After lunch a few of us took a group of the kids to the park down the street. It's so fun to walk the three blocks with 10-15 kids; some on crutches, wheelchairs and strollers to be pushed, and others just need a hang to help keep their balance. It's an adventure, but one that I absolutely enjoy.
One thing about the Hogar that amazes me is the sense of responsibility that these children have. Not only to one another, but to the house and the belongings within the house. Not only do the children help do the dishes (hand wash, rinse, dry and put away) after each of the three daily meals, but they immediately sweep the floors throughout the entire house, too. Several of the children grab brooms and start sweeping, someone else starts mopping, another empties the trash bin, and another one or two wipes down the four tables. After a meal with nearly 50 people the dining room is as spotless within ten minutes as it was prior to the meal. Immediately following clean-up the children all brush their teeth; those that cannot do it themselves (confined to bed, too small, or no arms) get help from another child or a volunteer. And then it's back to playing, reading, coloring, music, or whatever they want to do. Whenever the children are finished doing an activity, everything is cleaned up and put away. Nothing is left behind to be put away later or for someone else to clean up. I know that a home with this many children would be difficult if it weren't for the discipline that these children have, but it still says a lot about the Hogar, Dr. Tony and the children. It takes a lot of cooperation and respect for the home for everything to remain as tidy as it does. It's a system, and it works perfectly.
Tomorrow is market day, and I hope to be going with Dr. Tony to purchase the food for the following week. If I do go I'll be sure to get pictures to share.
Lastly, I'm still going to post a list of items (aside from money) that are needed here at the Hogar. Once I have it I will share it with you all. I want to say "thank you" in advance for any donation (monetary or otherwise) that any of you make to Villa la Paz. As someone who has been here and experienced the beauty and love of the Hogar I can tell you that every penny is worth more than you can ever imagine.
Laura and Juan during baby time. Juan recently had surgery to repair his cleft lip so his arms are restrained to keep him from pulling at the stitches.
This is the baby room where all of the infants and toddlers are kept unless we have them out for baby time (9-11am and 3-4pm). There is someone (nurse or caretaker) in this room 24 hours a day.
Elsa and Teruko.