Thursday, October 8, 2009

"It is What it is"

Friday was the day Gail got a donut. None of the other Global Volunteers was as lucky. We will investigste. Monday. We had flowers in our room. They are beautiful and a welcome sight after a long day. Thx, Edith.

This experience with CDLN is enriching, sad, frustrating, exhausting and quite wondersful on many levels. I arrive each morning expecting to accomplish something and quickly realize I expect too much. I cannot excape the overwhelming feeling that los ninos live an eye-popping different life than my son who is not that much older than the oldest and was just a little boy not that long ago. It is indeed a charmed life that we lead and we need to be more aware and thankful. Los Ninos are the best....loving, funny, smart and boyishly wild...and on those levels absolutely no different than my son. They play a mean game of Uno and have no qualms trying to kid me out of getting their assignments done. On the other hand, they do listen and have a keen sense of when too much is too much.

Working, eating, and laughing daily with The Golden Girls (Beautiful Ladies, per Edith) is a treat. I am the newbie to GV and they each bring a perspective I do not have. Needless to say, having Gail as my roommate for the first time in many years is amusing and meaningful at the same time. She truly comes alive with GV and it is fun to watch her and share this with her. She does eat an awful lot, however !!!!

Our projects move along. We paint the San Pio in hopes of making it beautiful again. We sand and paint and clean San Antonio with the same hope. If only we coul get the right plate count at lunch we would be on our way to a very successful 2 weeks. We hope the hermanas find our projects and time here useful. They have a tough primary responsibilty and then they have all of us.

This is a great experience. Edith makes it all happen with charm and energy and professionalism. Lots of thoughts but the one that keeps coming to mind and that I say throughout the day, ¨It is what it is"

By Pat

Golden Girls

The five of us volunteers along with our caring & courageous leader, Edith, have really come together as a team. After gathering for a delicious breakfast each morning & hearing announcements, we were off in our van to join our families at Cuidad de los Niños. Rae & Gail headed for Niño Jesus with the youngest boys. There they kept very busy on the playground, reading & straightening up. Natalie went to her family at Sonrisa Franciscana where she engaged in housekeeping chores such as making beds, folding clothes & sweeping. Claire & Pat could be found housekeeping & mending with their family at San Antonio. Later in the morning several of us went with Edith to paint the playroom. This is a major project & we are proud to say that we are making significant progress. We are indeed a team of dedicated & determined workers. Some of us also found time to assist in the lavandaria.Preparation of the dining room & serving lunch has been a challenge for sure.. It isn´t easy to get the count right but we are catching on. We have lunch with our families. Clean up comes next & the tutors told Edith that they love the way Gail does dishes - she´s indispensable! Our afternoon projects consist of playing games with the boys and helping them with homework. Pat has the nine & ten year old excited about playing Uno. The boys are helping us with our Spanish.Wednesday evening we participated in the church service with the community. This was a time filled with much joy as we, the boys & the tutors gathered together in the church for singing, clapping & dancing to the hymns of praise. What a beautiful ending to a very fulfilling day. Diners at our hotel have been delicious & fun. Thursday night Edith took us to Xin Xing, a great Chinese restaurant in our neighborhood. We had a terrific meal together. We are a happy team.
By Natalie

Thought for the Day - " One thing I know; the only ones among us who will be happy are those who will have sought & found how to serve." Albert Schweitzer

"To dispose a soul to action we must upset its equilibrium "

The words I have selected for the daily thought were penned by Eric Hoffer. The words seem particularly fitting for my 6th trip with Global Volunteers. Regardless of how many countries I have the good fortune to visit and participate in volunter work there is always the feeling of being slighty off balance and at times, dazed. I do not mind feeling that way for a time as I am seeing a part of my world with renewed interest in my surroundings. Travel and involvement with different people whose lives are so different from my own is invigorating even if it is not always easy to look around.

The team of 5 wonderful and comical women is a delight. We are all working hard at whatever needs doing. There is no end to what can be accomplished here. Our team leader, Edith, is a pepper pot of boundless energy , smart ideas, and genuine concern for us and the children and staff at Cidudad de Los Ñinos.

