From top left to bottom right: Marina, Yenny, Olivia and Brighton (The daughters of Nate and Jamie Dewitt who helped organize the Nurse’s office and made sure the medicine cabinet was in ship shape order) quickly became friends for life regardless of the language barrier. They were always together hanging out or playing games together. This was a great experience for all the girls, since I’ve rarely heard of young children coming to New Hope from the states.
Neal (center), who was on the first trip to New Hope last year and returned again for his second time. He was welcomed by a few new faces and a lot of familiar smiling faces. Surrounding Neal, starting with the top left: Jorge wearing green, is a new face to the returning Liberti team, he and his Brother Julio arrived a few months after the team left last January. To Neal’s left is Henry. Henry and Neal formed a tight bond last year while Neal was here, and in the weeks leading up to the team’s arrival, Henry was constantly asking when Neal was going to arrive. To the right of Neal is Roberto. Roberto is always hamming it up for the camera and loves to be near the action. At the bottom of the frame is Moses. Ahhhh…Moses, such a great kid, always wants to be near you, and he too just loves to in all the photos.
When the team first arrived, they were pretty tired. They had a bit of time to just sit and hang out with the kids since everyone was so exhausted from traveling for 20 hours. Here everyone is relaxing, shooting pics, and watching those who had the energy jump rope. From left to right: Luis sits on Neal’s lap, Brighton, Alyssa (redish blonde hair), and Marina, watch those off frame jumping rope. Yenny, sitting to Stacy’s left (Stacy is holding the camera) and Rachel check out some shots on the back of the camera. While Haley chills in the background (in the blue sweater).
Bruce gets attacked by Fredy (on Bruce’s shoulders) and Jhon (striped shirt). This is Bruce’s first time to New Hope, and he is quickly learning how much the little kids love to climb on gringos. I remember last year carting Jhon around on my shoulders, and he would jerk my head to the left or right to direct me where he wanted us to go.
Fredy, in the foreground with the blue shirt, and Alyssa, on the other end of the jump rope, swing the jump rope for all they are worth while the kids in the middle try to stay coordinated to see how many times they can jump in a row. Peruvian or North American, Jump rope is a cross cultural game that needs no verbal language in order to have fun.
The day following the teams arrival was all business. After Christmas this year, the clothing closet here at New Hope was packed to the gills and a complete disaster with donated clothing. The first task for Team Liberti was to remove all the clothing from the clothing closet and into the Capilla (Chapel) for sorting. The above photo gives you a glimpse of how much clothing there was to go through. This is only a small glimpse; there were bags upon bags of things to go through. It took the whole day just to finish. This photo was in the process of organizing the clothing in to sizes and gender. After everything was sorted and in its right place, the kids were able to come in and pick out clothes. There was so much clothing it seemed like it would have been a three day project. But with everyone working together we were able to get everything sorted and have the kids pick their clothes in just one and a half days. Next up, painting the older girls apartment and a large mural on the futbol court wall. I’m not going to say what the mural is going to be, but it’s going to be awesome and really creative.
Marina and Yenny fool around with a ballerina dress that was amongst the donated clothing, while the team sorts and organizes clothing in the background. Another thing the team brought with them that is always a hit is arts and crafts.
Jorge gets an early look at what he hopes will be the shoes he can pick out. I can’t even begin to tell you how many shoes were in that clothing closet. On top of that, the team had purchased some nice shoes for the kids back in states at ridiculously low prices. Apparently, Jorge really likes New Balance, which were some of the shoes the Team brought with them.
The man, the myth, the legend, Dave “Zidane” Dardzinski begins drawing the layout and design of the shelves for the clothing closet. Dave is an architect and his first project is to design, build, and install shelves for the small clothing closet which is in desperate need of shelving and an architect’s mind for design. Surrounding Dave’s papers on the counter are refurbished computers and accessories which each member of the team brought down to sell here in the computer shop. The home owns the computer shop to help bring in money to cover some of the home’s expenses. Last year, the Liberti team brought computers as well. Here in Arequipa, a used computer can sell for about 200 USD. That money from the 15 computers we brought last year covered a large portion of the kids tuition for last year’s school year.
Lydia Smith arrived at New Hope on October 2nd and has been talking to her parents and family via a vonage phone/internet based phone here at the home which has an american number and also using Skype the popular video chat software to stay in touch. But computers and phones can’t substitute for the real thing. Lydia’s Mom, Sandy Smith is apart of the Team, and I know Lydia and her Mom missed each other a great deal since Lydia has been gone for almost 3 and a half months. It was awesome to witness their family reunion.