I find that time has been flying by. Days turn into weeks, and weeks into months. I seem to forget that to children time is not as important as it is to us adults. And I hate that I, now in my twenties, dwell and obsess over time. Thinking about how much time is left and how much time has passed has become an everyday event. But, having the opportunity to spend my days with children who possess the ability to appreciate every moment and live in every moment has improved me as a person and enriched my time here in Cochabamba.

Last Friday was a fun-filled day of adventures at Pedactio del Cielo. We had a jam session in the morning! Playing tambourines and drums, triangles and bells, we created a sound that cannot be described. But, was absolutely amazing, and the kids were so proud of the music they were making! As I sat and watched each of the children focused intently on his or her instrument, I realized that time may be passing, but each child was so involved and so wrapped up in the moment–hitting the drum and banging the tambourine to create a unified sound, which brought big smiles and tons of giggles to each face. After the instruments were put away, we began a walking adventure, which I think could have lasted all day, and the kids still would have found enjoyment in pointing out the dogs wandering the streets, the bread in the stores, and the cars driving by. I appreciate, and at times am jealous, that kids can find true, genuine joy in everyday things we ignore and tune out.

Today, while working at Corazon del Pastor, I helped one of the younger girls with her homework. While in college, I came to think of homework as a daunting chore…something that was not always enjoyed. But, she was so excited to complete her homework, and so proud after it was all done. She focused and took time to complete her assignment, something that I think was compromised at times during my college career.

The volunteers of Ninos con Valor venture south to help the foundation in any way possible, but I think that we receive more than we can ever give back to the children we work with. The girls from Corazon del Pastor and the younger kids from Pedacito del Cielo have taught me valuable life lessons that could never be learned in a school. But, as I struggle now with the idea of time–how long to stay in Bolivia, when to head back to the States–I realize that time is not as important as the moments that make us laugh or the moments that bring tears to our eyes. These are what we must count and hold onto, not the hours that pass or the days that slip by.