¡Sí se puede!

As typist, I’ll add our last notes. Our final day at Center #1 was spent much as usual. The morning duties were performed, and then the volunteer team left to walk to Center #2 in time for the 11:00 farewell celebration. John, Peggy, Karen, and Kristina scrambled around finishing up last minute projects and pitching in at both centers. Meanwhile the Center #2 crew helped with the preparations for the performance. This started very early in the morning and resulted in lots of dressed up and “ready” little performers having to wait for what seemed an interminable period of time to dance. We were thrilled and intrigued by the traditional dance costumes in which the children were dressed. Apparently each class had been instructed to dress in a particular style, so children came with genuine and makeshift versions of outfits, including embroidered white shirts, sashes, hats, kerchiefs, and even black makeup for painting faces. The black painted faces were a particular challenge for us helpers, as the outfits for that dance were all white for the boys…

When 11:00 rolled around, we were treated to dances by each class, thank you cards, dough ornament gifts, kind words, and multiple hugs from our hosts from the center. We, in turn, presented the ladies of FUNDAC and our tías with a poem (see below), our heartfelt gratitude for this learning experience, and some treats for the little ones from a piñata.

At the end of the day, when it was time for some of us to go to Cecilia’s to see the demonstration of ornament making (and later for the others), many of us were tearful and moved at the moment of saying “chao”. For me, as I hugged my tía, I thought of how she is only a year or so older than my daughter, and I thought of the vast difference in their two lives. I wished I could make her life easier – or at least more fair. When the few children up from nap hugged me, I wished them luck with their new government’s free education initiative and their slowly growing economy.

I also had a few minutes of being overwhelmed by what a little drop this two weeks of work was in the big outdoor washing sink of work faced by our world’s poor. But I knew as we made our way down the dirt road from Center #2 to Center #1 for the last time, that we had, indeed, touched some lives. Our smiles, sweat, soup-dipping, pantomimes, bad mopping, songs, and words of encouragement in English or elementary Spanish, and even our money had brightened the lives of the children, their tías, and the women of the community trying to help them. Every little bit counts, right?

¡Sí se puede!

En este mundo tan lindo y tan grande,
Yo soy única
Yo soy especial
Llena de amor y de inteligencia

Yo puedo realizar mis sueños
Siendo una mujer fuerte y siempre haciendo mi trabajo
Con amor
Con orgullo
Y con gusto

Porque sé que

¡Sí se puede!

Yes, I Can

In this beautiful and great world
I am unique
I am very special, and full of love.
I am intelligent.

I can reach my goals by being a strong woman (person) and by always doing my work.
With love, with pride, and with pleasure.
Yes, I can!


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