By Claire Anderson
Today (Saturday) we got our first opportunity to sleep in, which was much needed! Yesterday we spent the afternoon doing various activities with the kids from Casa Suyapa (the baby house). Those kids have a ridiculous amount of energy! Pete, Megan, Connor, Roger, my dad and I played things like soccer, catch and Frisbee with the kids. I found that it didn't matter to the kids if you spoke Spanish fluently or not very much at all (in my case) they just wanted a friend to play with. I've found that the phrase "Como se dice" which means "How do you say..." has become my best friend. I also learned two very important and helpful words in regards to playing, "Pelota" which means "ball" and "listo" which means "ready." During the activity time I was drawing with chalk with one of the little girls when another girl came and threw herself over my shoulder. I'd never even talked to this little girl and didn't know her name and she didn't know mine but that didn't matter one bit to her, she just wanted someone to be with. Later on as the kids were heading back into their house I was walking around holding another girl's hand when a little boy came and grabbed my other hand and together they began leading me into their house so we could play together some more. I've found it pretty hard to feel lonely here when around the pequenos.
We've been playing a lot of soccer while we've been here. While walking back from playing soccer in the dark last night, we all stopped walking and talking to look at the stars and listen to the sounds of the ranch. The sky is so clear, unparalleled to anything you could hope to see at home in the city. The air was alive with the songs of the crickets and the mooing of the cows. I've forgotten how good it feels to breathe in fresh, clean air unpolluted by cars or the sounds of the city.
Today as I mentioned earlier, we slept in until around 8:30 which was so wonderful. At 9:30 Ilzir, a former pequeno, took us on a hike up to the new cemetery where some kids from the ranch and their family members have been buried. We wakled through sugar cane, over a dam, and through a forest to get there. While walking back we took some moments to stop and just admire the gorgeous scenery that surrounds the ranch. Everywhere you look you see majestic green hills and tall trees all backed by a clear blue sky.
Now we're off to cut some string for bracelets we'll be making with the girls after mass today! Adios Amigos!