On a more personal note, it gives me much pleasure to have my sister, Pat here as a part of this adventure. She is a significant asset. It is nice to see another side of her! I hope she will seriously consider another volunteer trip in the future as she has so much to offer......

The children - what is there for me to write? They make me smile and break my heart all at the same time. I so want things to get better for each and every one. They are in the hands of people who are laboring so hard on their behalf and that is a comfort. The hermanasm in particular, have a huge job. I sense they really do understand how what they do every day for the children impacts the future .

I am happy I have come to Peru and hope my efforts will make a difference. All the work is to the good.

By Gail

Lesson learnt...

Friday was a usual day with breakfast and another ¨tour¨of the city on the way to Cidual los Niños.Cora was sick and spent the day at the Hostel and close to the baño.I finished painting the walls in the ¨mud¨ room at San Antonio. Manu continued working on painting the shoe pegs. She has-had the slow job. I´m going to miss her this week.At lunch I experienced a ¨lesson learned¨. The Niños prefer their soup cool. I waited until I seen them coming from school and going to change clothes before I ladeled out their soup so it would be hotter for them. Hot soup did not appear to be their preference.Lesson learned--don´t rock the boat and try and change their eating habits!I enjoyed the afternoon homework session because I took part in the class assignment. With help from Tonya, I was able to read the assignment and complete it which encouraged the boys to follow my example. Each one of them and the tutors got a ¨well done-good job¨ sticker and off to the playground for a game of football.I look forward to the short waiting period we have before leaving to come back to the hostel to prowl through the concession stand.Friday nite supper was at the Chinese place Xin Xin. Cora stayed at the hostel to continue recuperating. She is much better and plans on the city tour tomorrow.

By Verlon

The potential to turn a life...

The days all start off the same...breakfast in the morning with a short team meeting and a drive to CDLN. Being here almost 3 weeks, I have come to know what is expected of me each day without asking...These last 2 days I had to finish painting the windows and then help Verlin out in the Zapataria. The mornings seems to fly by with this work, and before we know´s 1pm and it´s time to start setting up for lunch.

Although now I am used to setting up for lunch exactly how the Hermanas and Niños like it...Grechen is still figuring things out...I think it must have taken me a week and a half to realize what was going on haha. One thing that is important for everyone to remember, however, is that no matter what mistakes are made...the boys and the hermanas will never hesitate to help out by fixing your mistakes, and by teaching you the proper way (their way). If there is one thing I´ve learned about Latin American culture these last few weeks is that they are very patient, honest and helpful people...
Anyway, lunch usually goes the same...some of the boys love eating, some of them hate it...but no matter what, each plate is left clean! Definitely gives you insight on how much we waste back home...Grenchin and I help with the dishes, washing and drying - I think the boys appreciate it, but it´s hard to tell.

After lunch it´s play time - these last 2 days Grenchin had the great idea of bringing the games Jenga and Etch-a-sketch - both which the boys absolulely loved! It´s great watching them play Jenga - they´ve got great skill and incredibly steady hands!

After playtime it´s on with the homework - it´s sort of become routine now that I help Brayan, Jose, Christian, Elvis and Maycol with their homework. I use help in the lossest sense of the term...because my Spanish is not near good enough to understand what´s going on half the time. I have a great time talking with the boys and learning from´s hard to believe that I am already into my last few days at CDLN. I can´t count how many times they´ve asked me ¨Is tomorrow your last day?¨ It breaks my heart everytime I answer ¨Si¨ It´s going to be very hard to leave these boys...I think I´ve made a few good friends in them.

As sad as I am that I will be leaving in a few days, I´m exciting for everyone else because I know the types of relationships they´re going to end up forming after 2 weeks. I can remember when it was my first day on at CDLN; I didn´t know what to expect but I was quickly put to work. At first, I felt quite be honest...I felt like the hermanas were just looking for work to give me. But once I started looking at the bigger picture, I realized that even something ¨small¨ like painting the windows or doing laundry goes a long way in this organization. Sometimes because we´re only here for such short periods it´s hard for us to see that, I know it was for me.

