Monday, February 18, 2008

La Escuela Rotario de Quindialo

One of the most moving excursions we made was on Valentine’s with a pediatric team up to a school in Quindialo, a little village about a 40 minute van ride up a mountain outside of Ambato. The children were buzzing around us as soon as we stepped onto the dirt courtyard. It was a completely different energy from what we had felt in the hospitals, because these kids (around 25 in all) were mostly healthy and full of vitality. The team offered simple check-ups and distributed bags of sunscreen, kiddie vitamins, and toys.

The headmaster gathered the children, and they sang group songs for us. We responded to each with our own; The Hokey Pokey and If You’re Happy and You Know it, for example. It was cute to see confused looks on their faces as they tried to figure out what we were singing. They anticipated our claps and joined us when they could.

After singing, the headmaster whispered to the kids, and they all ran off and returned holding red flowers. Via a translator, the headmaster thanked us all and told us we were now all friends and that we had shared lots of love on this Valentine’s Day. They gave us their flowers and big hugs.

(See a slide show from the school at top right)

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