A suspension bridge where we started our excursion with the babies. You can see Tia Maria holding claudia from afar.

Renzo and Tio John put on suncreen on a sunny day.

While I'm finally getting better, we had a rather dramatic day today. First, when we took the kids to school today, there happened to be a dispute between the construction company and the workers who has been building some of the school building yet not finished. It was so intense that all the kinder kids went back home with us as it could be a bit dangerous. We wanted to evacuate the elder kids too who were already in school, but fortunately it ended early and no damage was caused.

Late morning we took the four babies for an excursion trip nearby. Each tio/tia had to be responsible for one kid as they needed to be carried almost the whole time. We went to a nearby suspension bridge and nearby neighborhood, including a horse stable, wine making place and honey farm. At the bridge there was an amazing view of Río Cañete, and the sound of the running river reminded me of my rafting experience! After a break where the babies had bananas as snack and a couple of them practised walking. It was so funny sometimes as they juggled around and walked down a sloppy path. They fell and got up and kept on going for a long time, which reminded me how babies are so sturdy and tough when they learned how to walk. Then we stopped by a bee farm where we tasted a few types of honey because the tias wanted to buy some honey for the kids. As we were on our way to catch a combi and go back to bed, the kids were so tired that all fell asleep in our arms. In fact, mine just snoozed off after a huge yawn! Unfortunately I couldn't take a lot of photos in this trip, as my hands and arms were constantly busy!

Afternoon was a bit lazy, as John and I discussed what we're going to present in our next meeting after playing with the kids. At about 5pm, I went downstairs and looked at the kinder kids and helped brushed Lemar't's teeth, put some cream on his mosquito bites and gave him some herbal syrup as he was coughing a bit. He loved it and I could see in his face telling me that he knows I care about him. Later, he took the bottle of syrup and marched around proudly. Yoanca also wanted to try, so i gave her a little bit, and she liked it too! Suddenly, John ran to find me and told me that there was a small trembling in the room, and apparently many people felt it too. We didn't feel it I guess because we were moving around while they sat down and do their tasks. Anyway, it created a tense moment as we thought it could be a prelude of an earthquake! So far nothing happened, and may God protect us!

These nights I would go and see different kids and kiss them goodnight. It's such a wonderful feeling when I see their angelic smile on their face afterwards. They never ask for fancy toys or exquisite vacations, just our love and care would make them happy and satisfied.


Julio eating a banana after playing a bit in the boat.

All the kids just climbing all over the boat! Behind is Tia Simone.

Claudio y Julio

After the chores in the morning, Simone, a couple of local tias and I went for a short trip to the plaza with the babies. It was the first excursion I went out with them, and I think it's a really great thing that children get exposure outside the home. We were lucky on the way there as the driver and Walter were on the way to the market and get food for us, and they gave us a lift. We stopped by a canotaje company where the kids played in the boat, and they had tons of fun just rolling around. Then we stopped by for some refreshments, cremolada and chicha, before we head back to the home by a combi (a public transport van). One sentiment I want to share is that I can't describe how rewarding and satisfying it is everytime when we're in a car or combi, two kids would sit on my lap, knowing that they have someone to be there for them and take care of them.

By night, after dinner I started to feel a bit sick in the stomach, and began to have a fever! I tried to treat it myself but the night was rough! The next morning Simone came to my room and asked how I was, and brought me some foods and water. She took care of me a lot from breakfast to dinner! The elder kids too concerned about me and brought me water, and they suggested me to take some medicine, as it's apparently an infection. And they brought soup and stuff for me too! In fact, Tia Catalina told me all the kids kept asking about me, and when they saw me they were so happy and asked me how I was. I felt so loved, and they are like my real family! After taking the medicine, my bad headache was gone, and the fever was gone too the next day. Now I just need to keep resting and be completely over this.

3, 4, 5 - 3 - 2010

I took the kids to the playground and they were playing see-saw in the pic.

Franklin sleeping :)

Lemart sleeping :)

Cristina and I finally finished the reinforcement chart and a poster of how to be a cool kid for kinder. Everyone loved it! The kids were excited to receive the smiley faces as their tokens to receive a reinforcement, while the tios appreciated the artistic work that we did and believe that it's a brilliant idea. Well, this is what I do best as I've been doing this for living for over 10 years, and I love artwork! So the next step is to make it work, and the kids will be positive and proactive! Fingers crossed!


