Thanks to beeing sick and stuck in bed for 3 days already– vomiting, diarrhea, headache… pretty much everything that´s nice and good- I at least get to write my next post now.
So what´s been going on?
First of all, I started work on Friday, September 20th.
My project is called „Virgen de Fatima“ and is an orphanage for kids from 0 to 6 years old. However, as it was explained to me, it´s – at least so is the theory- supposed to be some kind of “transfer“ or “transition“ home to the majority oft he kids. A lot oft he kids aren´t actual orphans, only it is not possible for their parents to take care oft them at the moment, as they´re in jail, for instance. So in theory, all of those kids are supposed to be brought back to their families after some time. But in practice, it seems more like once the kids are 6 years old, they´re brought to the next „transition home“ and so on and so on … very sad fortunes!
However, I´ve had the impression that my project is equipped quite well for the given circumstances and also feel that the kids do very good there. The orphanage is subdiveded into 6 „salas“ and 6 „casas“. The little ones from 0-3 years old live in the salas. I „sala 1“ the new borns from 0-6 month, in „sala 2“ the babys from 6 month- 1 year, in „sala 3“ the babys from 1 year- 1,5 year a.s.o.. In every room works a so called „Mamita“ which cares for the babies, feeds them, washs them … all the things their real moms would usuallly do. In the mornings the Mamitas are supported by us volunteers. Right now there are six more volunteers working in my project.
Until now, I´ve been working in „sala 2“, so to say with the 6 month to 1 year olds. The little ones are suuuuuuuuuper cute, but at the same time very hard work. There are 9 babys living in sala 2 at the moment and from time to time I´m comletley alone with them, when the Mamita is washing cloth, for example. Then I really have to be creative to keep all oft hem in a good mood … so German children songs with lots of handclapping and finger snipping definitely get some good amount of attention! ;D
But lets start from the very beginning… I start work at 9 a.m. in the morning. At first we get the kids out of bed, wash them, change their diapers and dress them. It often takes us almost an hour until we´re done with all oft hem. Afterwards they get their pulp (not sure wether that´s the right word). With chubby-cheeked Benjamin I´ve never had any problems, but with frisky Christina or poor Alexander who´s getting his first teeth, the pulp more often lands in my face or on my cloth than in their mouths. When all of them have been fed I always play with them a little bit or train them how to crawl, stand up or walk on my hands (during the mornings all of them also recieve individual physio therapy with the projects physio therapists). A little time later, they are already getting their next meal, then we qickly check their diapers and put them to bed. Of course, this always leads to lots of crying, but once they get their bottles of milk, most of them are happy annd satisfied and soon fall asleep. At 12 I´m done with my morning work. I only help the Mamita with some more cleaning up and then drive home for lunch.
For my afternoon work I have to be back at the project at 1.45 p.m. In the afternoon we do so called workshops with the kids living in the casas. Those are the kids from 3,5 to 6 years old. Due to spanish classes, sickness and visa stuff, I haven´t experienced alot of those workshops yet, as I have only worked on two afternoons. However, the theory looks like that:
Every day those workshops are done with 3 groups of 12 kids each. On mondays we play games, on tuesdays do sports, wednesdays are for art, thursdays for music and fridays for telling or reading out stories to the kids. Also, a handful of kids have swimming lessons at a near by swimming pool each friday. It seems like those workshops are mainly planned out and offered by the volunteers. My work day ends at 4.30 p.m.
So that to my workday life that now has begon and that I´ve really been enjoing so far!