Anyway, I think I will leave it there with my thought of the day...

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest accomplishment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around - Leo Buscaglia

Believing in Someday...

First day anxiety at breakfast was quite apparent for all. The ride thru the city to CDLN was interesting and we arrived on time to meet with Father-brother Hugo Mejia . Edith then took us on an tour of the campus including a meeting with the chickens and pigs. We were introduced to our houses and the wonderful women who care for these needy boys 24 hours a day. It was a day of getting to know the ropes and finding out what the expectations were for our group of volunteers. Folding laundry, sewing, and sweeping seemed to be the main events of the morning. When the boys showed up the atmosphere changed quite abruptly and they were the focus of all activity for the remainder of the day. Our day was complete with a wonderful dinner at Restaurant Vista al Mar.

Tuesday was much the same although breakfast was a bit more relaxed. It was great to have Manu back to help us out as she had been working with the previous team and knew what was expected, the routine and of course a lot of the boys’ names.
By Gretchen

Thought for the day

Believing in Someday by Mattie Stepanek

Maybe , Someday
We will all join hands
And live together...
Helping each other.
Maybe, someday
We will all make the world
A much better place...
And be like a gigantic
Smoothly rushing river of peace.
A loving circle that nothing can break.
Maybe, Someday,
We may start with just one person,
And one permanent peace agreement
Within one´s self, within one´s world.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

"Be well, do good work, and keep in touch”- Garrison Keillor

This morning at breakfast there was a great surprise,
The coffee, milk and jam were out before we even arrived.
Without any special requests, the staff could not glare.
We ate everything up without a plantain to spare

After the morning talk, we had all the information we could gather.
We piled into the van and so began the daily chatter.
Pulling into La Ciudad we saw all the tutors sitting in a row,
Waiting to hear their fate; will they stay or can they go?

I spent most of my day painting in the Panaderia,
While pan y orejas consumed my ideas
Mario doesn´t seem to want the painting to end
He always seems to have another job for me and my friends

Finally off to lunch, the food seems to be getting better every day,
Ever since los niños left anyways
No more cleaning up after 22 little ones for me,
I´m back to the bakery painting every door I can see

While Tom and Sloan scrape and stain benches,
For the rest of us, our fist around our brush clenches.
Our persistence is rewarded with bakery rolls;
It´s Mario´s way of encouraging us to come back and work more.

Tonight we went to dinner and a show.
All but one of us were in tow.
The Peruvian dancing and food were all so great,
Even Allison felt compelled to partake.

With more food than I had eaten all week,
By the end of the night I was ready to sleep.
By Kattie

Like all good things in life...

To rise early with a clear mind and a healthier body helps us to focus on the plans for the following day. Everyone was seated for breakfast promptly and was interested in hearing Sloan’s review of Monday. The one thing we know was that La Ciudad de los Niños was starting their winter break later that day. The team was not sure how the process would flow.
Arriving at the Ciudad was familiar; the younger grades were in session at the school next door. Therefore, most of the jobs included sweeping, making beds, folding clothes and experimenting with communication in Spanish. Using single words, facial expressions and body movement helped advance my feeble Espanol, but sentences were not always completely understood, leaving us in a moment of “huh”?! The older familia volunteers headed to the bakery to continue a never ending mega-project of scraping, sanding and painting – this in order for the bakery to comply with local government code requirements.
Working at the Lavanderia had its surprises. After Edith translated a description of the job, the fundamentals were sensible, that is until the laundry supervisor appeared with a distressed look, saying that the shirts, long sleeved and short sleeved were hung incorrectly. Arms were dangling randomly; shirts were not sequenced from the side wall to the center; nor were they properly ordered from the back to the front; nor were the short sleeved shirts hanging 90 degrees to the long sleeved shirts. So, let’s start all over again, pull them down and get it right, gal. Later I learned to assume nothing, and did a demo for the supervisor before beginning. I guess, there really is something to the old truth that if you expect, then let someone inspect.
Lunch was the usual routine with a vegetable soup broth, hot faintly flavored water and a main course – this one of rice, cauliflower, and chicken – and, more appealing to my taste than other lunchtime fare. The los niños were excited about their winter break vacation. Following lunch most of the boys returned to their familias to pack clothes, clean their cubby holes and prepare for their journeys home. It is unbelievable how much the small boys can fit into one back pack and a medium sized yard waste bag.
At 3:00pm. the entire Ciudad de los Niños gathered in front of the front office for a blessing from Brother Hugo of good wishes and God Bless You. Gradually all of the children were leaving the Ciudad with their families, relatives or guardians. By the time us Global Volunteers gathered to head back to the Hostal Terrablanca, it seemed evacuated. It was very difficult to say good-bye, chau or adios or whatever parting words to boys with whom we were just starting to feel comfortable, especially knowing that we would not likely ever see them again. My los niños were not sure if I would be there when they returned in two plus weeks.
The thought for the day: Like all good things in life, there is a beginning and an end, but in this case the end came much too quickly.

