We are the ones who makes a better day, so let´s start giving!

My other new babies friends, Aldair and Claudia ... poor Claudia had a huge mosquito bite on her nose!

The kids was folding paper planes to play.

Real sibling, Estefania and Carlos Abel were playing dolls together.

Samanta remained calm after fell on the rocky road. The background is the scenic Lunahuana and Rio Cañete, where we can enjoy whitewater rafting.

The twins, Jose Luis (left) and Jhonatan had fun playing sands and mud! LOL

One thing I noticed recently is that some of the kids, even the older ones, have clothes that are pretty ragy, with holes at the crotch or pants' zippers are broken, etc. If anyone of you who have used clothes in good condition but you are planning to throw away, ranging from babies to late teens, please send them to our kids!

The situation in Haiti right now is beyond words to describe. I hereby pledge everyone who feel afflicted to make donations to the people in Haiti, please action now! In the new "We Are The World" video for Haiti, you can see the NPH kids at around 55 seconds of the MTV (or 2.07 with Jamie Foxs introduction), with one of them wearing a tee with our logo. Our youth group is also undergoing a charity drive, asking businesses around Lunahuaná to donate money for our home in Haiti, some of the volunteers including myself had donated as well.

If anyone would like to send clothes to our kids in our home in Peru or contribute funds to our NPH home in Haiti for food, clean water, and rebuilding the home, please send me a message here, and I'll send you details how you can send the clothes to our home or make a donation. Thank you so much in advance for your generosity!


My new good friend, Julio

Another baby and good friend, Claudio, has a big smile on his face.

Little Franklin

The kids were having lunch at the field.

The babies had their lunches as well.

Because insects had been a big problem: Ants everywhere, crawling over food, our clothes, bathrooms; wood ants or some sort of insects chewing up our wooden roofs and bits kept falling all over in our rooms; flies, spiders and numerous other unknown creatures had been hanging around like our roommates ...... it's time for fumigation today. It means we couldn't hang out in our rooms for the whole day. So, we went for a walk to Plaza de Armas of Lunahuaná. On the way there I was with little Samanta, who is actually really sweet but with poor coordination and gross motor skills. And the pair of sandals she had on was way too big for her, so she was very crumbly when we were walking together and at one point she was tripped and fell. She started crying, so I brushed off the dust on her legs and carried her a bit. Once she stopped, I put her down as she's actually quite heavy for such a tiny person. What I didn't realize was that her knee was cut and it was bleeding since I noticed blood stains on my white tee! So, we went to a hotel nearby and asked for first aid kits. The señor was very nice and gave us some cotton and medical solution. She was a brave girl, and didn't cry and kept walking by herself afterwards!

Once we reached the field at the university, the boys played football, while others played swings, running around, exploring the surroundings, and playing cards. After a while, Lemar't and I went to get some cremolada (a local dessert made with ice and real fruits, and I'll talk more about Peruvian food later in detail), and the big smile on his face definitely worths millions more than that 1 sol (about 0.3 cents USD) of the cup of cremolada! When we were on our way back to the field, most of the kids were gone, and so Lemar't and I walked back with the boys. It's tough work for him as it's a hot and sunny day, and it takes about 45 minutes for the walk. So I got a bottle of soda for him, although I carried him most of the way. He was really good the whole time despite tiredness and hot weather with minimal shade.

We had lunch in the backyard of our home, as the dining room was fumigated as well. It was actually quite fun, as it's like a picnic. Since it was so hot, Tia Sonia suggested a "carnival", by carnival she meant throwing water at us! Of course we paid our revenge, and many of us, including myself, was completely soaked! We didn't do that with the little kids, but they loved it and kept asking us to get them wet! Little Alonso was really funny, as he filled his balloon with water and tried to throw water at me, but before he did that, I squeezed the bottom of the balloon and the water reached all over his face! And he did that three or four times, and giggled each time! It was so cute that I wish I had it on film! Lemar't, on the other hand, didn't like it so much......it was the first time he didn't want to hug me as I was soaking wet! One thing I notice is that Lemar't is very neat, just like me!!!! No wonder we get along so well! LOL

The kids by now know that I'm the uncle with candies all the time, so they always ask me and some even squeeze my pocket and try to go into it! But of course by now they know as well that the candies are for those who behave well. However, it doesn't really stop them from asking whenever they see me! It's a bit more complex here as I'm their psychologist, teacher, mate and uncle at the same time, but I always try to make them learn how to earn treats, and what they'd lose if they don't behave. It's been working quite well actually, and I think it continues to blossom.

Anyway, It was a nice fun and relaxing day for a change, and I haven't been this tired since I got here, but it was certainly fun!


