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Saturday, May 02, 2009

My Dusty Love Note

Four flowers

Four Roses, No Thorns

I have just recently spent a week with a group of young ladies from Mexico City. They live together there in an Orphanage run by two nuns. Once a year they get to escape to spend a week camping and playing at a charming little spot just south east of Morelia. So out at “Camp Connie” (sorry Connie, couldn’t resist) they get the chance to camp out in tents or cabanas and enjoy the great outdoors. Actually quite often it was both, one night a spider was found in a cabana, and everyone piles outside to join their friends in the tents, or the next night, an ant in a tent reverses the migration.

Luisa

Luisa Made A New Friend.

With their primary care in Mexico City coming from two nuns, they get a lot of love, but due to staffing limits, their day to day life can seem quite regimented, as 30 girls from 4-18 can keep you quite busy. So at camp, by having a number of volunteers to do various activities with them, they get a chance to do pretty much what they want , when they want to, in a safe and fun way.

laketime

I’m Going Swimming!

I have to admit, I was not sure what to expect. Perhaps they had learned not to trust people, not to get too close, perhaps a certain melancholy fatalism. What I found was an energetic, animated, thoughtful and caring group of girls. No one was an orphan, they were a family, they were all sisters. They had a week to have fun and they were not going to waste a minute of it.

M3

The Three Musketeers

I forgot how much energy you have at that age. Lots of activities! Long walks just chatting even seemed to be a hit!. Perhaps my Spanish is better than I think it is, as there was never a communication problem. Swimming or kayaking in the lake was always popular. A hike to the waterfall, for some splashing and pictures. I think I may have walk a hundred miles leading a horse with a fresh faced girl on the back. A few magic tricks to add a little wonderment into the day. The days were full.

Sisters

Sisters

I learned new card games. I learned clapping games. I learned how popular the Jonas Brother are. I learned how last week the Jonas Brother are. I learned who was planning on marrying Enrique Iglesias. I learned that these girls have never had anyone show them how to skip a rock. I learned how much fun it is to teach someone to skip a rock. I learned how much love there is in a spontaneous laugh and a ready smile. I learned how lucky I was to spend some time with these girls.

The road beside the lake had been quite dusty, as it can get here at this time of year. At the beginning of the week the old Ford was a shiny black, but by the end it was a dirty brown. Like a blank canvas, it drew the girls. On the last day it became a way for the girls to write notes to me, to let me know how they felt. Right now my dusty truck is covered with notes of affection, not one spot left blank. I am not sure it I will ever wash it again.

Dusty note B

A few kind people, spearheaded by an amazing lady by the name of Connie, hope to be able to share with you ways that you too can touch these girls lives. There is a website in the works and many adventures ahead, so please stay tuned!


If you would like to see a little more of the girls, I put a set of photos on flickr.com.

The Girls of Esperanza.

12 comments:

Felipe said...

Nice photos and good work, sir.

Todd said...

Thanks!!


Todd

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful post!

Babs said...

I'm seldom brought to tears, but your post did it. So beautifully written. Thanks.

Todd said...

Thanks Babs, that means a lot to me that you said that.

I have to say I was a bit shocked at the strength of the ties that formed in only a week.

Also I was amazed at how dusty the truck was, I think I even got some dust in my eyes on that last drive home, as my eyes were a little watery.

American Mommy in Mexico said...

Tears are in eyes as well. Wow. What this post shows is powerful.

Children are the miracle. Really. I beleive this with all my heart.

Todd said...

Thanks, You got that right Mommy!

Alice said...

I live in DF and am really interested in knowing more about this home. Can you give me more information? Thanks!

Todd said...

Hello Alice

Here is the contact info.

Granja Para Ninos
La Esperanza, A.C.
Institucion Para Ninas Desamparadas

Av Dos #38 Col San Pedro de los Pinos
Mexico, DF
5515 3658

They have Bazaars where they sell items that have been donated,(but are unable to use) to raise money for their needs. Cash is also aways handy. Or maybe you would be interested in just volunteering your time. How every you get involved I know that you will find it as rewarding as I did!

They are a wonderful group of girls and if you go there, please tell them that Teo from Patzcuaro sends his love!!!

Thank you for your interest and please stay in touch, I would love to hear an update.

Todd AKA Teo

Alice said...

Thanks for the contact info. I work at an NGO school nearby; perhaps some of the girls attend my school. Will get in touch with them soon and let you know how it goes.

Alice said...

Asked around my school today if we had any girls from La Esperanza at our school, and YES! we do. Their casa hogar is just around the corner. What a small world. I hear the nuns have unbelievable patience.

Todd said...

Very much so!

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