We went off to didi's world today to rent the buses and pay for the children. It is much nicer than I expected. It reminds me of how a amusement park would be in the 80's. There are about 15 rides, a huge water slide with a pool. We rented 3 buses which will take all the kids to and from the school.
Then we where off to the school to help the kids write their letters today. First it was lunch time, they all wash their hands and lined up for lunch, youngest to oldest. Then the process is repeated until everyone has eaten. After lunch we gathered the kids back into their classrooms and started writting and drawing. All the donations of pens and crayons came in handy! They where so excited to draw and very proud of their creations. They would run up to you "teacher teacher(sounds more like teachah!) "look at my pictcha!" They are excited for their sponsors to get them. The older grades wrote very nice letters. For the newly sponsored children I gave them their sponsors name and that in itself was a gift. My heart broke when a child, Alice, came up to be and shyly asked about her sponsors. This girl has been waiting for so long. She is amazing, that is an understatement. Her attitude and outlook on life boggles my mind considering what she has been through.
There has been a outbreak in the village, some sort of skin problems. It seems to be quite bad and a lot of kids have lesions. There is also a little girl who we think has a moderate form of down syndrome. She is very sweet but the help that she needs to atleast develope to her full capacity is simply not there. Maybe someone can help me out... she is very slow(mentally) her eyes are yellow-this can be totaly seperate maybe a liver problems?, she seems to be okay phyically. Her speech is very delayed(im not even sure she can talk?) The teachers say even in her native language she says few words. Let me tell you though, when she smiles, she smiles!! And it can bright up the darkest room. Her name is Apolo Juliet, and she is still is one of our children already on the website who have been waiting for a sponsor.
The biggest other problems seems to be malnutrition..hopefully with the lunch program up and runig this can change! Also HIV..more like full blown aids. This comunity is not liked very much by the rest of the city because the people are from the north. HIV meds are free but have to be obtained in the hospital. Some people think they are givig placebos to the refugees. There is also a big problem with simply testing for HIV. Parents are dyeing but refuse to go for meds because the stigma is still so great. Then they leave their children, who are often born with HIV. These children do not get tested and then they end up passing away. There is one little girl at school who the diretor is certain that she has AIDS. She has lesions all over her back, her skin is very ashy and her hair is falling out. Her parents died from the disease and she is 3.
I'm off to the school to go and see the kids. Today I will be doing updating and getting info on all the new kids-there are MANY!