We arrived at the project, parked the car, and I met the girls: Taina (7) Pamella (9), Alice (8) and Ana Alice (8) (pronounced Ana-lee-see). We took a photo in front of a sign that said “David – Your presence fill us with joy!”
Our first stop was the music class. John Nascimento is a former sponsored child of this project, and he is now studying as a student of the Leadership Development Program. He’s also back at the Project teaching music, and has recorded a CD of Brazilian guitar music with 5 other guys. The boys in the music class performed, then I was invited to play something. Funnily enough I “just happened” to have brought music for a couple of songs. I played and sang the worship song “Forever” and John, being the talented guy he is, played along. The girls then sang a song and we moved on to a short tour of the Project.
Today was a planning day for the staff, so there were very few kids around. We were joined by Ana Alice’s sister Andressa as well as a couple of boys, David and Guilhermi. While we were at the Project we did some painting and drawing (correction: they painted and drew, I watched); played some hide and seek; they showed me some dances they’d been practising. I taught them some silly fun songs I’d learned as a summer camp counselor in Indiana in 2004 – Silly Moose, Baking a Cake and Alive Awake Alert. The language barrier made it hard, but we managed.
I had also brought an Australian football with me and got that out. Most of them had a little turn, but they were probably a bit young. Andressa and the two boys were right into it, though, and we had a nice big space to play.
The staff were very grateful and thankful, and their hospitality was humbling. However, there was one blunder. They gave me a t-shirt with a picture of the four girls, and something about me being from the United States. Oops! I managed to forgive them. :)