This post, excerpted from an Ecuador team journal, provides a glimpse into a day working with children in Quito, and the impact one little girl has on a volunteer.
Waking up today, I looked forward to working with Vanesa again. At breakfast, we discussed the plans for the week and for the evening. Today involved a lot of dancing and learning salsa moves at the daycare and also preparing a song and dance for the celebration at the center on Friday.
After the children finished breakfast, we left for the park with Vanesa, Johanna, and Lissette’s classes. What would have been a seven or eight-minute walk for me, was at least 45 minutes with the children. For some reason, my class struggled, and Joyce and I had a true test of patience. Vanesa used a long rope to try to corral the children while walking on the sidewalk to keep them safe, but they were not having it, and at one point all but two were crying!
Eventually, we made it to the park. It was worth the trek to get there to see how happy it made everyone. After the park, it was the usual lunch, nap, and snack. Lulling the children to sleep at nap time was another highlight of my day because they look so innocent and peaceful. At lunch, Maggie taught us a few basic salsa dancing steps. This was so fun, and the tías joined in and shared many laughs with us. Maggie taught us all about the salsa world compared to other dancing venues or discotecas. I got to know Vanesa more today as we cared for the children together. We shared stories, personal information about our families, our likes and dislikes, and also our studies. She is studying English at university, and is proud of me for studying nursing.
Sweet Little Sofía Reminds Us Why We’re Working with Children in Quito
As the day wrapped up at the center, I helped get the children ready to go home, and said my goodbyes to the children for the day as they left with their parents. I will never forget sweet little Sofía and her goodbye today. She is so quiet and content in a class full of wild children. When her name was called to leave, she came to me and squeezed my hand and leaned in to give me a kiss on the nose. As she left the room, I watched with a full heart as she walked down the hallway and turned around and waved and smiled with the sweetest smile on her face. This put the true meaning to Mother Teresa’s quote about spreading love and happiness to all people I encounter:
“Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.”
by Margaret, Global Volunteer in Ecuador
Read more about caring for children in Ecuador with Global Volunteers.