At the end of the second day, I have a lot of things to reflect on. This day has been amazing and powerful, and I feel incredibly blessed to have witnessed all that I have so far. This morning, we woke up at 7:30 to get ready for breakfast. At breakfast, we had the opportunity to sit outside, where the weather was fantastic- not too hot, not chilly, and perfectly sunny. When we finished eating our eggs and beans, we went to start our workstations.
I went to go paint a classroom with a few other members of our group. We got to paint the children’s English classroom, and the NPH guys who were working with us started playing some fun Spanish songs. That was super fun because I know many of those songs, so I was able to enjoy myself singing along with the music, and it helped me get to know the NPH staff a bit better. While painting, I was also the only volunteer in the room who knew Spanish, so having to be the translator during that time forced me to be confident in my abilities which I think has already really helped me to converse more and not worry about making mistakes.
After we finished painting, we got to see the tortilla house, where they used the masa (dough) to make fresh tortillas in a small machine. We even got to help them with the machine, which was super fun. After we had lunch, we had a bit of downtime, and we chose to sit outside the comedor (lunchroom) with a bunch of the little boys.
We had another jam-session to more Spanish music and made friendship bracelets together.
Around 3:30, we were able to have a panel discussion with a few of the NPH staff who have been at the home since they were children. There were three of them who told their stories, and each was powerful in their own way. This discussion, for all of us, helped to open our eyes and really understand a new point of view of the kids. For me, especially, the discussion made me think about how much I take for granted at home. When we had finished the panel, we went to change before dinner.
During dinner, two of the little kids started mimicking me, which was super funny and helped us form a stronger bond. Even after dinner, the little girl, Layla, continued to mimic me. During the night, we got to hang out with the girls in their hogar (home), where we all connected through more friendship bracelets, Uno games, and music.
During our nightly discussion, we talked about how all the little things that people do add up to help strengthen a community. This is evident at NPH Guatemala, where each and every person has a role and is valued. No one ever gets left out, and everyone is part of their one big family.
I think that these types of values are instilled here at the NPH homes, but that it is definitely something I want to take home to the States. Our third day starts in just a few hours, and though our time here is just about halfway over, I am just as excited for tomorrow as I was when we arrived!