Aug 132013

The days are hot and humid but the ride to the centre is beautiful and I only have to walk one hill with my new cushy bike seat. Room one and two in the morning with a lot of help from Matilda and Nicole.  They have jumped in and taken over where the Spanish volunteers left off.  They bring their music and passion for the kids.  Melanie’s girl we now call MG and she is  like a different child.  She is up and about all day happy, smiling and dancing.  Of course this is all in a wheelchair but that is far better than her previous state of lying all day in her crib.

Monday afternoon at the cafe Hahn and Terrry came to meet with us to talk about our experience and the future plans for volunteers.

On Tuesday morning I was chatting with Ian, a volunteer at the other centre .  I was telling him that Matilda had tried to buy bubbles last night and they did not have them.  He opened up his knap sack and took out three containers of bubbles.  I teared up in joy.  Really,  if you can imagine how little it  takes to bring a smile to the face of these kids you would understand.  If you talk to them, touch them or sing and dance with them they smile with joy.  So I knew the bubbles would be a huge hit. And they were.  I actually took them to room 4 after I brought back the children I had taken to the classroom.  I am not sure I have described this room to you.  There are about 20 children who sit in wood chairs lining two sides of the room facing each other.  They sit there all day.  It is beyond sad.  Anyway,the bubbles gave them a few moments of joy.  And I hope that will continue when I leave.

The staff in Rooms 1&2 have been so kind and appreciative of our work.  Today I was asked to accompany the staff person to pick up the food.  The meals are the same each day.  Rice, a vegetable, and some pieces of meat.  When you go to pick it up you bring big plastic containers for the rice and vegetables and a metal bowl for the meat. The kitchen was very clean and they have the biggest woks I have ever seen!  We brought the food back to the rooms and everything got mixed and served as usual.

Tuesday one of the children in room 2 had a visit from his grandmother.  This is only the second time since I have bbeen here that a child has had a family member visit.  The grandmother came with a suitcase full of delicious food, much of which she had prepared.  She insisted on feeding the children, staff and volunteers in addition to lovingly feeding her grandson.  She took out her phone and showed me a picture of him from when he was a baby.  He was beautiful.  Than she she showed me a video of him several years later.  Although I am not certain of his diagnosis, his behavior in the video appeared to suggest that he was autistic.  She was wonderful with him and he was very responsive to her. I found this to be a very emotionally moving experience.

I am anticipating tomorrow with a profound sadness.



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