This blog is brought to you by alumna, Eliza King Freedman.
On June 13th, I boarded a plane wondering why I, a girl who didn’t particularly enjoy the company of children, was going to work in orphanages in Ecuador for 16 days. I generally still don’t like children, but the ones I met in Ecuador will forever be an exception. I love those children with everything that I have.
In the mornings, at the main orphanage, I took care of children with disabilities ranging from ages 1 - 27. Most of them have some form of disability, however almost all of them were able to respond and interact in conversations. Despite such disparities, all of the volunteers went over every morning and did everything we could to make them forget, even if just for a second, the situations that they had been left in.
My afternoons were spent at a Catholic orphanage for children under the age of 18. I sometimes worked with the infants and toddlers, all of whom were learning to walk and talk. Other times I worked in the cottages for children ages 2 and up. There I met, whom I believe to be, the bravest children in the world. I had to learn how to respond to questions like, “If I had a mother, would she be doing this for me?” and, “Why do you have to leave so soon?”. I was a source of hope and joy for children who only had each other to care for.
Each child left a lasting impression on me, some in particular that will forever be ingrained in my mind. They are very special and all I can do is hope that all of the children I met are able to live the full lives that they deserve.