This week we found out how valuable our time at the orphanage is to the children and to the “tias”. The “tias” know that we are there because we want to help the children and that we want to make an impact on the community. They can tell be how hard we work and how committed we are to being there that we really care. In the past there have been groups that haven’t been as helpful and have not given as much care and attention to the children that we have. The “tias” are grateful for what we do because it gives them a little bit of a break. Also, having a few extra pairs of hands and eyes around means that the children get more supervision and attention. In a normal day the staff at the orphanage do not have time to read to the children individually, or to pull them around in toy cars or even to kick a soccer ball around with them. We get to do all of those things. We get to play with the children and keep them occupied. This is an invaluable service because it allows the “tias” to do other things that they need to do, but are difficult to accomplish with 9 children at their feet.
The “tias” also believed that our being their was as important to the kids as it was to us and to them. The see how excited the children get when we come and they become accustomed to us being there. They enjoy having more people to play with. They know that they are going to have fun with us when we are there and they know that we will play with them as much as possible.
We learned how important and appreciated our work at the orphanage was by interviewing the “tias” as part of an assignment. Though the things they told us didn’t really surprise us, it was great to hear that the work we were doing was appreciated and that we were making the kids happy.
Mark, Mikhael, Quilla, Steve