Thursday, July 31, 2008

Hogar Idol

One of our favorite night activities of the summer so far was when we had an Hogar Idol contest. We were surprised by how well the kids responded. Every single kid there wanted to sing (even the kids that can´t talk). We had some guest judges who ranked the kids out of 10 and gave silly, American Idol-esque comments.

Ana del Carmen is famous around the Hogar for her singing. She is one of the only people that can instantly start a dance party, even with the staff. The only problem is that her song is constantly stuck in our heads.

Martiza is actually a really good singer. It is a little hard to tell on this video if it is her singing or the recorded song, but it really is her. She is so cute.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Roberto´s Bike

The head nun here gave Roberto a bike for his birthday recently. However, Roberto doesn´t know how to ride it and just walks it around the Hogar all the time with his feet on either side of the seat. I told my family to bring some training wheels when they came so that we could surprise Roberto and put them on his bike while he was in school. He was PUMPED!!! The only downside is that, since training wheels aren´t really meant to support the weight of a 16 year old boy, we aren´t sure how long they will survive.

Trash Bag Fashion Show

During my family´s visit to the Hogar, we decided to have a trash bag fashion show. Each team had to dress up two of it´s members using only trash bags, duct tape, and toilet paper. Then each model had to go down the catwalk and strut their stuff. The kids got really into it and of course my family hammed it up.

Geovany got a big kick out of dressing up my dad.

Sam´s team won points for creativity because he was the only model with pants.

All of the lovely contestants.

Mariachi Singers

How cute are these two? We still have absolutely no idea why they were dressed up like mariachi singers or where on earth they got those outfits. Sam just found them wandering around the orphanage like that and insisted that they come up to our house to show me. Sam was trying to get to the bottom of it by asking if they were the only two with outfits,but Roberto cut him off mid question. The conversation went like this . . .

Sam: Roberto, are you the only two . . .
Roberto: With talent? Yes.

My favorite part about this picture is Memo´s face. Ha!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Hunting for Bigfoot

One of the more ridiculous classes we have ever held was the fantasy day where we decided to talk about myths from our countries. El Salvador has a lot of national myths and legends about creatures that a lot of the population really believes exist. The only one we could think of to share was Bigfoot. The highlight of the class was when we told them that anyone who could get a picture of Bigfoot for the newspapers would be rich and famous. A few minutes later, he happened to walk into our classroom and we had to chase him down around the Hogar to get the magic photo.
Good look for Ryan, ísn´t it?

Hooray! A successful capture.

Baby Blanket Project

One service project that we wanted to do with the kids this summer was making baby blankets for some of the lactantes or babies that live in the clinic at the Hogar. There is a set of twins that are only a year old that live in the clinic that everyone at the Hogar adores, especially Maria Antonia. We helped her make two really cute little quilts for them, a pink polka dot one for Sonia and a blue dinosaur one for her brother, Daniel. She was really excited to go deliver them the next day.

Superhero Day!

The next day we learned about Superheroes for class and it was a big hit. I made a guest appearance as Super Laura wearing all black spandex, a blue cape, a batman mask, and . . . a pair of bright blue striped underwear over my pants. Emperatriz was busting! We were a little afraid that it might be socially inappropriate here but when I asked our friend Marielos she cracked up and said, “No way. It’s funny!” I don’t even think the kids really caught it anyway. We made and painted capes and masks and then did a big obstacle course to prove their superhero abilities. Xiomara got especially into the test of her upper body strength. Check out this face!It was fun to see the kids all dressed up and running through the course. Chusie was especially hilarious because she ran through with her arms outstretched like she was flying. Here she is hugging Carmencita Flores after her victory. So cute.
The next day we presented their dried caps today in a special presentation. We made each of the kids come up to the front of the class and put their capes on them and gave them a superpower. For example, Roberto was Super Friend, Aida was Super Smile, and Flores was Super Dancer. They wore those ridiculous capes around the orphanage all week!

Pirate Day!

Our theme for the week Rachel and Ryan were here was 100% not educational, but it sure was fun. It was a fantasy extravaganza! We started off the week with Pirate day. We transformed the kids into pirates complete with eye patches, moustaches, bandanas, and hilarious tattoos. Then Sam came as a special visitor and he was a riot! We found him the most amazing costume ever and he totally hammed it up. He even tucked one of his legs up into his pants so that it looked like he had a stump leg. I have never seen Sam so into a character—I found it very endearing. We went on a scavenger hunt all around the orphanage to find pieces of his treasure map that led to a real buried treasure (aka. a empty box of Frosted Flakes covered in yellow paper and filled with tin foil covered cardboard coins). It was hilarious to see Roberto and Xiomara using a shovel to dig up the treasure.
Memo getting his ¨MOM¨tattoo
The Dread Pirate Roberto
The first and probably only time Yanet will ever use a shovel
Xiomara wasn´t too scared of the scary pirate, as you can tell

