Global Volunteers Ecuador Country Manager Maggie Bjorklund writes about a very happy morning at the early childhood development center in Quito where Global Volunteers has partnered for almost two decades – when the gleeful children played at a water table the center was gifted.
Over the years, I have been lucky to witness many joyous moments with the children and dedicated staff at the early childhood development centers for disadvantaged children in Calderón – graduations from the centers, learning milestones, important repairs and building maintenance at the centers, projects with the children, birthdays, celebrations, costume parties, the list goes on and on. But then one of the centers was gifted a water table. Who would have imaged that a little table coupled with some water and hand soap would create some of the most gleeful moments I had yet to witness with the little ones? On this particular day, for over an hour the children played tirelessly at the table, squealing with joy as they splashed around and played with the suds, letting the water run over their fingers and watching how it moved. They patted on the suds to see if they could change their shape. They watched wide-eyed, marveling at the capabilities of water as drops fell from their fingers. “Weeeeeeeeeeeeee!” they squealed as they splashed and played.
It was a gorgeous sunny day in Quito with the equatorial sun shining down. The children got soaked while they played in the water and sun, having the time of their lives. I had never heard so much squealing anywhere before.
Mother and son volunteers Carolyn and Thomas got to partake in the fun. The only obstacle to all the exuberance was getting too many suds on their faces – a job which Carolyn took on with tons of love, wiping the suds off their little faces so they could continue splashing. The gleeful faces, if covered in too many suds, would become worried or sad, and there were Carolyn and Teacher Alexandra to clean them off right away, and within a split second, they were back to the merriment.
Gleeful Children at the Water Table
Meanwhile, a few yards away from the water table, Teacher Mónica filled two tubs with water and soap. What fun! The curious, gleeful children dunked plastic toys in the tub and pulled them out to see what they looked like all covered in suds.
“Who would have imaged that a little table coupled with some water and hand soap would create some of the most gleeful moments I had yet to witness with the little ones?”
Don’t those joyous little faces make you want to witness their exuberance firsthand?
To learn more about volunteering in Ecuador, where you can have loads of fun with these little ones, check out these posts: