Posts filed under ‘Little Victories’

Casa Luz : Part 2

.:{Sin Palabras}:.

There aren’t words for my volunteer experience in Costa Rica. I guess that’s why I haven’t written much on my blog about Casa Luz. It’s an experience. Something I feel like a blog can’t really capture.

  • It’s the hugs and “Kelsey!” screams I am greeted with by the little kids everyday.
  • It’s the craziness that is Fanny who I work with in the kitchen.
  • It’s the moments when the moms actually open up and talk to me after months of being guarded.
  • It’s the feeling of being completely out of my comfort zone when I walked into Casa Luz the first day, and now walking in feeling confident and relaxed.
  • It’s the ability to be able to carry on a conversation with the workers when I couldn’t even understand them at first.
  • It’s connecting with the girls.
  • It’s having a terror-child actually calm down and listen to you when you talk to them (or at least pretend to).
  • It’s the skills I have learned when it comes to dealing with children.
  • It’s dancing with the kids at the end of the day, and seeing their faces light up with the first note of the “Hi-Five” song.
  • It’s the feeling of feeling needed.
  • It’s the smiles.
  • It’s the tears.
  • It’s the daily “hola’s” and “hasta luego’s.”
  • It’s a moment when you feel like what you are doing is worth while.

Although my experience at Casa Luz is completely different from anything I thought it would be, I am so happy that I have had the opportunity to work there for the last 4 months. It’s these moments that I am going to remember forever.

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June 8, 2010 at 8:44 pm Leave a comment

Casa Luz : Volunteering

.:{Embracing Little Victories}:.

After about a month, I am finally writing a blog post about my volunteer work at Casa Luz. Why did I wait so long? In the beginning, I had mixed feelings about my work with the young girls and their kids, and wanted to feel out the place before I shared my experience with others. I didn’t want to say one thing, only to realize that I really meant another. That being said, here has been my experience thus far.

In the beginning, I was pretty disappointed with my volunteer placement. From AIDE’s website, my work at Casa Luz sounded more… valuable, than what I was experiencing. My first day, I showed up in the kids daycare where I basically just ran around after the kids, attempting to keep them under control in my wobbly-worded spanish, not knowing what the rules/expectations were of the kids or of myself. Besides my initial interview with the director, I had no real orientation or introduction to Casa Luz, the staff, or the habits of the house. I definitely felt like I had been thrown into the water, with no idea how to swim. But as I am here for 4 months, the reality of the situation was, Sink or Swim, and I was not ready to sink—I had to keep myself afloat—so I came to work each day telling myself that if I wanted my volunteer work to be worthwhile, I had to try. Every accomplishment starts first with the decision to try. And now a month later, I am feeling the little victories of my efforts.

  • The moms who were initially reserved about talking with me, probably because I was new, shy, and the fact that we didn’t understand one another, are now asking me and the other volunteer questions like, “How do you say “muchacho guapo” in English?” Which is now why we often hear the girls referring to themselves or others as “hotties.”
  • I actually know how to talk to the kids now, and can understand most of their toddler spanish jibberish.
  • Me and the other volunteer finally have a set schedule that is reasonable and makes sense. When I first started my hours were a little random, and I felt like I was either not needed because I was working at the same time as many others, I was being taken advantage of, or I was unsure of my schedule. Now, after the lovely cook talked with us and the volunteer coordinators, one of us volunteers works in the mornings to early afternoon and the other from the early afternoon to late afternoon.
  • Although he had to leave Casa Luz last Friday, my daily “animal noise”/”keep him occupied and distracted” time with one of the kids in the house was finally paying off as he started out only knowing how to sound like a horse, cow and dog, and afterwards knew how to “talk” like a dog, horse, cow, cat, pig, elephant, rooster and duck.
  • And although I still feel like I am doing more “babysitting” than anything else… and that am doing work that is much different from what I expected/originally wanted, I am happy with my placement. With every learned animal noise, laugh from a kid, smile from one of the moms, moment cleaning dishes, jumping dance in the daycare, and spoonful of food eaten (who knew toddlers would hate eating so much-oh how their world will change), I know that in my own small way I am making a difference in the world and that’s all that really matters.

March 22, 2010 at 9:39 pm 2 comments


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