This morning we started out with a bumpy ride to the Croatian Relief Orphanage. We were greeted with a welcome song and many smiles. Linda shared a wonderful Christmas story while Jonas translated for us. We than moved onto the story of Marie the Christmas pine cone, led by yours truly, Maddie and Ashley. Than we all split into small groups with the children to decorate their own Christmas pine cones. After that, we exhausted ourselves playing football (soccer), basketball, jump rope, monkey in the middle, chalk and last but not least bubbles! “Chop chop to the Tap Tap,” and we all loaded up to head to Kwadebouke the metal market. Seeing the metal workers hand craft their art work in front of their shops was amazing. After some of us (cough chough Maddie) walked around with armfuls of metal work and street art, we loaded up into the Tap Tap. Off to Dios we went. Dios is a special needs orphanage. Our tour of the facility reviled how much the care tackers loved each of these children. Especially the “Mama” who so preciously took care of a 5-year-old boy who only looked about 10 months old. When he arrived at Dios, he only weighed 1.5 lbs and has had multiple hospital stays, but things are beginning to look up for him. Playing with the rest of these kiddos was a blast. We colored, did bubbles, played hide and seek, and kicked the soccer ball. Slobbery kisses and hugs goodbye were made, and we headed back to the guest house.
Unwinding this evening, some of us went to the pool up the street for some pop and Plantain chips, while others relaxed back at the house. As we are beginning to prepare to return home, discussions of what the future may look like have begun. This trip thus far has changed many of us forever in distinctive ways. Others of us are still pondering what has changed in us or what will be changing when we return home. Please continue to keep our team in your prayers while we are here and on our trips home. With lots of love and laughter…Ashley and Maddie!