It’s amazing how we find different ways to communicate with each other. While some students in our group speak Spanish very well, others just know the basics. As a non-Spanish speaker and someone who has not taken a Spanish class since the 6th grade, I can honestly say that it was nerve wracking going to the school for the first time. However, everyone in our group has worked hard to reach out to the kids and make a connection, some by speaking Spanish to the kids, others by gesticulating and using drawing and facial expressions. While it was frustrating at times, everyone strived to give the kids the best lesson possible and to share our lives with them, as we hope they are comfortable enough to share with us. When I was left with a little girl named Rosa Maria, we communicated through drawing animals and guessing each other’s drawing. While painting a mural for the playground, we enlisted the help of a young boy named Yuri who is an amazing artist. We also asked each child to dip their handling paint so we could make a tree with their fingerprints as the leaves.
The last few days at the school helped me to realize that the most important thing is reaching out and making the effort, even when it is the hardest thing to do. It was difficult for some of us to not be able to have a conversation with the children, but we continued to interact with them and communicate in anyway way we could. We are excited for the coming days as we finish up working at the school and preparing for our trek.