June 20, 2012


Emily with Alexander at the center during lunch

    We had another beautiful day here in Veracruz.  I started out the day seeing several “patients” at the community center.  The young men are working so hard to build the new Community Center that it is taking its toll on their bodies.  I can tell how good it makes them feel to contribute that they don’t like to complain, but it is hard heavy labor in the heat.  It is amazing to watch how they all pitch in to do whatever needs to be done, regardless of the conditions.  It made me feel good to be able to ease some of their aches and pains before their day began.  I also had the pleasure to “treat” a couple of the grandmothers.  These ladies, well into their seventies, are an absolute delight.  They too work hard to take care of their extended families as they toil with their hands more than you could possibly imagine.

    The children arrived full of excitement and energy.  We started the day with songs of joy.  We then continued with our Harry Potter week by making coin purses.  The children loved getting a few “gallions” to put in their new purses as a reward for saying “thank you”.  Even the little ones were focused and intent upon their craft.  They are truly natural little crafters and took to the activity with little direction (which was a godsend as my Spanish is beyond rusty) After that they were in need of some activity so we took them outside to play with the parachute.  Their laughter was contagious and the smiles were endless as they burned off some excess energy.  Then came the ever popular “snack” with Harry Potter acid (lolly) pops sprinkled with magic “dust” from sugary pixi stix.  The kids really enjoy the opportunity to make even the simplest crafts as the magic continued with more magic sticks to decorate their crosses.  Smiles were all around as they showed off their beautiful handiwork.

    Lunch soon followed.  This was definitely a highlight today as they feasted on tortillas, cheese and a pureed tomato sauce from fresh grown tomatoes.  An absolute delight which quickly disappeared, unlike the plantains from yesterday.  Not a single one had to hold their nose to get it down.  It is so comforting to know that each child gets a healthy lunch each day along with juice and a vitamin.

    The afternoon group loves to start with puzzles.  They can’t get enough of them.  We will definitely have to come up with some more as they devour them faster than you can possibly imagine.

    Continuing with our Harry Potter week, we moved into making potions.  We watched a bit of the movie and then I got to star as the witch.  The children huddled around to watch me make Dragon’s Drool and the Foaming Potion.  It is amazing what a little bit of baking soda and vinegar along with some food coloring will do.  We used our magic wand and our “spells” to make the potions.  The children loved putting their fingers in the potions and “decorating” each other.  It was all great fun!

    The bulk of the afternoon was spent making colorful Anglican prayer beads.  Again the level of engagement of these kids is truly astounding.  They were so patient and excited as we helped them create what is most likely the first set of prayer beads any of them have ever owned.  Marlene translated into Spanish what each section represented and they had the opportunity to learn about a third way to communicate with God through prayer.  Not to be left out, the afternoon group ended with Harry Potter acid sticks which were definitely a highlight of the day.

    Content and weary we headed over to the construction site and were amazed at the progress since yesterday.  They have completed the area for the septic tank and had started and almost completed another wall.  God’s hand is truly at work in this amazing project.

    Dinner was a fabulous authentic Mexican feast with tacos made with the most delectably seasoned pork and special corn tortillas.  Alex made some amazing guacamole and we all tasted Saul’s famous habanero sauce.  Mmmmm…..

    The day ended with my most special patient of all.  I had the pleasure of helping Goldi with her overworked hand and painful knee.  Shy and private, I was thrilled that she allowed me to examine and treat her in the hopes of easing some of her pain.  It was incredibly rewarding for me to be able to use the skills that God gave me to make a difference for someone who truly gives every bit of herself to make the lives of everyone else so much better.  I only hope in some small way that I can give a little back to her for all that she has given to others.

-Cindy J.