The kids had fun playing popping balloons at the Sábado Especial.

It's the last Saturday of the summer holiday, and it's the last Sábado Especial. This week, Tia Catalina, Simone, Celina and I were hosting the games. It was a lot of fun, and the kids enjoyed the games very much. We kept scores, and we told them the winner group got a prize but really we had treats ready for everyone. So they were all excited to compete. At the end, everyone got candies, cupcakes and ice lollies. It was a fun day, and it definitely eased away some of the heavy sentiment we have had this week.


Group 1, above: Gregorio, me, Daniel, Moises, Ernulfo
Below: Rosa, Leticia, Vilma, Silvia

One of the youth groups showing their self-portraits.

Group 3 of the youth group, above: Milagros
Below: ( from left) Franklin, Rafael, Benito and Jhon Carlos (center)

Group 2, above: Abel, Hector, Elvis, Kevin
Below: Anita, Augustina, Ayita, Adela, Liz, Sara

The home's atmosphere couldn't be more sad as the five kids had left and it's Tio Wynn last day here. Last night we were invited to go to the home of the carpenter's teacher who treated us with a local dish, local wine and Inca Kola. It was a send off gathering for Wynn, and again we felt profoundly the Peruvian hospitality. Today, I spent a bit of time with him while he was packing, and we finalized some of the things needed to be done. I felt he was a bit anxious, but after all, it's a huge deal going to a ruined country with very limited resources and work there. I'm proud of him doing this for all of us. One good thing is that he finally admits that I'm ALWAYS right! LOL Anyway, it's a good humorous moment for such sad occasion. I also gave him a goodie bag, just like I did with the five kids. I guess anyone could use a treat, especially facing a few months of tough work.

The next morning, it felt so weird as the dining room is so empty. When it felt like everyone's leaving, it was an especially difficult moment for these kids because they have already lost their families, and it's tough to see so many people leaving at around the same time. I mean, it's hard for me too! While some cried during breakfast, the ones at my table joked that they were leaving too. Even though I felt the pain too, all I could do was to encourage them and make them feel secure again. It's all temporary sentiment, and I hope they will feel fine again soon.


My beloved Daniel who had the last psychology session with me in the morning of the day he left us. I miss him so much, and he is one of my favorite kids!

Ernulfo plays the flute all the time! He loves it so much and I am glad that he makes excellent use of it.

I'm more than happy to be back as I miss the kids a lot. I bought a flute in Lima for the music group, and they are ecstatic to know that there's a new instrument they can play, and thanked me many times. It's very nice that they are such grateful people for such small things, which makes me feel grateful as well.

On the sad side though, the 5 siblings, Bryan, Jose Carlos, Daniel, Miriam and Miguel are leaving us as their father wants to take back the custody. I really hope that they will have a stable home this time, proper education and a happy family. I'll miss them so much as they are some of the best kids here, extremely bright and hardworking. I wish them the best and I will miss them a whole lot!

Wynn, our coordinator is also leaving this Thursday, because he's going to NPH Haiti (one of our sister branches that suffered a lot from the recent earthquake) and work there for a few months. Wynn is surely a great guy, and I'm proud of him for doing work for the people in Haiti. Even though it's a great loss for us and I certainly will miss him, I truly think it's a great thing because people in Haiti need desperate help right now. In fact, in the new "We Are The World" video for Haiti, you can see the NPH kids at around 55 seconds of the MTV, with one of them wearing a tee with our logo.



One of the babies, Claudio.

Ahias being funny by stuffing toying in his tee after our psychology class.

Little Alonso was ready for going to the pool.

I spent almost the whole day with the kids in kinder, because we were short of labor and they also wanted me to observe and give suggestions to improve their day-to-day behaviors. And so I was there to help. It took a lot of energy out of me as many of them need behavioral modification! And also, their cognitive, academic and psychological development are very much behind in general. In fact, it´s true to the older kids as well. Most of them have been neglected, abandoned or even abused, and they didn´t have proper education prior to arriving the homes. For instance, a 15-year-old boy would act like 6 sometimes, or the 8-year-olds still aren´t toilet-trained properly, or still don´t know all the colors and numbers, nor to tell times. In fact, it´s so sad to know that most of their IQ scores are well below average, to the point that it´s indicated mental retardation. Obviously, they aren´t, but it just shows how late their developments are. There are lots of work to be done, and I´m glad we have a team here to help them.

Tonight after dinner we celebrated Axel's birthday, who is our house director Catalina's son. She bought 3 cakes and a few bottles of sodas to share with the kids, and everyone enjoyed it. Lemar't and Jhonatan couldn´t be sweeter as they held up their forks with some cakes and shared their cakes with me while I was serving the treats to other kids. So later when I got mine too, I shared with them too.