by Sheila helped by Sloan! :)

Let’s relax, cherish our time here, and be happy with what we have!

We have now completed four days at the Ciudad de los ninos. The volunteers are all busy with painting projects. Those of us painting in the bakery will be thought of by Mario when the bakery begins full operation in September or October. We can all be proud of the Family signs we are busy trying to finish by tomorrow evening. There are times when I have felt frustration with the projects as the projects would go so much faster if we had better tools, even power tools to work with. And then I relax and tell myself that it is ok, I have time and that the projects will get done. When I arrived, I thought, ÖK¨, let me make a huge impact and go, go, go! Now after a few days I am telling myself to relax, to visit with the boys, to work with the boys, and to slow down to enjoy myself with my task at hand. Seriously, if we had stayed home and just sent the money to the Ciudad de los ninos, the projects could be done by the professionals. Our main job is to be an ambassador for the United States and to leave the boys remembering our warmth and caring personalities. My husband once attended a class where he was asked, ¨Who made you what you are today?¨ Many answers spewed forward but the correct answer was, 95% of who you are and what you have accomplished is based on the situation where you grew up. I see these loving boys and know that the Ciudad de los ninos is a good place for them, helping them to reach their potential. I am happy to be here with them even if it is only for a short time.

By Kristy :)

Sunday, May 31, 2009

It takes a village to raise a child...

Today was another standard day. No major tasks or traumas on our end, but one boy was taken to the hospital. I used to volunteer at a children´s hospital in the States and even there the parents often used the hospital as child care. They were uninvolved and nowhere to be found. Today, Hermano Hugo stayed with the boy the entire day, he truly is dedicated to those boys.

I´ve become partial to the 4 year olds. Of course there are a few other boys I´m attached to as well, but the 4 year olds, as a whole, have won my heart. Juvenal with his little face and need for attention, Figo always in trouble but very bright, Matthew starting fights just for attention who can always be stopped for a hug, and the twins with their eyes and their voices and those dance moves! I´ve been conscious about spreading my time with everyone, but it seems the 4 year olds need me most. Alejandro was exhausted and just having a hard day. I held him a couple times and eventually he just fell asleep on my shoulder. He´d have these dreams where he´d just start moving around nervously and I´d hold him tighter and he´d instantly relax. Walking around with him, talking to the other kids, I kept thinking ´´Who will do this next week?´´ How can I go home confident that Alejandro, Carlos, Juvenal, etc. don´t feel abandoned...again. I know another team is coming soon, but who knows how they´ll bond with the littlest ones. The 3 and 4 year olds are still so little and need so much love. The tutors don´t have time to hold them when they´re tired or insecure. If I could give any advice to the next group, it would be to hold those little ones as much as possible. In trying to make the most out of everything, I also hope the next team might bond with the kids I didn´t have as strong a connection. Most importantly, I hope I made a difference.

