Bolivian Christmas

Crazy to think that just four days ago I was giving hugs to my boys at Talita Cumi, wishing them a Merry Christmas, and trying to keep them under control until the visitors came. Heather and I touched down in Minneapolis at 11:55 pm on Christmas Day, and we have been celebrating with family for the last few days. In the midst of all the excitment of the season here, I want to write about my Bolivian Christmas before the details get blurry.

I spent a few hours during the day of Christmas Eve at the home, and I can only remember one other day during my time at the home when the boys were so hard to control. We watched a movie, and the boys' eyes were everywhere but on the TV screen. Juan Carlos has been asking me to bring gum for him since my first week in Bolivia, and I finally did and he thought he didn't want it for a few minutes. Only the craziness of Christmas could have done that for him.

Juan Carlos and Iver-- definitely excited, and with silly looks

I went home to get cleaned up and send my sister off to another home, and when I come back I was back on boy control. They too had cleaned up and were in their nicest clothes and the entire orphanage was just a beautiful place, completely changed for Christmas. I got to help out with the boys and getting little presents ready for the visitors, so that was nice for me to not have to try to visit and be super social, since sometimes I don't like that and since I didn't know some of the people there very well.

The kids put on a great little musical production that they had been working on, we read the Christmas story, and then it was time to eat. I got paired up to eat with Tiburcio, which was great since we get along pretty well and I really wanted to hang out with him one more time before I left, especially since he just accepted Christ. We ate and then the kids opened their presents. Each of the kids got one shoebox with presents in it, which wasn't a lot but was a lot more than some of the homes get. They were mostly pretty happy about their presents, then they were REALLY happy that they got to start shooting off fireworks, which is a Bolivian Christmas tradition. At about 11:45 Ester and I left, since she was spending the night at my house. I hugged the kids and said goodbye, but it was so surreal. I don't think that they really realized that I was leaving leaving, and I kind of liked it more that way. It's so hard for them to have people leave, and I didn't want them to deal with that on Christmas night. I went home, watched a movie with Ester, and went to bed. When I got up in the morning, it was time to leave the country. It's still weird to think that I'm not going back to play tomorrow morning.

One huge blessing is that right when I came for Christmas Eve Toni, one of the tios, was taking pictures of all of the boys, and I got a picture with all them. Hopefully he will send it to me or put it on facebook, because that will be such a nice thing to help me to remember my trip.

I got a few other Christmas pictures, so I added a couple here.
I love how everyone in the picture has a different face. This picture is so precious to me!

More details of my trip are coming; even though it's over, I don't feel like I'm done writing.

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