Derek was teaching a course in Cotonou, but he joined us for the last 5 days of our time at La Casa Grande.
La Casa Grande is a children's home in Allada, Benin. It's on a beautiful tract of land in the hills, with lush green trees and plants all around. We went to sleep to the sound of drumming at the neighbouring church and the chirping of crickets. We woke up to the sound of sweeping and children's voices - the children doing their chores around the property.
I'll post a few pictures to give you a glimpse of the children there. There are 33 children there right now - ages 4 months to 18 years. Some have lost both parents, and there are several who have one parent remaining. La Casa Grande is a beautiful place for them to live. The houses are bright, clean and tidy, the food is wonderful, the staff are caring. Everyone has enough.
While we were there, one of our jobs was to help care for the babies. Zoe and Eden loved this. Vivien, the boy, and Vivienne, the girl, are 4-month-old twins.
We also helped to entertain the preschool kids, the 3 characters you see in the front row of the photo above.
And here's a photo of the whole group:
We left this afternoon with warm hearts and teary eyes. Their warm welcome and the things we learned made a truly unforgettable experience.