For my quote today, the African proverb seems most appropriate: ´It takes a village to raise a child´´

“May you always shave enough happiness to keep us sweet, enough trials to keep you strong; enough success to keep you eager; enough faithto give you courage;and enough determination to make each day a good day”

Today was really relaxing. This was our 4th day and everyone is finally comfortable...both volunteers and tutors. The kids are happy to see us and greet us affectionately. Even with the language barrier we are all communicating effectively. Everyone pitched in to help with the little ones which was so nice. They are a ton of work and it can be overwhelming. We are hoping the tutors are enjoying their short break from some of their responsibilities. Josie got hit in the head with a soccer ball so she helped the 6 years olds with homework and we watched our kids dance which was so fun to watch. The home is the best of a bad situation for most of our kids and they are amazingly happy.

Helping just by being there!

This morning Edith reminded the group of our team characteristics. The goal of our team here is to put first the boys / Asociacion, then the team / Global volunteers and ourselves last. To me, this means to at all times be concerned with how my actions are affecting the kids and how we appear to the tutors. Today is a long day, beginning and ending in the church, so we all are preparing ourselves to be on our best behavior.

A procession took place before we got to the center, to celebrate the Virgin Mary (Virgen Maria). While I couldn’t understand the mass we went to, the boys all seemed to pay attention for the most part, although I did see a number gazing around the room. I guess some things are the same wherever you are! Then we went straight to our familias after the service to get started on our morning activities.

Today in my familia, San Antonio, we finally finished re-organizing the massive closet! This consisted of refolding all the boys’ clothing and moving summer and winter clothes around. I think we got the hang of it by the end (muy bonito!) and were rewarded with fresh papaya juice, which we were told is good for your stomach.

After lunch the boys played in their yard while we helped the other tutors clean the floors. The houses are kept very tidy, with the floors washed at least twice a day and the boys pick up their clothes and school books and clean their shoes as they’re told. When we were done, I watched some of the boys play a mathematics game with dice, which I was told was a way for the boys to learn multiplication tables while keeping it fun. They have such an intense study schedule, that it’s good they still can find learning fun in other ways.

In today’s lesson, I looked through a history book with one of the boys and helped him translate animals into English. He seemed very excited to learn English words, so I was very willing to help him. The boys all seem to really enjoy talking and sitting with us, even if I can’t understand what they’re saying. I guess even if we’re not teaching them to read, write or do math, we’re still helping them just by being there.

Tonight was a special occasion for the volunteers. First we helped the tutors get the boys ready for dinner. I can say it’s quite a production to get 35 boys washed and ready for dinner! Then we stayed after dinner to go to the boys’ prayer. I was worried it would be like the morning mass, but the night time prayer is singing, hand gestures and a little bit of praying. It was a lot of fun dancing around with the boys, and a great experience to have been a part of. This would be a great thing to go on the video that one of the other volunteers (from Norway) is putting together of the Asociacion to put on YouTube!
Jenna Kruppa

Our Deepest Fear
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fearis that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness,that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous,talented and fabulous?
Actually who are we not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small doesn't serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinkingso
that other peoplewon't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine as children do.
We were born to make manifestthe glory of
God that is within us.It's not just in some of us;
it's in everyone.
And when we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,our presence automatically liberates others.
- Marianne Williamson

First day at Ciudad de los Ninos!

The ride over to the Boys Home was unnerving as the traffic was unbelievable, and I thought we were going to be hit several times. After a couple of u turns (the poor cab following us), we arrived. The Father of the Boys Home was most welcoming and had perfect English. I was taken back by the pigs – the little piglets which did not have a long time to live, and then the monster father pig. The father had a harem of mother pigs, much like in some ancient cultures.

I myself had never seen the chickens gathered in such close quarters, not could believe the number of eggs they laid every day. All the animals, gardening, work shops made sense as they were all cumulating in money for the home. We are touring some of the other shops another day.

I took the middle group of boys, since I knew I liked the age group of 5-7. I was alone as far as our group went, and my tutors did not know English. I really didn’t have to do a whole lot in the morning initially, but did manage to mend some clothes (which I saw on the boys in the afternoon), fold clothes, and then I traced pictures for two of the boys to color. Tracing definitely was not a known skill of mine, but I survived.

