For the last two weeks, a team from The Commons Church in Hamilton, Canada has been here working with the organization. It is wonderful to have teams come down and see what we are doing, especially since many of the teams have been supporting us for years. While here, the team from Canada did wonderful activities with the girls of Corazon del Pastor and the little ones at Pedacito de Cielo, including trips to the park and decorating the cement soccer field with chalk, tie-dye shirts and a photo shoot party, making kites and a pinata. Although everyone did not speak the same language,we were all able to communicate well through hand movements, smiles, and of course, a lot of laughter.

It is fun for the volunteers when teams come to visit because they bring with them a little piece of home, something we are missing. And, majority of the time, we all become friends through the activities, the shopping, the outrageousness of everyday Bolivian occurrences, and the trips to rural areas like Mizque. However, it is even more fun and exciting for the girls and the little ones because they are introduced to new people and new cultures. Those who come down are interested in the children and want to help them, as well as have fun, play, and laugh with our amazing kids . The kids always have a thousand questions for the visitors–what their lives are like, do they have pets, their favorite foods, their favorite music, what Canada looks like, what famous people they have seen, do they like chicken, and the list goes on.

Along with the numerous art projects and fun outings, we went to Mizque with the team. I think it is wonderful that visitors can visit a very rural, traditional area like Mizque because this is the reality of majority of Bolivians. A good number of Bolivians live under the poverty line and in small, rural towns. We visited Pantipampa, a community Ninos con Valor has worked with for a few years, and painted two classrooms that are used to educate children in the area. We also played soccer and parachute games with the kids, and the community members sang, marched, and danced to show their Bolivian pride right before August 6th, Bolivian independence day. The following day we sliced and diced vegetables for the solar oven workshop. It was wonderful to see how excited the women of the daycares were about using and experimenting with the solar ovens. I always enjoy these trips to Mizque because it is a wonderful break from city life, and gives us a new perspective on what is important. Not to mention, the children of these small communities are absolutely beautiful and amazingly appreciative of everything. Many of the kids are apprehensive and shy, but slowly begin to warm-up, especially sitting in the back of a dump truck playing hand games and laughing so hard!

So, thank you Commons Team for the wonderful memories! We miss you already! Come back soon!