Received a txt from Joe K. yesterday... Suzie contacted him that the children's home in Cazeau had to be evacuated; walls had fallen down, supplies had run out, and the already bad neighborhood was getting worse. Way worse. Bands of guys roaming the streets with machetes, looking & looting worse.
Courageously they transported 150 or so kids, most with mental & physical disabilities one hour north of the city to a new facility that is in the process of being finished. Not finished yet, but an oasis away from the chaos and concerns of the capital.
We hoped to leave base around noon with and truck rice, beans, water, & diesel fuel up to the kids' new home. Never been there before, but with Joe K.'s simple directions scratched on a notepad, "Go through Archiae about 8 miles and make a right down the gravel road at the Texaco station", we couldn't miss :-)
On the way north on National #1, lo and behold a small pickup ahead with a load of praising ladies in the trailer... right behind a white delivery truck with half its roof ripped off, loaded with kids, wheelchairs, & iv's. It was them! Thank God for people who get in there and get it done... even if you have to turn a busted up delivery truck into a special kids mobile!
We joined the convoy & bumped up the gravel road to Williamson... and oh what singing, shouting, and dancing there was when the last truckload arrived.
Didn't have too much time to sit & soak it all in-- darkness was coming and the troops have a curfew over the city-- we had to make it through and get back to base or it may have been a long night sleeping in the back of our delivery truck.
Our little friends-- Martin was fine (I could barely hold the tears back when he came around the corner with his little hospital shirt on-- he's the dude up top this post); Eduard was fine... and smiling ear to ear like usual; Henri was fine... and wouldn't stop hugging anyone he could for as long as he could, as usual. And Xanthus was fine and looking better than ever, literally.
And they were all so happy to be in a new place called "Home". Nothing like 150 rejoicing kids and caregivers to lift your spirits.
Hoped to upload more photos, but night is almost spent and the mosquitoes aren't giving up.