I arrived at the Village of Hope around midnight last Tuesday, with all my luggage. A , so I had to wait until morning to see them. When I went up to one of the houses, the Prestoncremiracle in itself, seeing as how my bags arrived in Ghana days before I did. The kids were sleepingst Girls house, only a few of the girls were there. But, they came running and jumped on me. It was so good to see them! Peace, one of the girls I have gotten close to in the past two years, was playing shy hiding inside looking at me through the window until I ran in and gave her a big hug. Then she would not leave my side or let go of my hand. We walked to the school to see the rest of the children (who were waiting on the art camp to start). Sandra, the other little girl I have gotten closest to, saw me coming from a distance and set off at a sprint to meet me. I could see her big beautiful smile gleaming all the way down the road! It was such a joy to be reunited with these children!
Last week there was an art camp going on with various art forms for the children. Everything from sculpting clay to dancing. It was fun to just be able to walk around and pop in classrooms and see the kids enjoying making art. The group has now left, and it is back to normal around here. Lots of construction and grounds work going on since school is not in session. I am thankful to have a few weeks before school starts to settle in. It turns out that I will be co-teaching the social studies for primary 6. I am supposed to meet with the teacher later this week to determine who will teach which sections. I am a little nervous about this partnership because I am afraid I will end up never knowing when and what I am supposed to be teaching. I will also be helping maintain the library, and run the after-school reading program 3 days a week.
The other day I went to the well to fetch water with the kids for their house water drum. They did not fill my bucket to the rim, for which I was thankful as I hoisted it up on my head. The girls I was walking with all use one arm to hold the bucket, I was glad I was not the only one! They told me most whites cannot even do that. I walked with them back to the house doing my best to balance and not slosh the water out. I want them to know I am here to be with them, to serve, and love them. When we reached the house I had a stream of water trickling down my face and back, but overall felt I hadn't lost much water. ha ha. As soon as I set the bucket down with relief, Haniel grabbed my hand and gave me another bucket and lead me back towards the well. I ended up making three consecutive well trips, feeling a bit more successful at my balancing each time.
I counted last night as I was sitting in the hallway of one of the houses, and I had six little girls leaning or laying on me. I love it. I had several playing with my hair, several making marker tattoos on my feet, and a couple sleeping on my legs. They have taken to calling me "macaroni" because they think my hair looks like it. I offered for them to try and eat some to see if it tastes like it, but no takers yet. It has now become "Madam Macaroni." I call many of them by various pasta names as well. They love it, even though they have no clue what they are.
Last night at church the kids brought tears to my eyes singing their hearts out to "Magnificent", and I praised God that I have the opportunity to spend time with these precious children.