Very sad. The rest of the place was amazing. Children in wheelchairs, deformed, retarded, etc., all with smiles and handshakes or yells and giggles. Sister G touched or spoke with each one as she walked by. They have sensory rooms, a very cool massage area, physical therapy daily, wonderful play rooms. These, truly, are very lucky children.

Often, when children like these are born, they are given odd names, such as ones that mean crippled one, or something similar. They might be kept in a corner and fed and cared for but that would be all. Their potential is never tried, and they dot know the care of a loving family. This was a great place to visit, and very uplifting. We'll all remember Nadia, who picked one of us at a time, particularly Leah, hugged on us like Velcro and lugged us around the whole time we were there.

Lunch was grilled cheese and ham with tomato, and wonderful fried potatoes.

After lunch, we had girls and some medium size boys come and decorate tees. Then we went to the children's village while some of our men played bongos, guitar, and rock for their entertainment. I don't know how impressed they were, but we were entertained by antics, cartwheels, and a homemade kite. Leah made one little boy dance with her, but after that, they all ran away when she approached.

Supper was rice with a salmon sauce, so I had rice. Believe me, I won't starve.

After dinner, some of us took a walk up the road. I had taken pictures of a family last time I was here, and I wanted to give them copies. So, on the way, we passed a circle of men, 2 and 3 deep, yelling and carrying on. We walked quickly past and contemplated returning by a different route. They sounded angry. Found the path to the house I was looking for, but no one was home! I left the pictures on their door, and hoped they wouldn't blow away.

Then we found out the "angry mob" was a cock fight, and it had broken up by the time we went by on our return. Important enough to have a permanent ring installed!  Again, another busy day, full of surprises.

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