I can´t believe that I am heading into the end of my stay at the Hogar. I have just started to get used to being a part of the household and the daily grind. I can´t help but wonder if it´s hard for some of the children after they become attached to a volunteer and then must see them go after a certain amount of time. I imagine they are immune to the process by now, but it´s sad to think that since day one, most of them have had to say goodbye far too many times. Maybe I should be more concerned with my attachment issues with a few of the kids. I wish the little ones were old enough to email and stay in touch so I could see what how they´re doing.
I also have been thinking about the children with severe burns. Although they are outgoing and comfortable with themselves now, I hope that once they hit puberty and begin to think more about their differences that they will be okay. I have no idea what middle school is like here, but if it´s like it is in the states, they might have a rough road to walk down. On the other hand, housefires are common here so it may be more widely accepted in social situations. I sure hope that´s the case. I also hope that there will be more done about the ridiculous number of young mothers who have no idea how to care for their babies.. let alone the means to feed them and care for them. I used to think America had a problem with that but compared to Peru, it´s nothing.
I just got done ¨painting¨ (or throwing paint everywhere but the paper) with a few of the kids that don´t go to school. It´s unfortunate that some of them don´t have the oppurtunity to go to school because of their condition. The ones that do are so eager to learn and even to help me with Spanish if I ask for it. Alex, who is only 7, is the brightest of the younger ones when it comes to schoolwork. I was helping Jose, who is about 12, with his English work and it made me realize how complex are language is and how hard it must be to learn if it´s not your native language. Our grammar and vocabulary really doesn´t make much sense if you think about it. Jamie is 22 and is determined to master English and teach it here. Jarred and I were helping him study last night... we have too many meanings for just one word!
After eating at a local place the other night, I have to admit that Peruvian cuisine is not high on my list of dining preference. Avery, Suzannah and I laughed through the entire meal. They ordered the ¨traditional¨ dish and Suzannah claims that it actually had dirt in it. I got lucky with mine. I asked the waitress to bring the best fish that they have and it was light and yummy. Their huge portions could be in competition with the obsurdity of America´s portions. My plate could have been for three. On the bright side, their pina coladas were perfectly refreshing. Desserts here are usually small but satisfying. My favorite is this chocolate ball with graham cracker and marshmellow.. YUM.
Suzannah and Avery left yesterday and it´s wierd here without them! They are both so laid back and so much fun to be around. I realized it´s nice to have other people on the same wavelength as you when you are doing this kind of work. I became good friends with them both in only a week and I hope to visit them in Jackson, Wyoming later this summer. I am now sharing the little room with three other girls, but we make it work. A girl named Kate arrived two days ago from Maine. I am thinking about taking a day with two of the guys tomorrow to go into Lima and see some of the sights.
It never rains here and it is making me wonder how the flowers stay so vibrant and perfect looking. The colors of the flowers and the kelly green grass is unlike anything I have seen before. There´s butterflies everywhere and constant sunshine. Chaclacayo es muy bonito.