Today my friend Megan and I took a long motocart ride to Yarinacocha to visit the San Juan Infantil Aldea (the orphanage we’ve been working with). Today was a day for Megan and I to get familiar with the place and the current missionaries that are there so that we will know how to help when they leave. We were surprised and touched by some of the things the girls (only 18 and 19 years old) told us about the orphanage and the kids there. We learned so much about the way the orphanage actually runs today and we’re both looking forward to our experience that will begin on Tuesday and will consist of “hard core roughing it” with the orphans for Christmas.
I have deep admiration for the two young volunteers who have been living there since August and volunteering . They are sweet, hard working, and very loving to the kids. They live in a small dirty room, take showers by bucket of cold water, hand wash their clothes, eat rice every meal and twice a week only bread for dinner… When Megan and I were hearing about all their stories we realized that our mission experience and how hard we sometimes think we have it- is nothing compared to theirs. It really just gives us more perspective and helps us to be thankful for everything we have.
The main job of the girls is to LOVE the kids, to plan activities for them to do during the day, and to help with cleaning and cooking. The kids just don’t get love like they should. They don’t get attention like they deserve or need. Saddest of all there is a problem with one of the house mom’s hitting her kids whenever she gets angry or frustrated. Many of the kids are learning to do the same and repeating her behavior by hitting each other in the house. Supposedly the orphanage is working to get rid of this mother but it’s taking them quite along time to do so.
The Orphanage kids have a few other donors coming in to give them gifts and paneton (it’s like American fruit cake) for Christmas time. I’m so excited that because of much support and God’s blessings we will be able to go give them very nice Christmas presents on Christmas day itself. We are planning a Christmas program for all of the kids that includes Christmas carols, the “true story of Christmas” movie, a little juggling show, and fresh cookies! We would like to give the kids their beautiful gifts house by house so that we can experience the fun of unwrapping their presents with them and we will probably face paint their faces cute and Christmassy for the kids that would like it.
Megan and I’s first day living at the orphanage will be Tuesday the day before Christmas and we will live their until January 12th. We are working to find some crafts, games, and activities we can bring to do with the kids there. Feliz Navidad Todos!
(P.S. if you still have money to give to the orphanage it is never too late. Please donate at amorprojects.org/donate and specify "orphanage". Thank you to all the donors and your generosity!!)