Friday, August 30, 2013

Festival de Habilidades de Niñas, Niños, y Jovenes con Discapacidad

This afternoon, J. and I went to the 3rd annual Festival de Habilidades de Niñas, Niños y Jovenes con Discapacidad. It was an event to celebrate the abilities of children with disabilities. I've now spent a little time at two special needs schools in Cochabamba, and I've been very pleasantly surprised with the number of students in these programs. There is also a varied mix of children in the schools, and I like seeing kids from such different backgrounds all learning together.

The event started at 3pm with a brief introduction of the various organizations present. Other than J.'s school, I think there were 4 or 5 other schools or organizations that work with children with disabilities. Then, groups from the various schools performed songs and dances for the next 5 hours... it was a bit long!

I liked watching the different dances (many of them were traditional dances from different regions in Bolivia), but the music was really loud and J. was a bit overwhelmed at times. There was one song that she particularly enjoyed. She told me "I really like this song!," and she tried to sing along and clapped to the beat the whole time.

The event took place at the Plaza de las Banderas (Plaza of the Flags). There are flags from every country in North and South America. 

J.'s school gave her a special shirt to wear while at the event!

 J. trying on her teacher's hat

Clapping to her favorite song! 

One of J.'s teachers danced in a group, but before that, they let people come out and dance for fun, so J.'s teacher asked if J. could come out to dance with her!

Feliz Cumpleaños, N.!

This morning we celebrated the first birthday of our N.! She has quite the history (you can read about it here), so we're really thankful that she is here and we can celebrate her life!

We sang happy birthday, Tía Maria prayed for her, and then everyone enjoyed cake and gelatina (because we all know it's not a party without some jello!). 

Unfortunately I seem to have more pictures of the party guests than I do of our cumpleañera...

Out of all the birthdays we've celebrated so far, no one has actually taken a bite of the cake (can't say that I blame them because I wouldn't want my face shoved into the cake either...). Leave it to the one year old to follow tradition, however! 
*As a side note, Tía Claudia is particularly fond of little N., and N. is quite smitten with Tía Claudia as well, so it was only fitting that Tía Claudia helped her take part in the tradition!

Quien quiere comer torta? YO!!!!!!!!!!
Who wants to eat cake? ME!!!!!!!!!!

 It was a sad realization for our resident drama queen when she realized it wasn't her who we were celebrating!

 The way to his heart is through food... It doesn't get better than cake and jello all at once!

Caught red-handed stealing frosting right off of the cake!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Culinary School

One of our babies turns one tomorrow, so of course we're planning a big birthday celebration for her! This morning, Tía Silvia (our baby home chef) informed me that this afternoon, she and I would be making the cake. Apparently it is some sort of traditional birthday cake, and she said I need to learn how to bake from scratch because I spend too much money on boxed cake mixes. 

After the kids went down for a nap, we got to work. Well, the tías got to work. I mainly watched the cake-baking part. The bottom layer was a chocolate cake and came out perfect! The top layer was a vanilla cake and was a bit of a disaster. As Tía Silvia was trying to take it out of the pan, it completely fell apart. I was then told I was in charge of "fixing the disaster" with decorations! 

It was a fun afternoon with the tías, and now that the cake is finished, we're ready to celebrate!

I'm not sure how many times a day I see this face from Tía Lucy! 

How many tías does it take to decorate a cake?!

Tía Silvia and our finished cake... She's very particular about the upkeep of the kitchen, so I was impressed that she let us make such a mess!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

It's a Boy!

Tía Serafina had her baby on Tuesday, so this afternoon, Tía Rosi, Tía Eli, and I snuck out during naptime to go visit her and the baby at the hospital!

Dilan (not sure of the spelling) is so tiny and just precious! We have some pretty young (4 months) babies at the baby home, but they seem gigantic when compared to a newborn. 

We're so excited for Tía Serafina and her family! While she's on maternity leave, her younger sister is working in her place. We'll be able to get frequent updates from her and are awaiting Tía Serafina's return in November.

