…and many more to go, but I am still loving my stay here and thriving from what I am learning! Just listening to the children has let me see real happiness, and how the young youth of El Salvador, faced with a difficult future, still has the energy to see how privileged we are with the life we were given.
Tuesday, beginning this week, was a very special day. In the evening the staff of the workshops and the home had a festive dinner. It’s a yearly event to celebrate what has been achieved, to congratulate on the hard work that had been done and a way too look forward to another successful year. It was very interesting to talk to fellow staff and find out what motivates them to work with children in the home or the workshops. Something that was present in all of them was their good heartedness; something you sadly don’t see very often. The most devoted person is however Don Oscar. He has devoted his life to helping these children and giving them a chance in life. It touched me to see his devotion; most notable in his speech he gave that night, but also by how hard he works for this better cause.
At the end of the dinner we all got a little present from Don Oscar, thanking everyone for their dedication to their work and the better cause it serves. It was a very interesting and fun dinner I had that especially helped me to get to know everyone better.
Something you will never hear a Salvadorian say is ‘Wow, isn’t the weather great today’. Why use the phrase if the weather is +30C° with a perfect blue sky everyday! Something people in Luxembourg can only dream of, sadly.
At the beginning I had difficulties understanding the children as I underestimated the differences in Español from Spain (which I learned) to the Español spoken here. Thankfully, Don Nelson, an educator here at the home, has been so kind to make me a list of common words that are only used here! This has helped me a lot, as well as spending a lot of time talking to the kids, to understand them better. Don Nelson especially has been great at helping me live in here! This week he also decided to give me more responsibility here at the home, something I greatly appreciate.
Also this week, I begin giving English lessons to an alumni of the Hogar. He currently works at the workshops as security, but sees his future somewhere else. To open doors he began taking English classes a year ago, but never had anyone to speak to practice with. So now I give him 1 hour classes from Monday to Friday in the evening in which he can improve as well as use his English more. Not only are these classes useful to him, but to me they are also very interesting. I have gained a lot of knowledge of how people live their lives in El Salvador thanks to him. I have heard some fascinating as well as unbelievably shocking stories about his life. Some things that, to us westerners, just seem impossible!
After getting many offers from teachers at the workshop to take classes, I accepted one offer in music class. So now, since Wednesday, I have been taking regular Guitar lessons. It is something that I have wanted to do for a long time but never got to. I am happy that I was given this possibility as it is also something that helps me get my head off what’s happening around me. A fun new hobby!
Next week is the kids last week of vacation, after which I will be faced with new responsibilities as well as a whole new schedule. During this time I will also begin giving computing and English classes. All that is missing are time and dates for when these classes will take place; details I have to finalize with the educators here. For the exact details on time and dates I still have to talk with one of the educators. It is where I see my real ‘work’ begin here at the Hogar de Ninos. I already had 2 weeks to adjust myself and am now ready for these new challenges!
Day 19 – Santa Ana