30 June 2005


30 June 05

Okay...Here I am back in the United States...and I am beginning to stop flailing, fighting and weeping (leaking) so much.

I am writing this particular entry because of the unbelievably sweet responses that I have been receiving from various people about how they miss reading about my adventures online. It warms my heart to learn that people were interested in something that was so important to me and to receive their kind concerns.

I have also realized that I needed to send out an apology for freaking so many people out during the last couple of weeks. This apology is not just to my family and friends but for people that I haven't even met in person, people that have shared and supported my Peruvian experiences so very kindly from afar...and now they are attempting to find out how I am adjusting back to the United States.

It isn't that I wasn't thinking about everyone once I got back here, it's just that I was unable to speak to people...worried that they wouldn't relate to what had been happening in my life (which would have broken my heart) and really needing to sort things out in my own head first...which is still happening. So, I failed to contact even my closest family and friends for at least a week.

As my friends and family can attest, I was a very messy girl when I first came back. The first thing that my sweet friend Marya tells me I said before bursting into tears was "I don't want to be here".

Here is a bit of my initial reaction, sent to a friend of mine recently, which seems to explain a bit more of where I was coming from...

"Yeah, I have been a bit strange since I left Peru. My heart feels a bit broken, like it is missing a piece. I have been having difficulty adjusting to all of this U.S. decadence and overabundance, we have three of everything and still can't find a way to be satisfied withit. I miss the way the people I was surrounded with in Peru had absolutely nothing but still seemed to find song and dance in absolutely everything. When do we find that?

I have been waking up feeling a bit blue, not my normal nauseatingly perky, bright eyed self. I feel so bad that everyone has to deal with my low energy level right now but everyone seems to be so understanding and kind about it which helps tremendously. Finally seeing my niece and nephew yesterday has alleviated a lot of my feelings, probably because they are here constantly snuggling with me (Jordy climbed in bed with me at 3am this morning and snuggled up as tight as she could to me for the rest of the night), I am super affectionate and miss the snuggles of 31 children everyday!

...I have found myself a bit hostile so often lately when people say over and over "wow, Peru, huhhh? Vacation?" and I tell them what I was doing there knowing that they won't give a shit...and they quickly change the subject. I am assuming that they just can't handle the reality of the situation in a place like that...it's like how kids cover their eyes and assume that no one else can see them...people like to be ignorant...it's a tool ofprotection...I understand it but it seems so unfortunate. So, again, thank you for not being like the others...for relating to my tales and looking me straight in the eyes, genuinely interested...not many people have bothered and as a result, I refuse to share the story with them."

Contrary to my initial worries, you people, you know who you are, have been fantastically understanding and supportive. Thank you all for this, it means more than you can know.
So, now, I am recollecting...man, that sounds so overly dramatic, doesn't it? I don't mean it to...it's just an attempt at being as straight forward and honest with myself as possible.

Currently, I am concocting fundraising event plans and I am devising a scheme to get American Airlines to donate free freight costs for me to ship material donations down to Peru as well as a plane ticket or two to get me down there yearly, so, wish me luck.

Anyone that has any brilliant ideas...send them my way! This little nightmare feels her energy starting to surge again!

20 June 2005

Here Against My Better Judgement

20 June 05

As I had expected, I am not very happy or content to be back here in the U.S. Finding things really difficult...overwhelmed with luxury and excess and in general finding it very difficult to relate to most frivolous conversation...

I made no arrangements to be picked up from the airport, not really certain what I would be needing once I arrived here. However, my sweet friend Marya was there to collect me as soon as I stepped off of the plane.

I feel overwhelmed, not capable of being my normal, bright eyed and cheerful self...

Marya later tells me, the first thing that I said when I got off the plane and started crying was "I don't want to be here", she replied with "I completely understand".

We get in her car and I am exhausted. I have so much to say and feel so hopeless about my abilities of making anyone understand any of it...I just cry and she lets me.

I have been here in the U.S. now for a couple of days and still haven't been able to contact any of my family or friends to let them know that I am home, etc. My family is asking if I got on the plane or not. They are so understanding and supportive, even with their gentle prodding to return to them.

Unsure of how to initiate those inevitable conversations and stories with everyone and longing for someone that can just hold me tight and already understand everything that is going on in my head.

