|Marcito and Seth|
Fourth of July weekend proved to be quite eventful at Casa de Milagros!
We were graced with a group of seventeen high-schoolers with a National Geographic Student volunteer group. They arrived on Saturday and we spent most of the day putting them to work! They helped garden, level out the back field, and taught the kids some photography skills. My good friend Aiden came by on Saturday as well to put on an english class for the kids and some of the staff. In the afternoon, Jorge and his dance group, the newly-dubbed “SkyWalkers” put on a performance for our guests that blew everyone away! That evening after dinner, we had a party in celebration of our guests, and a few of our kids’ birthdays. It was my first official Casa birthday party – and it was a blast! I even got our shy little Illari to come out and blow out her candles ;-)
That night, Marie, Allen and their family welcomed their newest member – Asher Allen Patton into the world! Born on the Fourth of July like a true Gringo! ;-) Marie’s amazing mid-wife, Leonie, and her fabulous assistant, Kata, were sleeping in the volunteer quarters with me, so I had a clue what was going on as they raced out of the room at 3:00 AM and came back buzzing with excitement an hour and a half later. Asher sure took his time, but he finally came and he is perfect. Best of all, Marie can take a break from being pregnant and soak in being a new baby’s mommy! ;-)
It was hard to leave Casa with a new-born in the midst, but the Nat Geo group had planned an incredible excursion for the kids on Sunday. So we all boarded a bus early Sunday morning and headed out to Ollantaytambo for our very first rafting trip! We got to take most of the kids, a few of the mamis and papis, and all of the Nat Geo volunteers. I was slightly nervous, but mostly so excited to finally go river rafting – and down the Urubamba River with Inca ruins lining our path…incredible. The kids had a blast, as did I, and we are so very thankful to our new friends for their hard work and generosity. Best Fourth of July ever – topped off with some Peruvian fireworks courtesy of Allen ;-)