Today we got to spend the day hanging out and just having fun with Richard. Everyone on our trip had a fun day with their sponsor kid, and it was so much fun to hang out with them and play around as well as chat with them and get to know them better. Compassion does a fantastic job putting this together – we all were at a resort with a pool, beach and kids play area so there was lots to do. Each child comes with a host (who also serves as a translator) as well as the child’s tutor from the project so there’s someone who is quite familiar to them. We spent our morning grabbing some breakfast with them and then a few of us went to the kids pool where I spent most of my time splashing kids and being splashed back, or playing keep away with a soccer ball. A memorable moment was definitely when Henry‘s sponsor child saying “white shark is coming to get me!”, but everything was amazing.
After a wonderful lunch together and watching the stray cats scrounging for scraps, we went to play in the sand for a bit and then headed to the beach for more of the same. We did all of the same kind of stuff you would imagine doing with any kids in the sand – building and smashing sand castles, digging holes and watching the surf come to slowly destroy anything that’s in its way. I also managed to get a nice sunburn despite applying SPF60 sunscreen twice throughout the day. Our Dominican friends clearly didn’t have the same issue and we all enjoyed the beautiful sunshine.
Let me tell you a bit more about Richard. He’s a quiet kid when he’s the centre of attention, so his best moments today were probably when we were playing a game in a group or just hanging out. He loves math. His tutor told us that he’s the kind of kid to give up his meal if someone he knows needs one. His two brother are currently living away from home with his grandmother because both his mom and dad have to work, so Richard often is taken care of by his aunt. Their house is rented and they don’t know if the landlords will let them stay there for long, but he’s doing well in school and learning lots. He’s shy, but if you steal the ball from him he’ll jump on your back and try to get it back from you. We got to spend a day playing with another one of our kids and I can’t help being thankful for this fantastic opportunity for us to use what God has given us to bless the What a beautiful kid, and what a wonderful day.
Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you. – James 1:27 (NLT)
(if you want to see more pictures from this week, check out my Facebook page for the photo album. Also you can get another perspective on this trip on Dana’s blog)