We were in the sandpit playing!

The boys were making some birthday cakes!

Franco was super excited about the cakes!

Benito and Alexander with their sugar scrub.

Jorge was involved too!  He needs to learn about hygiene, and it's the first step.

This is how we put the tea tree and oatmeal mask on.

A group photo of everyone with masks.

I put it on Rafa as well while he was working.

Julio trying to climb up the tunnel at therapy.

We went to the feria, and it was the first time that Benito, who turned 22 recently, went up to the fairy wheel!

It was the first time for Rafa and Moises too.

And it was the first time for Rafa to try wine!  It was just sample given us with our dinner.

Rafa and Paul were playing strings in a very very cold day ..... I don't know how the kids can wear short sleeves!

Trompo, a very simple toy that twirls around, is a very popular game they all play.

And then we took the kids to play Twister!

It's the girls' turn.  We taught them to make a lovely fruit and vegetable salad.

Adela poured some apple vinegar in after everyone's hard work of peeling and chopping.

Here it is!

It has been a great start of work!  A lot of positive changes have happened:  The little ones who didn’t speak started to make some noises and said some words; the ones who didn’t speak clearly start to make some senses of what they speak; imparting positive values to the kids; a lot of behavioral measures around the house; many fun workshops.  But funny thing is that today everyone suddenly has become so hard working, with many good ideas and thoughts.  If it were me that facilitate all these sudden changes, I’m very happy but I hope they ‘stay’.  

With the little ones, one of the main things was to get them out, play and use their imagination as much as possible.  And they are capable of doing that!  One of the hardest works is to deal with their behavioral issues.  Being a behavioral specialist, it is not difficult for me, but unfortunately here it is not totally up to me because there are 100 kids, and they spend most of their time with the local workers.  Well, token system around each house is implemented, and I visit each house as much as possible to view what is happening and to reinforce the positive behaviors.  Fortunately the local workers are very supportive and some even ask for my help and come up with their ideas.  Virginia and I have been working together on it, and it has been going really great!  

The workshops are going really well as well.  Virginia and I are doing some many workshops:  sex education, play skills, exercise, social skills, home economics , personal development and even personal care!  By personal care, it means facials!  And not just facials, but facials with boys!  Funnily enough, the boys are so conscious about their look as they are in their adolescent years and suffering from acne unfortunately.  Well, in this respect I have so much experience (LOL!).  Also, some of the boys don’t really have a sense of personal hygiene because of their background and habits.  So it was a good idea to have this workshop, and they love it even the dirty boys!  I think part of it is because they can feel that we do care about them, and it is a fun thing to do with the group.  They sat on the couch waiting impatiently for us to put our tea tree oil and lemon oatmeal mask!  Sometimes I feel that they are older and they don’t need as much attention as the little ones.  But I soon realize that they need every single bit.  Adolescents are difficult and they don’t have the courage to express exactly how they feel, but with a little encouragement and genuine care, they are just like little children opening up for us to care for them.

Well, so much for the good news, we still have no clean water.  We had purchased a filter, but it is not working very well, and the water now has paint smell.  Last weekend we didn’t have water for two days, and so we didn’t shower or flush the toilet at all.  Well, now we are blessed with the water with paint smell, and hopefully we will have potable water soon.


Cute pictures 17-8-2012

Claudio caught the balloon!

Lemar't with his bubbles!

Jenny was chasing around the balloons.

Victor acting silly with his bubbles.

Lemar't trying to catch the balloon.

Lemar't and Tia Olga from Spain was having a balloon fight.

Julio finally had a big smile.

Aldair was eating his very first hamburger!

Claudio couldn't have a bite on this mega burger!

Eventually we had to feed them, here is Tia Monika from Poland and Julio for example.
Lemar't and me

Me and the golden couple!  :)

The Soto family were having lunch under the table!

Franco was doing one of the speech therapy activities: drinking yogurt with a straw.  He has learned how to kiss in the first week of therapy!

Another speech therapy activity:  Blowing ping-pong ball in the stadium Hector made for the talent competition, and later I bought it from him.

Look at Cristhian!  he can blow up the balloon!

Lemar't with a wooden stick on his lips ... another speech therapy activities


Rufino was doing his drawing for the competition.  Eventually he co-won the most popular award.

A creative Superman dance by Leticia, Milagros, Vilma and Carmen won 2nd place.

Rafael and Jorge did card tricks, which won over the audience, as well as the judges, becoming the winner of NPH-Peru Busca Talento.

A collaboration dance of "Thriller" co-won the most popular award.

Jose Huari won the junior category of the drawing competition.

Erika, 15, won the senior category of the drawing competition, with her amazing super professional drawing!

Me presenting the winner of the talent competition to Rafa and Jorge.

Today is the end of school vacation.  It has been two weeks full of events.  After our trip to Lima, we volunteers had been preparing a talent competition “NPH-Peru Busca Talento”, and the children actually have been preparing their talents for the past two weeks, including singing, dancing, magic, antifacts, arts and crafts, etc.  We had been viewing their hardwork in the past 2 weeks, and they really surprised us by their works!  They are just incredible, and it really shows that no matter what backgrounds we came from, we are all blessed with certain talents that God gave us.  

