This year seems to be flying, and things have gotten so busy with the start of school. However, although it’s only April, 2012 has been a great year for NCV. We hosted an amazing team from Canada and had another very fun, successful Moda Loca in January, but sadly, we had to say goodbye to some special volunteers. There is lots to look forward to, and we embrace the new adventures and wonderful memories that the remainder of 2012 will bring.

In January, we had our annual Moda Loca, and this year the boys of Pedacito de Cielo participated for the first time! It was lots of fun for all of us, especially the little ones. Moda Loca is a wonderful NCV tradition that allows us to celebrate, laugh, and have fun as a family, as all the kids and the staff dress up.

In February, an amazing team from the Embassy Elevation Church in Canada came to spend time with the children, visit and equip a daycare for small community in Mizque, and build a greenhouse at Pedacito! The 11 person team brought so much joy and love, compassion and laughter to the kids of NCV, as well as the people of Quebras, the community we connected with. They came during Carnaval, the season of water balloons and intense water fights, but were great sports while getting blasted by water guns and sprayed with foam. Thank you, Embassy Elevation Team, for everything you did, and for all the wonderful memories that the staff and the children will cherish.

Although February was full of laughter and joy, sadly, we had to say goodbye to some wonderful volunteers. In early February, Tia Kimber, who had been in Bolivia for over 6 years, had to head back the States because of some health issues. It was difficult for everyone to say goodbye, but she is planning to return after a year, and will continue supporting and spreading the word about NCV in the States. It was hard to think that such a dedicated NCV volunteer would no longer be here in Bolivia, and we definitely miss her presence at the homes. Shortly after Tia Kimber’s departure, Mark and Becky Teiwes headed to Chile after spending a few months with us in Cochabamba. Mark and Becky spent time at both homes, getting to know the kids, planning activities, and taking beautiful photos of all the children. They also donated some materials to begin making life books with the girls of Corazon. Before leaving, they coreographed a dance to Justin Beiber hits, which the girls absolutely loved–thanks for the laughs, the ice cream, and the great memories!

Each weekend, I have been working with the girls to complete their life books, and they are looking great! The girls are extremely creative, and greatly enjoying this very special, important project. Many of the girls have no recollection of life before the home, or are haunted by past traumas, including violence, neglect, abuse, and abandonment. But, this project allows them to remember joyful memories, and think positively about some past experiences . Watching them design these special books, and laugh and smile about the past, makes my heart so happy, has brought me so much joy–it is definitely the highlight of my time here with NCV. So, keep an eye our for more picture of these great life books!