Monday, August 11, 2008

Story Time!

I was talking to Mom on the phone last night and telling her a couple of stories from the day, to which she immediately exclaimed, "You need to put that on your blog!"  There are HUNDREDS of little anecdotes I could tell every day, so here are a select few:

-When we eat here at training camps, the kids drink water or lemonade that's cold but doesn't have any ice.  Last night we took the kids out to eat for the first time (that was an experience!) and they all got ice water.  Little Isaac took the lid off his cup and said, "Auntie Taylor, what?" (Which is his way of asking, "What is this?"  His English is not very good...yet.)  I thought he wanted a refill, but he said no.  Then I realized he had never had ice before!  I showed him how to take a piece out and suck on it.  As I watched, his eyes got as big as saucers and he gave me that signature grin of his.  He is now a huge fan.

-Yeshoda is our little girl from Nepal.  When we take showers at night in the locker room, I kept noticing that she would keep the water off until the very end of her shower when she was ready to rinse off.  When I asked her about it, she could not respond (again, the language barrier).  It was quickly explained to me that in Nepal there would be such a water shortage that they would go weeks without a shower.  She was scared to use up all our water, but very happy to hear that there is plenty of water in America!  

-Speaking of showers, the Ugandans will think up any scheme to stay in the shower.  That is one of their favorite times of the day!  It is amazing what we take for granted.

-All the kids have enormous appetites.  I'm not sure if they are actually hungry, or if they just want to eat as much as they can while they have the chance.  They can easily eat twice as much as I do, and still say their hungry.  They are very particular about how they eat their food (i.e. eating the hot dug bun by itself and then the hot dog, or spooning up the milk in the bowl and then eating the soggy cereal alone).  They have also discovered the joys of ketchup.  I am convinced that if we gave them a plate of nothing but ketchup for their meals, they would be perfectly happy.  They like it on EVERYTHING, including green beans.  I refused to put it in the applesauce, though.

They are such a blessing to us already.  I can only imagine how much we will love them by the end of the year.  They are the most affectionate children I have ever come across.  Putting them to bed at night is one of my favorite times...yes, because the days are exhausting and we finally get a break, but also because they are never satisfied with only one hug.  We have to circle around to each bed several times before they feel as if they've had enough.  We don't mind one bit!  

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Look at these precious faces!

Training Camp is CRAZY BUSY!

Our lives have been taken over by these amazing children. We love them and we are slowly becoming a big, happy family, but it is even more all-consuming than I imagined. From 7:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., we don't stop. I am officially a full-time mom to ten (soon-to-be fifteen) children. We will have five more Ugandan kids join our team in a week. Here is a brief run-down of our team (from smallest to biggest):

Isaac (Uganda)- He is eight years old but looks about four. He is the new love of my life...Jay keeps telling Isaac to stay away from his wife! He thinks he must have contact with me at all times and is very affectionate. He's the baby of the family in every way and has the biggest eyes you've ever seen.

Suresh (Nepal)- Suresh is one smart cookie. He is tiny as well, but he would never act that way. I've taught him what "bossy" means, as it applies to him if he's not careful. He competes for my attention with Isaac. When we first started practicing, Suresh informed me that every solo in the program belongs to him. He knows every word and every position!

Jhonathan (Guatemala)- This is one of the most beautiful little boys God ever made. He is rambunctious and will push your buttons, but he was also the first to give me a kiss and tell me he loves me.

Rose (Uganda)- Rose has the most amazing smile and LOVES the camera. She is a definite girly-girl, always posing and charming the "uncles" (male chaperones).

Maria (Uganda)- Maria surprises you with this little baby voice that doesn't look like it would come out of her. She has the best English out of the Ugandan girls, and tries very hard to please and listen to instructions.

Sarah (Uganda)- Sarah seems to be having a hard time adjusting. She is testing us as much as she can and hasn't warmed up to us much yet, but she has a very nice singing voice!

Yeshoda (Nepal)- Yeshoda was shy at first, but quickly came out of her shell. She adores her Uncle Jay! She can be overwhelmed by all the energy of the other kids, but is making friends fast.

Edwin (Guatemala)- This is Jhonathan's big brother. He loves to laugh and is catching on to the dances quickly (he had never seen them before).

Lincoln (Uganda)- Lincoln calls himself "the Elder" of the group and struggles to set a good example. He can cause trouble, but when I remind him he is a leader, he immediately responds to do better. He loves to translate for the younger Ugandans that don't understand.

Martin(Uganda)- Martin is the biggest leader of all the children. He is two years ahead in his school in Uganda, and is extremely inquisitive. He wants to know about everything he sees and will stump you with his questions. He is determined to be a doctor someday. Martin will also be the first to correct us when we mess up (i.e. "Uncle Jay, you came in late to dinner and I watched you. You did not pray before you ate! You should do it now!")

The five children to come next week are Zurufaha, Esther, Eva, Gift (cool name, huh?) and Jimmy. Our chaperone, Praba (from Nepal) should be coming too...YEA!!!!

Please pray for us and all these children and the work we're doing for Him. We love you!