April and May 2009 Outings

[Dany] [Dany & Efrain] [Efrain]

April 5: First Godson Dany at Godparents' Swim Party at Cristiania Park
April 14: Swim Date at Balneario Water Park in San Juan Cosala
May 2: Swim Date at Claudette's
May 4: Second Godson Efrain at Swim Date at Ann & Ron's
May 9: Godparents' Swim Party at Mooney's at Vista del Lago
May 23: Swim Party at Neighbors Jim and Linda's

April 5: First Godson Daniel at Godparents' Swim Party at Cristiania Park

In April we were accepted as honorary Godparents for a young boy at the Amor in Acción (Love in Action) children's care center in Chapala. Children here are either orphans or have parents who unable to care for them. We arrived at the Center on Tuesday April 7 and were introduced to Nestor Daniel, age 9, one of the last young boys to be adopted. Rather than view other younger children, we immediately accepted Daniel as our godson. We were off to shop for a swim suit but couldn't stop there and also got him some other shirts and a new pair of shoes. Thursday many of the godparents then met their charges at Cristiania Park for a swim party and picnic.

[Dany] [Dany with José] [Dany and friends]

We soon learned that the other kids called Daniel "Dany". He changed into his new orange swim suit, posed with friends then we headed for the wading pool at the park for an hour of play.

[Dany with swim friends] [Dany testing the water] [Dany]

After drying off and changing back into his clothes, we enjoyed a picnic lunch of chicken, salads and brownies baked by another godparent. Dany asked if he could give his cookies to his brother Alex. We hadn't realized that the young man we had met earlier in the week was his brother.

[Dany and Robin] [Dany at picnic in band stand] [Dany and Jim]

Easter Saturday Easter Egg Hunt: The godparents planned this special event for the children at Love in Action. Jim took along a set of pictures of the swim party in an album so that Dany could add more pictures in the future. We had put together an Easter Basket of candy, cookies, school supplies, socks, a new orange cap to go with his swim outfit, and an orange towel. Dany was very pleased with all his gifts. Jim learned that Dany and Alex's parents were the house parents for Daniel's dormitory. His father Antonio and mother Cleo posed with the two boys, Alex and Dany. His parents were very grateful that we were helping their young son, one of their 12 children.

[Brothers Noe & José] [Dany with mother Cleo and brother Alex] [Antonio, Dany, Alex & Cleo]

April 14: Balneario Swim Club:

Since school was still on Easter Break, we took Dany and his friend Efrain to San Juan Cosala where they have many different pools, slides and hot tubs. The boys immediately headed for the slide in one of the wading pools.

[Dany & Efrain at top of slide] [Dany & Efrain at top of slide] [Dany sliding]

The boys enjoyed all the activity and stopped only briefly for lunch. We learned during this outing that Efrain still had not yet been assigned a godparent.

[Dany & Efrain] [Dany & Efrain in big wading pool] [Dany & Efrain]

The boys lasted about four hours until we pulled them out for an ice cream before heading back to Chapala. Next time maybe we'll try the jumbo water slides in the main pool. Great views of both the Lake and Mount Garcia as well as the mountains right above the park.

[Big Water Slide] [Dany & Efrain] [Big Water Slide]

May 2: Swim Party at Claudette's:

By the end of April, Mexico was in the midst of a major Swine Flu scare and many public places were closed, so we took Dany and Efrain to the private pool of our friend Claudette in west Ajijic. Since the pool was deeper, we purchased life vests, colorful "tire" floats and a raft. They had a great time playing with these, a pool ball and their two rabbits that we had given them at Easter.

[Dany] [Dany & Efrain on the raft] [Efrain lounging on raft]

The boys played hard for three hours and then we headed across the street for pizza at Gerard's Restaurant. Since the boys were out of school, we promised to take them shopping for more clothes on Monday and perhaps another swim.

[Jim with Efrain and Daniel] [Dany, Jim, Efrain and Robin]

May 4: Second Godson Efrain at Swim Party at Ann and Ron's

Since school was dismissed because of the Swine Flu danger, we took Efrain and Dany shopping for new shoes and clothes then on to Ann and Ron's to swim. Jim had to get into the pool too to encourage Dany to swim the length of the pool as Efrain had been doing. On return to Love in Action, we learned that indeed Efrain had no godparent and that happily we were able to "adopt" him along with Dany.

[Jim with Efrain and Dany] [Efrain & Dany] [Jim with Efrain]

May 9: Godparents' Swim Party at Mooney's

Love in Action volunteer Mooney invited godparents and their children to her home in Vista del Lago for a swim party and pot luck picnic. We loaded up Dany, his older brother Alex, Efrain and Chava, a new boy in their dorm, who again has yet to get his own godparents. The pool was full of boys and girls from the orphanage, but our kids jumped in immediately.

[ [Dany & Efrain] [Mooney's Pool]

Dany seemed to have lost his fear of jumping right in supported by his brother Alex. And Efrain tried swimming on his own, without the life preserver.

[Dany ready to jump] [Dany and Alex at poolside] [Efrain swimming]

Kids as well as volunteers and godparents had a great time both in the pool and poolside.

[In the pool] [In the pool] [poolside]

New kid Chava was a little uncertain about having his picture taken. Then it was time for food. Not all the kids were impressed, especially Efrian with his pale chicken piece. Back at the boy's dormitory at Love in Action we took pictures of the tired and sore boys for the top of this page.

[Leo in the pool] [Happy young girl] [Not so happy Efrain]

May 23: Swim Party at Jim and Linda's:

And then there were four... We arrived at Love in Action to take out Dany and Efrain to find that the boys wanted to take along Oscar, Efrain's younger brother and new kid Chava along with us on our outing. So we took all four to our neighbors' pool for yet another swimming party. It didn't take Linda long to jump into the pool with the boys and help them swim across the pool.

[Oscar, Dany, Efrain & Chava] [Linda, Chava, Oscar & Efrain] [Linda with kids on raft]

[Oscar & Efrain on raft] [Oscar & Dany on raft] [Linda & Chava]

Each time we've taken the boys out they showed less fear in jumping in and swimming. All could swim in the deep water from one end of the pool to the other.

[Dany] [Erain] [Chava]

After hamburgers, popcicles in the pool and cookies, the boys showered and posed from pictures with their hosts.

[Boys with popcicles] [Jim & Linda with boys] [Robin & Jim with boys]

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Our Godsons: Dany and Efrain

Nuestros Ahijados: Dany y Efrain