Making long-lasting memories

Message for the Day from Jackie:  “The world needs your gift as much as your need to give it.”

I awoke this morning to my regular cheerful good morning from Sue, my roommate, who is usually up before me. The sun was out!

Breakfast was at 7:15. Our cook Charito made a nice breakfast as usual. During breakfast Jennie noted that dinner is at 6:30 tonight. A short meeting will follow.

Around 8:00 Pili picked us up at the hotel. The city of Quito comes alive at that time. Riding to Calderón at that time is a learning experience.

After stopping at Center #2 first, Sue, Jennie, and I went on to Center #1. The children were finishing their snacks. The tías greeted us with hugs and kisses. Center #1 is a beautiful old building (needs a lot of work). It used to be a restaurant, I was told. It was also used for a temporary Calderón bus terminal. The children are divided into three rooms: babies, 2-year-olds, and 3- to-5-year-olds. I worked with Yesenia, who has been with the center for five years.

For their table project she talked about chickens. The children glued egg shells on traced chickens I prepared the day before.

Tía Germania worked with Sue at another table. After craft time we spent some time in the large yard where the children loved the freedom to run and play ball.

At lunch the children always have soup, which they love. They had rice, avocado, and hominy as well. The tías always made sure they finished their food. Their nap time followed their lunch on floor mats. Jennie, Sue, and I left for lunch while they napped at 1:00. Mi Quinta served us lentils, herb rice, and pork chops and always soup of the day.

After the children woke up from their nap, Jennie, Sue, and I worked on a project which started the previous day as well. We cut out rabbits for their personal pencil boxes and traced chickens, large and small.

Some children loved sitting with us cutting and drawing with scraps of thin foam material. Others just loved having enough space to run and play with each other. We helped clean up the room when Pili arrived at 4:00. Before we left, we said our sad goodbyes.

P.S. I will remember for a long time the tías, the children, and the wonderful aromas coming from the kitchen each day!

Journal Entry Submitted by Jackie

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