Our first stop was at the Puerto Barrios Children's Hospital, the only national children's hospital in Guatemala. Some of the donations of toiletries that we'd brought with us from the U.S. were donated to the newly opened Mother's Hostel (similar to a Ronald McDonald home) which El Faro helped sponsor. From there we split into 3 groups to visit the various wards in the hospital. My group started in the boys ward, which I considered a small blessing since children are not my forte, but I prefer boys to girls. We gave out coloring pages & crayons, matchbox cars, and some little Lego men. I was able to use some of my Spanish, and although I felt rather uncomfortable at first, the longer we were there the more at ease I felt. Our group's transition to the other rooms didn't go that smoothly, but flexibility is the name of the game, so Seth and I spent the rest of our time in the girls ward. We spent time coloring there and also painting some nails (both of the girls and their Mothers). Seth used the nail polish to paint faces on the balloons, which the kids enjoyed. It wasn't all fun and games of course; since it's a ward style hospital there's no privacy. When the doctors and nurses came to clean the wounds of one of the girls who had been badly burned, we all tried to carry on and ignore her screams.
Our next stop of the day was at an orphanage run by a local Catholic church. We provided the days entertainment and a pizza party. I spent most of the afternoon making paper crowns with the house Moms and some of our team. It was a very hot & humid day, but thankfully we had some shade. The kids enjoyed the bubbles, coloring pictures, playing keep away, and hanging out with (or on) us.
|I nicknamed this little guy "the Bubble King" - |
He loved to run up to you and blow bubbles
in your face, laughing the whole time.