Have fun, be a kid, and play barefoot.

Chillakallu, India 1/10/13

Photo by Chelsea Foster
The afternoon soccer matches out on the pot-hole ridden and cow pie-covered field here at the children's home have been glorious. Without fail, at approximately 4pm every day, a small group of boys begin to kick a ball around. Once I hear some yells, and the ball bouncing off the ground, I know that it's time to start a match.

I don't have shoes, so I've been playing barefoot like most all of the kids do. My feet feel bruised and my toes are all stubbed, but it feels amazing to run around like a child and simply play a game just for fun; not too many rules, no referees, and a constant influx of new teammates. 

This is sad to admit, but I too easily forget how to have fun; it's actually pretty easy if you just decide to let it happen. 

Like tonight, for example, before bed we decided to fill up water balloons, position ourselves on the roof and chuck them down on some older boys who were standing around chatting in the cool of the evening. 

They shrieked out some "waahmooos" and then began plotting their revenge. There were, however, traitors among us, and the enemy target was provided a small cache of our ammunition. These traitors were reprimanded and served up a healthy barrage of watery justice; all in good fun. 

Photo by Kate Reeves
Some of my soccer-playing pals headed home today for a holiday, which meant saying goodbye goodbye because I'll be gone when they return. Saying goodbye isn't nearly as difficult for me as it is for Kristin and Chelsea, who have been here developing close bonds with these kids for about four months, but it's still sad for me to see them go. 

These kids have blessed me--more than they could know--with their energy, smiles, and pure enjoyment of simple things. They're walking reminders to me that I need to be more like a child so that I can have a deeper faith in God and His love for me. 

I'm lying down now and ready to sleep. My feet are sore and my hair is still wet from the water balloon battle, but even these discomforts make me smile. They remind me that there's fun to be had if you simply go outside and have it. 

...ramble on...

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