Last month was not only filled with fun end of the school year activities, but we also celebrated some very special birthdays at Corazon del Pastor.

On November 2nd, Valeria celebrated her 15th birthday, an extremely special year in Bolivia. Because her birthday was during the week, we had her big quinceanera party on Saturday the 5th. Valeria’s family was present, as were her friends from school and the neighborhood. She was extremely excited about her party, and even more excited that her family was in attendance. Valeria looked gorgeous in her magenta and black gown, but was nervous about the dance portion. She enjoyed dancing and hanging out with her friends, and we are so glad she enjoyed her special night. Here’s to Valeria during her special 15th year–may it be a good one full of adventure and wonderful memories, fun and love.

On the 21st, Raeka turned 5! Her parents and siblings came to Pedacito de Cielo help her celebrate her special day. Raeka celebrated with the boys, and they enjoyed their gift bags and the pinata, the jello and the cake. Raeka was very excited her parents were present, and enjoyed playing with her siblings. Raeka celebrated at the boys’ home, but also received lots of love, attention, and birthday love from the girls. The day after her birthday, Raeka was admitted into the hospital due to a bad allergic reaction to a medicine she is taking. She was released a few days later, and has been monitored closely by the tias. She is doing better and back to being funny, upbeat, full of energy Raeka. But, we hope she has a wonderful, fun, healthy year full of lots of love and excitement.

Sofia celebrated her 16th birthday on the 22nd–she is officially our 2nd 16-year-old! She was excited, but expressed a little apprehension about getting older. We explained that she is still very young, and has tons to look forward to and lots to accomplish. After lunch, she spent some time with some friends in the neighborhood, and then returned to the home in the afternoon for her cake and celebration. The girls put a lot of time in making a beautiful cake for her, and we all enjoyed singing, celebrating, and eating together. Being one of the oldest girls, Sofia is a role model for the younger ones, and during her party I could definitely see how much the little ones love and appreciate her. Sofia will begin high school in February, which she is definitely looking forward to. We hope that she has a great year and embraces all the new memories and new adventures to come.

We ended the birthday celebrations on the 28th when Kattia turned 10! She was not only excited to celebrate her birthday, but was thrilled to share her special day with Tia Maritza. The girls made the cake for Kattia and Maritza by themselves, and they did a fabulous job. Kattia has struggled with her health recently, but we hope her tenth year brings health, happiness, and tons of love to her. She is excited to return to school in February to learn more and make some new friends. And, we pray that Tia Maritza also has a fabulous year full of love and wonderful memories.