Last Thursday we had the chance to contribute a little bit to the improvement of one of our care placements 'Un Cielo para un Angel'. Alex, Rocio and myself went straight to deliver the donation.
The contribution Projects Abroad did was the first step for future donations in this centre. With the donation of 20 new chairs will allow the kids to have more comfortability during lunch and homework time.
We are happy to make a little contribution, which means a lot for the centre. Thanks also to the volunteers that work in this care centre.
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I just finished my last week in Ciudad Guzman. Right as I was starting to feel like I knew what the heck I was doing, it's time to go. I did start to feel connected to the 5 little girls I spent my afternoons with in the orphanage. I was learning their stories and even figuring out who needed a good talking to or who needed a hug when they were acting up. I thoroughly enjoyed the excitement on their faces as I pulled out stickers or coloring books from my bag and the gracious hugs they gave every time they saw me. Some of them took a little longer, but, by the end I was constantly draped with little girls. ¡Qué simpáticas son!
The work at the day care wasn't as fulfilling, or in my opinion, necessary, but I got a kick out of the little things. It's hilarious to me that a one year old boy comes dressed in shiny black shoes and a fanny pack, that little kids wear gold bracelets and necklaces and that fleece pants seem like a good option to dress your child in when it's 90 degrees and humid outside. I'll also never forget the amount of silver teeth I've recently seen in children under 6. How and why does that happen? It's a bit disturbing, but kind of made me laugh when a 4 year old looks up and smiles at you with FOUR silver teeth. Wasn't sure if she was gonna bust out a rap our what.
I'm leaving my wonderful family with a stack of great recipes and the memories of feeling completely welcome and part of the family from day one. I'm anxious to get crackin and see if I can emulate just one of the fantastic meals the señora prepared. And who knows, maybe one day I'll get the chance to pay it forward and make some foreigner feel just as nostalgic about the states. Of course, that foreigner won't have the health advice that I received to keep them laughing. For example, NEVER let your bare feet touch the cold floor when getting a cold, you will get VERY sick. Also, if you workout and are wearing a sweatshirt, it can cause serious damage if you take it off immediately when you're still hot. Just some food for thought, people.
Milking a cow may not have actually been on my bucket list, but volunteering in an orphanage was. One down and so so many to go. Looking forward to what comes next.
Another month has passed and the monthly social event took place already!
Last Friday we had the chance to enjoy of a great night in the office. Different from other gatherings as this one had no title at all, we just got together to spend a good time with good food, friends and a pinata due to the birthday of Catherine. Good weather, starry night and good music were part of the show.
Everybody started to arrive at 8 pm and by 9 we were already getting ready to start cooking! Right after the meal, we turned off the lights…turned on some candles for the birthday cake we prepared for Catherine!!!
After the happy birthday then we had the traditional pinata, it was so much fun trying to break it but finally the guys managed to do it!
It was a great night and everybody had a good time!
Thanks to everyone who joined! More pictures in the new photo gallery!
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What has happened in the last week and a half? Well…..I started last weekend by going for leche caliente with my familia. As we walked into the barn-type building, I handed my huge plastic cup to a woman who added chocolate, coffee, cinnamon and alcohol. My cup was next passed to a 6 year old who took a seat on a small stool and began milking a cow and until my cup was filled to the brim with warm foamy milk. Who new a cow was a giant cappuccino maker? Since the gringa was getting such a kick out of this, they all decided I should take my turn at being a milk maid. One more thing I can cross off the bucket list….well, not really;)
Later that day I headed with my familia to a wedding in a pueblo about 2 hours from our house. The wedding was LONG, HOT and BORING….oh, and pretty cheesy as well. To pass the time I gawked at the over the top prom dress-ish outfits and ridiculously long glittery nails. Upon entering the reception room, I took my seat at a table fully equipped with a bottle of Coke, Squirt, and Fanta and a Styrofoam plate of potato chips, nuts and chicharones. And, let’s not forget the hot sauce. Before I knew it I was tossed on the dance floor with a glittery mask over my eyes and a balloon in hand. Between the mask and the smoke machine, I could hardly see a thing. One big Mexican wedding was enough for this chica. Exhausting!!!
I’ve been slowly starting to figure out my role and get comfortable in the day care the orphanage. With little guidance, it has been a slow start, but I’m starting to realize I really do need to figure out what I can do on my own. The big excitement last week was stickers. Apparently, that is DAYS of fun. Who knew?! Wait until I bust out the coloring books and crayons I bought for this week. Let the good times roll.
I only have a week and a half left. As always, it has flown by. Just as I’m starting to figure it all out, it’s almost time to go. For now, I’ll continue getting to know the kids, spending time with my family and eating delicious food.
The visit to Brayan in the hospital has changed to Fridays now. His mother got a new job in which only allows her to have a free day on a Friday.
Her mom told me that her work schedule is from 7 P.M. to 7 A.M. after she finishes work, she picks Brayan up and take him to Guadalajara on a 1. 30 hours journey at 7 30 am! I have to say that I was shocked by what she said, she is such a brave and caring woman!
Brayan was really happy in this last visit as he received presents and also coz he knew he would go to the beach at the next day! It was so cool to see him with that smile in his face!
