Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Trenches and Children

Our first adventure today was to the Esperanza Clinic where we were greeted by Doctor Patty. We were given a tour of their facilities as they explained to us how people from the neighborhood come to them for medical assistance. The cost is only a fee of thirty pesos, which is about 3.50 USD and their services include dental aid, vaccinations, psychological assistance, and a “petite” emergency room for acute care. In the case of serious injury, they team up with the local hospital to give follow-up care after they assess the situation.

Today, we started working on a different house in a new work site and with a much different job than what we were used to this week. This new family whose house we were building is much more poor than the one we worked with yesterday. Also keep in mind, we were now working on the side of a hill, which was a challenge for most of us. When we arrived, we started digging the trenches to lay down the foundation. The group was split into two with some of us digging and the rest of us moving buckets of dirt and rocks out of the way. It turned out that this would be the most difficult day of work for us, but we all persevered and most importantly realized how each of us contributes to the task at hand. At this point in this experience, we have gotten so used to each other that we can understand what we are all capable of and are now better able to work as a team.

The day ended with a visit to an all-girls orphanage called Santa Teresita, which is headed by nuns. When we arrived, it was dinner time. We were able to share a meal with the children and get to know them better. Although only a few of us can speak Spanish and understand them, they were still glad to greet us and talk to us. After dinner, it was play time, and all of the kids took us by the hands and led us outside for some fun and games. Most of us were running around chasing after the kids, with some of us giving piggyback rides to the younger kids. Eventually, most of us were playing soccer with the older kids. We ended the night with the children singing to us Christmas songs in Spanish. Then shortly after, our Japanese volunteers sang a popular song about unity and uniqueness.

The conclusion of this day was a quiet evening making s’mores by the fireplace.

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