19 June 2005

Final moments

16 June 05

Soaked up the children as much as I could today...stuffed giant bags of caramelos and toys under each mugaloos pillow before I left, was presented with a book filled with sweet private notes of love and beautiful drawings from the children, gave nearly everything I brought with me to Lucy for distribution to the children (traded in my brand new Tevas for a pair of 3 sole sandals made of recycled tires)...

...One other going away gift from these lovely children..."un regalo de Peru" as Lucy put it...Lice for the first time in my life! Apparently too much snuggling with the children! Lucy combed my hair out along with the other little ones this afternoon! Unfortunate situation but an absolutely intimate social experience.

Marco collected me to bring me to the airport and I really tried my hardest to leave the refuge without bursting into tears, but as soon as I tried to give my little speech...

"Primero de todos, excuse por favor me Castillano terrible!

Desee agradecerle todo por permitir que comparta su hogar y sus vidas con usted, ha sido un regalo para mi.

El vivir aqui con usted me ha hecho muy feliz y no deseo ahora irme porque usted hace que todo haga tan especial a mi.

Le llevare con mi a los Estados Unidos en mi corazon y volvere muy pronto."
...I burst into tears with my introductory apology for my poor Spanish!

Smothered by children begging me to stay with them, smothered with their kisses and feeling their warm tears mixed with mine on my cheeks and lips...I question again and again why I am leaving...and feel like I am purposefully sabotaging my flight for an excuse to remain. Everyone crying and me refusing to say goodbye only hasta leugo, yo volver muy pronto...with the knowledge that as soon as I set foot in the United States, I will be researching my return flight...

We leave to the airport only to discover that my flight is delayed until 2 am...the wait is minimized by a drawn out search of my bags accompanied by warnings about trying to sneak coca leaves and fresh aji peppers into the United States...I think "what is a bit of coca when the people next to me are attempting to smuggle in various black market animal pelts, etc.?"

I end up hanging out with Marco chatting until he glances at his watch and I end up having to race for my flight...third boarding call already...sabotage?

Now I sit in the plane, preparing to leave and my heart feels like it has been cut in half, we begin to move and I think "is this what I want to do?". Rolling, rolling, rolling down the runway, picking up speed, throat tightening, eyes filling with tears...I say "hasta luego Peru" as we lift off...

...started crying again as soon as I landed on U.S. soil...

15 June 2005

¡Más torta y caramelo que nosotros podemos dirigir!

15 Junio 05

Sadly packing my things last night before dinner expecting to get on an airplane at 1am, when I looked at my flight itinerary and realized that I had already missed my flight, as it left 24 hours earlier than I had expected...

What does this mean?

I came out laughing and showed my itinerary to Lucy who was finishing up the batch of homemade tamales that we had made for my return to the U.S. and all of the children began chanting "Rebecca isn´t leaving!" "Rebecca isn´t leaving!", hugging me, screaming, kisses...Oh happy heart of mine!

My going away party, much to my preference, turned into a celebration of more time here with the children. Out came the gigantic pinata, out came bottles of gaseosas, out came yet another of Lucy´s famous pineapple cakes...Manuel gets out the radio and we commence to another serious Salsa session!

Later Manuel climbs on top of a chair, hanging the giant pinata over the heads of all the children and after a small struggle they were showered with various toys and sweets...what a mad struggle! Let me tell you it was a bit brutal and tears were shed! Even the adults (niñas grande) partook in the fun. I have photos of Edith grabbing at treats in the air for her sons at home and Maria skidding across the kitchen floor laughing and trying to grab candies! So much fun!

We celebrated further with a beautiful party package sent to the refuge by my friend Don...This afternoon an enormous Scooby Doo cake showed up accompanied by a box of assorted local pastries, nine bottles of sodas and various staples for the pantry. It was all accompanied by a lovely note written by the sender.

The kids had to suffer through staring at that cake until well after dinner before they could have their faces plastered with multi coloured frosting! While they overdosed on massive amounts of sugar, Lucy read Don´s sweet note out loud to the children which roused a huge "Muchas Gracias Don!", all in unison...Don, I hope you heard that all the way over there...it is quite likely that you did! Thank you so much for your kindness, it made for a fantastic night!
Today, yet another lovely package arrived from my beautiful sister Melissa and her fiance (yes, Dave I said fiance...are you used to it yet?!) Dave.

This package was the delux package and I have to admit that even with my enormous amount of strength is was difficult for me to carry by myself...a two person job!

