When I first thought about coming to live here in Guatemala, I could walk into Hermano Pedro and often not see another volunteer (unless I was with Dick). Over the intervening years, gradually more folks have come down to volunteer, either as individuals or as part of teams.
I have to admit that at times I am overwhelmed by the number of volunteers that are present at any one time. On the other hand, a lot of kids get a lot of lovin’ and that’s good. Recently, though, we’ve had some exceptional teams and I wanted to share with you a bit of what they have contributed to our work.
The end of May, a team of musicians came down to work with the kids. They gave a number of performances in various areas of the hospital, and their talents were appreciated, especially by the elderly residents, who don’t usually get much attention. After their performances, though, a number of them would break away from the group and “experiment” with the kids and their instruments. This was a really sweet time to watch. Gloria, who is deaf, loved it when the bassoon was played next to her leg. It brought tears to my eyes to see Ervin, our resident rough-neck, playing the violin with one of these musicians. This may not seem like much, but I know it meant a lot to our kids to experience music in a new way. And I was awestruck by the willingness of these (almost) professional musicians to allow our kids to touch and play their valuable instruments.
Bill playing monster ball with Delmi and Estefani
Another team which has blessed us recently came down with Bill Specht, an adaptive PE teacher with a therapeutic recreation background. After his visit to Hermano Pedro a couple of years ago, Bill sent down a wheelchair swing which has become a favorite of many of the kids at the orphanage. This year he and his group brought us a “monster ball” which the kids are thoroughly enjoying. Bill’s background in therapy also has been extremely valuable to me in teaching me some techniques to use with some of the kids whose muscles are severely constricted. I’d love to be able to “shadow” Bill for a week as he teaches, but hope at least to be able to learn more from him when he returns again next year.
I have to confess that last Sunday, when we walked into Hermano Pedro, I was on complete over-load when I saw the number of volunteers there from two teams. Both Bethel Ministries, and Hope for Home had groups visiting this afternoon, and I immediately felt like there were just too many people. Man, was I wrong. For as large of a group as was there, the afternoon proved to be refreshing and peaceful as each person on the team found a kid to love on and play with. Often a lot of people can mean chaos. These teams were different. Today I got to meet a number of wonderful folks who care for our kids, and spend a somewhat restful afternoon visiting with them and the children. The was one Sunday almost none of the kids spent in their beds!
Thanks, to you all, for caring for our kids.