Thursday, December 27, 2007

Feliz Navidad

Ever since I arrived here the city has been well lit and decorated for Christmas but I didn’t really get into the Christmas spirit until Thursday. Lydia had recently met an American gentleman by the name of Rick that has set up an orphanage for special needs children in Castillo. Castillo is on the far outskirts of Mazatlan, he’s been there for about 4 years now. He has 27 children, and aside from some kitchen help from some local ladies he does it all by himself. He and his wife had adopted 19 special needs children in the US and aside from 3 of them they have all managed to self-sufficient and move out on their own. His wife is back in the US with the last 3, they have not seen each other in 2 years. This has got to be a very strong marriage to survive not just the separation but the stress of raising so many children, children with needs that require constant attention. I joined Lydia and few other merry volunteers and we headed out there with 27 boxes of new shoes and socks. You have no idea how special a pair of new shoes is to a kid that has either never had shoes at all or at least has never had new shoes. There was a lot of dancing and jumping up and down and of course I had forgotten my camera again, sorry. This man must be an angel sent right from heaven. How many men (or women) give up their life for forgotten and unwanted children?
When I walked in I felt like I was walking into his home (probably because it is his home) and that these were his children, even though he is as white as can be and these kids were as Mexican as can be, it felt like a family. We were there for 2 hours handing out the shoes and trying them on each child to make sure they fit and writing each child’s name inside the shoes and just chatting and laughing with them, they were all so cheerful and excited. During the 2 hours not one child cried or tried to start a fight or had a fit of any kind, Lydia said this was the calmest shoe handout she’s ever done. As we left Rick told Lydia that if she ever run across a big, strong man, that could do some labour, and had a truck or a van that he could drive kids around (most American/Canadians don’t drive’s way too scary), a Christian man with very strong Christian values and morals, a very dependable and reliable man to let him know, because he could sure use some help. I’m thinking...ha, if I find a man like that I’m keeping him for myself. He obviously does not know how many women are looking for that same man. Yeah, I’ll keep my eye out for him (wink wink).

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