Beautifully wrapped in a huge red bow and indeed in a basket, it was filled with all of the must haves for a local pantry here in Peru as well as many special treats that aren´t normally splurged on here as they are expensive (ie. condiments, hot chocolate, etc.). Thank you so much Missaliss and Davey for your generosity...it means the world to me and those that it is going to support!

14 June 2005


Somebody please help me as I am struggling tremendously right now and I feel my heart breaking....

13 June 2005


12 June 05

Sweet little David is so upset with me right now and he won´t speak to me about it...he simply says don´t touch me and pulls away...It breaks my heart and I am not sure how to mend a problem that I am unaware of.

This weekend was filled with fiestas and dancing. Today I had lunch with Marco at a restaurant that serves food typical to the jungle. Marco´s family is from the jungle, he talks about his home often and it makes me want to visit very much.

Lunch is fried platanos, ensalada, and a banana leaf wrapped dish of chicken and rice, olives and eggs - I can´t seem to remember the name of that dish but the presentation was incredible and I will attempt to create a vegan alternative in the States. The best part of the meal was that it was all served with my new favorite aji of tiny yellow aji peppers, diced red onion, a special diced fruit unique to the jungle and vinegar. I am currently attempting to figure a way to locate huge quantities of it!

Ahhh, yeah....I am really struggling with leaving Peru right now...I write this entry with little Antonny lying on my lap as I stroke his head...I am wondering whether I will get on the plane or not...days of wondering if I should or not...making excuses as to why I should stay...and...I have many of them.

13 June 05

David and I are all better, finally...that was a very long day and a half, might I add? His withdrawing was killing me especially with my pending departure. Apparently , he was upset for various reasons, he was jealous of my spending time with my friend Marco, he is upset that I am leaving and he felt humiliated because Lucy confronted him in front of everyone about it.
Bottom line is that we are amigos once again! Joy! My heart might remain in one piece now!...Of course, anyone who knows me, understands that it won´t...

Sigh...today I am a sponge attempting to soak in every sound, smell, sight...Oh, I am a mess today...absolutely everything is making me cry. Loca Gringa! This is so hard...I am begging the children to lock me in my room, others to kidnap me so that I might miss my flight. What to do? What to do? Ahhhh...they think I am kidding.

I feel like I finally understand how this place works, finally know the children, and I am finally understanding the language. It seems as if it is the time to begin my work here, rather than exit.

Thinking about the life that I go back to in the United States...so much money, so many material items...cars, houses, food, clothes, and we constantly complain that we are lacking something, that things aren´t as they should be, not good enough. When will we be filled with the song and dance and beauty that I see here in these people that have so little?

What do I go back to? What do I go back to? Remind yourself....Many people I also care as deeply about, more beautiful people with huge hearts. They just don´t seem to be as in need right now to me.

Then I think to myself...is this just a struggle within myself? Life will certainly go on for the children...ups and downs...would it affect them positively or negatively for me to remain here with them...am I projecting my own needs?

Oy, I want to be snuggled up to right now...I knew this was pending and I chose to avoid it as long as possible. Now it is here on the tip of my tongue, just around the corner and I might run away...

I´m sorry for this poor writing...but I am exhausted and I choose to allow my emotions to pour freely...

Reluctantly Wrapping Up

8 June 05

Spent much of the morning mapping trees on my site plan for the refuge. We have no running water again today so we are back to basics and an outhouse open to the sky.

Making arrangements for visiting all of my new friends one more time. Setting up the older children with email addresses so that I can write to them and giving Miguel a brand new notebook and a package of coloured pencils so that he can begin to draw and write in it, later passing it on to all the children for me to take home. I previewed his first drawing of a soccer player...these kids are such tremendous artists!

Marco phoned at three and, like whenever a man phones here for me, it roused a huge "ooooohhhhh!" from the children along with comments and questions about a Peruvian boyfriend. They are constantly attempting to find me one so that I will stay here with them!
Marco took me to the Museo Oro del Peru in Lima which was called out recently for containing a collection that was, incredibley, 98% fake. Apparently, now it is all authentic.

The museum was filled with embroidered ponchos, made with hundreds of solid-gold plates, huge earrings and nose rings, pottery, highly polished mirrors of black stone and ancient brushes, and decorative weapons. Most made out of solid gold.

We also went to the Arms Museum, the largest in the world apparently, filled with a huge collection of ancient and often bizarre firearms, suits of armor from all over South America, etc.

