Day 7 - The children of Audayr
Today we traveled to Audayr, a nearby town that is known well to Brianna and I. Two years ago, this town was by far one of the worst we had been to in terms of the maturity of the children and adults; a town that doesn't get running water or many visitors, the local culture is a dog-eat-dog, take-what-you-want way of life. There were times that we needed to leave the town abruptly because we lost control of situations and became overrun by the locals. I was very thankful to see that in the last two years, Jim and Penie have made much progress with the locals, showing them that their love and compassion isn't conditional and that they don't need anything in return to be friends with them. The kids were still very grabby and hard to contain at times, but they were much more receptive to sitting with us and reading stories and scripture.
Jim and I found some work for tomorrow - one of the houses that they've built in the past is being eroded by water running down the mountain. We will build a retention wall out of 6" concrete block tomorrow.
Today we went to Audayr, a nearby town to where we are staying in whitehouse. Before we left to go there, Eddie hit his head on a wall while trying to collect mangoes on the back of "Papa Jim's" truck. He's fine now but the lump is huge. Anyhow, when we got to Audayr we set up two tents, two tables, a tarp on the floor, and under those tents we read to/with the kids, books of different levels. I had to leave earlier than the rest of the team because I had to go with my team (Shane, Yifan, and I), to fill up large water jugs from a nearby stream. We took these back to the town passing many goats, wild dogs, donkeys, and people making their way down or up the large hill. The people were grateful that we made the trip for them to fill up their water tanks. Next we ate lunch next to the stream we collected water from. I hate PB&J, but I actually liked it today because of the Guava jelly 😍, but best of all we ate the mangoes that Eddie sacrificed his forehead for, and I had these cracker things with strawberry something in the middle, it tasted like strawberry Pocky. After we cleaned our lunch we headed back to the spot we were before, reset the tables and the tarp, and began to color with the children or play little games like tag. Annie got tackled by a bunch of kids in the street for some reason, but it was all for fun and everyone was ok. At the end of the day we packed up and gave the kids little kaleidoscopes and noise makers. This was my favorite group to interact with because I connected well with the kids I got to play or read with, they really just wanted to be loved, and lemme just tell you, I'm a snuggler. So I really enjoyed loving on the kids in Audayr today.