The charts are working really well on the first day, especially on the kids with higher cognitive ability. The most outstanding case is Franklin, who used to be labeled as the naughty one, and before he just didn't bother to be good. But actually since last week when I encouraged him a bit more and praised him for being good and gave him some candies, he turned into this really affectionate, loving kid that I didn't know about! He kissed me and asked me if I like to be kissed, and I replied, "of course!". And he gave me more kisses! And he's always very helpful and when someone behave badly, he would tell us! In fact, he's earned more smiley faces than anyone so far! Its very satisfying to see his face with a confident and proud smile! See how powerful it is when we change our attitude from negative to positive, and what a difference it makes in a kid's life!

After lunch, I took 6 kids to the backyard and played there at the jungle gym. Literally I had 6 children around me, some held on to my fingers (not enough hands for all of them!), while a couple held on my tee on the back! We played merry-go-around, see-saw and swings, all it made me so happy to see them laughing and smiling! I initiated to sing a song with them, and Lemar't, Julio, Claudio and Alonso joined in. We sang Ring 'round the Rosies, and they loved it, especially of course when we all fell down! Not only that, we row around the lawn and stacked on top of each other, while I was always at the bottom! It was super fun!

Later I helped out Gregorio with his English homework and also served water to all the thirsty kids! I also helped out with the kinder a bit at the chores before they went to sleep. Lemar't was so cute at the shower! He was crying at first because he didn't like water pouring at him, but after a while he thought it's actually quite funny that he held the bucket and poured water at himself from head to toe! I also helped putting on his diaper! It's my first time to do that and I was a bit nervous at first, but it was actually quite straightforward, so it was fine. I feel like I'm learning to be a daddy here! lol


I have been assisting the kinder session because we've just started the reinforcement program, and I want to make sure it's implemented well. It went quite well today as well, but a couple still hadn't got the contingency yet. They'll eventually learn. At night just before they went to bed, I went in there and they were so noisy and were playing around! So after telling them to go to bed, I sang lullabies and children's songs to them, and everyone became quiet and listened. Jhonatan asked for more in his cute voice, "nata más?" (otra más, which means "some more"), and soon after one more song he fell asleep.


Rio Cañete where we did rafting

Anabel was ready for school. She is actually handicapped as one of her legs was infected. She has to use crutches sometimes, but she has improved so much! And she is a super sweet girl!

The girls awaits for the van taking them to school.

Some elder kids go to school first.

My day of return to Lunahuaná also marks the first day of school, the first time of my rafting experience and of course the first of March!

I actually returned the day before but I arrived really late. I wasn't feeling good as i was coming down with flu or something. But i took some herbal tea, rested a lot on the bus and drank lots of fluids. It was kind of ironic too as the last two breaks i brought my jacket with me, but since i thought i didn't use it much so i didn't bring one this time. Who knew I got sick this time and needed something to keep myself warm! Oh well, I thought about buying a jacket but I also didn't want to waste money, coz I rather spend the money on the kids. Anyway, God took care of me and I survived through it, and I caught up with Simone in the plaza and had dinner. We bumped into a few people in the town, and one of whom was a hotel owner here and treated us dinner, although all I could have was a bowl of chicken soup as I wasn't feeling exactly well Anyway, it was very nice of him, and it made me feel good even though I was a bit sick. When I arrived home, one of the tias told me immediately when she saw me that Lemar't had been looking for me all weekend, even waited for me at my room! It made me feel so loved, and in fact, everytime I was in Lima, I thought about him a lot too, and couldn't wait to get back and see him!

I was struggling if I wanted to go rafting, depending on whether I'd recover from my flu. Fortunately I recovered fast and I felt much better, so I went to town with Simone and John for rafting! Simone knew the owner of the shop, and he didn't charge us, we just paid 5 bucks for the gas! It was a real treat, and sometimes it seems we don't have to pay for anything! Haha! I think a lot of them realize that we are volunteers here and they are especially nice to us. It was so much fun, especially when the waves were high! Good that I did dragon boat rowing before, as the motion is actually the same. But this is hundreds time more fun, very exciting!

The kids started the new school year, and everyone had to wake up earlier now. We have breakfast at 6:30, and they leave home around 7 and will get to school around 7:45. The kids return around 2 when we have lunch a bit later, except for the kids in kinder who finish school at noon. The coming week we'll talk about our plans for this school year, and I can't wait to get it started!