Week Two in Calderon: More Babies!

Message of the Day – Rita Lakmann
Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing. (Mother Teresa)

Buenos Días! We entered Guardería de Nuestra Señora del Carmen #1 and the children shouted this familiar greeting. After working with about 35 children and 6 tias last week in Day Care Center #2, we were anxious to meet the new tías and nearly 50 children in Center #1. We helped the tías serve a somewhat chaotic breakfast, and then eased into our placements. Today was Tía Mariela and Tía Jenny’s first day on the job, so our extra hands were much needed.

Highlights from the morning….Edwardo and Tía Mariela spent several hours with the 12 babies in the Rincón de Bebés. Ed had the rare privilege of witnessing one boy’s first steps. Julie and Tía Gakz played games indoors with the 2 year olds, and Claudia patiently drew apples for Tía Paty and the children in the Rinion de Construccion. It is difficult to catch Claudia and Julie without a child in their arms! Pamela and Tía Jenny worked with a very active group of 3 year olds, and helped them glue foam pieces onto pictures. Rita, Tía Olga and Tía Germania made sure all children ate a delicious breakfast, lunch and refrigerio. Olga and Germania ensured that Rita thoroughly washed and rinsed the dishes. The women in the kitchen enjoyed music while they cooked! Jennie and Tía Ruth helped another class of 3 year olds sting pieces of straws onto yarn and tied the bracelets onto the children’s tiny wrists.

Off to lunch at Mi Quinta restaurant. Jennie was happy to have Blanca as our waitress. Blanca’s children go to Day Care Center #2, and Elle and Jennie enjoyed sweeping the 2nd floor with her last week. As we walked back to Day Care Center #1, Cecilia ran out of her marzapan shop to greet us. How wonderful to see familiar, friendly faces as we ate lunch and walked the streets of Calderón. A sure sign we are much more than tourists in this town, The afternoon passed quickly as we held children and traced snails, trees and hearts. The new environment was overwhelming, but after decompressing, we all agreed that we’re striving for and achieving our goals: To help FUNDAC and to serve the children. And we’re having fun doing it. We laughed about our adventures and mishaps over dinner, and are excited to hug the children again tomorrow.
-Jennie Taylor

Message for Wednesday, January 27 – Pamela Ward
A volunteer is a person that is a light to others, giving witness in a mixed up age, doing well and willingly the tasks at hand – namely being aware of another’s needs and doing something about it.

We boarded the bus on this warm and sunny morning to begin our second day at Day Care Center #1. We step through the food market and enter the door to the Center. The children are seated at their round tables drinking warm milk and eating a biscuit. Their smiles beckon us to come and share breakfast with them. There are more children to look after here and coupled with the recent turnover in two out of five tías, our assignments are more challenging. But we are able to apply what we learned last week effectively.

Rita worked with the 4-year-olds, cutting foam pieces, glueing designs and decorating cupcakes with colored paper. Jennie and Ed headed to the local hardware store to purchase items Ed needed for his handyman chores. When not helping Ed get set up, Jennie spent time with one group of 3-year-olds, teaching them the vowel “u”. Julie carried out a lot of art projects, played games, sang songs and went to the small outdoor playground with her charges. Claudia was on kitchen duty swaying to the beat of salsa and the Macarena. She had brown fingers from peeling green bananas to show for her effort. Ed was Mr. Handyman. He rebuilt a crib, put up a coat rack in the babies room, rebuilt two highchairs and fixed the third faucet in the children’s bathroom. As for myself, I spent most of the day with the second set of 3 year olds, pasting and glueing red foam onto tracings of hearts and apples. The color of the week is “rojo” and the wall was ablaze with Rojo when we finished hanging up the children’s creations. The morning flew by as we were continuously active with our assignments, cleaning up, chasing stray niños, washing dirty hands and comforting those who cry.

I spent some time feeding the babies today and gladly obliged as their little mouths opened wide for the next spoonful and the next. After lunch, the children were sound asleep in their two rooms. But soon, one child would emerge and another and another, each groggily wiping the sleep from their eyes, letting out a yawn or two and walking over to us to be held.

In this moment, you realize they don’t ask for much at all, they just want a hug, soft words, love and affection. They just want to feel safe..like any child in any part of the world.
– Pamela Ward

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply