Thursday, January 6, 2011

Bevalyn "Nini" Melnes

Those of you who have read our blog before are probably quite familiar with this adorable 7-year old girl. But most of you are probably not familiar with her story. The story goes: Nini is the 5th child in a family of 8. Seven of which are boys. 
Since she still had 3 brothers younger than her, her Nanay had no time for her. So Nini was always quite sad. One day, Michel was at church and saw this sad little girl. So she had her come sit next to her during the church service in hopes of making her smile and she succeeded. This went on for a couple weeks, then Michel invited her over to her house after church, then Michel had her spend a night, then had her stay a week and finally turned into Michel pretty much adopting her; all to make Nini smile. Which is perfect, because now thats all this girl ever does.
When we first got here, Nini was SOO shy and would only look at us and smile. Then we graduated to being able to communicate through charades (because we didn't speak Tagalog and she, at the time, didn't speak English.) Within the next couple weeks we were able to communicate with this part Tagalog/part English/part charades kind of language. Then finally with the help of us, Michel, her missionary friend Angela, and the fact that her brain is like a sponge. She now speaks enough English to communicate with us.

Nini and the Ukrainian missionaries daughter, Angela, were really close friends. They both went to the same school and had a common issue, they wanted to speak each others language. Angela, who originally speaks Russian, recently learned English with her family. Nini, who originally speaks Palawano, recently learned Tagalog with Michel. So as they became friends, they pretty much had to teach each other how to speak each others language so that they could talk. It was funny, because in the end, Angela's Tagalog had Nini's accent and Nini's English had a little Ukrainian accent.

After Nini had learned the phrase, "What is this?" She used it for everything! Like for example,
Allison: Nini, you're so silly.
Nini: What is this 'silly'?
Or if we would break into hysterical laughter for some reason and Nini didn't know why she would just look at us and say, "What is this?".
Another thing we loved was after she had learned the word "Cute", she would come up and say,
Nini: You Cute.
Sam: No, you cute!
Nini: NOOO!!! You Cute!
And it would go like this for awhile until Nini would get upset and walk away. Until one day..
Nini: You Cute.
Sam: Thank you.
Nini: You Welcome.
And Nini, would leave happy. She just wanted us to be grateful for her compliment. lol.
Nini is still such a good big sister!
Another thing we loved was when she would sing she would always start waving her hands like she was a choral leader. Or if we were singing she would always break into this cute little dance, just spinning in circles and jumping in the air. One time, we were singing all the Christmas carols that we found in the hymnal and Nini danced around and mumbled along with us. This went on for about 45 minutes and she never tired. :)
One time the community center (that is located right behind our house, unfortunately. They will constantly have these events and will just BLARE music all day long. Or if we're lucky it will be a karoke event (because they love karoke here) and so we'll get to listen to Filipinos singing songs at the top of their lungs) was having government party and while they were there they started playing the Philippine National Anthem. Nini was in our house at the time and she started to sing along with it and it was the CUTEST thing ever so we had to record her singing it. Here it is:

Another thing we loved about this girl, was that she always had this sixth sense and just KNEW when we were skyping family or friends. Everytime she would come in and just stand next to us so that she could be seen on the camera, until we finally got the hint and introduced her. She loved watching us talk to our friends and family back home.

We also loved, on Sabbath's if we would ever take a nap, she would just come in our room and stand next to our bed and say, "Are you sleeping? Sam, Allison, you sleeping?" She would stand there and ask us that until we woke up and played with her. Lol.

Nini loved having her picture taken. So having Allison move in next door was her dream come true, jk. But she would always make a face or strike a pose and say, "Picture? Picture?" Or if she found something that she thought was pretty, she would always have Allison take a picture of the item. Sooo cute!
One of things we miss the most is when she would stand outside our door. She was just tall enough that her little eyes were the only thing we saw in the window of our screen door. And she was just stand outside the door and say, "Hello! What you do-ing?!?" As we sit in our lonely little house right now, this is probably what we miss the most....
Nini thought it would be funny to try on Allison's glasses. Sooo silly!
I hope this blog and all the other blogs that we've talked about Nini in has made you all fall in love with this little girl as much as we have. She was SOOO lovable and even when we were at our lowest (when losing our grandma) Nini always managed to make us smile. Even as we were saying our goodbyes, Nini would say, "You come? You come to Mindanao?"  It's funny, we would talk to our mom on skype and Nini would either be there while we talked or we would be talking about Nini. Our Mom would always say, "Oh, shes gonna be so sad when you guys leave." We never thought the broken heart would be ours :(

~Me and Her


Mariel Torres said...

i'm not even there and i am already in love with nini... can she be any cuter?

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