Last Friday, a group of girls who attend school in the afternoon had presentation about the different provinces within the department of Cochabamba. I had the privilege of going to take photos and listen to their presentations, meet their professors and friends, and try traditional dishes and drinks from the numerous provinces. It not only made me so proud to be there, but also introduced me to the different cultures and traditions of each province.

The girls are in different classes in the school, and each grade chose a different province to study and report on. The classrooms were set up in a circle so the visitors could walk around and receive information about the typical dishes, traditional music and dance, the products produced, and the traditional dress of each area. In addition to interesting facts and information, the students provided samples of typical food and drinks, dressed in the attire, made dioramas of the terrain and interesting tourist sites, and provided brochures and pamphlets to take home and read more. It was extremely interesting, especially because I have not visited every province. And, I especially enjoyed sampling the numerous foods and beverages provided!

More than anything though, I was extraordinarily proud of the girls! Each of the girls presented their portion of the exceptionally well–they make a tia so proud! Being able to attend school presentations and celebrations makes me so happy! I am able to support them, like my parents supported me by attending all school functions–something that was extremely important to me as a kid, and something I will never forget. This is why I make a point of going to school functions, and of course, taking pictures so they can have memories of these special events later in life.

After the exhibition, I met briefly with the girls’ teachers and received their progress reports. One of the teachers praised the tias and staff of Ninos con Valor! She said what a wonderful job we are doing with the girls, and what big hearts everyone must have to take on work like this. I explained that all the staff receives much more than we give, and it is more than a pleasure to work with such wonderful, inspiring children!

Truly, I have one of the most amazing jobs ever, and I appreciate every moment spent with the kids! Each child has taught me an important lesson–nothing is impossible, to continue to love and care for others despite past sorrows, to be brave and loyal, and appreciate everything I have, including my family and the beautiful Ninos con Valor family.