I’m skipping ahead to our first center in Santa Cruz, as I don’t have pictures of the center we visited in Cochabamba. I let my roommate borrow my camera for the day as she was meeting her sponsored child, so I’m waiting on people to send me pictures of that day. When I get them in I will post right away. But for now- Santa Cruz!
We flew into Santa Cruz on Friday night to spend the rest of our time there. Santa Cruz is very different from La Paz and Cochabamba. It is much more tropical with 90 degree weather and sunshine and no mountains in the background. The humidity was sky high and you couldn’t step outside without becoming drenched in sweat. It was beautiful just like the rest of Bolivia!
On Saturday, the sponsors who have children in Santa Cruz eagerly waited in the hotel lobby for their children to arrive, while the rest of us prepared to spend a fun day with the kids at center 383. When we arrived at the center the children were waiting for us so they could put on a special program for us. They were so excited to have us there, just as we were excited to be there!
After the program, we broke up into our family groups to visit classrooms. My group started out in the 8 and 9 year old room while they were doing sword drills- racing to be the first one to find a certain Bible verse. I always loved sword drills as a child so it was fun to see these kids having fun doing the same thing. When we were finished in the 8 and 9 year old room, we wandered our way through the rest of the project visiting the computer lab, the 3-5 year old room, and a couple of us even got to help serve soup to the 6 and 7 year olds. It was awesome having the chance to serve the kids in a tangible way.
After lunch, 3 of the groups went on home visits while the other 2 stayed back to make cheese bread as gifts for the families visited. My group went on a home visit, but me and another girl in my group, Madeline, stayed back to play with the kiddos until it was time to leave. We played soccer with some of the boys for a while and then we pulled out some bubbles. They loved bubbles! They loved it when we would blow them into their face and they would try to pop them. This was probably some of the most fun I had during the trip. Just watching the children play with such joy and abandon! When it was time to leave one of our little friends started crying because she didn’t want us to leave. It broke my heart and of course Madeline and I started crying too. Those beautiful Bolivian children just loved having some extra attention and love for the day and we were so happy to give it to them as they gave us all their love in return!