This week's blog is brought to you by current volunteer, Emma.
Wow, I can’t believe the third week is over! The first two weeks, I felt like I had lived here at least 2 years. But now time is flying by! This week was such a blur, and I am sad it’s going by so quickly. I have to keep reminding myself that before I know it, I’ll be getting on a plane to go home. So, I am trying to enjoy every second I have here with these precious kids.
We had such a fun Olympics party with the OSSO kids to get ready for the winter Olympics! I spent Monday morning in OSSO making flags of all the different countries with C & M that we could hang up during our party. And wow, those boys are so much more particular than I thought! M told me I had to redo the Mexico flag because I didn’t cut it straight enough! (Hah!) The party was a success! It was so much fun helping the kids participate in the different “events” and seeing how happy they were! But I must say, the Tia’s definitely got more into it than anyone else.
Tuesday came around and we got to take the Casa kiddos to horse therapy! I DIED. Those kids are literally the cutest things in the entire world. I love every second I get to spend with them! They were jumping up and down, waiting for their turn to get on the horses. If those kids have taught me anything, it’s to enjoy the small things in life!
After Monday and Tuesday, everyone is excited for Wednesday because it’s FREE DAY! We went to the zoo this week and it was so cool! It literally just felt like a hike through the jungle. And yes, when I say hike I mean HIKE. Wear good shoes! It was so cool learning about and seeing so many different animals. We even got to see the foxes eat lunch (baby chicks) it was rather depressing. But they were really cute before that part.
Thursday night at HML was so much fun! Those HML girls are so special and getting to be with them is a highlight of every week for sure. The amount of energy they have is INSANE! And they can show up all the volunteers at just about anything! Soccer, jump rope, UNO, puzzles, tag; they cannot be stopped! We are only there for less than an hour so we are running around nonstop! They are the sweetest most loveable girls.
Friday came so fast! We had our weekly Spanish class in the morning and I am trying SO HARD to learn as much as I can. I just want to be able to talk to all the kids! If I would have done one thing different before coming, it would have been to learn Spanish. It has been so fun learning a little bit but it’s a process. Our teacher is so helpful and I have learned a lot from her. I look forward to class every week. This week was exceptionally good because after class, we went to Chocolat and got the most AMAZING chocolate covered strawberries in the entire world. I can’t believe I ever thought Zupas had good chocolate strawberries. They are incredible here!
By Saturday we are all dead tired but there is always work to be done. I spent the morning with my cute kids in Casas. We played and played and colored and played and it was so fun. There were other volunteers there who taught the kids how to break dance and it was honestly one of the most entertaining things I’ve watched! Those Casa kids are WAY too cute. I want to bring them all home with me! Saturday evening some of the volunteers and I went out to Fabiano’s for dinner and it’s the most fabulous Italian food ever. Highly recommend the pesto pasta. Or the BBQ chicken pizza. Or the garlic knots. Or the Pina colada juice. Or if you are feeling crazy (like I obviously was) GET ALL FOUR.
This week has been hard, long, and tiring but so, so rewarding. I can’t even explain how amazing it is to be there. I thought I was coming to help these kids, but they are doing way more to help me. I have already learned so much from them. I LOVE CUENCA! I hope these next few weeks slow wayyyyy down.