Quince de Septiembre:
Our second day at Quince de Septiembre was full of laughter and fun. Throughout the day, our 3 groups played, mentored, cared for, and helped the kids at the center. We made gratitude boxes for the kids to teach them what it means to be grateful. The kids demonstrated their gratefulness by placing the things that they are thankful for in the box. As we taught the kids about gratefulness, we could not help but reflect on our own lives and the immense privilege we have living in the US. Many of the children living in Costa Rica are living in poverty with very little to nothing. You can not help but feel blessed with the life you have been given, and feel grateful for the simple things in life we have. The other group spent another day painting the classroom and investing in the reconstruction of the this room. Overall, today was a joyous experience for all of us at Quince de Septiembre!
Today at El Manatial, our team split up to complete two different jobs. The people who painted the wall surrounding the playground yesterday were able to switch out with the people in the classrooms with the children. In the classrooms, we began the morning with the weather, days of the week, colors, and shapes. We then walked our kiddos around the center to find triangles- our shape of the day- for real world examples. Then, the crazy snack time began in which all of the children in the center are grouped in the cafeteria speaking Spanish and asking for things we don’t know how to understand or answer. Through the chaos, we were able to have an amazing time serving these children’s needs… even if it was just a smile. Nap time has been really special to watch. The innocence of the kids really come through in this time and we are able to scratch their backs, play with their hair, and play music for them so they can have a moment of silence in the whirlwind of their lives. We are really looking forward to serving the children throughout the rest of the week and seeing how the Lord can push us out of our comfort zones to allow us to grow.
Today at Lomas kindergarten we got our first layer of painting done on the window frames and walls. We also spent time in the classrooms loving on the children. Though the language barrier was tough initially, we found a universal way to communicate via dancing and love. Each classroom experience was entirely different, but, no matter what, these kids showed a constant presence of love in their hearts.
Today when we arrived at the school, we split into two groups, and we were greeted the children with smiling faces and open arms. We started out the day in two fourth grade classrooms. Each class was full of energy and giggles. We let the children decorate a gratitude box with stickers so that they can place anything they are grateful for inside. Afterwards, we helped the students make necklaces that said Jesus inside of a fish. They were all very eager to wear their new accessories. A highlight from today was when one of the boys jumped up and asked to pray for everyone before we left, which was so heart-warming to see his love for our Savior. We ate rice, beans, and threaded beef for lunch and shared cookies and hot chocolate for a mid-day snack. The second half of the day involved painting, and some of the kids even helped us get our hands dirty through the painting process. Overall, day two in Lomas was a successful adventure, and we cannot wait to see what God has in store for us and the kids tomorrow!
-Beattie Hoyle and Shelby Gowdy