Alyssa, a Global Volunteer in Ecuador, reflects on two weeks of caring for children in Ecuador, offering: “Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work.” – C.S. Lewis.
Today is our last normal day at the daycare. Tomorrow, we’ll be celebrating and saying our final goodbyes. It’s hard to believe that our time with the little munchkins is coming to an end.
Most of us returned to our original tías to spend our last couple days with the children that made an impact first. I returned to Blanqi’s classroom to be welcomed with warm smiles and open arms. Shortly after breakfast and play time, it was time to go to the park. We walked along the street with Majo and Fernanda’s kids, using ropes to keep them in line.
The children squealed with excitement as we arrived at the park. The swings and slide just called their name. Learning from the previous day, we all knew to put on sunscreen and drink lots of water. The weather was perfect for a park day with the sun shining down on us. When it came time for a break, the children patiently waited for their bananas. They are so cute, eating their little fruit. I thought they couldn’t get any cuter and then they do. With more time to play, we were running all around with the kids to the slide, to the swings, and back to the slide. You could tell the kids had a really good time, and so did we…caring for children in Ecuador – so far from our homes.
For some reason, the walk back is always quicker than the walk there. The kids were exhausted and poor Sebastián wasn’t feeling well, so I carried him halfway. Once we arrived back at the daycare, it was almost time for lunch, and I returned to Blanqi’s classroom to get them ready to eat.
I will always enjoy putting the kids to sleep at nap time. They are so precious and they just look at me with their big, beautiful eyes before slowly closing them. These little moments remind me of the difference that we are making. Something so little can mean so much.
After another delicious lunch of chicken, coleslaw, and French fries, we all went back to work. Micah and Joyce put one more top coat on the tables while the rest of us helped the tías with their materials. While I made popsicle stick squares with Blanqi, I got to know her even more. I enjoy learning new things every day.
Visiting Family’s Home Provides Context for Project
This afternoon, we got the opportunity to visit the home of one of the daycare children. Doménica’s mother graciously invited us into her home and shared her story. We got to ask her questions and learn about the family lifestyle. Mrs. Jenny (the mom) has four kids, ages three, six, ten, and thirteen. She is a seamstress, and her husband is a carpenter who works six days a week. They have lived in their house for four years since her mother-in-law gave the land to her husband and seven siblings. Her husband and she built the home themselves over the span of a year with their hard work. She likes the daycare and the support it provides for Doménica and her family.
We all dread tomorrow, our last day caring for our sweet children in Ecuador.