Friday, March 6, 2015

El joven y el viejo

Yesterday we visited La Posada de Belen in the morning. This is a home where at risk young women, in their teens, are able to receive an education while caring for their young children. We first got a tour of the facility and then split up into groups to play with all of the children. This facility allows these young girls, who have experienced some kind of trauma, to learn skills necessary to care for themselves and their children while placing an emphasis on the importance of receiving an education. The girls were excited to interact with us and asked for advice in their educational endeavors. The 2 pieces of advice given were things that I think we can all learn from; "All flowers grow from dirt" and "education is one of the only things that no one can take away from you". They proceeded to sing us a song, which provoked mixed emotions for many of the different team members. Multiple times tears were brought to our teams eyes as we reflected on the power and importance of family, education, support and hope.

In the afternoon we spent time in an elderly care day program. We spent time taking their vital signs, doing physical assessments and listening to their stories. Our presence brought, not only help to the nurses, but numerous smiles to the residents faces. Even though we were not able to communicate verbally, we were able to create and build relationships. This was a friendly reminder that you don't need to be able to speak to convey empathy and compassion.

We finished the day off with a great group dinner at a Colombian restaurant. The ride home brought a sense of unity. An English song came on the radio and everyone started singing and laughing. There wasn't a single person who didn't have a smile on their face, even our team leaders from Costa Rica and the bus driver. It was a huge milestone to see everyone interacting as one, honestly enjoying the moment and creating memories.
-Allie Hammond

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