I have made so many new friends on this trip. Most of them fall somewhere under the age of 8 and have the cutest faces. The children of Cien Fuegos display happiness despite the poverty they live in. To them, they are not poor. As long as they have a pair of shoes on there feet, nothing else really matters.
They are very understanding and work with me on my developing Spanish skills. I have fallen for the cutest little girl, who always comes up and pulls my arm around her before she puts hers around me. She puts a smile on my face and helps me look past the poverty. We had reflection tonight and Kyle, our teacher, mentor, and translator, told us that he struggles with the idea of seeing past the poverty. We must see them as people, who live as a community and when we only see the poor, we subconsciencly lessen their dignity as human beings. Playing with these children and talking with their parents really helps me to see them as a whole, not just the poor part. But we must not completely over look the poverty. Today, Kyle saw a woman who was passing her newborn son to another woman. The son was as stiff as a board, a birth defect, and Kyle asked if he was okay. The woman just answered, “He was born broken.” Its hard to look past the poverty when you think that possibly this baby’s condition could have been avoided.
I want to thank and pray for the children I have met on this trip. They have made me stronger and more aware of the world around me. As for a little boy, who is now always in my thoughts, left me today, he left with two things: my “Arch March” bracelet and a little piece of my heart. I hope to one day soon travel back to him. But if I can’t, I hope this video we are making helps him in ways that I cannot at the moment.
Here’s to the voice of the children,