I took him out to play see-saw, and he loved it! By the way, the donations I collected have contributed to the jungle gym we have now in the field, and the kids love it. So thanks guys!

Marcos loves read this Winnie the Pooh book (en Español).

What a day! I haven't been this busy since I came here! I had a psychology class with youth group 1, and they were just angels! We worked on how to make decisions, and they made a poster together about what they want to do in the future. They did great and it was a lot of fun!

Just before lunch, I saw little Marco in the balcany, so I spent sometime with him. Then I saw tons of ants on the floor in his room, so I helped mopping his floor as there were tons of ants and it was so gross. It was a massacre since thousands of ants was killed. Poor him, his Tuberculosis test has shown positive, so he's isolated from other kids and has to visit the hospital often. So whenever I have time, I'd go and read story with him or play with him. He's a really great boy, very compliant and sweet, and I love hanging out with him.
After dinner, we had English class, and it was my turn to teach! I taught them more about Canada and traveling. At the end, we listened to Canadian singer Shania Twain's version of Coat of Many Colors, as I love this song and I think the kids can learn a lot from the lyrics, both linguistically and morally. I couldn't make copies, and there wasn't enough time either, so I think we'll listen to the song again next class, as they all enjoyed it.


The kids were fascinated by the birds.

My boy Lemar´t again!

After walking so nicely, everyone had a glass of Inca Kola and fruits.

Tia Sonia and Tia Cristina from Norway on the way on the caminata.

Sara (left) and Milagros (right) enjoying the campo.

Tuesdays is the hiking day during summer holidays, and today we went to the town centre in Lunahuaná. This time I went with the kinder group, and we had tons of fun! We saw a lot of plants on the way, such as corn, grapevines, prickly pears, avocados, aji (a type of chili pepper that's orange in color), mangoes, etc. So we taught the kids to name them. We saw a bit of animal's defecation as well, and the kids pointed and said "kaka"! LOL All the kids walked all the way by themselves, although some requested to be carried occasionally. So I'd pick them up for a few seconds and they'd walk again. Cristina treated them with candies for walking nicely, and everyone was ecstatic! Once we arrived in town, all the kids needed to stop for a visit in the bathroom at a store, and after that, I treated them with "Inca Kola", which is a Peruvian soda, and we had fruits as snacks too. The owner of the shop was so nice, and provided us with tissues (for wiping the kids) and glasses for the soda, and we all sat in the backyard where there were a couple tables. There's also a live turkey! Some kids had fun making sounds as the turkey was singing, but most were scared when it's near. Afterwards, we went to a local hostal where has some birds for the kids to see. Then we went to a canotaje agency (whitewater rafting) that Cristina hired last weekend, and the owner was nice enough to let the kids play in the boat. All of them went mad and had tons of fun! I think I'll try whitewater rafting in the next weekend, which should be fun. Lemar't as always held onto me most of the time, and he danced whenever he hears music! And everywhere he went, he'd wave his hand to the people and said "la", which in his language means "hola" or "hello". Of course he was well received. Soon after all the fun, it's time to return home for lunch!


Gregorio, one of the youth group kids, was being silly by putting masking tapes on his mouth. He´s a great hardworking kid though!

The youth group drawing their own portraits and their strengths and weaknesses in the comedor (dining room). They all did great!

6-2-2010 II

My favorite boy, Lemar´t, whom I shared ice-cream with. Isn´t he precious?

The kids always ask for water to drink, and they are as happy as drinking gaseosa (soda)!

Little Jhonatan smiling after drinking water with his uncle wawawyanyan!

Carlos Abel cleaning the shoe cabinet.

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Ademir and Luigi cleaning their drawers and folding their clothes so nicely

Saturday is cleaning day, and I was helping out the 6-9 year-old boys room. I still don't have a clear idea on their routine, but I tried my best and others came and helped too. There's quite a lot to do, such as folding clothes, cleaning shoes closet, doing beddings, sweep, mop, wax the floor, picking garbage outside, etc. It's amazing to see those little boys doing all these things so neatly by themselves. What I'm used to see is children having helpers .... No offense to those who have maids out there, I was just trying to be sarcasticly funny. :p

