Dear Jesus, I pray for this girl Mina, because she’s already asleep and she didn’t even brush her teeth yet.” -Maria de Jesus


 It’s summer break, today Yessenia and Maria invited Uzi over for a tea party, and are currently enjoying cheese puffs off of tiny plastic dishes while conversing about cows, haha.

Last week we packed up multiple truckloads of our belongings, then packed ourselves into the trucks, and ALL of us traveled to Costa Esmeralda (Emerald Coast) for a week-long camp put on by ourselves, especially for ourselves! Jesse coordinated most of our activites, and we began by dividing into eleven “tribes” with each worker being a leader of each tribe. Throughout the week we competed in a variety of games: volleyball, sandcastle-making, a water balloon fight, verse-memorizing, tug-of-war, etc. At the end of the week we awaited the announcement of the winning tribe with much anticpation… “Espada de Dios!” (Sword of God) Obed’s team, made up of baby Katia, two year old Uzi, four year old Zabdi, my five year old Maria, and about four other tiny children. I’m not sure how they won, because they failed to participate in one late night competition (they were sleeping = ) haha) but they beat us all and won themselves a pizza party!

The other day I really wanted to bake something, and decided on oatmeal raisin cookies. The recipe called for baking soda but we didn’t have any so I used baking powder… haha, but they turned out okay. I wish I could have captured Yessenia’s reaction as she tried her first ever oatmeal raisin cookie. It involved spitting out the raisin, clapping her hand over her mouth, and making the most horrified facial expression.. ahahah. Mina, on the other hand, was enthralled by the raisins, and ended up trading all her oatmeal for all of Yessenia’s “pasitas.”

Today Katia waddled over to me after lunch, wearing only a diaper, her face, chest, and protuding belly all covered in carrot soup and black beans, and offered me a little orange fruit she had just found on the ground. I politely declined, but most assuredly appreciated her generosity. = )

This week Lucia is going to run a summer school in the community where she has a mission, and she comissioned me to draw her a little boy and a little girl, which I just completed. Zabdi walked in while I was drawing and said to me, “you draw better than God!” Ahahaha..

Yesterday one of my closest friends here left to live with her family. She arrived here fourteen years ago when she was five. It was sad for us who are still here, especially the girls who grew up with her and feel like they just lost a sister. But, it’s what she wanted.

Maria prayed for God again the other day, haha. “And God, I pray for God, and the angels.” = )

Mina recently told me that she wants to move to Chile, and when I asked her why she said “Because that’s where you’ll be.” Ohhh I don’t know how I’m going to leave them.

My relationship with nine year old Jaime generally consists of him walking past me slowly and staring at me with super wide eyes, and vice-versa. Haha, I once described him to Claire as “He’s the type that will just stare at you forever like that because he thinks it’s funny.” Yesterday he walked over to me, said “take” and handed me two pesos! It was so sweet and I think it’s a sign that we’re real friends now.

While we were at the beach I sucessfully preached for an hour in Spanish! I made some mistakes, the one that elicited the most making fun of me being that I repeatedly used the word ‘lover’ instead of ‘beloved.’ Haha, oh well.

The little baby girl that we’ve had for several months finally has a name! Mama Tere chose Milcah Naomi, which means Beautiful Queen. I love it, and it’s definitely better than “Baby without a name.”

Sara is four, and is the most adorably talkative child I know. Over a year ago her dog Jonah died of unknown causes, but she still talks about him all the time, and recently she told me a story about how robbers came to her house and killed Jonah (which isn’t true, but it’s her minds way of making sense of what happened) and then she looked me straight in the eyes and said completely seriously as she slowly shook her head, “and that’s why I’m never going to get married with a robber.” Oh, it was hard not to laugh.

One of my favorite pictures from the beach: Angela was rolling around and around and around while singing to herself = )

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