Praises abound!

Alirio this afternoon before nap! Back to his usual antics. This is how he looks 99% of the time! Smiling is his favorite, and laughing, and "talking," and sharing toys with the other tots. He is filled with joy at 15 months.

Praise God! Alirio looks amazingly better this morning. I had to give him an extra treatment in between his 4 hour ones and then he wasn't looking much better at the 8pm and midnight ones...so I just prayed really hard that the prednisone would kick in. When I saw him at 10am this morning, I was so suprised. He was 95% back to his old self, and NO WHEEZING thanks to the prednisone! So I'm trying to stretch out the nebulizers to every 6 hrs to give us a break and eliminate one during the wee hours of the morning! Let's just pray he'll take the medicine again tonight. He's pretty much the only one that doesn't like taking meds...convenient huh? What really amazed myself and Janie, another nurse here, was that all his snot was completely gone...vanished. The prednisone and inhalers have nothing to do with this. Amazing and such a relief!
I thought I would include a few pictures on half of the tots in the youngest room of the babyhouse (by far my favorite not to mention where my glorified closet resides). The rest of the pics should be up on the shutterfly site soon for your viewing pleasure. Can you tell I actually got to play with them today??
I CAN blow kisses...like this...and walk too. At times a bit of a bully and very dominant, but mostly happy baby full of energy and all boy. Meet Francisco!

Lourenco....Francisco's twin brother. They are 17 months. He is much more laid back and loves to play with the other babies. He is too sweet sometimes and not too far behind in the walking department.

Mindah. Apparently didn't get enough at lunch. She's 17 months and learned to blow kisses first...and I'm betting she'll be walking at the end of this week. She's the only girl amongst the toddlers in this room, but she doesn't let that hold her back! about to blow a kiss....he loves to snuggle and probably requires the most attention out of the older tots in this room. He's usually very sweet but knows how to throw a good tantrum at 13 months....it's Antonio.

This week I'm trying to wrap my head around the culture I'm being priveledged to walk with for the moment. Since I'm in the center most of the time, I don't get to embrace it as much as I'd like, but when I do my heart breaks. Here's some examples: I am currently taking Portuguese lessons for 4 hours a week with a well educated, literate, pretty fluent in English, Mozambican along with 3 other missionaries. We litterally give her $176 US dollars together each month (including the 45 min bus ride to and from the center). There are a few girls who pay a Mozambican lady to clean their houses-a very small living room, bedroom, and bathroom once a week. It may seem a trivial thing to do, but it helps bless a few women in the community. She makes $3 dollars a week per "house". I walked to the market (a 15 minute walk down the road from the center) where you can buy really fresh fruits, vegetables, chickens (live), and other things. Here food is cheap and I feel like I can at least bless the locals with my patronage. A man was selling oranges for 1 metical each. 25 mets=$1. I bought 10 small tomatoes that were delicious for less than $0.50 total. Most of the vendors have bought their produce from the bulk market before reselling it at the market, so they aren't making very much off it. A chapa (bus) driver works all day driving (which is pretty dangerous in and of itself) from dawn to dusk. He has to pay for a Mozambican driver's license which is apparently a coveted item as it is hard to get and is very expensive. He also has to purchase his vehicle and buy the diesel for it. He brings home $0.50 a day. Sarah blesses her dorm boys with a healthy snack at least once a wk. This week it was banannas and a loaf of bread. We stopped on our way home and bought from an elderly lady who was sitting in the pouring rain well after the sun had set. Each loaf was $0.25 each. At first she thought we just needed 13...she lit up and ran excitedly back to get more loaves when she realized we wanted 43. It's probably more than she makes all week and she just made it in one transaction. She was so thankful! The reed mat on my floor is what the walls and ceiling consist of for most Mozambican houses. I can't really grasp what this means besides the fact that the children in the walls of this center are amazingly spoiled and blessed, lavished in love and amenities, when compared to life outside the walls, despite the fact that they live simply even in the center. This is the world we still have the responsibility to prepare them for, because eventually they will be returning to it...whether through our reintegration program (placing the children back into a home with some sort of family member when appropriate) or after they have graduated and it is time to move on. Just a little insight into the dichotomy I live in right now and why I'm amazed continually by God's goodness and grace here amongst such poverty.

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