Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday's Camp, Afternoon

After cutting, we went back to the hotel for lunch and a 2 hr. break. A group walked down the street to the sweet shop and bakery for dessert and RB went along.

I have to break in here and say, She OWNS India. She is so comfortable here. Truly, she loves it. When she got back, I asked her (having worried for just one second while she was gone) what she would have done if she had gotten separated from the group. She gave me a strange look and said, “Walked back to the hotel!” Duh, Mom. Ok, glad you’re paying attention to where you are!

Our afternoon included practicing telling time with the giant clock and then the little student clocks. About 3 of them could do this very well and about 4 more could do it sort of. The rest didn’t really get it and needed help. We only did the hours and went around from 1:00 to 2:00 all the way through 12:00. Little Paula was really determined and got it on her own a few times. P, who is one of the new girls was quick with it, too, I think (although Hannah might have been helping her. Hannah kind of takes over and is quite capable and bossy sometimes).

While I was doing clocks, RB and Simona played with M&M with some cool texture soft blocks Leslie’s mother had made. They were simply sponges covered with different textured fabric from furry to scratchy to velvety and more. The tow little blind girls LOVED these blocks and at one point, RB said, M2 had about 7 of them in her hand and was snuggling them against her face! M1 stacked them up.

After telling time, we got out the paints. Sarah had said not to worry about the clothes, so we went ahead. We had been gathering extras throughout the day and I’m all about letting anyone who wants a sensory experience to come on in. We had Caleb, Christopher and Isaac (Judah didn’t work out in our group, he was too little, so he wandered to and fro at will.), Hannah, Christina, Paula, Rachel, P & R (new girls), Megan (in love with her!), M&M (the blind girls) and it seems to me we had another stray but I can’t remember who.

After the painting and the washing up, someone brought Shalene in to sit with us and watch. She is very quiet and is happy to sit and observe. She doesn’t walk although she can stand with support to get from her chair to her wheelchair. She is very content, but when you take the time to speak to her and pay attention, she just LIGHTS UP and makes little moans of pleasure. She does speak a little, very softly.

After painting, we made the texture books, which were a little complicated, but they liked them. We had acquired about 3 extra ladies, so we put them to work helping the kids to stick in the pieces. I had the blank board books and we used glue dots to stick in sandpaper (the glue dots were a bit of a pain), and we had self-adhesive Velcro (both sides: soft and scratchy), two kinds of self-stick chair bottom thingies (rubber and felt) and some 3-D stickers and bling. Simona explained to them that they would make the books and we’d give them to the children who couldn’t see.

We had enough hands that someone helped Shalene and Judah (who had wandered back in) to each make a book.

We let M & M keep their books and then we collected all the rest. Sim thought they might have trouble actually handing over their books to the other kids and anyway, once we let them out of the room they disperse like molecules.

We got out coloring books and let them color next. I had brought some Colorix crayons (family: like the silky crayons Banana Boy got for Christmas) and they LOVED these.

As the kids finished their pictures they sort of wandered off and suddenly the room was half empty. A few meticulous little girls (see, it was the boys who hurriedly finished their coloring and disappeared to find balls!) were still finishing pictures and I noticed Shalene, still patiently sitting there.

I pulled her up to the now empty table and gave her a Colorix crayon, because it was in my hand. She immediately transferred it to her LEFT hand and proceeded to make circles and circles with it on the paper, laughing all the while. After a bit she stopped and I asked her if she wanted a new one. I told her each color as I gave it to her and she repeated Blue after me!

When she was finished, I taped it to the wall above her bed. When we later brought her back to her room (which she shares with all the new littles), she smiled and laughed to see it up there.

Do you remember Shalene? She was the one no one cared about for 16 years. We care now!

We tried to read them a story after this but they had been sitting down working all afternoon (there was a snack and water in there somewhere) so we just let them all go down to the courtyard to play.

When we got back to the hotel, we weren’t hungry, so RoseBud walked with the other girls, Theresa, Leslie and Linda, along with Scott, our male protector to the sweet shop for ice cream. I came down to blog and Scott walked her her to meet me when they were done.

We are on a mediumly busy street, with shops all along the length, but it feels very safe. There are beggars who come by the hotel front and hang around by our cars. There is a banana stand across the street , as well as a food store and another internet café. A shoe shop is two doors down and the sweet shop half a block. You can buy buckets and pitchers at a cart across the street. There are several hotels similar to ours on this street, about one per block, but I think ours is one of the newest and nicest. We have a lovely jersey cow who hangs out in front every night and a monkey who climbs the sign on the hotel.

Today was really fun and the kids are a hoot! I love that we can include some of the other kids who are sharp as tacks, especially M&M. I’m hoping to get playdough made, but it was still a holiday today and the shop was closed. I think they’ll like that.

Off to bed now, it’s 8:30 pm. We have another full day of camp tomorrow.

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