Saturday, November 28, 2009
Sorry I haven't posted anything in such a long time! I wasn't very good about planning my internet time around the electrical outages we've been having and then lately the internet in all of Shell has just been down. I am in Quito with Eric this weekend and will going back to Shell tomorrow so hopefully the internet will be back up and running and I can get back to my regular blogging. :)
Lots of things have happened this month, but the highlight has been the parade that just so happened to be on Thanksgiving Day (for us USA people that is). In Shell, it was the celebration of "Shell Days. People come from all over to participate, the town is repainted (literally) and decorated, there are bull fights, a circus, and even a pageant for the Queen of Shell. It was such a big deal... and this year our kiddoes participated! They were soooooo excited about it... everyday they asked me "Miss Alison, when will we march? We practice today? How much time until the desfile (parade)?" So after much practice and lots of singing, on Thursday the kids got all dressed up in their typical Ecuadorian "of the coast" attire (as did I) and marched and sang these 5 songs: I Love You Lord Forever, Lean on Me, Tu Amor Hace Eco en Todo Mi Universo, I'm in the Lord's Army, and He's Got the Whole World in His Hands. I cannot tell you how proud I was of them. They did the motions, sang loud, smiled, and at least tried to stay in their lines. You should've seen the faces and heard the applauses of the people lining the streets... they were so impressed that these kids were singing in English.. and so well! Also, when they sang the song in Spanish proclaiming to the whole community that Jesus' love is everywhere and is everything to them..... well that was the best part. I know God used these precious little kids to touch of hardened hearts of many people in those crowds.
As you can see the kids looked beautiful! I am so thankful that I have these kids in my life... and you. Whether there is internet or not, electricity or not.... please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. Hope each and every one of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
This is a day in the life of Alison Bowen at Casa de Fe. Its true, I am surrounded by the most precious creations of God.... I LOVE IT. These are a few of my favorite scenes.... Coco being ADORABLE and making a funny face (usually he's blowing kisses), Gilmar and Nicole getting ready to go to Miss Sharon's pre-school class over at the Nate Saint Memorial School, Jefferson and Ivan hugging each other randomly when the rest of the time they are running around like crazy silly kindergarteners, Veronica playing with her dolls and always looking up at me with her pretty little smile (she is SO small), and little Ana eating her popcorn during snacktime.. such a doll. I could go on and on about how cute these kids are... but I thought I'd at least share a little bit of the joy that goes on here. :)
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
So "Tu Amor Hace Eco en Todo Mi Universo" means "Your Love Echoes in All of My Universe". It is such a great song and I will post the lyrics in Spanish and English. My students had to plan a project to help someone, and they decided to do something for the preschoolers. They memorized the words to this song, made up motions, and painted a poster depicting each thing that the song says God is. They did such an amazing job! I tried to take a video of them singing, and sadly it didnt work! I'll have them sing it again and post it another time. This picture is of my 7 students and I in front of the pre-school classroom at Nate Saint Memorial School (where our pre-k kids go as well as some of the missionary kids). The poster behind us is the one they created. After the kids sang, they helped the pre-k kids paint stars and encouraged them to be leaders in the classroom (so cute). Before leaving they sang "Lean on Me" in partners. My kids are so precious!!!
Lyrics to the song in Spanish: (sorry I have to go to class... I will translate it in another post but pretty much it says God is EVERYTHING and He echoes in all of my universe!)
En la cruz se lavó todo lo que mi alma tanto cargó
Fuiste tú, mi Jesús quien pagó el precio de mi perdón
Y no hay palabra que quiera hablar
Ni hay canción que se me antoje cantar
Pues si no es para ti
No hay razón para poder existir
Eres el aire, la lluvia
La risa de los niños
La fuerza, la calma
La guía en el camino
Galaxias y sorpresas que llenan
Eres la noche, el día
La luz que me ilumina
Tesoro más preciado
La llave, la puerta
La voz que me alimenta y alienta
Tu amor hace eco en todo mi universo
Eres tú la razón por la cual perdido ya no estoy
Mi dolor se marchó por la fuerza de tu abrazo y calor
Y no hay palabra que quiera hablar
Ni hay canción que se me antoje cantar
Pues si no es para ti
No hay razón para poder existir
Thursday, October 22, 2009
This is precious little baby Nanki. Nanki is the Ashuar word for "spear". He is 15 days old in this picture (taken 3 days ago) and I fell in love with him the moment I laid eyes on him. Every day after school all I want to do is go over to Patti Sue's and hold him. His parents brought him to her because they have six other kids and he needs some special medical attention that they can't provide. He was born with a club foot and a femor that didn't quite form correctly. So, Patti Sue is trying to find doctors who can operate on him when he is strong enough... and praying for the money for the operations. He is SUCH a good little baby... good eater and good sleeper. And even at a little over 2 weeks old you can already tell he is going to be quite the little heartbreaker! :) God is so good. I am so thankful for this little boy!