As the boys arrived, they seemed to come in almost one by one. I had no idea the total number for several minutes. They just started pealing off their clothes to get into their afternoon outfits. I realized they just took whatever shirt/pants were out on the counter, and then many came up to talk to me.
I guess my first name is difficult as when they see it in print, it’s not pronounced like its spelled. My last name they could pronounce correctly every time, just by reading it. I just kind of froze and never really was able to say I didn’t speak English, but laughing and smiling seemed to work.

Lunch was unusual for me, as I didn’t realize the amount of food they ate and the order of how they have to eat it. As I kept trying to give them the drink, I never knew it had to be drunk after the meal. Naturally I was next to the slowest eater in the group, and I felt bad, cause the boys didn’t get chocolate until they had completely emptied their soup bowl, and plate. I made sure he got his chocolate, but it took awhile for him to finish.

After lunch the entire rest of the day was spent on homework. Although it took awhile for everyone to brush their teeth, and use the restroom, I was in charge of counting the number of sections of toilet paper for each boy, and when I gave one boy not enough, he did notice. The journals all had math problems and an essay from the morning. It took me several hours to realize some of the boys hadn’t copied the math problems, and when they kept jumping up and down to look at other boys journals, I actually thought they were coping answers. I had the table with the ones who couldn’t seem to be focused. Although after their showers, some of them settled down, since I understand homework has to be done before bedtime, or they don’t get to go to bed.

Showers and another change of clothes was the last thing I got to be involved with. They were preparing for dinner with a shirt and matching over shirt and pants. They all were dressed alike, and so cute. As we took two of them to the doctor and I had to leave, I got hugs. Hoping tomorrow, I can help more, since I understand the routine more.

Everyone seemed very tired on the way home, so we went straight to dinner. All had stories about their groups. The food here is so good, and very reasonable. I’m looking forward to the rest of the week.

It is a paradoxical but profoundly true and important principle of like that the most likely way to reach a goal is to be aiming not at he goal itself but at some more ambitious goal beyond it.
Laurie Kruppa

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Feelings, emotions and life lessons: Villa El Salvador

Longing to aid all those in need
We travel to lands so rarely seen.
Waves of emotion flutter inside
A day filled with visions of unfamiliar lives.
A smile, from ear to ear, smeared in dirt over time
Happiness washes their troubles.
If you’ve never seen a rose, and only a dandelion,
A dandelion is very beautiful.
Who really knows where need lies?
We seem to think we (and others) need so much, yet in reality…
Out of the most dismal circumstances seems to come the deepest inner joy!
Pray, we can resist the reflex to “fix” things!
Everything is perfect just as it is-
Understanding this is wisdom.
Sometimes we seem to forget the simplest things in a child’s life.
These simple joys in life are fun, laughter, and love.
It’s amazing to see the joy these children have when they are given the opportunity to play.
They become brothers and sisters and even though they fight,
All of them sleep together and have special moments.
Even when they are dressed the same,
The personalities they possess shine like the Peruvian sun.
The children here can teach us all about resilience.
Despite poverty or being removed from their families,
They laugh, play and enjoy the smallest things in life.
They cherish everyday joys, a lesson we could all learn from.
Internal boundaries broken expressed with physical emotion defined yesterday,
The most profound experience of my service in Lima.
As I look around Villa El Salvador,
It becomes clear to me that the community is center of life,
And the thing that holds us all together.
I remain in awe of the strength and determination,
And can’t help but wonder what life in the U.S. would be like if we adopted a similar approach.
Wednesday, March 25th was an emotional day for sure!
I struggled with properly focusing on a way to make it all make sense.
The people and their resilience was inspiring-
I will never forget the day.
Wednesday stirred up mixed emotions for me.
I was shocked and devastated to see the shacks these people are forced to live in.
Yet happy the PPA exists as an escape and safe paradise for these children.
The idea of needs and wants is currently under reevaluation for myself.
And this reevaluation was exemplified and expanded on upon going and tucking in los ninos in por al noche.
Many had to step aside and take uno momento to compose themselves
And John reminding us the children are safe.
Not only were they safe but they were clean and able to sleep in a cleaner environment
As opposed to the conditions we experienced very briefly as we walked through the shantytowns.
I think it’s phenomenal that the citizens of the shantytowns seemed so happy despite their situation!!
I was saddened by the children in the PPA but reminded myself that they have it better than at home in V. Salvador.
We need to have our eyes and mind open to see and learn
But most important we should always have our hearts open to understand others
Because there shouldn’t be a country without culture,
A society (people) without education opportunities,
A kid without family’s love
And/or a person without passion for life.
Everybody deserves a fair chance at life.

