We have three brand new children in the orphanage!
Edwin, age 6
Maezinha, age 13
(Maezinha, in Portuguese, literally means “Little Mother” and girls with this name usually have pretty strong personalities (with no exception here).)
About two years ago Edwin and Maezinha’s father died. Despite being sick herself, their mother has since done everything she could to provide for her kids and even moved to a field where she planted food for them to eat. But there has still not been enough and the kids have been going hungry everyday. When Marta visited their home, Edwin was crying and starving and asking for food and his mother had nothing to give him. I can not imagine what it would be like to be in her position. Their mother is sick with the most devastating illness here and can no longer care for her children. Their family is from one of our churches and the church leaders saw that the children had no other place to go and have been asking about them being in the orphanage for a while now. After several meetings and investigating the situation the staff decided to accept Edwin and Maezinha into the orphanage.
On their first day here I heard a huge screaming and crying episode outside and went to see what was going on. Edwin was crying hysterically and trying to run out of the gate and his sister was trying to hold him back. Some of the staff were there and they were motioning for Jose to run away and saying, “Jose just go!” as Jose ran out of the gate in his school uniform. I asked what was going on and they said that Edwin was crying because he wanted to go to school with the other kids and didn’t understand that he would be registered and could begin the next day.
Everyone here (in the orfanato and pretty much in the entire country) wakes up around 4am and is outside sweeping with tumble-weed brooms by 4:30. I have not yet assimilated in this area (I’m still a few hours off). But the next day when I was up with a baby around 4:30 I heard drumming and singing that sounded like Jose. I went to the window and saw Jose and Edwin roaming around the soccer field and garden with a wheelbarrow and two sticks, singing, drumming, picking up trash, and putting the garbage they found in the wheelbarrow. I think they were singing some Macua song that is usually sung by old men and very funny for the two of them. Edwin is definitely Jose’s new best friend!
A few days later Maezinha had to be taken to the hospital for some kind of lung problem and was then treated with 7 days of injections. I know this is pretty much impossible for anyone from where I’m from to believe but at the hospital they do not tell people what sickness they have or what medicine they are being treated with. So we have no idea what her diagnosis was or what medicine they were injecting her with but she seems okay now.
Noemia, age 16
Noemia was in another orphanage last year but was not able to stay there so now she is here. She is sweet and likeable and loves to play with the babies. Some of the kids knew her before and say that she would be an amazing track star if they had track where we live. She wasn’t able to go to school consistently but will be able to now and has just started 8th grade.
Now Noemia and Maezinha walk to school with Stela each afternoon and Edwin is in the same class as Dorca at the elementary school behind the orphanage.