It is killer trying to keep up with everything - all the exhausting walking (about 8 miles a day!), spending 6-7 hours in the storage room, and then having just enough time to skype with the kids in the afternoon, check emails and load videos (which takes forever!)... to go to bed and do it again the next day.
I will hopefully be able to catch up when we have Olive in the apartment, and we have more down time.
A few things I did want to blog about for other families thinking about coming here:
1. bring little rolls of toilet paper with you every where you go. Usually there isn't any in the bathroom by the 'visitation room'.
2. The kids are double diapered, so when you first meet your bubs - they will look like they have the biggest butt in the world - but it's just two massive diapers.
3. There are a pack of dogs, and a white misfit dog that you will see occasionally by the orphanage - I wouldn't pet them, but they are friendly. And the white patchy dog could use some hand outs... because the pack of dogs chase him off every time he finds food. He'll take it - but you have to be very quiet about it - otherwise you alert the pack, and they chase him off before he can eat it.
4. Consider the idea of leaving this place better than when you came to it. If you're a Christian family, it's a great opportunity to SHOW Christ's love. (I wouldn't talk about it outright, they might take offense if you don't have that relationship first) Bring and extra $20 and exchange it for small dinar bills or coins, and give them to the many poor people digging through trash cans and begging in the streets. Be on the look out for little old ladies that need help walking down the street hills... buy a loaf of bread and tie it to the side of a garbage can (that's the tradition here, and how they feed their homeless and needy, there are no homeless shelters or half way houses for them). Bring a few bucks to buy some dog treats, or to buy bread (very cheap) for the stray dogs...
and PLEASE bring gifts for the orphanage, and the staff! They could really use it! They could use mobiles for the cribs, and things that can attach to the cribs for the kids to play with. They have a bucket in every room of floor toys -but they don't put them in the cribs. There are a few cribs in each room that have something attached to the crib - but they could definitely use more! When you see some of these children laying in their cribs 20 hours a day doing NOTHING (and some of them just crying and crying, and rocking, and hitting themselves) you will understand why not going out to eat for a month to save money for crib toys is SO important in their lives.
Even if you're not going to be coming here, you can always seek someone that is - and send money with them to buy them here :) It would make a huge difference.
We are off to our first weekend visit - we're showing a little late because I just couldn't get up this morning.
I WILL upload those videos and pictures, and respond to emails soon - we're just so tight on time :)