Saturday, May 31, 2014

Saturday Afternoon

Just some pictures from before, during, and after Horita Feliz!

Typical group picture

 Eating our snack! We always make it a picnic.

 Chowing down on his mandarina!

Balancing things on her head is a favorite game! 

S. was reminding everyone to eat the bread and mandarin orange before drinking their chocolate milk! 

 Lindsey and I with our Horita Feliz group… Looks like we're taking an extra kid home!

Elizabeth has been here for about 3 weeks caring for Baby D. before and after his heart surgery. She'll leave tomorrow morning, so he moved in with the Boohers for the next several weeks. Melanie (right), a former CDA volunteer, arrived yesterday to help the Boohers care for Baby D. for a week. She's a nurse who works with children who need or have had heart surgery, so Baby D. is in great hands!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Mother's Day with the Tías!

This evening, Casa de Amor hosted a Mother's Day dinner for all of the tías. We left the babies in the very capable hands of some Hospitals of Hope volunteers, and the older boys and girls were able to join us at the party. It is always so much fun to have all of the tías together since it rarely happens!

Nilda, Mari, and I

Claudia, Yovana, and Lucy

 We played a game and to find our groups, we each had a card with an animal name on it. We had to make the animal's sound.

Team Vaca: Rosi, Claudia, Lucy, Serafina, Luz, and I! Of course this dream team won! House 2 (boys' house where the party was) has a garden and had a big cabbage crop so cabbage was the prize for the winners. 

Our dinner! Tía Jheny has worked on and off for Casa de Amor (as an employee and replacement tía) for the past year and a half. She and her husband raise pigs and sold one to us for the party. We also had chicken, potatoes, and veggies.

 Nilda loved the potatoes! 

 Some of the big kids eating dinner.

 Rudi, Clancy, and Myles Booher and some friends eating dinner.

 Tío David came over to help cook!

 Feliz Cumpleaños Jennifer! Jennifer, Casa de Amor's Founder and Director, celebrated her birthday on May 24th, but we wanted to celebrate with everyone at the party. Silvia and I made one of the largest and heaviest cakes I've seen! Two days, four cakes, and a couple cake disasters later, it was finished and very yummy! Unfortunately, Jennifer wasn't able to come to the party to eat it… so Tío David told me I had to send her a picture of it… here it is, Jenn!

 Benita cooks for the big kids!

 Tía Adelaida and M. enjoying some yummy food!

 O. and Jazmin, Tía Rosi's daughter

 The tías called Jennifer to sing her "Happy Birthday!"

A.M. and I as the party was ending… We were waiting on everyone to load up in the trufi to head back to the girls' house!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Mother's Day with the Kids!

Mother's Day in Bolivia is always celebrated on May 27th. This year, the schools our big kids attend decided to celebrate on Monday, the day before, and close school for the day on the actual holiday. We (tías and volunteers) were each "assigned" a child for the day. In the afternoon, I went to school with O., J., and S. We had a bit of a miscommunication on what time everything was supposed to start, so luckily Tía Serafina happened to arrive early to go to O.'s class with her, so O. wasn't alone (I was supposed to go with her and arrived at the time the school told us to… Her class decided to celebrate 2 hours earlier and not tell us before…). Tía Luz and I arrived at the time the school told us to, and apparently J.'s kindergarten class also decided to celebrate early so unfortunately, she'd been alone most of the time. After O. and J.'s classes finished celebrating, everyone in the school went outside to watch a school-wide Mother's Day program. Some classes recited poems about Mother's Day, others sang songs, and others danced some of the traditional Bolivian dances. After that was over, I went with S. to her class to celebrate. Each class prepares food for the mothers (lots and lots of food!), and there were some big gift baskets for the moms to win. We all had a lot of fun and ate way too much!

Sorry for the lack of pictures… Since I arrived so late, there wasn't much to photograph. O.'s class and S. didn't participate in the Mother's Day program, and J.'s class danced, but instead of pictures, I just took a video with my phone… So these three pictures are it!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Busy Sunday

We started off our Sunday by going to church! With only 3 big kids and Baby C., it almost felt like we didn't have anyone!  

