During the Christmas holidays, many came to visit the children to share in the joys of the season. One visiting group brought the traditional roasted pig for lunch (locally called lechon), considered by many as the ultimate and most special food of all. When the package was unwrapped, our three-year old Daniel was staring at the whole animal lying on the table. He saw how each one took a portion and slowly the roasted meal was rid of its covering skin, its meat, until only the bones and portion of the head remained. When his portion was served, Daniel refused to eat, shaking his head many times repeatedly saying, “Di” (No). He said he was scared.
A bumble bee, which is a battery-operated toy, was one of Daniel’s gifts. When it started moving and crawling non-stop Daniel cried and ran away. He did not like it and wanted it gone. But some gifts were worth-having. Our boys got sunglasses, really dark sunglasses. They put it on even at night, must be the coolest thing. The girls got some cute dolls. Love had difficulty removing her doll from the box and little brother Niño offered to help. He pulled harder and the doll’s hair came off. Laughing he said, “You still have a doll but shaved”. Love just giggled, luckily no crying.
A group came in their mini cars, the ubiquitous Kia Picanto. Around 15 of them lined-up and the children gazed at the lovely toys in front of them. How they wish they can have one. Joshua asked, “how much for that, next time I put it on my wish list for Santa”.
Behind, in the corner, the staff and the housemothers were whispering, “how many sacks of rice we got now in total?” We hope to receive more, and also some laundry soap and something for Christmas eve, like macaroni salad”.
And so the holidays were over.
We got macaroni salad, laundry soap, sacks of rice, toiletries, food for lunch, new slippers, new toys, some clothes, laughter and fun. We have shared to some poor families in the community, too. We love what the season brought to us in Batang Pinangga. People who shared, people who cared. Many promised to return. Many were grateful to come.
We welcome the New Year and the surprises it will bring. May our troubles all be small ones. May the Good Lord bless and keep us all healthy throughout the year. Happy New Year!