After this Marco brought me to see the hugest collection of animal parts and heads in the history of animal parts and heads....Y no me gusto mucho!

The way I see it, some bastard is rotting in hell right now for murdering all of those poor animals...several of which are now threatened by extinction! Who would really decorate their home with an ice bucket made of an elephant´s foot? Or chairs made of zebra feet and antelope horns? ¡Es malo!

Marco is a fascinating gent and he is quite the entrepreneur. He is currently obtaining a parcel of land in the Amazonian jungle on which he will construct a jungle lodge. Eco tourism is understandably huge here. He talks of it being environmentally friendly, using local materials and employing local artisans, working closely with the community to maintain and strengthen local culture and heritage, using various tools to educate and inform.

Before dinner we went to pick up Marco´s new car, brand new 4wd, I felt absolutely spoiled driving through the nicest part of Miraflores, in a brand new SUV with an air conditioner and stereo and all the additional luxuries...I have been riding in the collectivos packed in like a sardine for too long and this felt really decadent.

We had a lovely dinner together then I headed back to the refuge. Lights are all out at 9pm for the children, Lucy y Manuel stay up until about 10 or half past, I got home around half past 11...Felt a bit like a kid missing curfew as all was quiet...I ended up having to scale the 15 foot wall surrounding the refuge. I did this successfully but not without tearing my sweater, getting covered in dirt and cutting my wrist open...overall, though...successful.

9 June 05

Spent most of the day collecting various treats for the children and all of those that I have to thank before I leave...I don´t want to leave...avoid, avoid, avoid...oh, I have got big plans for a huge shin-dig here for the children! Pinata and treat bags for the kids. Everyone that I go to purchase stuff from is happy to discount it for me, so I am able to get much more for my money. These kids are going to be coasting on sugar for a week after I leave!

Not much more to say about today...very similar to every other day...just trying not to sleep so that I can spend as much time with everyone as possible...fixing hair for the girls, playing dolls with the younger children, soccer with the older ones, needle work with the older girls and Lucy, doing homework with the younger children...then into the kitchen to create what I decided to name "postre loca".

I finally stopped trying to be such a nutty crunchy, health nut with the children and created a dessert with the highest content of sugar and food colouring imaginable...well for this vegan anyways...As it turns out, it is also the easiest thing to make as well!... the equivalent of Trix cereal coated in a thick layer of melted chocolate and marshmallows and topped with more marshmallows...served up in a bowl..the kids were ecstatic...finally! Now they won´t stop talking about it! Needless to say, it went over a lot better than the apple pie.

10 June 05

Finished mapping existing site...Then, spent several hours trying to produce as many bolsas as humanly possible with the older girls and Lucy...I plan to sell them once I get back to the United States, later, funneling profits made back into the refuge.

I´ve also started writing a speech for my final night here at the refuge which will be also celebrating three of the children´s birthdays...it is going to be a big event!

Every event in Peru seems to be accompanied by several lengthy speeches, by adults and children. They are expected and it is an honor to give them here...wouldn´t be like that in the U.S...worst of all, I need to give it in Spanish, which should be very interesting indeed...wish me luck!

Tonight Marco came over for dinner to visit with the children and see the refuge. We plan to catch a film later but end up going dancing until 3am with a bunch of his friends instead.


13 Junio 05

As posted in a previous entry...I have recently become friends with a gent named Don Ball Carbajal. We are currently collaborating on a project to send care packages to those in need here in Peru.

I have had an overwhelmingly large number of people expressing an interest in sending care packages to the children here at the refuge and Don has discovered an economical way to do this...please read on!

Don Ball Carbajal wrote...


One-click care packages
Thanks to everyone who expressed interest in a crazy idea from an earlier post, in which I described an online service, based in Lima, that I used for sending flowers and cakes to my abuelita.

This same service also delivers baskets of basic food items -- noodles, rice, beans, milk, flour, sugar, etc. So why can't we use this same service to fill the pantry of a needy family in Lima? We can. And that's what we're gonna do.

Rebecca, a blogging friend who is currently volunteering at a Lima children's refuge, responded by identifying two worthy recipients. One of the places is a children's refuge, where she currently volunteers. So, if you've got a soft spot for children and can spare between $17 and $52, please read on!

We'll show you what you can order, who you can send it to and how to make your purchase on Iquiero.com.

