Everyone had contrasts to describe when they returned from work yesterday. We were struck by the poverty of the children whose families scavange on the dump for a living -- but were heartened by the children´s eagerness to learn. While those who have been here before noticed that the school at the dump had new desks and a whole additional classroom, they saw, too, that few textbooks are available to the chldren. While we were at the school this morning, however, the children delighted in a gift from the Natioanl Congress which gave each child in the school a gift which included 4 new notebooks, two pencis, a pen, an eraser and a pencil sharpener.
At the school for children with handicapping conditions, we found the children excited to be in school, but wished that they had more staff so that students could have the individualized instruction that would help them advance more quickly.
At the day care center, while most of us found no language barrier because the little ones were too young to speak in any language, we saw few of the safety precautions we would find at a day care in the US.
At the orphanage, we delighted in how the 22 children in the "collected" family treat each other with such kindness, but we were saddened by how many of them arrived in the orphanage because of physical and sexual abuse they experienced at home.
So you can see that our experience leads us to see contrasts in each group we encounter. In terms of work, tomorrow will be similar to these last two. Tonight, however, the fiesta comes to our neighborhood of El Sauce, so we´ll take advantage of this carnival-like atmosphere which will pervade the area and be able to walk home easily. Don´t worry none of us will ever be alone at the carnival. We will stay in groups!!