This morning we woke up bright and early to continue working at Little House of Refuge.
After arriving we all split up into our work crews and began a long day. We had a very productive day – we continued constructing the new computer room and the sewing room. Jessie Martinez collected and had refurbished numerous used laptop computers. Before we had even officially dedicated the new room the kids had already found their way into the computer room and were playing games.
Ashlie Dickey worked with over 20 girls that decorated Toms shoes which will be sold at the next W.O.W. luncheon in December with all proceeds going back to the orphanage.
The remainder of the team focused on painting several locations all around the orphanage, we used a total of 12 gallons of paint and over 500 rubber gloves. The guys on the team were filthy after spending the day hauling boulders and cylinder blocks up and down the hills. They also constructed homemade bookshelves for the sewing room and installed a basketball goal. The kids were in school all morning so when they got out of school after lunch the games began! There were soccer games going, puzzles, sidewalk chalk, jump roping, and basketball games. Even though the kids loved to play games they loved simply being held and hugged by all.
The kids provided a huge gift back to us. They put together a presentation of gratitude, involving songs, dance routines, and beautiful words from the Founding family members Lordes, Teresa, and their mother **. They made each and every one of us a special gift to take home and remember them by. To end the show the Tarwater Family presented each child with a blanket made by Fonda Dewit**. Fonda hand made more than 50 blankets to bring to the kids. The kids immediately wrapped themselves in their new blanket and wore them for the remainder of the night.
Next came a major highlight of this trip, the dedication of the new outdoor grill and kitchen. This project was completed with donations given in memory of Richard Barge and Bud Vollmer. Karen. Matthew, Emily, Allie Barge, Cathy Vollmer, and Richard’s mother Suzanne were all present for the ribbon cutting ceremony. The ceremony entailed Matthew’s reading of a beautiful Psalm followed by Emily cutting the ribbon. Then entire family all put hand prints into the wet cement in the patio. After the ceremony we all went upstairs for a celebratory dinner of Pollo Campero, cake, and Sophia’s cookies.
The night closed with fireworks, tons of hugs and emotional goodbyes. We all cannot wait to return to the orphanage next year and see how the kids have grown and applied their new skills and knowledge in their lives!