OFISHIAPA!! (MERRY CHRISTMAS!)

Happy Holidays from everyone at the Refuge Orphanage Center!

 

Hello from Bawjiase!!!  I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas, it was certainly FANTASTIC over here.  I arrived on Thursday morning, and Fifi was there to pick me up from the airport:)  He was wearing the shirt I gave him the last time I was here, and I was SO EXCITED to see him:) We drove back to bawjiase  without hitting any goats, or the taxi breaking down, etc.  Everyone who comes back to Bawjiase says it’s like coming home, and that’s exactly how I felt.  Everything here looks the same, smells the same, and I finally felt like I was back where I belong 🙂

Since then, it has been a whirlwind of seeing people, running around, kissing babies, and all sorts of fun stuff!  When I arrived it was so surreal seeing the kids again.  When you spend 4 months thinking about them and wondering how they are, I almost couldn’t believe that I would actually get to see them again.  But I did, and it has been the best 5 days I’ve had in a long time!!  Everyone is doing great, and there have been so many fantastic changes made at the orphanage since I left, Vlad has been doing SUCH a great job!!  There are a lot of new staff at the orphanage, and they work so well with the kids, and everyone is working really hard to make the orphanage a great place   I’ll talk more about some of this later, because I have limited time and I want to talk about CHRISTMAS!!!!

On Christmas day, we went to Sister Naomi’s wedding which was really long, but she looked BEAUTIFUL!  Ghanaian weddings are pretty intense occassions, with lots of different people speaking, praying, singing, etc.  We ended up wandering around the village for a little while with Nana Fifi and Bato, and stumbled upon a soccer game. Only in Ghana do you leave a wedding to go wander around a neighboring village 🙂

Yesterday we did Christmas for the kids, which was so fun!  We went to the new site, and when we finally got there, I started crying when I saw it.  It looks SO GREAT, and even though I’ve seen pictures, it’s so amazing seeing it in real life 🙂 It’s thanks to all the amazing people who are making donations that this project is possible, so I am here to tell you first hand that is making such a difference!!  We have raised over $19,000, and we are hoping that the donations keep coming! They are making such great progress, I am SOOO EXCITED that it will be finished while I’m here! (hopefully by the end of february).  We decorated the main room with Christmas decorations, and then hid the kids presents in their future rooms.  They all came running, and were so happy to get their presents (they had been waiting a LONG time!)

The kids were so happy to get presents!

Today the kids have another Christmas party from a local church, so that will be really fun.  This is a busy time of year, so we’re trying to cram in as much fun as possible while the kids are out of school. Hopefully next week we’ll go to the beach, and tomorrow we are having a staff Christmas party so that will be fun too!!  VICTORY! Anyway, that’s about all I have for now, thanks for all you’ve done to support these beautiful children!

mamahope.org/refugeorphanageFinal.html

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