Steps of Hope

This morning our program at the "Korci Nade" center for disabled children was a big hit. Returning after six long years, you can imagine the children had grown feet not inches and there were many new young faces as well.

One of the most memorable features of the center is the HUGE hillside it rests upon. Most of the vehicles here are "standard" so once again I was having my daily drive "aversion therapy." Once a car starts up this hill - you must maintain the momentum to make it into the driveway, otherwise you begin to head downhill again. This was a bit nerve racking, however in only two attempts we negotiated into the driveway and into the arms of the waiting children.

"Korace Nadi " (Steps of Hope) is the only facility for children with disabilities in the region. It is a place where parents can bring their children to receive physical therapy, needed medical treatment, training in job skills and after school help. The all-volunteer staff serve tirelessly with great love and affection for the children. After the program, Ulla inquired after several of the older children who were not there. The staff had reports on all of them, keeping in touch on a regular basis even though they are not coming to the center anymore.

One sweet precious girl, was totally enamored by CARE EE. She thought the red nose was the funniest thing since .... well, it was funny. She would approach with some degree of caution, but when she held out her little finger to touch my nose - I gladly guided it gently to the tip of the red-rubber heart and she burst into laughter. She would shake her head and laugh, come close again and back away over and over, never tiring of the joy she was experiencing.

What a treat. For the program, one of the male aids played a gleeful King and a young autistic boy a busy buzzing bee. The Queen arrived right on cue (a youthful girl with Downs Syndrome) running to embrace the King. The crowd of children burst into laughter at the site of the new King and Queen.

There is a timelessness to days like today. A slice of joy and delight oblivious to the outside world. In fact, the atmosphere of happiness quickly dissolves the realities of disabilites, disturbances, and political discord into a day for eternity. I am reminded of the proverb, "a cheerful heart doeth good like a medicine."

Today, we all had a good dose.

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