A Message from one of Kamrin's teachers, Jean Porter:
Today we went to the Nutrition Centre and painted the outside of the building. First Mr. Sangster and our host team had to eliminate some wasp nests around the house. They are a different type of nest compared to what we imagine, and smaller. They put newspaper on sticks and lit them on fire and burned down the nests. No one got stung and it was actually a pretty simple process. It felt good to work together and see something get accomplished. This nutrition centre feeds 100 children (babies to 18 years old) lunch and supper every day in this small community of 300 people. Many of the families are single mom families. We did not have as many children as normal come for lunch today which surprised Luis so he inquired into that and we found out that yesterday one of the young men (17 years old) who comes there to eat his meals was killed in a car accident. This meant no children would be coming to play. We were all so sad to hear the news of this young man's life being cut so short. Brooklynn helped us see the amazingness of this community though because the reason they were not coming was to be with the family and support them and help plan his funeral. What an amazing example of community support.
In this community we saw some homes that were just tin shacks with a cloth door. One of the students has already made the comment about how blessed we are with our homes that would seem like mansions to these people. (Makenzie). As an organizer of these trips it is always my goal to have our students see the contrast and realize how blessed we are so it was pretty awesome to hear that comment after one day.
On the way home, Luis and Alex stopped and bought each of us a frozen treat that was absolutely delicious! And it was very refreshing as it was a very hot, muggy day today and I think we all sweated off a few pounds!
When we came home today many of us needed a siesta (nap) and of course we all needed a shower to wash off the paint! We had another delicious supper and then Luis taught us some Spanish. The students came to realize how incredibly smart Luis is as he is not only fluent in both languages but spent last year teaching english at a high school and was their guidance counselor. He is currently getting his Masters Degree in Business Administration and he hopes to eventually teach at the University.
We had a lot of laughs this evening with Mr. Sangster playing some silly songs on the guitar. Everyone in the group is getting along very well and work very well together.
Tomorrow we go back to the Nutrition Centre but we know there will be no children at all as tomorrow is August 2nd, their National Holiday for the Feast of the Virgin. When we have morning prayer tomorrow we will be including the rosary to be part of the community and this feast. On Wednesday we will be going to the orphanage for the first time since the Pilgrims will have left and the road to the orphanage will be open for us again. We will be painting the outsides of the small houses there. I think Luis said there are eleven houses on the site so we will try and paint as many as we can before the end of next week. Luis was contacted yesterday by the orphanage to say we cannot come on Thursday as they have something planned there with the children, so we need to be flexible. We discussed options and have agreed to make it a fun day for ourselves and go to the "club" of which Luis is a member so we can swim or play volleyball, basketball, etc. so we should be able to do some good team building while we are there. Then we will be back at the orphanage for Friday.
We are very excited to be done orientation and doing what we came here to do, to improve the buildings for the children and learn about a new culture. We are looking forward to painting the inside of the Nutrition Centre tomorrow.