Catching Up

Okay, it has been AGES since we posted anything on here and I am feeling very guilty. Rachel and Ryan came for a week and distracted me from my usual posting, and then my entire family came to meet the kids and take us on a trip to Guatemala. But, we are home now and my excuses are over. I am hopefully going to be putting up a lot of posts this week, as long as the internet keeps working (which is always questionable). They may not be in order, but I will try to hit all the highlights.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The egg drop

One fun activity we did with the kids last week was an egg drop. We all had to made a creation to keep an egg from breaking when Sam threw it off the roof. However, the kids liked throwing them as much as making them, so none of them survived.

Carlos with his broken egg at the end. He loved it!

Monday, July 7, 2008


There is a big group of kids here that live in a separate area called the lactantes because they are on an all liquid diet. It is a group of ADORABLE little kids with Cerebral Palsy who love to be held and cuddled. Here are two of our favorites: Ivis and Marcos.

Ana Maria

How cute is she? This is Maria all decked out in her birthday outfit. Her birthday is the same day as the founder of the Hogar, so they always have a big bash that she thinks is all for her. The cutest part is that she turned 48 this year but she thinks she is 15. Everyone plays along with it and all day people were saying, ¨We thank God for giving Maria fifteen years of life.¨ She loves to help out in the laundry room at the Hogar and she loves to scold people if you step one toe out of line. The workers lovingly tease her by calling her the scolding old lady.

Solar System

We taught our class about the solar system last week (obviously extemely simplified). We learned about how the earth moves around the sun, what we can see at night, and what the sun is like.
We made star masks and learned the song, Ï am like a star.¨ It is Aida´s favorite.

We also made a very rudimentary mobile of the solar system for the classroom.

More glamor shots

We decided that the glamor shots were such a hit with the morning kids that we needed to make a night activity out of it. It was hilarious! We brought down all sorts of accessories, including a fan. Rather ¨Glamor Shots by Deb¨from Napoleon Dynamite if you ask me.

Don´t think that we left the boys out of it. We made them look macho with . . . what else?!? Eyeliner facial hair!
I know there are a million pictures of Xiomarita on the blog but this picture was just too classic.

When Maria Antonia heard what we were doing, she ran back to her dorm and came out in her jelly high heels and this ridiculous cheerleading skirt. She is a little sass!

Then the girls got to do my makeup. Don´t I look fabulous?!?

Chef Day

The other highlight of our professions week was the day we ¨studied¨chefs. All of the kids that normally go to the community school were in class that day so it was incredibly rowdy and crowded, but man was it fun. First we made ridiculously giant chef hats and then had a gingerbread house making contest. Needless to say, they all won. Then they went around and presented their houses as gifts to people around the Hogar (despite the fact that some didn´t quite withstand the transit).

Roberto and Chusie in their cute hats.

Geovany and Maritza were partners and every time I looked over, I would see Martiza hard at work and Geovany chowing down on all the supplies! Ha. Then I finally teased him about it so he tried to start helping. He picked up a jellybean and tried to press it into the frosting but . . . their whole house fell down! Martiza was so mad at him. So he went back to eating and she went back to her business. To tell you the truth, I think he did it on purpose so he could just eat in peace.

Carlos got into the construction part. His was by far the most sturdy, and he was certainly proud of it!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Doctor Day!

For our occupations week, we devoted each day to a different profession. One of our favorite days was doctor day! Here are some highlight activities:

We had a mock operation with the kids. We used a scalpel to inspect the brain, heart, stomach, bones, and eyeballs of our deathly ill patient.

I accidentally tripped and "broke my wrist" walking to the board. Luckily for me, we had a whole classroom full of newly trained doctors to put a cast on it for me.

Xiomara was very concerned at first because she thought I had really hurt myself. I had to show her that my wrist was fine before she would join in the activity. Cutest.

We love Harry!

One fun thing we implemented last week was reading night with the older kids. We built a big fort out of sheets in the Administration building and Sam started reading Harry Potter 2 aloud with all the voices. The kids really liked it and are excited to start doing it one night a week. It is nice that they are using a book I am so familiar with because I can understand a lot of the Spanish and it makes me excited.

Spin Art

One activity we have had a lot of fun doing with the kids recently is Spin Art. It is nice because even the kids who can't really hold a paintbrush can squeeze paint out of a bottle with a little help. One girl loved it so much that she wanted her square pinned on her shirt with a safety pin to parade around all day. Cutest.
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