Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The murals

Monday, July 19, 2010

The murals

Mark and I were looking for a project that we could do that would stay with the kids even after we'd left. After thinking about it and considering different ideas we decided to do murals in the rooms of the kids. The people that will benefit from this the most are the ones that don't receive any attention from people that come because they are considered the "scarier" ones because they scream and will abuse themselves. I found studies that talked about the benefits of having art in the rooms of the disabeled. The studies showed that through the art stimulation the people were calmer and happier. The studies also found that it positively affected their healthy by lowering their blood pressure. We've had fun thus far. Although the paintings aren't all done in the pictures we have sinced finished them but haven't taken new pictures yet.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Birthday Giovanni & Roberto

This past month was Roberto& Giovanni's birthdays! Big 18 & 28! We had them up for a noche especial to celebrate and we bought tres leches cake (which is the typical hispanic cake with three different kinds of milk poured all throughout it) and they absolutely loved all the attention! We gave Roberto a kite for his birthday. Now the trick will be using it when there's wind outside and not rain :)

Giovanni is of course Mr. tie man. He's been telling us about his birthday since the first day we got here and he told us exactly what he wanted-a tie! The good thing is ties are so cheap here it wasn't a problem.

Yummy tres leches!

Blowing the candles out! These pictures are a little bit backwards

Friday, June 4, 2010

A bunch of activities we've done over the past few weeks

We helped all the kids make different butterflies and they were pretty dang cute if I do say so myself. I have them all in our house now I'm trying to decide if I should make a mobil of them or something.
This was our superhero trashbag day. They were pretty funny how some of them got into it. Nahum thought he was a luchador and kept wrestling people and jumping on tables.

Up, up, and away!

Dominos! The cool way of doing it!

This was our dance club night. The kids LOVE dancing to music and they thought it was even more fun with the glow sticks.

In our class right now we're learning about the body and the different senses. This day was our sense of smell day so we blindfolded them and had different smells and had them guess what they thought it was. It was funny to see the different faces they made as they smelled stuff.

Reading has been a huge part of our stay here. Brayan is a little boy who loves one on one attention. If he doesn't have you all to himself he will drag you away from the group. I read every single one of those books on my lap to him and he listened to every word. I was pretty suprised because with most of the older people they don't have the patience to listen to all of it so I basically tell the story based on pictures.

To celebrate the anniversary of the Hogar a famous singer from El Salvador came and serenaded the nuns and the kids. Everybody was singing along to all of his songs and the girls loved him. They would all run up for a chance to dance with him and hug him. He was pretty good!

Memo is quite the character! I don't know where he get's his dance moves being they're a little shadey but one day during a fiesta with everybody watching he does this little stripping dance where he takes off his shirt slowly and swings it around his head! Then he was shaking his hips and everything! We about died laughing. I think the funniest part was that the nuns were right there laughing too!

Here we go!

So I kept waiting to start blogging about our time here because I thought it'd be kosher to introduce ourselves. This obviously hasn't gone to well so I'll be brief and let the rest of the posts act as an introduction. Mark and I met teaching at the MTC. I had just returned from my mission and started working there and that's how we met and were eventually married. We both speak spanish which has been a huge plus being here. I'm studying spanish translation and Mark is in the accounting program. That's it for now!
This is a random picture of us that I had on my computer. It's the only one that wasn't wedding or crazy poses:)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

New Volunteers! The Update!

We have new volunteers at the Hogar!  Shanna and Mark Warr (a young married couple) arrived there mid-May, and they are already doing a fabulous job.  They both speak Spanish fluently, and we are so excited about the work that they are going to do at the Hogar.

I hope they don't mind me referring you to their blog for photos and updates.  Here it is:

There is a hilarious recent post about their Super Hero Trash Bag Fashion Show with the kids...check it out.

They will start posting updates on this blog soon!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

