Hey there folks!
So today was our last day working with kids within the Safe Passage program... and it was a wild one. We started out the day at the "Esquelita" school again, but this time it wasnt to teach frisbee on the sports court (at least at first... we would later) but to assist and just be a presence for the youngest kids in the program. (These kids ranged from 1st graders to around 5th graders) It was our first time working with kids around this age and they had gratuitous amounts of energy. They were wild and excited by us big old gringos and we played with them a TON while they did activities. (We helped them focus when their teachers were doing word games and english time but we spent most of the times doing activities and recess). And when we went out with them for recess these kids were unstoppable. Schuyler and I (Nate by the way) were picking kids up and being horses and swinging them around and they were just having a ball. Im sure the rest of our team (we were all split up for the various classes) had a similar experience. Its just incredible to think how much happier this kids are and how much better off they are because of this program... I know Schuyler and I had a boy in our class whose father died and only had a mother and sisters and he was confident and running around with us like a boss. Its just invigorating to see such life amongst the hell hole that is the dump they literally live in and around you know? Damn It feels good to be a part of it. it really does.
I wish we had more and better photos because we certainly dont have enough to do justice but here are a few-
(Tristan and Claire with the youngens)
(Some youngens got hold of the camera apparently and this was the result...)
So after we finished with the youngest and the kids we went back to the main facility with the older kids, ate lunch, and napped... hard. Real hard. Those kids were a handful. A fun awesome exhuasting handful. I have a ton of napping photos but heres one of Virginia. (I think... her and Meg really do look similar...)
But after some mad napping we got back to it. In the afternoon we had a few english classes and then a frisbee class back at the Esquelita. For english we were working with Elena (Elana? Eleyna? Alena?) who is pretty much the bomb. She has amazing energy and engages the kids in the best of ways. Its awesome. She led the first english class in a little english song concert for our volunteer team with songs about the weather and morning routines and emotions and all kinds of little things. It was real cute. Amelia has a video of it somewhere... And we all got to jump in for the hokey pokey so that was pretty great. So that was silly.
(This was during the little concert and theres Elena over to the left. Shes pretty. not gonna lie. Haha did you guys hear about when I made her blush the first day? No? Well it was classic. Definetly hoping she comes out for drinks with us Saturday.)
After the concert we read with the kids from the class that sang to us and that was fun. (Weve done that on earlier days so I wont go into details). And then we moved with Elena to another english class where we helped the kids make Lion masks and sentences to go with them using adjectives and verbs. I showed one guy in the class how to make fangs for his lion mask (they were folded paper with symmetrical cuts) which quickly gained me a number of interested students. It was doubly nice because today the kids were really engaged with us (its been hit and miss throughout the time weve spent here... and obsession with Schuylers name. Which they are OBSESSED. In case you havent heard. They also think he is beatuiful. HA!)
A really strong finish to our time helping out in the English classes I would say. for sure. Not to mention what the ladies found in one of the books we were reading... silly pleiades... although it was a pretty magical coincidence...
(OMG SEVEN STARS IN THE COUNTING BOOK!!!)
(And also a little photo bomb haha)
Finally we returned to Esquelita for our last official frisbee class (so sad... but now a ton of kids have it down!!) and it went swimmingly as usual. Weve been over the details of how we run the class in earlier posts so I wont go into it but the kids impressed as usual. So awesome to spread our sport. So awesome. Sadly for me personally (I hadnt gotten hit once during our frisbee classes but...) today I got nailed in the head... twice... yo tengo dolor de mi cabeza... for real. But it was fun all the same. We finished off with a little futbol with the youngens as we have with all our classes (ya boy nate dogg has been holding it down between the goal posts) and that is always fun. Cheers to really hoping we can get some ultimate going down here!
(Heres a futbol photo since we have so much frisbee already haha)
Its sad to think that we were already done working with the kids after just days being here. But I suppose thats just how it goes. (At least there will certainly be chances for some of us to come back...but its sad you know? I love kids gosh dangit!).
However, all in all... considering our time here... I definitely think we had an impact on these kids. I wont ever know just how much but damn does it feel great. I personally (and Im sure the rest of the team feels the same) feel accomplished for what we did and that we definetly did make a difference down here. We did. And I would encourage any of you readers to find a way to get involved. This place makes a difference. Believe me. Ive been down here. Sponser a kid, make a donation, volunteer. Safe Passage deserves every bit of support it gets. Let these kids dreams come true.
Tonight we toast to Safe Passage! And much love to all you readers!
PS - Now we have a few days to relax... and the nights have continued to be wild and fun... so we will keep ya posted on the awesomeness we have down here! (but only the blog appropriate parts...)