I don't even know where to start!! I guess I'll start with the most important part....the children!! Since my last post on Monday, we have gotten even more acquainted with the children. Most of them are not partial to people, but nonetheless soak up the love and attention we bring to them. I think it is official that we have all fallen in love with the children here!!! We are able to feed them, take them on walks, play outside as long as we wish, put them to bed at night, and much much more!! The children who are mobile are so funny. They are never with one person too long and share their love with everyone!
My favorite part of the day is after dinner. Our official day ends at 4:00. We take the short walk back to our hotel and one group of volunteers returns at 5:15 and stays until 6:15 for feeding time. After dinner, the other team (which I'm a part of) returns from 7:30-8:30 to play some more and get the babies ready for bed. This is the best time of the day. All of the children are in one room and the fun for them is non-stop. Some small milestones were made today. Sami, who is 4 (I think) overcame his fear of walking without help and was practically running across the room! Another cute moment came when Mihaela climbed in the bouncy chair on top of her twin sister, Gabriella. Both were laughing hysterically!!
I spend the most time with Cristi (as I have been "assigned" to him). We have been working on standing up and for longer periods of time. He is stubborn and doesn't do this when he doesn't want to. Tonight after dinner he stood for almost 5 minutes (with help) and is still hesitant to take any steps. Volunteers before me have said that he would stand for up to 10 minutes at one time. We are slowly working back up to this and also trying to take little steps. He is also letting me hold him more which I hope will eventually lead to him tolerating a more upright position during feeding. (Typically the only way he will eat is if he is lying flat on his back on the floor....not good as he almost always coughs during his feeding.)
I also held Maria for the first time today. She is less than 1 year old and has hydrocephaly. As a result, her head is very big. For some reason or another, she did not receive a shunt, so we just try to make her time left with us as comfortable as possible. Everyone takes turns throughout the day holding her and singing and speaking to her. Her breathing is labored when she is not being held, but quiets when she is being held.
That is all for now! I should have some other interesting stories later as we are going to Barlad again tomorrow night and taking a weekend trip to visit the painted monasteries!!