Thursday, April 1, 2010

The travels of Monday, day #3!

I figure now, that I journaled during the entire week, so why not use some of that to recap! Duh!

"Today we visited Damien house in the morning, a house for patients living with Hansen's disease (also known as Leprosy)I was slightly petrified that it would be scary or that I would be disgusted by the people due to deformities and also didn't know a lot about the disease but that was not at all the case. It was amazing and one of the most gratifying experiences. All the men and women were so humble and happy, and grateful for our presense in their community. They shared so many stories and experiences, and just very much enjoyed that time. Tomorrow we get to return and hopefully spend more time with them. In the afternoon we went to an after school program called Semillas de Mostaza, nearby and I got to work with the younger kids. The girl I worked with was named Belem, and she was not having it, but it was good to feel like I had some authority, even with the language barrier!"

A little more information about Semillas and my time there... even though the kids aren't currently in school, they come to the after school programs in the neighborhood. Not all of the kids even do go to school. Semillas was in the neighborhood of Arbolito (where we stayed), and was a quick walk from the house. We were bombarded with children as we walked there and soon our group got bigger and bigger, and by the time we got to the park and cancha (the soccer field). It was our first interaction with the kids of the neighborhood, what I have been waiting and excited to do, and where I first got to really use my spanish (and got laughed at!). Nicki and I found a couple of kids who wanted to play futbol on the smaller cancha. It was so fun to just run around with these kids and not understand half of what they said!

Kids in Ecuador are not different than kids in the US when it comes down to it. They want to play and have fun and just be kids, and they love it. And though half of them go to school and the other half don't, there is no stereotyping or differing in the relationship between those kids, and they don't judge. That was just amazing to me!

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