- Written by the whole team after an emotion-filled day visiting the shantytowns of Villa El Salvador and reading bedtime stories to 3-year-old children at the PPA

Go hange a life today!

"Yesterday, John tasked us to be aware PIE (Person in Environment) in the morning; I worked out of the Hospitalito that morning as I will all week. There were only four children there yesterday, which gave me more time to work one on one. I have made a bond with my little friend, Omar. Omar is eight years old, he has not been feeling very well, with cold and fever symptoms. He was a bit playfull when I was there, but mostly wanted to just sit on the couch and snuggle. I am sure my mother used to do this for me whan I was 8 years old. The afternoon on Tuesday, Jacob and I (attempted) to teach 8-10 year old boys some conversational English. We showed them plastic shaped animals, and they would scream out the word in Spanish. Jacob and I would write the English word on the blackboard ( pizzara) and sound out the word. We eventually moved outside, and sat them in a circle (rueda), we had them hand a soccer ball to either their neighbor or pass or gently throw it to another boy and proceed with the next number one, two, three... in English, of which they knew how to count. As we were playing this game one of the more timid boys had his head lowered. One of the more rambunctious boys noticed this and threw the ball at him and purposely hit him on the top of his lowered head. Jacob and I made immediate eye contact, and as true social workers noted the social injustice in this act. As I moved to comfort this boy, we politely asked the boy who threw the ball to apologize. After some further prodding, he reluctantly did so. There was another sweet boy seated next to him on his left, who instantly reached over to comfort him with a hand around his shoulder, and a rubbing of the back of his neck. (a possible social worker in the making) This is not my day for "thought for the day" but I do have one...It is an understatement, that we as social workers have the capacity to with a smile, a gentle word or a nod of the head, a kind word, to alter, redirect and ultimately change a life. Go change a life today. "

Tony Loya

Our goal: To give individual care to each of the children!

"We got an in depth tour of the PPA. It was a hard revolution to know that the PPA takes care of at least 450 children from all over Lima. These kids come from all different ages (several months till 18). Some are orphans, and don’t have anywhere else to go. The others, their parents aren’t able to take care of them, so they come to the PPA. It was hard to walk into this giant room for the toddlers and hear a couple of them just screaming. Edith, our local team leader told us that the child just come in a couple of days ago. Many of the workers don’t always have time to give individual care to each of the children, only to take care of them. That is hopefully what we are here to accomplish."

Jacob Campbell

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

“Live with reverence for yourself and others.”

Today Juana and I were feeling the cumulative effects of the one and a half weeks of challenging and exhausting work at the Puericultorio Perez Aranibar. Even though there are only two of us it is clear that we are helping. The PPA has been short-staffed this week and two extra adults to help play with and care for the children does make a difference.

Today I continued my work with the siblings. Diana and Ruth were there although Nehista and Omar were able to go home this week. Diana (4) and Ruth (2) are wonderful, loving and independent sisters. It is difficult to get them to listen to me and I am often running after one or both, but knowing that I am enabling them to have this time together inspires me to keep going. Although the girls are mischievous, I know they really only get to be mischievous around me. To hear them giggle with happiness makes it more than worthwhile.

I also continued my work with the toddlers as well. The group I generally help with includes Jorge, Ruth, Guadalupe, and Talia. I am happy for the time I have to play with them and can see their faces light up when I say their name or push them in a car.

Juana has continued her work teaching English and working with the four year old girls. Juana spends a lot of time planning her teaching strategy in order to teach the girls as effectively as possible. Juana also spends a lot of time with the kinder girls and playing games, reading books and engaging in many activities.