Step 1: Choose a recipient

Here are two worthy institutions that my friend Rebecca has been working with:

Las Laderas community kitchen

At Las Laderas, parents (mostly moms) have banded together to be able to feed and educate their kids more effectively. Moms prepare food in the community kitchen, basic equipment and utensils are sometimes stolen.

Address: (these instructions show how to format this address when you order online)

Rosa Romero Sancho
Mz. E Lote 19
Las Lederas de Chillon
Puente Piedras, Lima 22
Local phone #: 551 0015

Zapallal children's refuge

The refuge is officially sponsored by Project Peru, a bonafide charity in England. The kids at Zapallal get three squares a day, thanks to the donations of people from around the world. They also get to spend time doing kid stuff -- putting on plays, learning crafts, jumping on trampolines, riding bikes, etc. -- all activities that poor kids in Perú rarely get to participate in.

Address: (these instructions show how to format this address when you order online)

Lucinda Taboada Peña De Odar
Proyecto Peru
Mz. P2 Lt4 Calle Santa Patricia
El Dorado - Zapallal
Puente Piedra, Lima 22
Local phone #: 550 2209

Step 2: Choose a care package

Iquiero offers different sized "baskets" (do they include an actual basket? I'm not sure.) that include differing quantities of kitchen essentials. Logically, the bigger baskets include more stuff and a greater variety of stuff. Just click on any of the items below. You'll be taken to the appropriate product page on Iquiero.com. If you know Spanish, it'll be easy to check out and pay for your gift. Otherwise, you can download these printable, step-by-step instructions .

Grocery "Baskets" (see below for different sizes)

The Complete Basket
This is the whopper and includes just about every comestible you can think of, from flour to beans to ketchup. Check out my earlier posting for a complete list. Cost: $52

The Premium Basket
Most of the same stuff as in the Complete Basket, but in smaller quantities. Cost: $40.10

The Pantry Basket
Fewer items, slightly smaller quantites. Still enough to make some great nutritious meals. Cost: $35.60

The Economy Basket
A great choice if you're feeling a little tight on funds! Cost: $25.20

Combination Packages
(see below for different sizes)

Large combination package
Includes even more noodles, rice, evaporated milk and sugar. Cost: $17

Medium combination package
Includes noodles, rice, evaporated milk and sugar. Cost: $14

Small combination package
Includes noodles, rice & evaporated milk. Cost: $13"

For Don Ball Carbajal´s full article con photos...I haven´t figured that trick out yet!...please visit his site at....


Additionally my very sweet friend, Don, contacted me recently to find out if it would be okay for him to send a package to the refuge for my going away party tomorrow evening...below is the correspondance!

"So, it looks like you'll have a delivery tomorrow (Monday), if all goes well. The site offers same-day delivery, but we'll see. I've had good luck with them (they have shown an un-Peruvian level of customer service in the past). Anyway, please warn Lucy that she'll have to cope with a Scooby Doo cake that serves 30, 9 bottles of gaseosa (I know, lots of sugar!) and just a few things for the pantry."

So many thanks Don, between your very kind gift and my pinata, etc...the children will be absolutly strung out on sugar for days! We can use this delivery as a trial run!

06 June 2005

Huarez to Lima

5 June 05 Continued...

Nearly speared a man in the head last night with my room key as he molested me on my midnight walk home from a lovely dinner with my new friend Richard. Lucky bastard managed to swing out of my way just in a nick of time after he groped my ass.

What are men thinking with tactics like that? Is it a wonder there is such a fear of men? Do they really believe that this will successfully get them laid? Wish I had a super soaker filled with aji for idiots like this, lucky bastard got off easily with a biting slew of insults from me...sneaking suspicion he is single.

Twice today people have enthusiastically assured me that my Spanish is very good in response to my quick apologies about my poor abilities which gives me more confidence. I experienced a lovely moment today when our guide, who was speaking both in Spanish and English, described what we were seeing and I had to think about whether I had just understood it in English or in Spanish...its become just as easily understood. Man, its a beautiful thing! Still, I think people are just being polite to me.

Dinner with Richard was lovely and only enhanced when a young boy named Miguel approached us for a shoe shine. We declined but invited him to sit with us for a glass of coke. At ten years old he was already attempting to get us to spike his drink with the rum we were drinking. Sweet boy told me that I was his girlfriend from the United States.

