Monday, March 14, 2011

Feb. trip to Sierra Leone first 3 days

It was really good to see the kids! We did a lot of the same things that we have done on previous trips so I'll just post photo's and stories that aren't repeats.
We were greeted by the kids at the bottom of the hill singing welcome songs and holding signs. We walked up to the building and gathered in a room where we were prayed for and welcomed further and then Albert showed us his photo's of us taped to the wall by his bed(which is the very top bunk).

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Then we went outside for some playtime. The boys were doing push ups and wanted 'uncle' Andrew to do some. He did and John decided that it was too easy to just do regular push ups in humid heat so he jumped on Andrew's back laughing.

I had to record Andrew pretending that they were too heavy to pick up because John was laughing so hard!

The kids went in to change and get ready for sports day which is much like track and field here. There was Auntie Tina's red team, Auntie Erica's yellow team, Uncle Jason's blue team, and Uncle Paul's green team.

Since each of our three sponsored children were on a different team we found ourselves traveling from tent to tent all day.

Even the staff was very excited about sports day. Each one was assigned to a certain team and wore that teams color. When Albert ran by me at the speed of lightning and won the 100 meter dash the green team staff rushed the field to grab him cheering. A pain filled my chest. I wanted to be that person and it was hard to watch but it made me happy at the same time. This trip was filled with mixed emotions because I am so grateful that they have bonds with their teachers and caretakers, but I also find myself feeling sad that I haven't been able to have the time to bond with them one on one myself. I watched Isatu in the downtime between events learn to balance a bottle on her head and thought about how Ivey would never even think to do that. These kids are a unique part of their culture and I am glad for that.

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(Albert is holding the right side of the green team banner)There were MANY events and at the end of being amazed at the speed of several kids we witnessed the 'Africa queen' contest. Each team dressed a girl in traditional African queen outfits, hair and etc. Each girl very seriously strutted out and did a little dance that had us laughing so hard. Isatu won! It was too cute!!!

I'm not sure if I laughed harder at her dancing or her running....

Sunday was church day and afterwards the kids watched "How to Train Your Dragon". I have seen this movie countless times with Levi but I saw this movie through new eyes as I wondered how many of them remember scenes similar to the one of the vikings fighting the dragons. Does that even trigger memories of the war-I don't know. Some did look nervous but maybe that is normal. I wonder how many of these orphans have experienced the same feelings that Hiccup feels of being an outsider and how many have had their fathers say "your not my son" just like Hiccups dad says to him. And, I wonder how many of them feel the love of a father now the way it turns out for Hiccup when his father apologizes and all is well. It breaks my heart to look around the room at these faces that have experienced so much that should never happen. My prayer is that their hearts would be able to fully heal and that they would be able to save others from those hurts because they choose to save their nation.

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The second movie was "Finding Nemo" which Albert apparently had no interest in. I followed him outside when I realized he hadn't come back in. He was playing ball by himself so I played too for a while before we noticed some kids on the third floor and he started throwing the ball up the wall for them to catch. It was funny to watch and I really enjoyed that time with him.

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