Day 5, January 7, 2010

Message of the Day from Joanna: LIVE IN THE MOMENT

We arrived at Center 2 at the usual time and were greeted by the children and tias. Today they requested that some of the volunteers work outside to clean up the garden. To that end, Meredith and Barbara spent most of the morning and early afternoon working alongside parents and grandmothers weeding the flower borders, cutting the grass with dull and broken hedge clippers, and edging the borders. Joanna worked in the garden as well. We had these observations:

1. The people are very diligent and hardworking.
2. They seem to prefer using hand labor in lieu of tools, lawnmowers and rakes.
3. They used potato sacks as trash bags—a form of recycling.
4. Jennie suggested that they have difficulty repairing lawnmowers, etc.

Joanna and Glenda continued painting and refining the murals. It has been very pleasant painting in quiet companionship with the birdsong music and breezes through the open windows. Glenda helped Joanna with the mouth on her princess; tomorrow we will add the finishing touches.

Judy was proud to announce that when the other volunteer group presented the cake to the children she didn’t eat it. Judy and Glenda played with the two year olds—interactive games and stories. They worked with Sandra—played outside. Judy’s observation: They washed hands five times—before and after playing outside.

Jackie worked with Fernanda. Some activities were: Story at board regarding family life and a song—Jewel of Father’s Eye, about a father and children. Kids made play dough. Jackie observed that the children are very receptive to Fernanda.

Barbara floated (operative word) from garden to kitchen. Barbara’s observation was that dishes are washed with Lava soap and cold water. Boiling water is poured over stacked dishes.

Jennie bought hand nails from little Ignatio’s grandfather. These will go on the stairwell that is to be tiled. Joanna observed Jennie reading a lengthy Dr. Seus book to a very attentive group of two year olds. Observation: Children are able to sit and attend to task as well as wait while teachers prepare.

Shannon spent time in construction rincone. She traced pictures and wrote instructions for kids in Espanol. She played outside pitching balls with kids. Observation: Some tias speak loudly to children but always lovingly.

Cora continues working with Pati and the babies. Joanna observed that they have a good rapport with one another. Cora observed that Pati was affected by her child’s illness (as anyone would be).

Judy observed that the children (even 2’s) have good coordination while eating.
Sue spent time with the babies and seemed to love feeding, holding, and rocking.
Glenda was given an ice pack by the kitchen tias.

We returned to the hotel and prepared for an early dinner consisting of a delicious crunchy roasted corn, fried plantain, ribs, hominy, and cake.

At 6:00 a group of us embarked on the tour with Martin and Andres. We drove by the Basilica (built in 1898) adorned with indigenous animals instead of gargoyles. Continued driving to the “border” between Old Town and South Quito—up the mountain for a sparkling vista of the city at night en route to The Virgin. Unfortunately she was shrouded in darkness. Continued to La Ronda where we strolled this historic district replete with artsy shops, bars, and musicians. We enjoyed Canelazo at the Bohemia.

The city was founded in 1534 and has 1.5 million people.

Later we drove by San Francisco Cathedral and Independence Cathedral. Also the President’s mansion.

By Joanna

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