Well, we have less than three weeks left. Life has been pretty crazy busy as I'm trying to fit in so many things and keep on top of homework, which, as always at the end of the semester, has been piling up. It's become a game of priorities - what's most important to do before I leave?One thing that I know I won't push aside these last weeks is my time volunteering at the hospital.
For some reason, when Thursday rolls around every week, I find myself absolutely exhausted, just wanting to take a nice afternoon siesta. But instead, every week I leave the house, walk over to la Clinica San Juan de Dios, a nearby hospital, and head up to second floor. This floor is for kids - who spend anywhere from a few weeks to years in the hospital.
As I round the corner of a big common area I'm greeted by, "Senorita!" "Anita!"
I make the rounds to wheelchairs, beds, tables, to greet and kiss them all. Then I sit down to chat or play, teach them some English words, or our favorite - play card games. My friend Joe from Calvin comes as well, and we have a blast playing chicas vs chicos en UNO.
For those of you who know me well, you know I hate singing Christmas carols before Thanksgiving, but last week I broke my rule as the kids wanted to learn Jingle Bells in english. It's pretty adorable to hear them sound out the the english words in their peruvian accents. Next, we took at turn learning some Spanish songs such as Noche de Paz (Silent Night). And of course, we all had to sing the song that crosses both cultures - Feliz Navidad.
What impresses me most about my time every Thursday is the Joy that each of the dear children has. Many of them have lived here for months or years. The majority can't walk. Some stay in a wheelchair or bed all day. Yet they don't feel sorry for themselves. They laugh, look out for eachother, and welcome you with open arms. It's also been so beautiful to see them progress. One little boy named Wilbur has been in the hospital for about two months, and each day he sat in his bed, which for a 9 year old has got to be one of the hardest things there is. But a couple weeks ago, I was elated to see him slowly, using a walker, make his way out of his hospital room with a proud smile on his face. (There's a short video clip i at the bottom of this post so you can meet him:))
These kids bless me more than you imagine. I originally went to be a blessing to them, but they are the ones that bless me. Their joy and smiles brighten my day, and every thursday, instead of leaving tired I leave refreshed and more joyful.
|UNO! we get reallly competitive.|
|Yulitza. She's 9 years old and has been in the hospital for about a month now for her foot. We adore eachother :)|