09.13.2011 - 09.30.2011
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Yesterday completed my second work week as a volunteer at Hogar de Esperanza, a Christian orphanage outside of Trujillo, Peru. Currently, 48 children ranging in age from one to seventeen years old call HdE home. The children come here for a variety of reason including abuse, neglect and abandonment. In spite of their pasts, the children are like children everywhere. They are happy, resilient, funny, and often mischievous.
My days here are quite busy, which I love. As a short term volunteer I have been asked to do several temporary jobs that just never seem to get done by the long term volunteers...that can be read as tedious tasks (but surprisingly enjoyable). The orphanage is located next to a coal plant, so EVERYTHING is covered in thick coal dust, including the plants. The orphanage has spent the last few years trying to begin both an orchard (mostly avocado trees) as well as a vegetable garden. They only recently realized that the trees might be possibly dying due to the thick layer of coal dust coating the leaves. So, I now spend three mornings during the week washing leaves in the orchard.
My other mornings are spent working in joyeria (jewelery) and doing random organizational projects. The joyeria program ran by Hogar is awesome. Each child spends time with Ashley (a long term volunteer) making jewelry...they are suprisingly good at it (better than me)! Each piece of jewelry is then tagged with that child's name and birthdate. Once it is sold (most of it is bought by people coming through on mission trips), half the money goes toward joyeria supplies, but the other half goes into an account for that child. Once he or she "ages out" of the orphanage, they get that money deposited into a bank account to help them get started on their own.
Each afternoon, I spend an hour helping with an English class for some of the children and then spend the remaining two hours helping with a special needs tutoring group. The English class is fun! It's so amusing to watch the kids try out new words in English. They pucker and scrunch their mouths trying to form the unfamiliar sounds. I'm sure I look very similar when trying out new words in Spanish. My tutoria group is definitely growing on me! At first I have to admit I was a little frustrated...it is really hard to teach when you don't speak the same language! However, I'm slowly learning more school related words...and spend a lot of time asking the kids, "Como se dice?", which they are more than happy to help with!
I'm defintiely going to be sad to say goodbye to the children and volunteers who make Hogar de Esperanza a true Home of Hope!!