Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Trabajo Voluntario

Dear Chicago,

Wednesday was my favorite day volunteering to date. I went out to another birthday party at the Vencedores Comedor site. The site is new - we set up in the dirt floor living room of a woman in the community who the government subsidizes to feed the neighborhood. Its a very, very interesting set up and the most dangerous location. My spanish is good enough that I can go, because I can understand whats going on when I'm there. The birthday party is the only celebration these kids get for their big day, and yesterday I could see it in their faces. Luna, 11 and Daria, 7 had birthdays and watched my every move in anticipation for their presents. We decorated the humble space with balloons and old signs.

Facepainting occupied them for the first hour and a fellow volunteer, John, had the guts to take the kids to a back alley to play soccer (I didn't join in that part). I was running around with giggly little kids, making balloon animals, speaking in Spanish and helping their English (when they sing "happy birthday" in English, they say "Happy Baby" - phonetically pretty close and absolutely adorable). I snuck into a corner to wrap presents and was just as happy as the girls when they opened them. Daria was almost in tears that she received 2 sticker books, and Luna got a little plastic watch that she was very happy with. It was adorable. I've been to Vencedores a few times now and have gotten to know a few chicos - hopefully I'll go again a few days next week.

It feels good knowing that for a few hours every day these kids are somewhere safe. It was also a blast.

LIFE is good.


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