The first night we got here Harmon took a huge step back in sleeping. He went from sleeping to not. By the third night when he was up every 15 minutes we were more and more worried about him actually being sick instead of just not enjoying sleeping in Ecuador. We thought maybe ear infection, as he had been tugging at his ear, but he does that when his teeth are bugging him, so it was hard to say. Long story short we have a new favorite pediatrician who we wished lived closer to us, and Harmon has “gingivitis”, which is apparently very common among teething babies, or another way to say he has an owie because his teeth are coming in. He was just hiding it above his upper teeth so we couldn’t see it. It seems to be getting better and he enjoys the numbing medicine, although he’s sleeping only slightly better.
Today is Aaron’s cumpleanos, and we celebrated by making dinner for all the volunteers. Aaron made a delicious BBQ which was much loved by all. Also I made a most delicious chocolate cake from a mix that was well loved as well. But not as much as the BBQ.
We also celebrated by going to church (ok we were going to do that anyway). It was insane. Since we still knew most of the ward from living here a year ago, Harmon was mobbed. After Sacrament meeting he was stolen away from Aaron and passed around to more than a dozen people. He tolerated it well until the end, but the sadness was likely also due to sleep deprivation. We were happy to see everyone, and happy to show off our baby (we like to show him off, if you haven’t noticed, we are vain, we admit it) and have a little party planned with the ward this week just to get together and visit more.
We went by the boys orphanage again today, and got to see some old friends and meet some new ones. We only stayed for a few minutes, but managed to get all the younger ones riled up to chaos by the time we left. I’m sure Sor Teresa appreciated it, she was laughing after all. Harmon and Sor Teresa love each other. He loves to reach for her glasses and face, and she loves to smile and coo at him and tell him not to take off her glasses because she won’t be able to see. Sometimes I can’t believe this is the same Sor Teresa from 2004. I mean, I knew this ST was under there all along, but it’s crazy and wonderful to see it full time now.
Yesterday we went to OSSO’s orphanage. It was SO wonderful. I loved seeing my special kids from both the old places. They are getting so big. And some of them progressing so much. But some of them regressing, which is really hard to see. There is one girl there who used to be at the girls house who has some sort of disease which slowly makes her body deteriorate while her mind stays aware of what is going on around her. Her mom also had this, and I can’t imagine what it would have been like to watch her own sweet mother trapped inside a body and know it was going to happen to her soon. When I was first here in 2004 this girl, who is probably my age or perhaps a few years younger, could walk and talk. She was a little slow in speaking, and a bit off kilter when walking, but could do them. When we were here in 2007-08 she was using a walker, and had just taken a pretty big fall. She could still kind of talk, it was hard to understand her, but if you knew her and tried hard, you could still get most of what she was saying. And then this year. She is in a wheelchair. She can’t talk. I was so excited to see her, and talk with her, and she seemed excited too, even though she couldn’t express it verbally. Later on she was crying. I couldn’t figure out why, and she couldn’t tell me. And it was horrible. I can’t even begin to imagine what it would be like, to be trapped in a body that is shutting down. How is it that I am ever able to complain about anything?
Anyway, I love being here. I am so grateful for this opportunity to visit a place that I love so much filled with so many of my favorite people and memories. I realized I haven’t taken any pictures, and I should. The end for now.