Thursday, March 3

Visit to the Center: Part 1

Eli woke up yesterday morning and was thrilled to be getting his coat on to meet our guide, Hannah, to head to the center. (If I haven't said it before, Hannah is also the woman who runs the center. She is not there everyday, but frequently, and the kids know and love her.)

Driving here is crazy compared to what we are used to and yet different from Vietnam. (which was even crazier, if you can believe it) Here, it is mostly cars where in VN, it was mostly mopeds. At least with the mopeds, you can only go so fast. Here, the cars will run you over if you aren't careful. You cross the street following the people and play your own sort of Frogger. I've seen walk/don't walk lights....I can't figure out what purpose they really serve.

So, on the way to the center, we stopped to check on Eli's passport. Not ready. This put us behind to start and then we encountered a truck that had lost it's load of rocks on the way. However, the cars all just kind of went around it. Forget that there is a center lane in the roads. At any given time, any car can decide to go around the one in front of them and go past the center lane. So when we got to the problem truck, there were cars everywhere kind of blocking each other. Our lane of cars just simply went offroading and drove in the mud and rocks on the side of the road until it was clear again. It was an experience.

When we got to the center, there was a lot to do, so I was running between loving on kids, making sure all of the gifts, clothes and blankets were delivered, and snapping pictures while Jim had kids crawling all over him. Those of you who know him from the neighborhood know that is just typical for him. We call him the pied piper. LOL The center is the kind of place, though, where I feel right at home. I'm a special education teacher by trade anyway and the last place I worked reminded me a little of this place due to some of the physical challenges of the kids.

(Some of the pictures did not turn out all that crisp....the older kids are fascinated by cameras and cell phones and I realized later that a little one had put his fingerprints on my lens. Oh well...not a big deal.)

The Pied Piper of Children

Clothes, clothes, and more clothes! The nannies say "thank you thank you" Kathy and Scott!!

A little one wearing one of the hats that was made by a church near IAAP (the fundraising agency for this center...there were many great quilts too) According to Hannah, this one needs a family!! Any takers? He's a cutie and seems to be doing well!!

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