Tonight Bill, Jean, Juana and Kari were taken to Barranco by Edith to say goodbye to Bill and Jean as they return to Wisconsin and had a good discussion of values in our society. It is clear that we all seek justice and fairness in our world. We have all furthered that goal with our service to the PPA.

Kari Zipko

“The art of happiness is to serve all.” - February 4th

The fellow who does things that count doesn't usually stop to count them.”

This day in Lima, Peru dawned bright, warm, and beautiful. After the usual bus ride to PPA, Kari and Juana began their morning activities. At the suggestion of Edith, our valued program leader, Juana used catalogs and other picture material donated by our hotel, Hostal Torreblanca, to entertain the four-year-olds, who cut and pasted and designed “posters” which they signed. Later Juana and an aide made a tricycle tour with six of the four-year-olds to that part of the PPA campus which is next to the ocean. The aide spoke English very well. When asked where she had studied English, she responded that she had been listening to songs sung in English all of her life. Aha!

In the afternoon Juana attempted to teach a few English words to a group of lively seven-year-olds. Most popular among the group were Spanish/English picture dictionaries. On this day the most motivated “estudiantes” seemed to prefer learning on their own as they dutifully read words and phrases out loud or copied them on the white board.

Kari continued her afternoon work with the challenging and out-of-control toddlers.

The two woman team reviewed their day's work over dinner at the hotel.

Juana Snook

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Visiting home...

"The usual bus ride to the school (PPA), but today we take a van with a social worker on a follow-up visit to one of the parents whose children (2) are in PPA. The lady, Sabina, had temporarily lost custody of her children because of poor health. The trip to Carabayllo took over an hour through heavy traffic. Her home was in a very poor area of “Leantos” and primitive dwellings on a parched hillside. We met and spoke with Sabina who was thin and missing many teeth. She had a lung disease. Possibly T.B. Her age was only 38. She had 4 children and had lost one from a miscarriage recently. Her house was very primitive, but seemed clean.

We toured a soup kitchen for the neighborhood funded by a combination of apoyo social &
contrib from neighborhood residents.

A lthough obviously poor, neighborhood residents seemed clean, well dressed, and involved"

Bill Hoge

Thursday, January 29, 2009

“You cannot live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.”

January 25th-26th

Welcome, Team 72. Tonight as I picked up this journal I started to brainstorm the number 72. I began to think about the significance of our small team, this particular week, the 72nd group of people spending their time at Puericultorio Perez Aranibar. There have been 71 teams before us, 71 first days at PPA, 71 journals, and hopefully there will be many more that follow. So what is the significance of team 72?

Today in our first meeting it was mentioned that we are part of a chain. A chain of people from all over the world, here for various reasons, all connected by these children in whose lives we are trying to make a difference. We all started our multiple tasks today. Whether we are coloring with the girls, chasing the runaways, or changing a diaper, we are each making a difference in their daily lives. We are giving them an unconditional loving interaction that otherwise they may never have. Who knows whether they will remember our individual faces, or how to pronounce our names, but I am sure they will never forget the “voluntarios” who always come to play and have fun with them. Marian Wright Edelman said, “We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee.”

Chances are we will never see these kids after they have grown, or know what kind of impact we truly made. But if we can be a part of those small daily differences, then Team 72 can be a strong link in the chain that makes the world a better place for these deserving children, part of a chain that will undoubtedly change their lives.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Greeting for 25th Anniversary - from PPA

To Global Volunteers

I have the pleasure to write to you to give you an affective greeting in name of the kids and teenagers sheltered and in my name because of the occasion to celebrate 25 years of foundation, giving support to the most needed ones in many countries where you participate, and 5 of them you are supporting Puericultorio Perez Aranibar in an uninterrupted way. We wish you a lot of success in your praiseworthy work that you do and God fill you with blessings.

It is an appropriate moment to reiterate my feelings of my most distinguished consideration to you.


Ms. Maria Elsa De Rossi Fataccioli
Director of Puericultorio Perez Aranibar

Magdalena Del Mar, January 27th, 2009