Here's some context: When we returned from Ecuador we put together a photo book with pictures we'd taken of the kids. We ordered and had it delivered to a friend of ours (thanks, Shutterfly) who was visiting the States at the time, and she delivered it to the kids for us in Ecuador this week.
Hi Geoff and Jamie!
Merry Christmas to you both! I wanted to let you know that your book was a huge hit at the orphanage party yesterday... the kids were crowding around to look at it. I'm sure it will be very well loved by all. The kids did some little skits and songs...A group of us purchased new silverware and that also was a big hit and was going to be used for their Christmas feast later that night. Papa Noel came and gave each child a gift. Then the expats all left so the kids could play and eat....
Silverware may sound like an odd gift, but Fatima specifically mentioned her desire for this, in order that the kids could learn how to use them. Such a thing sounds so basic to us, but it is something they have had limited access to at the orphanage. Many have no idea how to use a fork, etc. because they just aren't available. I'm thankful for the expats generosity that will allow the kids the opportunity to learn this often taken for granted skill.
I have some more details about the orphanage Christmas I thought you'd like to hear...Our group of expats joined forces with a group of expats in Salinas...This angel of a woman bought each child a toy, a new t-shirt and a whole bag of toiletries! She had some helpers with the shopping but she was the organizational piece behind it all. Plus she organized a huge meal to be brought to the kids. The 2 littlest boys got huge dump trucks...big enough that they could actually sit in the back...Nique said they didn't even get all the wrapping paper off before they heading to the big sand pile :) Nique was most touched by a little girl who received a baby doll with clothes, bottle, bathtub, all the accessories. The look of pure joy on her face was beyond priceless...she was in awe!!! The older children all got board games or sporting equipment which was also very well received. The children were all gracious and very, very happy...I asked Nique to email me pictures and I will forward them to you as soon as I get them..."