Guest Post from Kristi (and a few asides from me)

1 03 2011

First of all, may I just say that I loved spending time with a good friend…even if that meant time combing lice out of our hair, attempting to salsa dance with rhythmic Colombians about two feet shorter than us, experiencing our first Earthquake, or cuddling some adorable orphan children.  

(Keely aside): as yes, the earthquake. I had forgotten to tell you all about that little surprise.  It happened sometime during the night.  To me the experience continues to be a blur as I did not ever totally wake up– I instead had a dream that explained the movement as a very strong wind.  And for some reason… this seems to be the prevalent explanation in my mind to date. I actually have to remind myself that the wind can not in fact shake a building, that we lived through a very small earthquake– our first ever by the way.  Kristi however fully came to and tried to get me to pay reverence or at least acknowledge the event… no dice.)
 
The first day on our way to the orphanage Keely said to me “I love being this engaged in my life.”  I left with that same attitude simply by seeing the amazing human spirit through the kids I met.  I am such a sucker for teenagers and I left feeling for the difficulties teenagers encounter living in an orphanage.  Therefore, I am going to share this with you as Keely does an amazing job of sharing about all those babies:). 

As, teenagers we have so many crazy emotions/hormones you name it and it is hard enough when you have a positive role model to go to.  No one is available to help with homework (They can’t call a friend for help as they have no phone), no one is there for boy/girl troubles, no dating, and maybe most importantly there is no one to teach “life skills.”  I can’t imagine never having dealt with money, jobs, transportation, grocery shopping,…..LIFE, before being on my own at 18 like these kids will be.  On my plane ride home I could not get a few of the teenage girls I met out of my head and just wish there was some way to give them a hand through the trying life outside the orphanage.
 

Kristi helping with English homework-- man our language is hard to learn

(Keely aside)  The thing that amazes me most about these kids is that despite all this, the majority of them area GREAT kids.  That is why it is so easy for visitors like Kristi (Janet, Lisa, Sabrina… me) to come and fall in love with them. They are engaging… and they are seeking someone to connect to.  I know I have said it a million times, but the perseverance of these kids, of their human spirit, it never ceases to amaze me.

Columbia is a beautiful country where nearly everyone I met was extremely kind.  However, upon my arrival home I was thankful for one thing… a hot shower. I know this is not the last time I do something like this….hopefully Keely finds a way to keep with this journey so I can come once in a while. It was truly eye-opening and wonderful at the same time.

Thanks for reading,

Kristi

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One response

7 03 2011
Mama Juan

When I think of work in the orphanages, I tend to think of the babies. You both have made me more aware of the teenagers and how hard this life must be for them. I love to think about you two, Kristi and Keely, dancing, riding horses,
combing out lice, and doing this all important life-giving work together …. all over the world. I am so very proud to love you both.
And as Tudy so eloquently put it: Ocho Nueve!!!

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