Afternoon was "Sábado Especial" (Saturday special), and this week we did drama competition. We were split into 6 groups, and each group had to come up with a 5 minutes story. Our group did a village reunion of Northern Perú, and we had a lot of fun doing that. While waiting for the verdict from the judges, we had a surprise, which was popcorn for everyone while a couple kids performed dancing in pop music. It was hilarious! And Lemar't came to sit with me, and we shared popcorn. He's really really sweet, coz he kept feeding me popcorn while I fed him as well! Everyone laughed at us and said I'm his papa and he's my son, as he always want to be with me, and starts giggling and runs towards me when he saw me. Actually I wish he's my son too! Haha ...... Anyway, our group won! Actually 2 groups tied, and we were one of the two. We had a tin of ice-cream as the prize! Another kid that clings to me a lot as well is Jhonatan, who calls me "wawaryanyan"! Really hilarious! Sometimes when I stood afar in a distance, he'd scream "wawaryanyan, mano (hand)!". He's fascinated by water, and everywhere when he saw it, he'd say,"Agua!". And when he drinks water, he has a great satisfied smile too. Actually all kids love drinking water! Sometimes I took a few of them to the dining room and give them glasses of water to drink, and it's actually quite fun and satisfied to see them drinking water with such happiness.

I started working with the youth group as well, on their self-esteem and communication skills, and of course, some behavioral management too! Most of them had done really well. Last Wednesday I asked group one to draw their self-portraits, and tell their strengths and weaknesses. They all did very well, and I was very proud of them. I also suggested to post their drawings in the dining room, so others can see their great work. The Friday group, on the other hand, was a bit tricky. I'd say most of them did really well, except 2, who really needs individual counselling, as they often fail to follow instructions, and often disrupt the class and bug other kids. I had to use behavioral management stuff, and they were a bit pissed! Oh well, I think in the long run consequences are good lessons for them.


This is my habitacion. My room is upper left one, where you can see my blue towel.



Tio John (left) and Tio Wynn (right) doing their laundry in the lavanderia

This morning after breakfast, we did gardening as its our thursday chores. This time we did take out all the wild plants in the backyards, while others worked in the little farm we have and cut a tree that is used for lighting fire for cooking. I helped with the former and latter. The former was really tough as there was a lot of dusts and I kept sneezing. But I didnt care as the kids worked really hard and I cant let my little setback to stop helping. I also helped cutting the tree, which was the first time ever in my life! It was tough at first, but once I got used to it, it was not so bad.

Also, we do laundry ourselves here. By laundry, I mean washing by hands! At first I didnt know what I was doing, but now I think Ive worked out a procedure how to wash efficiently. The children from 7 start washing their own clothes as well. In some ways, its kinda fun, and I just had to let go of the privileges I have in Hong Kong or Canada, or elsewhere there are washing machines and dryers. The clothes dry very fast as its very sunny and dry here. So if I wash after breakfast, the clothes will dry up in the afternoon.


The local pueblo, Cuiva

Centro de Lima

The busy street in Lima overlooking a mountain with colorful habitaciones

Me and Noelia, the volunteer from España in La Plaza de Armas de Lima

Weekend in Lima was fine except that I didn't get to accomplish a lot of things. But at least I got to use high speed internet although i still hadn't completed everything! On Saturday night, Noelia and I travelled back to Cañete as she wasn't feeling too well, and we had a birthday party to attend in a town nearby called Cuiva, where we stayed at the home of one of the local tias, Sonia whose daughter was going to be 7. The town is very rural and poorly constructed. Because of that the roads are very dusty. Sometimes there's water suspension, and it happened on the Sunday morning when we were there. Kids was wearing rags basically, and their clothes were quite dirty. Each room there's a big hole on the ceiling, which serves as natural light in daytime. After visiting the local town, I appreciate a lot more of what we have in the home, which is by all means not luxury. But at least everything is clean and sufficient. Nonetheless, the people are awesome! When we got off the bus, there's quite a long path we had to walk to Sonia's home. But we were lucky enough to bump into a señor who was driving a truck back home, and offered us a ride. At first we were a bit cagy, but he kept telling us "confianza" which means confidence. So we hopped on, and he told us he's the school mate of Sonia's father and they're still good friends. Then we met Sonia's family: her daughter Melany, her elder sister Rica, her nephew Daniel and her parents. They are all super hospitable and down-to-earth people, and told me their home is "mi casa" too. I helped them with some chores, which made me become fast friends with them. Sonia's dad was particular fond of me and treated me like his relative.The birthday party was fun too. We danced in Peruvian music, played games, had snacks and dinner. The kids surely had fun, as I don't think they have such abundant resources that often. The next day, they made pisco sour for us to try, which is a typical Peruvian cocktail composed of lemon juice, sugar, ice and pisco, a local liquor made of grapes and is as strong as tequila. Overall it had been a wonderful experience in which I saw the real rural Peru, and got to experience the generosity, hospitality and kindness of Peruvian people.