“Don’t set your alarm tonight” Brock told me as our heads hit their pillows. Overjoyed, I eagerly obliged, shut my eyes and began to look forward to a wondrous morning (or lack thereof) of sleeping in. Little did we know that Cristina and Kelsey would fill the alarm clock role on this day. “Wake up you lazy turds” was our lovely greeting to the morning. Several minutes of pleading with them subsequently followed before we finally accepted defeat, got dressed and headed to the dining room. After eating our fair share of a seemingly limitless supply of bananas and tangerines, we wandered over to the soccer pitch to watch Amatongas’ boys take on a local rival squad. Blistering heat aside, the game was entertaining and we emerged victorious in an emphatic 3-0 dismantling of the other team.

Exhausted from the heat, we returned to the dining room to once again fill up on potassium and vitamin C before bringing our talents to the basketball court. As hard as they try (and they do try hard), the children of Amatongas are almost as bad at basketball as we are at soccer. That doesn’t prevent the game from continuing, however, and we ran the court for the better part of two hours, only stopping because lunch was ready and our bellies were rumbling.

Masa, kouve and fish were on the lunch menu today. I must admit that the fish isn’t particularly appealing to the eyes, but if given the chance, proves to be quite delicious. The children consume the fish in its entirety…scales, head and all. Naturally, I did too. I must note that the texture of the eyeballs is unmatched and unrivaled in terms of taste and chewy-ness.

After lunch, James Taylor sang Brock and I into a peaceful oblivion, our daily nap. I must say waking up to “Fire and Rain” and “Mexico” is only marginally better than Cristina and Kelsey’s voices. After waking up from our refreshing nap, we set out to meet Marcos and some of the other boarders at the soccer field where we were scheduled to film the traditional dance they were set to perform later in the night. Immediately following that, we made our way towards the playground where Randy, Knox, Chip and Blake had managed to put the finishing touches on the roof and bridge. The playground was surrounded by children watching and impatiently waiting for their opportunity to play on it. It is an absolute beauty.

The evening finally arrived. Brother Chris informed us earlier in the week that we would be cooking an entire pig today in celebration of the two birthdays this week. As the week progressed, we were excited to discover that the night had evolved into an all-out party with cake, singing and dancing to be included. The pork was finally cooked and distributed evenly onto each of the tables. As we sat down to dinner, you could see the pure anticipation in the children’s eyes. It was a feast and we ate as much as we could stomach. The obesity rate in Africa may have grown a few percentage points just because of that meal. There was enough pork for each table to go back for seconds and thirds and still have some left over.

After the meal had finished, the children made it a point to show all of us how much their stomach had grown over the course of the past hour. Singing and dancing immediately followed. A bonfire was made and all of the guests were seated at a table and fed popcorn as the celebration continued on throughout the night. Trey and I were each presented with a birthday cake that was then cut into dozens of tiny pieces so everyone could get a slice. It was pure joy and I wouldn’t have wanted to spend my birthday any other way. As a thank you from us, each child was given a new shirt, pencil and pencil sharpener. Their eyes lit up and you would have thought we had just given them their weight in gold. It was an incredible night and I am afraid that this post may not have done it justice. You see, there really is no appropriate combination of words that can be strung together to capture the fun and excitement of the atmosphere last night. This village is a magical place.


Michael Kline


Silvia White
06/03/2012 2:32pm

I so enjoy this blog!!! Thank you! I'm living this through you guys!

Cindy Abadie
06/03/2012 2:57pm

Keeping both you and Christina in prayer! I am in awe of what you are doing after reading the entries in the blog!

06/03/2012 4:41pm

All caught up with the blog! Crew sounds like they are having a grand ole time! Proud of all the improvements you are making and glad you are enjoying to hospitality and traditions of the village!

06/04/2012 1:09am


Lucy A. Rivero
06/04/2012 8:59am

I'm really enjoying reading the blog!!! So glad you are loving your great experience there!!! Keep up the good work - proud of you all!!!


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