The boys have a dog! She's a very shy but sweet little mutt, and the boys really wanted to name her Snoopy. But because she's a girl, there was some disagreement over the name. Now, she has two names: Snoopia and Keziah. I think the latter is particularly nice...
Carmelle is one of the girls who has been very moody with me in the past, pretending that she doesn't want me to talk to her and running away from me when I try to kiss her. Not anymore. Carmelle was my best bud this week! She loves it when I tell stories, so every evening, she would gather the rest of the "younger" girls in the living room while I told stories. I love to watch their faces during the tales - they get so animated, laughing out loud, jumping at the surprises, mimicking the character's accents, predicting endings, and sighing with satisfaction when a story ends on a good note. To those of you who are bringing home an HFC girl, be prepared to tell bedtime stories. It doesn't matter that they are mostly 14, 15, 16, even 17 years old. They love stories.
Steve has also matured immensely since I met him over 2 years ago. We can have real conversations now, and he isn't constantly getting in trouble. He even shared his tiny bag of fried food with me, sweet boy.
My Emmanuel requested a one-on-one audience with me to tell me about a girl at youth group who tried to get him to dance in a talent show with her. He didn't do it because he didn't feel the dance was appropriate. I'm not sure if he was more concerned about the dance or about the girl, but I think that it was his backwards way of telling me that he has a crush. It was cute.
Argusto is a doofus. He is the biggest of the boys in terms of height and weight, so he was the first to be allocated one of the new bunks. He promptly rotated it and pushed it against the wall so he did not have anything to keep him from falling off the top and so that the drawers built into the lower bunk could not open. He completely ignored our reasoning. "It's my bed," he said, and grinned from ear to ear. Typical Argusto.
The Americans brought a new sewing machine and sewing supplies for the girls. Several of them made skirts and dresses and aprons. Kattia sat at her sewing machine, trying to rethread the bobbin, refusing any assistance. "They've showed me how to do it 3 times and if I can't do it myself by now, I don't deserve to be sewing at all!"
A few of the boys sat by, helping...or perhaps hindering.
The girls got coerced into modeling their handiwork for us. Martine's skirt was really magnificent, well enough done that she could actually wear it to church or downtown. She was very shy but very proud. Kattia, Debbie, Mikerlange, Daina, and Alexandra appeared proudly with their final products. Krystel was proud too, but I had to chase her down to get a photo, and even then, she would not look at the camera. Typical Krystel.
The happiest news I heard during my stay was that the no-soccer punishment for failing in school has been repealed. For as long as I can remember, a boy who fails the quarter in school is banned from going to soccer with the coach until he passes. It's a harsh punishment, where both the boys and the nannies suffer - the boys from losing their only outing and their favorite pastime, and the nannies from being stuck with hyperactive preteens with no outlet for their energy. I literally jumped for joy and hugged every boy in sight when they told me the good news.
Ernso's adoption is very close to termination. He is such a precious little boy, always playing and always ready for a hug. He will be going to France, perhaps before I visit again. I gave him a proper good-bye, just in case, and he squeezed me so tightly it hurt.
Look at those beautiful kids. I love them!