We are so happy to know we can carry on contributing with Brayan and his family!
I would like to mention that this month there will be goodbyes from volunteers! That is something that is not really cool but that we know it has to happen!
Inger Wilcken is a great woman who visited us from Denmark completing 1 month in Mexico doing Arts & Crafts and Conservation!
I had the chance to visit her during her last day in the Barbosa's house where she also spent some time working in the arts and crafts project. That day, she managed to get all the pieces she worked on all finished! We could see all the pieces completed and they were completely gorgeous!
Now she is saying goodbye, going back to Denmark. Me and all the Projects Abroad Mexico team wants to wish you all the best for the upcoming plans!
Buena surete y buen viaje! We wish you can visit us soon!!!
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After a week in Guzman, I finally started to work. On Monday morning I hopped on a bus to make it to the day care/kindergarten by 9am. Upon arriving I was placed in a classroom of 30 4 years olds. The teacher instructed me to take a seat so I plopped down, with my knees up to my ears ,and got comfortable-ish. Immediately I was surrounded by kids with their little hands all over me. After they all got situated, one little girl leaned over, gave me the finger and asked if I knew that this was the bad finger. I quickly told her I did, thanked her and diverted my attention elsewhere.
Next we headed to the cafeteria for breakfast. I noticed that if you don’t jump in and do it yourself you are gonna stand around all day; they are not ones for instructing or letting you know what they’d like you to do. So, I quickly became a waitress to 4 year olds. I began to notice that I was the only adult not wearing a hair net. At first I felt as though I was breaking some sort of rule, but then decided screw the rule. Who wants to wear a hair net? Unfortunately, today that came to an end when they presented me with an Amish-type head covering to wear when we’re in the cafeteria. I guess they were out of hairnets. Crap!
At 12:30 I head to the lobby of the school with the 7 students who I accompany back to the orphanage. There, I was given a quick tour and a run down of what I was to do. I take the girls back to their dorm and help the little ones change into play clothes. Next, we eat lunch and then it’s play-time until I leave.
The kids are so great! They seem happy and full of energy every time I see them. There is a pretty happy vibe at this place. Of course, hearing some of their stories is an immediate change in mood. Most of the kids have parents, but have been taken from their homes because of abuse. One little girl came a few months ago with a black eye and the skin around her mouth had been burned with a spoon. One little guy came in because his mother had put out a cigarette on his forehead. Two sisters just came in a month ago because they were living on the streets with their mother. Their stories are heartbreaking, but THEY are adorable.
Tomorrow I will volunteer with the babies at the day care, two of which live in the orphanage. I am really excited about working with the little guys. I’ve already met Pepito. He’s two and a little handful. When we met he told me he liked me and was all hugs. Uh oh!!!
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Saturday night and we have a great reason to gather once again! Volunteers and staff were together to celebrate Natja's Birthday. Natja is from Denmark and has been in Mexico for 8 months now! For sure it is her second home now!
We had a great night in which everybody danced hits from the 90's! It was great to see everybody having fun. Everybody in the office says 'Happy Birthday Natja'!!!
Thanks for a great night! Here a couple of pictures of the dancing!!!
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I arrived in Guzman on Wednesday night at about 7pm after the 23 hours wait for my luggage.; and that’s pretty much what I as expected. I was picked up at the bus station by Jous, from Projects Abroad. He took me to meet my familia. I’m living with Candi and Francisco and their two grown children Fabi and Paco. They have a daughter who is married with two kids who is also over most of the time.
My house is one block from the town center, which is fabuloso. I have a room in the back of the house that is fully equipped with an uncomfortable bed, a half bath, a door that opens to the outside and plenty religious paraphernalia. It’s exactly how I imagined!
My expectations are also being met in the food department. I am being served delicious and large amounts of lovely Mexican cuisine. I’ve had chilaquiles, soups, tostadas, fruit and granola, and SOY tacos.;that was a first and quite delicious. The VERY few things I haven’t loved I’ve saturated in lime-juice and amazing salsa and viola…it’s delectable. Thank God my cousin, Troyann, had me bring the workout DVD “Insanity” down with me, or what might be insane would be the weight I gain while I’m here.
On Monday I will start working in a day care at 9am….who’s kidding who?...9:15 or 9:30. From there, I will take the bus to the orphanage at 12:30 with some of the children who live there and work until 3. After that, I will bus it back to my house to be overfed an incredible Mexican meal. The rest of the day is mine!
Jous has spent two days straight getting me acquainted with Guzman. The town has about 100,000 people, which is a nice size. So far, the town isn’t wow-ing me, but I think I’ll be just fine here; it’s no Mexico City though. I am a little concerned about keeping occupied in my spare time. Luckily the town is ideally situated to a near by lake, the beach and Guadalajara. I will probably be taking a few excursions to keep occupied.
In my town there are several other volunteers. So far, I’ve met 2 Australians and one German girl. All seem to be great and under the age of 23. I’d question if I’m too old for this endeavor, but I’ve been told there is a volunteer is her 60’s that I’ve yet to meet. That’s what I’m talking about!!!
Wish me luck in my first weekend in Guzman and my start at the day care and orphanage.
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