East Timor - Day 7
We had been looking forward to church and gathering together with all the staff and girls for a time of worship together. Simone, Nadia and Quinn from our team shared testimonies and then the lovely Elda shared her story of walking the streets of East Timor, homeless with her little boy and pregnant, about to give birth on the street. Simone took her to hospital where she gave birth to a beautiful little girl and now she lives with her two children in Hope house where there is indeed hope for a better future. No dry eyes after this story.
It was baby Lelia's (aka Ria's baby) 1st birthday and she was honoured and celebrated in her special birthday outfit.
The team then enjoyed Sunday lunch at a local Chinese restaurant together with Simone, Levi, Sara, Isabella, Gabriel and Sujana.
In the evening we headed to the crèche where everyone was waiting to farewell us with a party. What a send off party it was! The girls presented everyone in the team with a Tais and then performed a traditional Timorese dance which they had been practising for days. The food was magnificent, a massive whole fish and traditional Portuguese dishes which they had spent all afternoon preparing for us.
Dessert was a huge surprise for our team leader. Someone had revealed it was a significant birthday for Meena soon and Pasquale had baked and decorated her famous chocolate cake as everyone sang 'happy birthday' in Portuguese.
Our team surprised the girls by learning one of their Tetun songs and singing it to them. They loved it and also laughed a lot!
The goodbye hugs and kisses took ages as every team member hugged every girl and staff member. How to say goodbye? How to vocalise our feelings for them? How to let them know we won't forget them? Our hugs and tears said it all.