Monday, August 26, 2013


Just some recent pictures... Enjoy!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Busy Sunday

I know I've said it before, but Sundays are truly anything but relaxing! Today started off with trying to get 7 kids ready for church. No, not all of them went with me, but they were all headed to a church. It was worth the stress of getting them ready when we were all walking out the door. They looked precious!

Just so we look like we have it together on Sunday mornings... getting everyone ready in as organized a manner as possible.

I take all my fashion tips from her. 

 If you insist on touching the skirt, the tías may just make you wear it.

Our motley crew ready for church! What you don't see if the trufi full of big kids who also went with Savannah (she was already taking 3 of the kids in the above picture).

After church, we stopped at Wist'upiku to pick up lunch for the us and the tías. I don't mind taking toddlers out to eat, but taking one year olds and babies to restaurants isn't really fun for any of us. The empanadas were delicious!

I've been wanting to make cookies for awhile now, so while the kids were napping, Tía Nilda and I found a recipe and started baking! Unfortunately, we weren't really on top of checking on the cookies and they turned out a little burnt. They were also crunchy too, which isn't my favorite. For someone who doesn't cook, I've had several baking successes here so I guess it was time for a not so good recipe!

This is probably the worst picture of cookies ever, but it's the only one I have. We attempted shaped them into stars before baking, but that was obviously a failure, too, because none of them came out of the oven looking like a star!

I spent the rest of the day helping out with the kids. Although Sunday mornings are pretty rushed, Sunday afternoons and evenings are usually a bit more slow. All of the days are pretty much the same as far as the schedule/routine goes, but the atmosphere does feel a bit different on the weekends, and I enjoy the change of pace!

Ready for bed after a fun day! Please take note of the princess and cupcake pajamas on the boys... like I've said before, our kids are so stylish.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

La Horita Feliz

I've written about La Horita Feliz before, but it's been a bit different the past few weeks because the couple who is actually in charge of it is back in Bolivia after a visit to the States. Now after singing songs as a group, the kids split up into 3 different groups to have their own age-appropriate lesson. There's a class for children ages 1-5 years old, so I force bring my baby home kids to the class. Although you'd think they were totally alone by their screams when I drop them off, several other kids from Casa de Amor are actually in their class.

This past week, I stayed in the room with them for their class. After a brief storytime, the kids get out tables and chairs and color a picture that shows their Bible verse for the week. We had a whole group of Casa de Amor kids this week, so we pulled two tables together and 2 other CDA volunteers and I stayed at their table to assist. What a disaster it was! The kids were crying, wouldn't share crayons and were just generally unhappy about being there (I don't know why because their teacher is really nice, and I know they enjoy the singing!) At one point, I just had to laugh! 

At the end of the class, the teacher apologized to me for having to bring "loquitos" (basically crazy children), although I probably should've been the one apologizing to her!

We're all hoping for a better time next week!

Friday, August 23, 2013


We have several adoptions very close to being completed, and one of our spunky two years olds, F., should be leaving us any day now. As a farewell to her, her new parents threw a "Despedida" (basically a going-away party) and invited all of Casa de Amor's kids! 

It was quite the event and made for a very fun afternoon! There were balloons (I think every child received at least 5 balloon swords!), games, prizes, and lots of food! It also happened to be A.'s 10th birthday and volunteer Lindsey's birthday, so we had a lot to celebrate! 

After several hours of fun, we loaded up and headed home. Some of the babies were so tired that they slept in the trufi on the way home. All slept great last night!

They couldn't make balloon swords fast enough! 

 He fought with the wrong end of his sword!

She wants to be a tía so badly! 

 The life of the party enjoying a rousing round of Musical Chairs!

One of my favorite 3 year olds :) 

Who is going to win?! 

Another one of our soon-to-be-adopted two year olds!

Our big kids looked SO cute in their new clothes!

We'll miss you, F.!