Miguel also told us about his current living situation, very sad...The young one was already so street savvy. His family lived about five kilometres outside of Huarez but at eleven pm I assumed that he would be sleeping on the street in preparation for his early work day tomorrow.

We stuffed him full of Coca-Cola, Chinese food and large handfuls of the continuously replenished bag of caramelos I carry at all times for little ones I run into on the street.

Side track...My dreams here in Huarez have been unbelievably vivid and quite strange...dreams of painting the children entirely in bright vibrant colours specific to their personalities, dreams of my friends...not in their human form but rather taking on an animal form...perhaps it´s the altitude.

6 June 05

Today I am going to look at a whole bunch of cactus...The Puya Raymondi to be exact.

The Puya Raymondi is the largest member of the Bromeliads, or Pineapple family. It grows in a spiny rosette of long, sturdy, waxy leaves that reach about two meters in diameter. This Bromeliad is one of the world´s most ancient species of plant and is considered a living fossil.

It takes about one hundred years to grow to full size at which point it flowers producing one lone spike that grows to ten meters in height, covered with approximately 20,000 flowers (largest inflorescence in the world). The plant remains in flower for about three months at which point the plant dies.

For some reason I find this life cycle terribly romantic...

Along the road I see herds of wild horses, enormous snow capped peaks, grassy meadows and meandering rivers. We stop at a couple of natural mineral springs, las Aguas Gasificadas de Pumapampa, which I took a drink of (don´t they tell you to stay away from the water in South America?) and was surprised to discover that it was carbonated, and el Ojo de Agua de Pumashimi, which is this incredibly deep electric blue pool of water oddly placed in the middle of an otherwise non-descript meadow.

Then...I hiked a glacier. It´s name was Nevado Pastoruri. Cold caverns of blue dripping ice...the guide said that it was Superman´s house and I believe him. So many lovely patterns of colour and texture.

I hiked to the top of the glacier with this stunning Peruvian man, Marcos. 5,460 meters in height and we all felt it, difficulty breathing, popping ears, headaches, nausea and all well worth it as the view from the peak was breathtaking.

There were two gents at the peak with ice axes and a flag and Marcos and I proceeded to take a series of staged photographs using them as props.

Okay, off to catch an overnight bus to Lima after a bit of dinner....

7 June 05

Oy! Today I am recovering from yet another overnight bus ride back to Lima...try to sleep but you can´t...boarded it at 10pm and got to Lima at 4:45am, still dark, at which point I grabbed a taxi back to the refuge...showed up to the refuge at 5am and rang the bell to no avail...repeated this every half hour until, finally, Manuel awoke at 6:15am. I teased him for getting up late as normally he is waking the children at 5:30am!

So, while I waited in the dark in the heart of this barrio for an hour and a half with all of my most important documents and expensive items on my person, I thought..."what a perfect time to be mugged" and half expected it to happen...I just didn´t have the heart to be more persistent on the bell...

As it turned out I was lucky enough to be able to watch the sky turn light and listen to the community come alive as everything awoke...including the bread man on his bicycle honking his horn with a monstrous basket of rolls on the back of his bike and the fruit man announcing his daily specials into a tinny microphone and speaker system....this is one of my absolute favorite times of day.

Quick kisses to Manuel once he opened the door then directly to sleep for a few hours. Alana and I head to Puente Peidre to buy a few things...I leave in exactly one week from today and have so many thank you gifts to prepare for all of those that have made my experience here so extraordinary...

I am not ready to leave the children...the refuge...Peru...and find myself wondering how long it will be before I can return again. My gut says it will not be too far off and I find myself making excuses as to why it will be essential for my presence here at the refuge justifying why I have to come back soon.

Alana left the refuge this evening to continue on her traveling adventures...yet another special cake was made, so many lovely words were said and tears shed. This woman has a heart of gold and oozes love and compassion...very simply said, I will miss her presence tremendously.

We completed the evening with a huge session of music outside under the stars. I grabbed all of the various instruments that we have here at the refuge and gave them to the children. Those that didn´t have an instrument I handed various items for percussion...glass bottles and sticks etc. The rest danced their lovely hearts out.

Alana´s taxi was incredibly late, much to my greedy pleasure, and I told her it was fate...that she would now have to spend one final night here with us. I didn´t expect that she would make her bus in time and I have been waiting up expecting her return from the station...but I think that, unfortunately for all but her, she managed to make her bus.