Saving starfish

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Message for the Day:

“Once upon a time there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work. One day he was walking along the shore. As he looked down the beach, he saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself to think of someone who would dance to the day. So he began to walk faster to catch up. As he got closer, he saw that it was a young man and the young man wasn’t dancing, but instead he was reaching down to the shore, picking up something, and very gently throwing it into the ocean. As he got closer he called out, “Good morning! What are you doing?”

The young man paused, looked up,  and replied, “Throwing starfish in the ocean.”

“I guess I should have asked, why are you throwing starfish in the ocean?”

“The sun is up and the tide is going out. And if I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.”

“But, young man, don’t you realize that there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it. You can’t possibly make a difference!”

The young man listened politely. Then bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it into the sea, past the breaking waves and said, “I made a difference for that one.”



Journal: Elena Ferancy

Tuesday, June 21 started out like the usual. All six teammates met downstairs for breakfast at 7:30 and were off to the daycare by 8:00. The 30-minute ride seemed like 10 because everyone was so used to it and fell asleep. After waking up to find we were at Daycare Center #1 already, we stumbled our way in to see the kids.

Beth and Allen made their way to Center #2 while Kaitlyn helped Tía Gaby for the first time. She had never realized kids could have so much energy. Elena worked with the babies and Tía Norma for the first time also. She learned that not all kids are potty trained, even if they are out of diapers. Irene spent her day in the kitchen peeling potatoes and washing dishes. She later got a break while teaching English to a very enthusiastic Tía Gaby. Beth spent her day with the babies she knows and loves at Center #2. Allen realized his true artistic ability and probably does not want to see an ‘8’ or a piñata for the rest of his life. Last but not least was team leader Michelle. Between her other tasks, she spent the morning at Center #2 with the crazy but loveable two-year-olds. After lunch she stayed at Center #1 and helped with the babies.

When the bus picked everyone up at 4:00, the team headed back to the hotel. Beth, Allen, Kaitlyn, Michelle, and Elena started getting ready to go to the Church of the Society of Jesus of Quito, or La Compañía, for a 6:00 mass and Irene made some phone calls. Due to traffic the team arrived at 6:10 to be told that the mass was almost finished and that the next one was only for a school. After finding another church, the Cathedral, everyone was able to sit, pray, and admire the beauty of the church for a couple of minutes. When dinner came at 7:15, the whole team enjoyed delicious food, while at the same time talking about hair washing and breaking out of jail. (Just two of many different topics!) In the end, Tuesday was a great day filled with laughter, fun, and the occasional scary story. Just to say, I think everyone checked underneath their bed that night.

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