Tuesday, August 5, 2008

tiny toes, big hearts.

yesterday most of the kids were at school. when venessa and i arrived, the 3 babies who stayed home were all sleeping. i quickly grabbed by camera and tip-toed in their rooms to snap a few pictures. baby grace is an angel, for sure. no doubt about it. by the time i made it festus' and amadhila's room, they were wide awake. venessa grabbed festus and i grabbed amadhila. all of our hearts were happy once again. the few hours we spent there were pretty mellow. i'm not sure i ever put amadhila down...and same with venessa and festus. it was nice to have one on one time with one child, to give them that sense of significance they've never had. but at the same time, we missed the energy and joy that zolani and sindiswa and chubby little martha have brought to our days. they were definitely missed. it was nice to hang out with lydia and esther too. lydia is 10 and esther is 13. both young girls heard about the baby haven through friends and came within this past year to help. esther now lives there with lulu (the sweet woman who runs the haven) and is with the babies full-time. when asked if they think they will stay there for a long time, they smile and say 'mm hmmm'. obviously they find joy in helping these babies as well. what a rewarding, but challenging, experience it must be. but also, i'm not sure they have many other options as to where they could spend their time. at 10 and 13 years old, they have taken on so much responsibility, as most children their ages have. during our visit, esther took down the dry laundry from the clothes line and folded it all. lydia was doing dishes as we arrived. they loved borrowing our cameras and running aorund the haven taking pictures of us, the babies, their neighbor friends and even the bathroom, the walls, etc. if it gave them a few minutes to feel like a kid again...to have the excitement of a 10 and 13 year old...to run around and be carefree and take pictures of things that made them happy...i am satisfied.
when we left the haven, we returned to the hostel, checked into our dorm, got a load of laundry in the wash and made our way up to the bar for our nightly windhoek draught beer and chicken a' la king. we've been 'regulars' for the past 3 nights and our routine is to split dinner and a beer. the young kid behind the bar finds it quite amusing that we ask for 1 beer and 2 ice cold mugs. the beer only fills our glasses about 1/5 of the way, which is just funny, but it does the trick. venessa and i have had such a routine here...but it feels kind of nice. we were laughng yesterday when we left the internet cafe. if someone were to follow us around with a video camera for the entire day, not much would change the next day. we get up at around 645, check out of our rooms and put our bags in storage by 745, get to the mall by 8, say hello to our favorite waitress and have a breakfast beverage and/or breakfast at our favorite spot (in's wiener), walk to the internet cafe, pay for 1 hour, then get up at the same time and ask for one more hour, pay exactly 76 rand when we are through (9 rand goes towards a cold beverage for us both), and we walk out the door, venessa with an orange fanta in hand and me with a minute maid. back to the hostel we go, then off to the baby haven, then home to the hostel again, check in our room or tent for the night, go to the bar for our 1 beer and entree and back to our rooms to load pictures and get ready for the night. we're in bed usually by 9. then in 9 hours it all starts over again. it's all sort of sweet.
we'll be making our way to the haven again this afternoon. hopefully we'll be able to see more of the kids today. either way, we go with plenty of love to give.

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