I made it to a hiper today and STOCKED UP. Got some essentials (aka chocolate) but mainly supplies and tools for English class.
It actually RAINED today! I am shocked. It’s been gorgeous and sunny all the time and I felt rain and didn’t know what to do! It is amazing how easy and willing I am to adjust to no change in weather, especially when the weather is always in my favor.
But the reason I am writing this blog is to share an adorable baby story (or two). One of our toddlers is really picking up language quickly. In the two short weeks I have been here, he literally went from barely talking to no stop blabbering. This is huge, not just for any baby, but especially in an orphanage, where language develops a lot slower. This is because the toddlers mostly communicate with each other and listen to each other rather than adults. Anyway, his command of language is really becoming impressive, and its inspiring our difficult “potty-training girl” to use her words more as well. The cute part is he talks to all the other babies as they are in their cribs at night. When each one comes in he says hello and goodnight and we can hear him telling them things during nap time. The other night when I was leaving the baby house the window to the boy’s room was open and he was talking and talking, so I sat down on the steps to listen. No one was crying (very unusual) they were all just sitting and listening and I was too. Finally, he says really loud “Jesus, Amen!” and stops talking. It was quite and I can only assume he prayed them all to sleep. It was absolutely adorable! I ran up the 100 step mountain side to tell my roommate, breathless and in poor Spanish.
Ok one more. So my first week in the baby house they would spank the kids with a flattened wooden spoon when they really misbehaved. It was the most extreme punishment, and would be used sparingly but still it bothered me so much! It’s one of those cultural things that absolutely shocked me! Last weekend they got two chairs that buckle a child in very tightly. Now they are the time out chairs, no more spoons! Actually, the first step is being taken from the play room and having to keep your hands on the wall for a couple of minutes, a highchair is the second strike, then the chairs, the worst is being put under cold water.
The cute part of the story was one of the girls was in a highchair punishment and she convinced one of the other kids to keep giving her toys. If you have ever watched toddlers play, you know they don’t give up their toys easily. It is not even so much that they play, as carry around a toy that is “theirs.” They are very possessive over this and are guaranteed to cry when it is stolen. Regardless, this cute chica had a flood of toys coming to her.
The point I am trying to make is that I, and I’m sure others will agree, had severely underestimated a babies ability to communicate, even if they are not speaking a concrete language. Being in a country where I am struggling to learn the language as well, I have really appreciated how children pick it up, how fast and how susceptible they are to learning. I also see how crucial communicating with children is and how far they are set behind when the stimulus of language with adults is not there. It is interesting to be in the school and baby house, because I really see a correlation between the older kids struggling with reading and numbers, and how they developed early on.
As always thoughts and suggestions are so welcome!
Oh and the rain reminded me of my favorite quote:
“The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears.”