Saturday, July 17, 2010

July 15--Katerina

Hola! Today was our last day on El Tren de Chocolate. We started off the day with a distribution of shoes that were donated by a parish a Chicago. Each of the children received a brand new pair of shoes that they were each excited to try on, even if they were a little too large. (Please look at the picture of Edgar who is 3 in his size 7 shoes!)

The kids in my group, San Mateo, worked on yards and yards of lanyard (even the nannies were making their own), made puzzles, threw baseballs, swam, and finally made their very own imprints in cookies at the Panaderia- Bakery. Then we had lunch! It is astonishing at how much the children do in just a few hours!

Today was Padre Juan’s birthday, so the team and the children celebrated with song and cake after lunch.

The kids were ecstatic because today were the finals of the “Hogar World Cup” and the champions were the group San Marcos! After the finals, the children showcased the artwork that they had created all week in arts and crafts. They had made icon ornaments, buttons canvas crosses, key chains, colored wooden crosses, and some of their own creations that we cannot attach a name to.

However, I have to be honest. I was not at the final game in the finals, or the arts and crafts showcase, because I was asleep. This week has been exhausting. Each group has been taking kids to four stations everyday… and that’s all before lunch! We’ve learned how to make Komboskinis (prayer ropes) with the older girls, played endless games of just about everything, thrown kids across pools, eaten beans for every meal (except when we attended Pollo Compero), and debriefed every night over Oreos, pretzels and Nutella. In fact, almost every member of our team has had some sort of sickness or ailment at some point this week. Exhaustion, stomach issues, dizziness, bee stings (my finger is still swollen), people falling into 3 foot holes (not a sink hole…no worries). However, despite everything that has gone “wrong” this week, everything has been going perfectly well. As a matter of fact, nothing has gone wrong. Everything that has happened has been a blessing and struggle all wrapped together. It has been difficult to wake up every morning at 7:00 AM and eat beans for breakfast. However, when I wake up and see the children with smiling faces ready for the day ahead and greeting me with hugs, my energy spikes back up. We have all put our best effort forward and tried to make this a memorable week for the children and God-willing have succeeded in our task. We may have had to take a few naps here and there, but nobody told us that this mission was going to be a cakewalk. I truly feel that our team has pulled together by the work of God’s hand and understand the meaning of a mission trip. It’s not a vacation. It’s not suffering. It is using one’s talents to work in God’s name at the best of their ability. We may be tired, but we are working together to give these children the best that we can provide.

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