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
This is my little 4 year old crush, Gilmar. He is the quietest 4 year old I've ever met but has the cutest smile and HAIR( its really curly and just long enough to comb over) you'll ever see. He is Alejandro's (the baby I talk about in my newsletter) big brother. He also has an older sister, Ana, who is in kindergarten and an older brother, Javier, who is 8. Their dad still comes to visit them every once in a while but he cannot take care of them. They are a good-looking bunch of kids, not to mention smart and loving, and I am so glad that God is capturing their hearts at such a young age!
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
I said when I was 16 that I would never get bangs ever again..... well here I am 23 years old, living in Ecuador, and I got BANGS again. LOTS OF BANGS. Melissa cuts hair and she gave me my daring new layers and blunt bang look. I was ready to do something different with my hair. The next thing I am thinking about is dying it ... I wanted to go black but maybe just chocolate brown or dark red. It's not that I'm itching to change my hair color, but more that I want chemicals in my hair! (They say that lice don't like treated hair). What do you think???
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Our first couple of weeks, art class was taught by Miss Emily. Emily is Tandy's best friend. She lives in Dallas, TX and used to be a junior high art teacher. Now she is working as a full-time artist... and she is amazing. Emily was here in Shell for two weeks to help teach the kids about painting... how to mix colors, how to hold the brush, texture, etc. The kids were each given a blank square board. The first class was all about the background color. Then, in the second class they had to think of something they think is beautiful and then paint it. At first, the kids kind of freaked out. I could tell they were thinking, "How in the world do I start?!" But once they started, they flew with it. All of my kids are such the artists! And they loved it too. The best part is that their painitings will be hung on the walls for everyone to see in the brand new building on the new property for the orphanage. I am so proud :)
Sunday, October 4, 2009
So I haven't shared anything about my roommates yet! We actually call each other "homemates" instead of "roommates" or "housemates" because while we are here, we ARE each others' home. So my two homies are the two other teachers at Casa de Fe, Melissa and Dallas. They are pretty much AWESOME. Melissa is from Kansas City and taught my class last year at Casa de Fe. This year she is the kindergarten teacher. She enjoys cooking (and I enjoy her cooking), knitting, and having random dance parties with me in our pajamas. Dallas is from Tacoma, Washington and is the 1st-3rd grade teacher at Casa de Fe. We call her the "muscles of the house" because whenever there's a jungle size bug in our house (not so rare I'm afraid), she is the only one man enough to kill it. She is also currently surviving the military-man run aerobics classes with me. Oh yeah, and she loves movies. I figured I should share a picture too, so this is one we created ourselves one Friday night for school spirit purposes. In all seriousness, we really are each other's cheerleaders. I don't know what I'd do without 'em!
Sunday, September 27, 2009
It's Saturday morning, and Melissa and I are enjoying a cup of coffee and working on our homemade bread.... when suddenly this jungle sized monster of a spider comes crawling our way. Needless to say, we jumped on the kitchen chairs and screamed to our other roommate to call for help. Yeah, we called for help. Our friend, Ivan, was at work so he told us to trap it and he would come kill it for us. He came over that afternoon, put 5 socks on his hand, took it outside and smashed it with a rock. I'm not sure what kind of spider it was, but he said if it had gotten us with its fangs we would've had to go to the hospital. Good thing we have friends like Ivan! And all I can say is I hope this thing didnt have babies in our house....
Thalia came to the orphanage with her two younger sisters in tow, another sad story. But again, they are safe here in the arms of Jesus and are all such helpful and beautiful girls. Thalia is a very good student and has the sweetest laugh.. which makes my day a lot. Her birthday is coming up this Tuesday so we are going to celebrate with cake and a movie!
Rosa and Marcia are sisters (Marcia is the one sitting at her desk). They have a sad story, but the most important thing is that they are safe now in are learning about Jesus' great love. They are both soft-spoken and sweet and quite the little perfectionists! Rosa has a beautiful singing voice, and Marcia enjoys going to karate classes after school. Marcia was even my "super proactive student" winner this week!
