Posted by: Cathy | July 23, 2012

Old Friends and New Friends…

Delmace and I have met so many wonderful people during our time at Wings this summer! Last week, we had were fortunate to spend time with a large group from Tennessee, as well as a smaller group from MA. All of these people have brought their own joy and energy to Wings, and it has been fascinating to watch how the kids react to, truly enjoy – and sometimes manipulate, all these visitors… This week we have another small group from MA, one of whom had been here several years ago, and remembered Delmace from his previous trip. We also have a Mom and her 4-year old daughter from PA – and Delmace is beyond thrilled to have a new, built-in playmate close to his age (and size)!

Delmace and Alazay on the afternoon they met…

It also continues to be a real pleasure to watch Delmace re-establish, and redefine, connections with the other kids at Wings… He is increasingly more comfortable with the other kids – even some of the more physically and cognitively challenged kids. He asked if he could help me feed Clifton the other evening, and this afternoon, he entertained Fabiola with a variety of songs as myself and another volunteer spent almost 20 minutes helping her to drink 1 cup of juice… He also made a point of telling his new 4-year old friend, that “all the kids here are my brothers and sisters… I’m the littlest brother.”

Delmace and Steve drumming together

Josephine and David – two favorite playmates…

Steve, Jozye, Delmace, and Alazay playing some made-up game with bowling pins…

His new little friend is named Alazay (I’m probably spelling it wrong, but that’s how it’s pronounced)… Her Mom, Nikki, works at a residential school for disabled children and young adults in PA, and the 2 of them live on the campus of the school. Alazay is a little firecracker! And she and Delmace hit it off right away. It’s great for him to have someone closer to his age to play with – because, although he LOVES hanging out with the big kids, he is often the one who gets pushed around by them. There have been many tears as Steve has taken his toys, or Frank won’t give him the ball, or Sadraque won’t leave him alone, or Jozye won’t do what he wants… And as Delmace himself tells me, “when the little brother tries to keep up with the big brothers, it’s the little brother who always gets hurt.”

Delmace and Alazay playing in a laundry basket (their “car”)…

Up until this week, Delmace had no interest in even trying any of the food the other kids eat. Even when I pointed out that it is the same food he used to eat when he lived here, he’d have no part of it. But this week, he asked to taste the “labouyi” (porridge) that the kids eat in the evening… This used to be his favorite thing to eat when he lived here – although there are several different varieties (depending on who is cooking it and what is available to put in it), and the kind he tasted was not the kind he used to love… But, he did taste it – and the fact that he didn’t like it did not dissuade him from asking to try some of the rice and beans the next day! And – he actually ate that – and he did it again today – which is so weird, because when he lived here, he HATED rice and beans…

David and Delmace eating rice and beans together

“I really like these!”

I know the staff here are really enjoying their time with Delmace… Today, Clemene, one of the women who was primarily responsible for caring for Delmace when he lived here, told me how much she loves having him around and how she enjoys watching him play with the other kids. She was sad when she realized we are leaving next week – but I assured her that we would be back 🙂 I hope to make this an annual summer trip for us 🙂 

Here are some other photos I wanted to post for various people…

Sammy – for my sisters, Sue & Helen, who sponsor him…

Sam has the BEST laugh of all the kids here!

Peterson – for Rachel… Showing off his prized photo 🙂

 

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Responses

  1. Love the photo of Peterson, priceless!


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