I stopped by one of the girls rooms this afternoon to go and check on the kids, and to see how our new interns are doing during their first afternoon with the children.
"It's Rutu's!" The little 5-year-old darted past me and tried closing the drawer, clothes blocking the way.
"Look here, Adele!" another called. "This is my locker!" Helen pulled open a drawer with the clothes neatly folded.
I sat down on the floor with Rutu and asked if I could help her organize her drawer. Her eyes sparkled as she started throwing everything out. Little treasures were hidden on the bottom, under all the clothes. Letters from her sponsor. Pictures from teams.
"Where should we put your uniform?" I asked the little one.
"Hapa!" she said, (Here!) pointing to the front corner.
"And your koti (jackets)?"
"Hapo!" (There!), in the back.
As we folded the clothes, Linda, Diana and Truphena all started unpacking their drawers. "Can you help me, too?"
One by one, I sat down and folded clothes with the girls, finding the best spot in their small drawers to place everything. As I sat on the floor by Caroline's bed, she gave me one of her shy looks, chin down, eyes barely making contact with mine. For the first time ever, she asked me a question in English. "Will you come to read to us tonight, Adele?"
Sitting down with the kids, reading to them, helping them with their chores, it's all part of reminding them that each one of them are precious. Bit by bit, I am gaining their trust. Today, Mercy (one of three in this particular family) told me, "You know, Adele, I remember the first time you came. You were the first team ever to visit. You gave us T-shirts with the fruit of the Spirit. I really remember that time!"
In the next month, I am planning on having a "girls' night" for the oldest girls at the home, to have them over to bake cookies. And to talk about "girls' stuff."
What an absolute privilege to be allowed into their little world...