This is Maribel. She is my dancer, singer, lots of colors artist. :) She was living with her grandparents, but her grandmother passed away and her grandfather couldn't take care of her. She brings so much life and joy to Casa de Fe and to my classroom. It wouldn't surprise me if she was famous one day.. even if it was just for her beautiful smile!
Saturday, September 26, 2009
This is Jessica. She was brought to Casa de Fe by her mother because she could not take care of her. Jessica is such a sweet girl and gives the best hugs! She has moved out of the orphanage and into Patti Sue's house (with Jeniffer). She is very motherly and helps Patti Sue a lot with the babies (she says it is her favorite thing to do). She is also an amazing athlete and is really involved in weight-lifting. She is SO strong! Please pray that her heart grows stronger and stronger for Jesus. She is going to make quite the leader some day!
This is Angel... the ONLY boy in my class... bless his heart! He is 12 years old (I think) and recently moved out of the orphanage to live with his weightlifting coach. He is always very helpful and it great with the younger boys... they really look up to him. He is a little behind in school, but he is an eager learned.... I can't wait to see what God has planned for him! Please pray that he will learns what it means to be a man of God and pursue Jesus with all of his heart.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
This is Jeniffer. She will turn 11 years old on the 30th of this month. She is such an angel. Not only is she a good student, but she is so kind to all her other classmates and I never catch her whining about anything. And as you will see in my upcoming art pictures... she is quite the artist too!
Jeniffer came to Casa de Fe because her mother is not in the picture anymore and her dad cannot care for her the way he wants to. She has 4 older brothers and her dad works long hours to keep food on the table for the family. Her dad still loves her very much and continues to visit her, but he is scared to leave her at home while he is gone at work all day... not because of what her brothers would do to her but what her brothers' friends would do. So precious little Jenny has moved in with Patti Sue and enjoys the day to day chores and many blessings of having a "home life".
She is a strong girl and God has blessed her with such a sweet spirit. Please pray that as she continues to grow up, that she would continue to pursue Jesus and live for him.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
I know I promised to get individual pictures of my students up here with their stories.. and I will! It was a busy weekend and I am still working on learning their pasts... but I haven't forgotten! The pictures I am posting now are of my cute little house that I share with the two other Casa de Fe teachers. I know most of you probably don't care to see them, but I told my parents I would :). We are learning this week that God created us in His image... please pray that these kids grasp that.. its such an amazing testament that God loves us... he made us like him! Hope everyone has a great week... love you immensely!
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Well I survived my first week of school, Praise Jesus! It went really well, and I find myself saying all the time "I LOVE my job." My classroom no longer has a tarp for walls... they put up boards so we have a cozy little room. My students are catching on to the rules and they are even telling me when another students deserves to get a "star" on their chart (they get stars for being a leader). God is really teaching me, through them, that DISCIPLINE actually is LOVE.... I really dont think I ever wrapped my head around that completely until now. I have to remind myself all the time "my acceptance comes from Christ, not from these kids"... because as much as I just want to love on them and hug them and let them do what they want, God reminds me that they NEED the discipline.. they need the security of the rules in the classroom and someone having expectations of them. That is why we are emphasizing that each one of them has a "leader in me". They each drew a picture of themselves this week and filled out 7 questions about themselves... and the one we focused on the most was what they dream to be when they grow up... I want these kids to have DREAMS! They are SO smart and I cant wait for God to do big things through them.... actually he already is.. in my life. So I am going to post a picture of all 7 students in front of their "Leader in Me" wall.. and then I am going to try and post each individual kids' picture and their story. I LOVE Y'ALL SO MUCH!!!! Thanks for being such wonderful friends and family and supporting me with your love!
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Well, I have officially moved into my new house in Shell. Both of my new housemates, the 2 other teachers, are here and we have turned this place into quite the home! There are a few things we are getting used to ... like the running water going out randomly, not being able to put toilet paper in the toilet, crushing our own coffee caveman style, and presently having no mirrors whatsoever in the house (going on day 5.. we hope to change that today). Its really been fun getting settled in though and meeting everyone in this cute little jungle town... everyone here is so sweet. It has that "everybody knows everybody" feel.
I have met all my students except for one. I will have 6 girls and 1 boy... and the boy, Angel, is the only one I have yet to meet. The girls are adorable.. and so excited for school to start next week. I just charged my camera last night so I will take pictures of each one of them soon and tell you their stories. I am excited to have them as students! On Monday and Tuesday we will have in-service days and then Wednesday or Thursday classes will begin. I'll let you know how things go! Please write me and let me know the things happening in your lives! I miss everyone so much!