We had a fun activity with the kids as part of the Olympics. We drew a huge picture of a man and named him Pablo. Then we had a throwing contest with a sponge soaked in paint and had them throw it at him. Depending on where they hit they would get different points, in the end no one cared about their score, but they had a lot of fun with the paint. We made racing bibs for each kid that we thought would be participating, and you can see Lauren and Alonso wearing theirs. They loved their racing bibs and were always sad to give them back, so we had a closing ceremony and said they could keep them all and gave them medals. They were really excited about that.
Herman Umbelina invited us to go to a concert thing with some of the kids. It was a cool concert and there were kids from all different schools there--it was during the day. Afterward we went to a pupusaria in Los Planes with them. The kids were really excited to eat out, and it was a lot of fun. This is Lauren with Carmencita (left) and Xiomara (right) making goofy faces.
We took our week vacation to Costa Rica. We went to Parque Nacional Tortuguero. It was super fun and did boat tours and hung out in the little village that was there on the river.
On the other side of the village of Tortuguero is the ocean, so they are surrounded by water basically. It was a beautiful beach, and we had a lot of fun playing there.
After Tortuguero we went to a little town called Puerto Viejo. It is hippie central and so chill. We ate at a vegetarian/vegan restaurant and had a lot of fun.
We were suppose to go snorkeling, but our tour was cancelled because of bad weather. This is us being really sad. We hung out in the town and did more shopping until we found a lady to do our hair.
She gave us extensions! It was a deal too, she only charged about $30 each. It took four hours each to get it done, so that took basically all day. The next morning we did some more things in town, then went back to San Jose to catch or 20-hour bus back to El Salvador. Awesome trip though, lots of busing. We left on a Monday and came back Sunday. It was good to come back adn see the kids. Some people didn't recognize us with our new hair-dos. We actually stick out pretty bad here in El Salvador, it is not a touristy or hippie place (except for some beaches).
This is a night we had in the Comedor. There are student volunteers here from Canada. They hung out with us and the kids and it was a lot of fun. They seem to spend a lot of time with the kids, and it's been a good experience working with them. . . so far.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

We did a parachute activity during one of our classes. I think the kids could play with the parachute all day, they loved it just as much after half-an-hour as they did when we first started playing. This was a fun day and we just played a bunch of different games for class. Some worked better than others, but it was fun to just play with them.
THis is when we presented Efrain with his new communication book. He really likes it, and it's been very rewarding working with the kids and seeing how much they enjoy them after all the hard work that's gone into putting them together.

For our last class we taught the kids some random things about Asia. I dressed up as a chinese person and I came out speaking jibberish that sounded like chinese-ish. We taught them how to bow as a salutation and they really liked that. We had them color kimonos and taught them about fortune cookies. It was a random but fun class, and the kids seemed to like the fortune cookie part becuase we made them each fortunes and gave them a cookie with it:)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Hermana Eliana came home last Friday night from her vacation. We had the kids paint this welcome home banner, and then put it up on one of the gates leading into the orphanage. They were really excited for her to come back, so they did a good job. You can see that Matias painted cirles as far as he could reach, and Janet did some pretty colors, so it was fun to see what each kid did. We finally met Hermana Eliana and can see why everyone loves her so much, she's very nice!
Opening Ceremonies last weekend. We had the kids spread out, and we passed this torch around. It was low-key, but the kids seemed to think it was cool.

Monday, February 15, 2010

This is Geovanny putting a label on Xiomara. We did a review of body parts for class, and they had to stick on the labels. It was funny because Xiomara couldn´t see with all the papers over her eyes, and she looked so cute just standng there. Aimee did this class by herself because Lauren was feeling sick. It definitely wasn´t as smooth as usual adn it will be awesome to have Lauren back!
This is from class a couple weeks ago. We had a visitor named Flores Colores come (Aimee) and we practiced the colors and had them identify different parts of the outfit, it turned out to be pretty fun. This class was for our communication board students, and since none of them really talk it makes class a little harder to plan for. But we really enjoy this class adn try to make sure and do fun activities.
Carmencita at Cuatro Patas. I just love this picture of her because it captures her smile really well.

This is Alonso at Cuatro Patas. It is a program on Saturday mornings where some outside people bring in dogs and they just play with the kids. It was really fun and the kids love it. We are going to start helping out with planning and things so that will be really fun.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

We´re a little short on pictures at the moment for various reasons, but once we get things sorted out we will put more up. We are doing very well though. Lauren has had some pretty bad dizzy spells hte past couple days so she hasn´t really been able to leave the casita much, but she´s starting to feel better so hopefully that continues. We´ve adjusted pretty well to everything here although the language barrier is still a little bit of a problem sometimes.
We have had a couple mini earthquakes since we´ve been here which has been exciting. We´ve been told that they happen a lot and they don´t do any damage, but it´s always pretty nerve racking when the ground starts shaking.
We love the kids and enjoy being around them. By mondays we´re always super excited to work with them after the couple days we haven´t seen them. I think my english has gotten worse since I´ve come here, and I´ll blame that on the spanish.

Every monday and wednesday nights we have something called ¨Noche Especial¨ where we have two kids come up to our casita adn we eat and play. I made pasta adn chicken adn garlic bread, adn it was super yummy. The girl on the left is CHusita and the girl on the right is Xiomara. Xiomara loves to give big hugs and not let go and hang on you, she´s a sweetheart.
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