‘Pass the Fried Eggplant’ Day 4 of the Diocesan Mission Trip to Cristo Salvador

DSCN0415You know it will be a good day when the rooster crows at 5:30 a.m. The rooster crows every morning, so every day must be a good day. Today VBS began in the morning. Arriving two minutes before the children got there, we had to cut and braid yarn for the very detailed craft brought to you by Holy Trinity in Brookville. The night before, we cut pieces of tissue paper into shapes for the mosaics. We never would have finished the project in time if it wasn’t for our crafty drill sergeant, Sue. The craft was successful and all of the kids projects turned out great!
During games, we tried relay races, but they were not so successful with our first two groups. Instead, we played “Don’t Let the Ball Touch the Ground.” The simplest of games kept the kids entertained. For the smallest, we started blowing up more balloons. All of the kids flocked towards me. It reminded me of the seagulls in Finding Nemo who repeated, “Mine! Mine! Mine!” We let them hit the balloons around for the remainder of the activity time. A few of the kids kept wanting to hit the balloon back and forth with me. It was chaos, but it was fun!
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During snack, we tried to talk to the oldest kids. Their adult leader had left, but she didn’t speak much English. Marisol did a great job interpreting Missy’s broken Spanish instructions during games. She even gave us the idea to do the spoon and ping pong relay holding the spoon in their mouth. Talking with the kids, I can ask them their names, but that is about it. They would keep trying to talk to me, even though I did not understand. I’d just nod and say, “Si!”
At the end of the day, after snack, the oldest boys, were asking to race us. We raced back and forth in the sanctuary. A few of the girls ran too. You would think we Americans wouldn’t be able to run in this heat, but I beat them a couple of times. It was a memorable moment for the day, having them ask us to join them in an activity.
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After a great lunch, provided by the church ladies, we crossed the street and toured the Pre-School. I thought it was a very nice building. They had one classroom in the basement and three on the second level. One the first level is a kitchen and a cafeteria. Father Hipolito praised many of the teachers at the school. The school is working to send the teachers to university to study. It is a great ministry of the church to be able to educate the teachers in order to best prepare the kids.

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We had a successful and great day painting, even though some of us got the speckled-paint disease, painting ceilings and walls. We pretty much finished all four classrooms and got two coats of blue paint onto the walls in the larger room.  Tomorrow we move to the second coats on the ceilings.
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Coming back to the hotel, we had a much needed adventure. We walked a few blocks to the nearest Bon, which is an ice cream shop. The ice cream was muy deliciouso! Then it was back to the hotel for dinner, which meant lots of fried eggplant. We also got to try a new fruit called limoncello, which we had seen people selling on the streets. Sue asked Lazarus, the hotel manager, if he could get us some to try. And he did! There was very little fruit inside the peel, but it had a good flavor.
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So far this has been a rewarding experience. I can’t wait to share more when I get back. But until then, pass the fried eggplant.
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Amy Greene, member St Mary’s in Lawrence Park

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