The Current Time in Stavanger, Norway!

May 9, 2009

A Brighter Orphanage

Today Colby and I went on our first CAT (Community Action Team) Project with our friends Hallie and Ty. We went out to the Irmã Domingas Orphanage to help paint the orphanage’s classroom walls- to make a bright and cheery learning environment for the kids.
(Colby and Ty ready to get to work!)
We painted all of the classroom walls light brown and white to freshen them up. Colby did such a good job painting! He was working so hard to cover the walls with paint! I could tell he was proud of his work. And I was really proud of him. He never complained- just worked his little heart out.
(Colby concentrating on his painting)
At the end of the day we got to take a tour of the orphanage. Irmã Domingas (Sr. Domingas) started the orphanage at the beginning of the war after she gathered all the homeless children off the streets and kept them safe in a small shelter. As word spread more and more children found her and the group of children grew to be very big and turned into what the orphanage is today.

(Hallie talking to Irma)

When we first walked into the living area, I was shocked to see the kids watching tv! I just didn’t expect for them to have electricity, much less a tv! But they were watching Transformers (in Portuguese) so Colby and Ty just slipped right in and started watching it with the kids!
(Inside the orphanage, watching TV)
All the girls were dressed alike in little outfits that somebody hd sewn for them. They were so happy to see us- just full of hugs and smiles. They were excited to show us their home. There was one long room that had picnic tables for eating meals and the tv area was at the end of the room. The bedrooms had 4 bunk beds and one closet type thing for all their clothes and belongings. Many of the children have to double up in beds because with 45 orphans there just aren’t enough beds for everyone.

(A bedroom in the orphanage)

After spending time with the kids at the orphanage it was sad to leave. I couldn't help but cry as I looked out the bus window and watched all the kids wave us goodbye with their big, happy smiles. As I looked at all their faces I just kept thinking, "But these kids have no Mom or Dad and it's Mother's Day Weekend." I told Will when I came home, “It’s a good thing Angola doesn’t allow their orphans to be adopted outside of the country or I would have to bring a few back with me.” I was so sad yet so touched by those little kids. I really want to go back. This little guy’s name is Weeza (I’m just guessing on the spelling of his name!) and he is so cute!


He instantly reminded me of Nolan. He just had similar mannerisms, the same little attitude, and he’s about the same size. He was so full of hugs and he LOVED having his picture taken! As soon as I took the picture he would run over and sit on my knee so he could look at the picture of himself on the camera...It was so cute! All the kids loved having their picture taken and then looking at themsleves on the screen because they don't see photographs of themselves very often, if ever, and there are no mirrors around. I can't imagine not really knowing what I look like.

I found out later that Weeza was just 6 weeks old when the police found him lying in the middle of a trash pile. They brought him to the orphanage and Irma took him in and nursed him back to health. Now he’s two years old and he’s a spunky little guy!