For a year and a half now, Isaura has been taking speech therapy thanks to wonderful family in the States that cover her sessions. This year, because of her advances her sessions have been reduced from 3 times a week to twice a week.
This gave us the opportunity to start taking Fernando to speech therapy to receive help his ‘r’, ‘s’ and ‘l’s. Isaura has always liked going to her sessions. Yet, now she is even more motivated to go and work hard because she has buddy to go to classes with.
From time to time, some of the Dreamers get invited to different parties and celebrations. Usually, if all of the Dreamers aren’t able to go, it’s the older three that get to go. This time, the four youngest Dreamers, Joel, Fernando, Isaura, and Juan Daniel received an invite to a birthday party.
The four youngest after the party.
The barber/stylist that cuts the Dreamers’ hair has a little son. And for his son’s second birthday, He and his wife were planning a costume party and decided that they wanted to invite some of the Dreamers to come.
The kids had a good time getting all dressed up, and an even better time playing and meeting new friends at the party.
After homework is done at the House of Dreams and everything calms down, boredom sets in pretty quickly. This is where we have to use our creativity to keep the Dreamers occupied. Sometimes it’s watching a movie, sometimes it’s going to the park, and sometimes we even make up games to play. But this time, we decided to build a cave.
Jhoselyn, Isaura, and Fernando enjoying themselves.
We used blankets, chairs, and couches to make the cave. And we were actually able to make it large enough for all fifteen Dreamers to be able to play in it. A little creativity, indeed, goes a long way!
The Dreamers got all dressed up in traditional garb from the 9 different ‘departments’ (like States in the U.S.) of Bolivia to celebrate the anniversary of our independence. Today, August 6, marks 187 years since the Bolivian people, under the leadership of Simon Bolivar, proclaimed their liberty from the oppression of the conquistadors as an independent nation. It is with great patriotism that the school organizes an annual cultural festival for the children to demonstrate their knowledge of the land. In separate booths they serve special foods, model the clothing, talk about economics, relay historical moments, and show maps and pictures from their assigned regions. Friends and relatives come to visit and enjoy the festival. This year was the best yet.
Enjoy a few pictures of the kids from the House of Dreams on this special day. (Click the pictures to see them full sized.)
Jhamil with his teachers
Joel talking about the pottery of Santa Cruz
Shirley dressed in traditional wear from Potosí
Estefani dressed like a person from Tarija
Anne and Isaura looking at their tickets hoping to win a prize in the drawing
Roberto with a costume from Cochabamba
Roberto and Jhoselyn in the Cochabamba booth
Shirley giving a presentation with her teacher
Shirley giving another presentation with her teacher
Why not do something Bolivian today? Look up a recipe and serve it at your house. Listen to Bolivian music. Read about the nation. Learn some new words in Spanish, or even Quechua. Dress in red, yellow and green. Root for the Bolivians competing in the Olympics. Celebrate this wonderful land! ¡Feliz Día de Bolivia!
Several times in the past, we have blogged about Isaura going to a speech therapist. Over time, we had seen results in the sounds she made, but she still wasn’t saying much beyond simple words like “no”.
Over the past few weeks, Isaura has began to put more sounds together to create new words. She now uses those words to better communicate. Her new vocabulary includes agua (water), cama (bed), casa (house), and caballo (horse), just to name a few. We are so proud of Isaura for staying with it, and we are all celebrating her progress!
Please pray for Isaura as she continues to grow and conquer the challenges that she has with her speech.
On Saturday afternoon we witnessed one of the hundreds of ‘firsts’ for Alicia’s parents. They threw her a birthday party for the first time! It was so fun to see the house decorated with balloons and full of people celebrating the life of this little one. Volunteers, Dreamers, friends, and now family gathered around the table to sing Happy Birthday and Feliz Cumpleaños to the four year old.
The bonding is going well. All are very excited about the upcoming court date on Monday or Tuesday when they get to take Alicia with them.
Reality will hit the others after that. I have a feeling that the youngest ones will be the most affected, especially Isaura. Please continue to pray for us as we transition to a houseful of school aged kids. Thanks.
Our oldest Dreamers are quite independent when it comes to getting dressed and cleaned up for school; even the older girls do their own ponytails and bows.
Estefani, our oldest Dreamer, has taken the role of being the big sister of a couple of the younger girls. Without anyone suggesting or asking her, she has taken on the responsibility of combing Isaura’s hair and making sure she washes her face for school every morning. She also keeps an eye on her younger sister Emelin, making sure she is ready and helps her with her hair berets and bows.
Estefani has always looked out for Emelin her sister, but now she keeps an eye on Isaura too, cutting her meat at lunch or motivating her to do the right thing when she wants to misbehave.
It’s a win-win situation – Isaura and Emelin loves the extra attention and Estefani is happy that these two little ones look up to her!
Last year Isaura was attending a special education pre-school because of being delayed in speech and fine-motor skills. The school was helpful, but we doubted if it was the best option for her. For this year, we decided to place her in kindergarten at Christ Nation’s school with the other Dreamers.
Just from the first week, we could tell is was the best decision for her. She loves her school and is much more motivated to learn. Her speech therapist that she visits 3 times a week, says that her determination and willingness has improved tremendously. Yesterday, she asked her for practice notebook that has her exercises from her speech therapist (usually have to motivate her to practice) and went to Estefani, our oldest Dreamer, to help her do her exercises (which is also, a first).
School has only been in session for a few weeks, so I’m very hopeful we’ll see much more growth in her in the coming months.