Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A CORFRA Christmas

The culmination of the Angel Tree project, which began Christmas, came to fruition on Christmas Eve at CORFRA. On the way to the party, cars and trucks were still lined up on Las Americas.

It takes very little to constitute a float.

Some were larger than others.

The dining hall at CORFRA was decorated and made very festive with lots of presents under the tree.

Adults and children alike waited for the party to begin.

A turkey dinner was served and the children ate heartily. Two turkeys were prepared by California Kitchen and there was also the traditional rice, ensalada verduras and cupcakes. The cupcakes were a new experience for the children and some weren't exactly sure how to eat them. Juan Fernando figured it out quickly.

The children enjoyed the food and the attention. For several of those attending, it was their first visit.

Papa Noel made an appearance. Here's Camilla and Johnny Novelle having a chat with him.

The children sang.

Papa Noel passed out gift bags.

Our little angel was Juan Fernando. Among other things, Mick found the Superman cap for him.

Juan Fernando was taking in all the presents as Jim Evans looks on.

Juan Fernando was pretty excited with the Stars Wars blaster.

Maria Mercedes thanks everyone for the event.

The children and staff were thrilled with everything, the food, gifts, and the visits. On behalf of the children of CORFRA, many thanks for the contributions of gifts and money, for the interest, participation, and help with making this Christmas one that will be remembered a long time by the children of CORFRA.
Until next time,
Mick and Kathy

Sunday, December 26, 2010

"Here We Go A-Caroling"

Things have been extremely busy lately and as a result, posting has taken low priority. Therefore, there will be a series of blogs on holiday festivities.

Last Wednesday night, the Evans family, owners of California Kitchen, hosted a caroling party. They furnished the beverages and everyone brought cookies. Quite a few gringoes and Ecuadorians participated.

Angie Barnes was in charge of the music, directing and accompanying on the keyboard. Sue Gaither was flautist.

After the cookie feast, some of the folks went caroling at the bandstand at Parque Calderon.

A couple of the little Ecuadorian participants performed a duet in Spanish.

Parking illegally, Mick kept guard of the keyboard in the backseat of the car.

The evening was festive and light-hearted. Hopefully, this will be the start of a new tradition for those of us residing in Cuenca. Many thanks to Carol, George, Jimmy, and Susie for the refreshments and locale.

Until next time,
Mick and Kathy

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Happy Birthday, Henry!

Amidst all the bustle of unpacking the crate, having a new stove top installed, and preparing for Christmas, not only at our house, but at CORFRA, there was a celebration Monday evening. Monday was Henry Abril's birthday. Even before our move to Cuenca, Henry played an important part in our lives, by finding our apartment.

Now, Henry is part of our family. He visits, he helps, he offers and seeks advise. Not only is he important to us, but has become a part of several of our friends lives. We all treated him to dinner at Creta, with apologies to the birthday boy, it was the worst food that we've had in years. Despite the bad food, it was a fun celebration for Henry's 27th birthday.

We wish you many, many more happy birthdays, Henry!
Until next time,
Mick and Kathy

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Pollos Vivos

During one of our visits to CORFRA, it was noticed that there was a chicken coop. Maria Mercedes was asked about the feasibility of chickens. She acknowledged that they would like to have some but did not have funds for their purchase. Yesterday, 24 chickens, along with food and antibiotics were purchased and delivered.

Angie, Chara, and Jim are discussing the delivery and the instructions for the chickens. A mixto made the delivery.
The new chickens in their new home.
Of course there was time for visiting with the children. Here is Tania and Heide.

The boys were playing a game outside the dorm, Jose is watching.

Carmen seems much happier than on Sunday.

Everybody wants to play.

Jim, Juan Fernando, Miguel, and Carmen
Henry was having a bad day; Angie tried to help.

Jim and Miguel
It's always heart-warming to visit with the children. There were already 5 large chickens, almost ready for the pot. Now, there will be quite a bit of chicken on future menus.

Until next time,
Mick and Kathy

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Kids, Hats, and Birthdays

At the time I met Mick, many years ago, I was going through what I called my "hat period". There were hats for every occasion; however, after much discouragement on his part, that phase passed. It seems however, with men, the hat phase is perpetual. Men usually wear hats, primarily because of their functionality, or so I'm told. On our visit to CORFRA on Sunday, the hat's were prevalent.

Mick is wearing a Nike low-profile cap while Juan Fernando is just hanging around.
Daniella took a turn also.
Juan Fernando is all smiles and belly button.

Edison took a turn next.

Andrea, Miguel, and Brando.
The ladies discussin "angels". Notice Mike's cap in the background

Little boys love hats. Here's Juan Fernando in Jim's Tilley hat.
One has incredible powers while wearing a Tilley, even the ability to hulahoop.
After relinquishing the Tilley, Juan Fernando just wanted to be held.
Juan Fernando has been at the orphanage since infancy.
Occasionally, some of the children have visits from relatives. On Sunday,Carmen had a visit from aunts and an uncle. She was very upset when she was left behind. George tried consoling her.
Annabel tried on Pat's sunglasses.

Angel wanted to wear Mike's glasses.

Carol tried to comfort Carmen also.
Johanna, Brando, Miguel, Juan Fernando, and Beatriz with the communal dog.

Still kidding with Juan Fernando.

It's always heart-warming to interact with the children at CORFRA. This week, there were some additional visitors, which are always welcomed.
After visiting the children, Mick christened his new grill by preparing chicken kabobs. There is always conversation about the children and our plans for them for Christmas.

Monday was a special day; it was Jim's birthday. The celebration was at Mansion Alcazar. The ambiance was a charming as the company.
The birthday boy sporting the birthday hat. Hats are for celebration also.
Jim is making his wish with Clayton in the background.
What a lovely birthday! What a wonderful way to spend retirement, with or without a hat!
Until next time,
Mick and Kathy