Here in El Salvador, the school year ends in mid-November every year. When the kids start up again in January, they begin a new grade with new teachers. Right now, the Love & Hope kids are enjoying their “summer” vacation. We wanted to share what we’ve been doing so far this “summer” break to bat away those summer blues and complaints of “I’m bored!”
Love & Hope Children’s Home has had an ongoing relationship with the United States Navy, which has a base here in El Salvador. The sailors come periodically to visit Love & Hope, have done projects here, and in December, they invited us to their base at the airport! This was our third time to visit their base, but every time has been just as exciting as the last and we learn a lot. The sailors gave us a tour of the base, explained their work in El Salvador, and allowed us to board one of their planes to look around (and play with the radios). Later, they hosted a pizza lunch and gave every one of the kids a Christmas present! We finished the morning by playing games: sack races, egg races and soccer. The Love & Hope kids had so much fun!
Every year Love & Hope Children’s Home hosts a “family reunion” for the biological families of our children. This year, as in most years, we went to the beach! Many of the Love & Hope kid’s parents and siblings came along. We all played on the beach and in the pool, had a delicious lunch and the Love & Hope kids presented gifts to their parents. Each family also received a Christmas basket full of staple foods and treats, and a gift card to the grocery store.
Christmas is always a flurry of activity at Love & Hope Children’s Home! On Christmas Eve, we did a coloring contest, had visitors come, went to a local community to hand-out gifts, made a craft and went to church. After church we had a huge dinner and desert and watched movies. At midnight, holding to tradition, we did fireworks! After opening gifts on Christmas morning, everyone relaxed for the rest of the day.
On New Year’s Eve, we had a party with finger foods. The kids even had an impromptu dance party in the dining room after dinner!
Around the house the kids have also been having fun and playing. Several of the kids worked on and finished a 500-piece puzzle. They also never seem to get tired of Perler beads. The older boys have gone on lots of long bike rides to a park in San Salvador and frequent trips are made to the little park by our house. For Christmas many of the kids received Nerf guns which has made for some good Nerf wars around Love & Hope. There is never a lack of playmates at Love & Hope Children’s Home and always someone and something to play with. We’ve even spotted several of the kids pass time by reading!
In mid-January, it is back-to-school and early mornings. Please pray for the children and young adults as they prepare for a new school year! From Love & Hope Children’s Home, we wish you a Happy New Year!