Yesterday, I was part of the judging panel, and it was so difficult to decide who did better because there were so many good talents!  For example, Erika’s drawing was so professional that it could be from any major artist’s work!  Rafael and Jorge did card tricks that were simply incredible.  The girls including Milagros, Leticia, Vilma and Carmen came up with their own choreography and collaborated an incredible dance.  We were all very impressed and happy to see they created something so amazing by themselves.  At the end, we awarded Rafael and Jorge as the winner of the talent competition, Erika as the winner of the artistic competition.  And we did a public voting award too that everyone participated, and it was a lot of fun!  At the end, Rufino’s drawing and a dance collaboration of various children named “Thriller” won the award.  Hector made an incredible stadium out of recycled materials.  Although it didn’t win, I decided to buy it from him as I also need something like that to do speech therapy activities with some of the children.  I wanted to make him feel that his work does worth something, and it really does!  It has saved me time and effort to make something for my therapy work!  And he learned that if he works hard for something, someday it will pay off.

Virginia and I also spent some time to talk to the social worker, Tula, about the family history of some of the children.  Each story was just excruciating for us, because we only see where they are today, but not where they came from.  Franco, for example, lived in a house full of rubbish, and no one took care of him in the house.  Franchesco and Angela lived in a house full of fleas, and many came from home with problem such as alcoholism, various types of abuse and malnutrition.  It was so depressing but at the same time helped us understand better where they came from, so that we can provide appropriate therapy for them.  But most of all, they simply need love and care.  Everyday I just love them more.  I just want them to feel that I love them so very much.  

Today I finalized my preparation of therapy materials, and I will start my therapy work with the guys tomorrow.  I am very looking forward to it and all the positive changes and improvements that will come along.  Super psyched!  I love my children!


The kids were so excited on the bus even!  It's dream comes true for many of them.

How can we go to an amusement park without cotton candy!

The kids were looking seriously at some peculiar jungle animals.

And the older boys take pictures of them.

The boys that stayed with me, Gustavo and Juan Tanta, with Rafa's hand on the camera.

Lunch at the restaurant at the park.  Notice any difference between my plate and theirs?  I didn't eat the garnish ...

It was so cold in the park, and little Frank was frozen to death, so I hugged him to keep him warm.

The have so much fun at the slide too, even the older kids!

At the Parque De Las Aguas, the kids were amazed with the water fountain.

This water tunnel was so much fun that the kids went into it many many times until they got so wet!

After long plannings and complications, the outing with the children in Lima finally realized last Friday.  Thanks to Monika and Anne who were granted a lump sum of money from the German NPH office, we were able to do this.  The children were overly excited as most of them had never been to Lima, let alone the parks that we went.  We got up at 5:30a.m. to get ready for the trip.  Shortly after breakfast, we walked out to the college where our bus parked and waited for us.

After about 2 hours of bus ride where the children enjoyed a couple movies, the first stop was Parque de Las Leyendas where features zoological park of Peruvian heritage.  Before we went in while waiting for Monika to get the tickets, the children were all excited to see airplanes flying over the sky and kept taking pictures.  I saw a stall where cotton candy was sold.  Though overly priced, I thought every child should have the experience of eating cotton candy while going to a theme park.  So I bought one for each group, and they vanished within seconds.  

Actually the whole trip we were really scared that someone would have gone missing as there were 45 children and only 8 adults, although some of the kids are older.  Everywhere we were like lunatic counting where everyone was there.  When they were playing slides, they were so excited that they were laughing and jumping while we were screaming, “be careful!” or “don’t push!  Don’t stand up!”  Luckily we saw other parents there who were doing the same, so we didn’t feel so stupid!  It was really cold in Lima, and some of the kids didn’t bring enough clothes.  Franc, who came up to me and asked me if I could give him my jacket, was really cold.  So I told him to come near and I warmed him by hugging him really tight.  He stayed still the whole time and felt much better afterwards.

When we saw the animals, sometimes there are just too many people around and the children couldn’t see anything.  So I did the old trick of holding them up really high and so they could see more than anyone there!  Everytime I did that I could see a big grin of their faces.  I felt that they can live like children with family who takes care of them in every little way.

After the zoological park, we went to Parque de Las Aguas where features water fountains with laser and lights.  The children were so excited with everything, including that Alonso found it amusing to see a light under a tree!  All of them wanted to play with the water fountains, but because it was too cold in Lima, we couldn’t let them go.  But we did go into a water tunnel where we also got wet!  They loved it so much that they asked if they can go in over and over again!  They got wet at last anyway, but it was so happy to see them have so much fun.  Sadly it was time to go home, but they were also very excited and kept asking what we would do next.  I told them, “well, it’s time to go home, brush our teeth and go to bed,”  But their excitement wasn’t over and kept asking “what do we do after that?”  So cute!  After putting them on the bus, I stayed in Lima as it’s my weekend off.  Rafael, who has become one of my best buddies and stayed with me the whole time during this trip, waited for everyone to go on the bus, and gave me big hugs twice before we said goodbye again.  

This trip, though nothing extravagant or fancy, was one of the happiest trips I have ever done in my life.  Honestly I didn’t enjoy so much as most of the time I was too worried about anyone gone missing or get hurt, but I felt so happy to see them so happy.  Like Daniel said to us, “is it really we are here in Lima?  It is a dream come true for me!”  Such small thing can fulfill the dream of a little child who doesn’t even have a fraction of what we have.  I felt like a poor dad who can’t afford my children to do everything, but I feel love.  That’s the most important thing than anything else in the world