Our day was filled with many challenges but also filled with a lot of joy. We woke up at 6:00 am and had breakfast at Deja Vu (our local comedor). What we didn’t expect was everything we were going to experience today, like how amazing and joyful the children at the orphanage were going to be or impactful the visit to the dump was going to be on us.
The first visit was to Leon’s dump. We were all very physically exhausted due to the heat and living on a dollar a day yesterday. The dump was a humbling experience. We got to interview the workers at the dump, they looked for plastic and metals they could sell to be recycled. A part of the interview that I think should be shared on this blog was when I asked a worker “If you had all the money in the world and you could do anything in the world , what would it be?” and he replied “I would help out all of the people working in places like these.”
His response really amazed me. Instead of doing things for himself he wanted to help everyone else. It made me admire him and reflect upon how I should invest my time and resources. All of the people there were very similar to this worker. They were friendly and pretty open to talking to us. They talked about the difficult conditions they experienced, but also had an optimistic view of life. Later on we got to do an activity with them and found out about their hobbies, ambitions, and their family dynamics. We came to find that they are very similar to us.
The visit to the orphanage was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. The children and the nun who cared for the children were so welcoming and joyful. The children accepted us right away. They were not shy at all and they all had so much fun with us. One of the nicest parts of the visit was knowing that the children were supported even after they were 18 years old. The nun explained that the children there receive an education and shelter, and no child is denied admission at the orphanage. After we got a summary and tour of the orphanage we played with the children. They were so excited to come out and play with us. We brought them candies and marshmallows as small gifts which they really enjoyed. The boys played soccer and the girls played kick ball. It was a very beautiful moment for all of us. We felt what it was like to be a kid again. Childhood memories were brought back and we bonded with the children. The goodbyes were the absolute hardest part of this experience. The children began to ask when we were coming back and give us lots of hugs.
Overall, today’s experiences really showed us how important it is to have a positive outlook in life. We felt that positive attitude was exhibited by the dump workers who had to dig through trash all day as their main source of income. These people were the most optimistic people we have ever encountered and it made us reflect upon our own lives and how our actions can have an impact in our communities.