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I’m amazed at the fact that I have almost been home for two months. I am amazed at how this trip has changed me, even more amazed at the areas of my life where the trip did NOT change me, and amazed that it has yet to rain in Beira since I’ve been home…

My goal here is to just slowly release photos and talk about what each of them represent to me during this next season…

Hopefully it will be thought-provoking if not at least a little bit informational.

Alright…let’s pick a photo to mull over with our eyes and hearts…

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I chose this photo because I still think about these eyes.

I don’t know this baby’s name, but I’ll tell you where we met. Kate took this photo at an orphanage on the other side of Beira from where we were located. As far as I could tell, this particular orphanage was funded through UNICEF, and run by Mozambican nationals.

This orphanage was populated mostly by babies and toddlers that had either been abandoned at hospitals, the mother died during birth, from AIDS, or other crisis circumstances… From how I understood it, there were many babies here who had AIDS, and after interacting with them, it was pretty easy to tell which children were not doing very well. The life expectancy of a child born with HIV is about two to four years, but if they make it past this point, they have a very good chance of leading a fairly normal life for a long time.
This is information I acquired while in Mozambique, but there are websites that provide similar information, such as www.aidsbabies.org

Remember all those quilts Kate and I dragged across the world? Those quilts ended up with these children.

I had the privilege of interacting with these children on Saturday, October 4th. We played with them, fed them, and just hugged them. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but for many babies in many-not all, but many, orphanages with these circumstances, do not receive an adequate amount of stimulation to their senses, thus hindering their motor skill development. Bringing color before their eyes and touch to their bodies is exactly what they need the most. That and lots of love. It was a pretty easy job; one I could have easily given years of my life to…

UNICEF, UNAIDS and other partners today launched a global campaign focusing on the enormous impact of HIV/AIDS on children, saying it was a disgrace that fewer than 5 per cent of HIV-positive children receive treatment and that millions of children who have lost parents to the disease go without support.

UNICEF said that children affected by the disease are the “missing face” of AIDS – missing not only from global and national policy discussions on HIV/AIDS, but also lacking access to even the most basic care and prevention services. Millions of children are missing parents, siblings, schooling, health care, basic protection and many of the other fundamentals of childhood because of the toll the disease is taking, the two UN institutions said.

The global campaign is entitled Unite for Children. Unite against AIDS. People can follow developments in the campaign at www.unicef.org/uniteforchildren.

img_1527this sticker was posted to the door leading into the babies’ room

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