Volunteers in Quito have live on the orphanage grounds with over 80 children. Across the street in the same community is a home for the elderly. A nun who worked for years with OSSO volunteers in the nursery was later assigned as Mother Superior to watch over the home for the elderly. She once explained to an OSSO volunteer, that the people living in the home were very similar to the orphans across the street. They had very little material possessions, and many had no family to visit or care for them. She emphasized their need for love and attention. While OSSO volunteers, spend the majority of time in the orphanage, they occasionally get to visit the “ancianos”, a term in Spanish used for elderly people.
Read on for more about Shaylee’s experience serving the ancianos.
“I was so grateful we had the opportunity to spend some time at Ancianos while I served in Quito. It added great variety to our schedule and who doesn’t love spending time with the cute elderly? It would always brighten my day to go color, dance, paint nails, and just be around them. Of course it was hard because I don’t speak a lot of Spanish so I couldn’t understand what they were saying when they would try to talk to me. I always wished I could’ve had a conversation with them but because of the language barrier I started to pay attention to their facial expressions a lot.
Soon I realized that I didn’t need to speak Spanish because everyone smiles in the same language and by seeing the huge grins on their faces, I could tell that they appreciated me being there spending time with them. They didn’t even have to say anything to me and I could feel their love. It was very inspiring for me to serve such wise, humble, people who have close to nothing. I developed a strong love for them and want them to always be happy and well. A smile can go a long way so I can only hope that the love, happiness, and smiles they receive from us can stay in their hearts forever<3″