"Today is a sad day...the children are on their way home for 2 weeks (mid year school break in Costa Rica). The sad thing is that most of them are going to bad situations (that´s why they´re in the children´s home). When we went to the slums, it was incredible to see where some of them come from - no one should ever be allowed to live in such conditions! The sweet, beautiful, clean, happy kids that we have seen this week will go home to their dysfunctional families and who knows what the next two weeks will be like for them. Some of them took their two weeks worth of food because the children's home knew they would not get any food from home. Some of the stories we've heard have been incredible - their family conditions, abuse, etc. (the good thing is that the children's home helps the parents to be better parents by educating them, but still....) -about 15 kids had to stay in the children's home because they had no where to go home to. Two big buses pulled up and they will take the kids to San Jose (the capital) where their mom and/or dad will come to pick them up. As the director called them they got on the bus, our whole team was crying like babies!! the kids were crying out the bus windows, some of them are not coming back, some coming back after spending hell back home, and hopefully, some of them will have a good time. One of the home parents are leaving after 6 years of serving at the children's home and today was the last day with their teenage boys. The teenage boys were crying so hard, it broke my heart! It was incredible...it is so hard to describe with words what we have experienced this week.
Yesterday we hosted a farewell party for the kids. We made them hamburgers and had a clown show that dad (Pastor Alvarado) invited. it was a wonderful time. The children made cards and gifts for us and we watched a slide show of pictures they had made. As the children walked out of the gym we handed out stuffed animals.
On a happier note, tomorrow we are heading to another province called Cartago and we're going to go to a house who fosters about 30 kids plus their own biological children. We're having a program with those kids and their church children at the church with clowns, candy, music, Bible lesson, etc. Then we're going to have dinner with the foster family. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday we're headed to Arenal volcano and then to Manuel Antonio National Park Beach."
And now, a pictorial addition from Amy's new (eat my heart out) iPhone.
Unfortunately, we are not allowed to display any pictures of the children on the internet for safety and privacy reasons, so this gallery is a little random.
Self portrait in the airport while we were waiting for the rest of the team to arrive.
The view from our home, The Bonanza Casa. In the foreground is the gym, in the distance is San Jose and the mountains beyond.
Juancito, or "Little John," who is the maintenance supervisor, and our boss here.