Tía Techy invited the Boohers (who then invited Lindsey and I and two of their friends from church) to come over to her house to eat chicharron (fried pork). They had killed their own pig for the chicharron. 

Tía Rosi (Techy's sister) was there with her family, too! 

The Boohers brought their violins and guitar and sang some songs for us. One of the songs had some Quechua and Tía Techy's family LOVED it!

Some of the kids watching the Boohers play.

 Some more of the crowd

 Rudi let some of the kids hold his violin after they finished playing some songs. This is Sergio, Tía Yovana's son.

 Tía Rosi and her son, Gustavo

 Tía Rosi's daughter, Jazmin

 Love this sweet girl! Micaela is Tía Yovana's niece. She LOVES Baby C. and was so disappointed that she wasn't there.

After leaving Tía Techy's house, we had a volunteer night. Some of the more athletic people in our group played Wally-Ball (basically indoor volleyball), but Lindsey, Heather (Jennifer's sister who is here visiting) and I sat outside and watched them. They had this really small door to enter the wally-ball court, and I could walk in and out without ducking my head. This picture isn't exactly an exact representation of how small the door was compared to Jake because he was on his tiptoes.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Baby D. Heart Surgery Update

Life has been busy so I haven't had a chance to update on baby D.'s heart surgery. As I said in my last post, he was admitted to the hospital on Monday, May 19th. He was scheduled for surgery in the morning of May 22nd. On May 22nd, Baby D. was ready to head into the operating room, but the operation was suspended. Apparently there weren't any available beds in the ICU for him after the surgery, so it had to be postponed. Only in Bolivia… They told us that a bed would be available that afternoon, and they would hold it for him if he could have his surgery the next day.

Surgery was rescheduled for Friday, May 23rd. I think we were all anxiously awaiting the news that he had been taken back to the operating room. We heard good news, and he was allowed to have surgery! The other exciting bit of news is that Elizabeth, the volunteer who is here caring for Baby D., was allowed to be in the operating room as Baby D. was having his open heart surgery! 

His surgery was to take 3-4 hours, and I was at the hospital for two of those hours. Katrina (a former CDA volunteer who is back for 2 weeks on a visit) and I waited in the waiting room, hoping to hear some update or bit of news. At least while I was there, we heard nothing. We hoped no news was good news! Surgery was over around 12:30pm, and he was taken to the ICU. There was a bit of scare (his oxygen saturations dropped) not long after he was taken to the ICU, but other than that little scare, he's been pretty stable. He hit the 24 hour mark after surgery today which was a big milestone as the first 3 days after surgery are pretty critical. Overall, he's doing well and was able to be extubated today!

Elizabeth posted this picture on Facebook today, and we were surprised by how good he looks! 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Feliz Cumpleaños, B. y K.!

Today we celebrated the 3rd birthday of K. and the 7th birthday of B.! It was a very special day for two very special kids! We decided it would be the most fun for everyone if we had one big birthday party for both kids. After school, everyone went to house 2 (boys' house) for lunch and cake. I don't think K. really understood that it was his birthday, but B. was SO excited about her birthday! Apparently she wanted to spend the night with me at house 1 like Ana Maria and Shyrlen did for their birthdays, but she didn't tell me she wanted to until it was too late… So she'll get to come over another weekend!

Tía Johanna and B. are especially close, and before Johanna left, she left behind a birthday gift for B. Imagine B's surprise when I told her who her gift was from! She was THRILLED! She had the biggest smile and asked me several times if I was going to send all of the pictures from her birthday to Johanna. I also heard her tell some of the other kids "Look what Tía Johanna sent me!" She didn't realize her gift had actually been left here instead of being sent to her, but it wouldn't have made a difference to her. She carried around and played with her little teaset for the rest of the afternoon!

 The girl who insists on pushing every person's head into their cake was adamant that we NOT come near her as she took a bite of her cake!

As the girls were loading up into the car to go back to their house, K. came over to the back to climb in like he used to do when he lived at the baby house. When we told him he would be staying at his house, he started sobbing. It was so pathetic! He is doing great at house 2, and I don't think he really misses any of us at the baby house, but seeing the car definitely brought back some memories for him!