Guatemala - Day Three
We have a team of 14 people working here in Guatemala. Each night after dinner we gather and have what we call WOW time. During WOW time we share a moment during our day where we were wowed by what we saw, heard, our experienced. I thought that I would share some of the WOW moments of today to give you an idea of what our day was like!
Today at the center Jaci Velasquez, a christian singer, came with a film crew to tape a dicumentary about poverty and starvation in Guatemala. She presented a WOW moment for one of our members when she stopped everything, sang two songs in Spanish for all of the nannies, and signed shirts and papers for everyone.
Another WOW moment came when we began working with the kids and we walked into their bathroom and there were 15 toddlers sitting on pots brushing their teeth. Yes, they were literally sitting on pots to be potty trained! The WOW came while all the kids stayed in place until they were told where to go next! The kids are so well behaved when it comes to the routine here. They are so small and they pull chicken off the bones to eat for their lunch! They are not coddled here!
Another team member shared how amazing it is that all the children crave attention and love from all the adults! He held two toddlers in his lap for 50 minutes while they played with his beard and the hair on his arms before they fell asleep!
My Dad shared a story about twin boys who are now almost 4 years old and have been here since they were 3 months old. They are the only ones here who have been abandoned. The other children here all have at least one parent who calls or comes to visit on visiting days. The boys followed by Dad and another member and "helped" them with some building. The boys were fast to learn and eager to help. However, as my Dad walked slowly down the hall after his job was done, he didn't notice the little hands pulling a phone, tools, and other odds and ends out of his bag! When he finally noticed something was going on, the twins were passing out his tools to all of the other children! (They are good at sharing!) It was a good thing a nanny was handy to help collect everything!
The director of the center told Jaci Velasquez as she was interacting with a 3 month old, who looks like a premie, that the baby was gripping her finger much the same way the baby was clinging to life.
There are two fantastic interns here and for one of them today Jackson was their WOW moment! He didn't work with me today so I only saw him a few times interacting with the kids. I had told him to talk to the kids even if they didn't understand him. I told him to treat them how he treated J and Little Miss. They only want attention and they would like him because he is less intimidating then adults. Apparently, he took that to heart and amazed all of the adults with his energy, constant interaction with the children, and his willingness to do what he was told without question. (Well, except for changing a diaper which may happen tomorrow). He smiled through all of the cleaning, runny noses, crying, and asked for more!!
My WOW moment came from the mother of one of the little ones I worked with all day. His name is Mynor and he looks like the babies you see on television from Ethiopia. He is 15 months old and weighs maybe 12 pounds and looks like a 10 month old. He was actually featured in the documentary today because of his severe case of malnutrition. He has the quickest smile that lights up his entire face. He would melt your heart in a second! (and bring tears to your eyes because of his situation)
His mother was also featured in the documentary. She and her mother traveled an hour and a half to visit and be a part of the filming. I talked with grandma for a bit and was amazed to hear that she has seven children and her youngest is four! Mynor's mom has a one month old baby and a four year old daughter. What amazed me is that the other children appeared healthy and well. That wasn't my WOW moment though. My WOW moment came when Mynor's mom told the interviewer that she had brought him to the doctor and the doctor told her there was no hope for him. He was already dead so to say your goodbyes. She was encouraged by friends to bring him to the center. She made the trip and put her hope in the people here who have their hope in God. As a result, Mynor is gaining weight and strength. He is eating and growing. He will survive! What a testament to how needed this center is here!
I'll leave you tonight with that! It was a very emotional day caring for children who look so fragile you think you can't touch them without them breaking! I can't wait for more tomorrow!