Feliz Navidad…. Putting the North Pole to Shame

9 12 2010

It’s actually really difficult to keep a blog during an experience like this. It seems like so much happens everyday that when I finally sit down to blog so much has happened that I want to write about.  It’s hard to filter and decide what to focus on.  Thus, I am going to begin with a list of happenings since we last spoke:

1. Today is a holiday here in Colombia, celebrating the Virgin Mary.  So as there was no actual work to be done, I got to participate in the celebration of the first communion of 4 little girls who are internados at PAN.  What a party it was!!! We had a huge lunch, games, present opening with all the kids living at PAN.

2. A few posts ago, I told you all about the intense rains we have been having. It was actually freakishly coincidental that I chose to focus on it that day.  Two days later there was a huge mudslide in what is essentially a suburb of Medellin called Bello.  Over 150 people were missing, and only 3 people, including one little boy have been found alive.   It has brought a lot of sadness to the people here, making the Christmas season a little more solemn than usual.  So as you all are getting together,  please take a moment to just be grateful for the safety and presence of each other, that we so often take for granted.

3. Casa de Maria y El Nino: This is the other institution that I will spend time with here in Medellin.  It is such an amazing place! I am mostly going to be working with the younger kids here, really focusing on the kids under 3 years old.  Once again, I have been so impressed with the love and care that the caregivers and other staff have for these kids.  There are about 6 little ones that I will work with 1 on 1. And then I have a few ideas for training some volunteers there to keep the interventions going once I leave.  And just so you can appreciate how adorable they are…

 

4.  I have spent the better part of the last week driving/walking around various parts of the city with Gloria and her posee to see all the lights.  All the different areas do these amazing light displays, which are different and original every year.  Last night was especially cool as all over the city there were families gathered together, hanging out outside. The kids were lighting candles to celebrate the Virgin Mary and the immaculate conception. It was so cool to drive around and see all the sidewalks lined with all kinds of candles.  It really does put the north pole to shame (primarily in my opinion because you get to wear jeans and a tank top to enjoy the beauty in fantastic weather!)

Veggies

One of the MANY huge displays along the Medellin river

The white lights tell a story as you drive down this street in Envigado

Las Velitas... the little candles all over the city Dec 7th

Las Velitas... the little candles all over the city Dec 7th

Church in Envigado

5. And, perhaps the best for last… Felipe told me he ran the other day. I am not sure it would quite quality as a PT definition run… but he was incredibly pleased.  All the kids ran up to me and told me about when I got to PAN last week.  Very exciting. I love that kid.

Time in flying! I can’t believe I have already been here a month.  Love to all, miss you!

Caio!

KO

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3 responses

9 12 2010
Lynne

sounds like things are good. How do they run all those lights.
Saturday I put the lights on the tree and they all worked. Sunday morning
1/2 were out. Another happy holiday moment complete with bad words being uttered. But hearing of
Filipe’s joy to be running is a precious gift .

12 12 2010
Nonie

I love seeing all the light displays and hearing about Felipe. He is touching our lives too.

13 12 2010
Joan

Keely, I love hearing about all your fantastic experiences. I like your sense of humor in your writings too! I’m sure you are a great blessing to them–all people that you encounter—as well as, like you said, them to you.
Have a blessed Christmas.
Joan

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