Monday, January 21, 2008

Jess: Their spirit is infectious

The classes in Ciudad Oculta have also started with new energy, although due to the fact that a lot of the kids are in day camps right now, the classes are smaller and quieter.

As we currently do not have a dance teacher, one of the workshops was changed and now we just play games with them on one of the days. Our volunteer Jess reports about the “Sala de juegos” that took place last week.

“As I and three other volunteers made our way into Ciudad Oculta, we were greeted by 12 children, aged from 1-11. As always, the children were excited to see us, and keen to play as many games in the hour as possible. Franco, the ever enthusiastic toddler, ran screaming around the room in a burst of excited energy.

We started playing outside in the sunshine. Sandwiched between a wall and a fence, we played “what time is it Mr. Wolf?”, followed by “What am I?”, a particular favourite among the kids. This involved the group splitting into two teams, each taking it in turns to imitate (in silence) an action, object, event, or location.

Once the other teams shouts out/ guesses the correct answer, the performing team has to run away without being caught & thus absorbed into the other team. This is often complicated by the fact that the children chose to imitate inanimate objects, such as gnocchi!

Following some more energetic games, we decided to move inside for the last 15 minutes. A round of the firm favourite- Simon Says (or Simon Dice) enduced a fit of giggles when “Simon” instructed the children to touch the heads of the older teenage boys, who were standing on the side-lines. Needless to say, the older boys were not too amused when 12 hysterical children ran at them, trying to touch their heads. To complete the session we played charades, and “duck goose”.

The children in Ciudad Oculta always welcome us with open arms & big smiles. Their enthusiasm & spirit is infectious, and their ability to play & enjoy what little they have is remarkable and humbling. Maria Rosa and various members of her family are always at hand and provide an invaluable place of safety for both the children and the volunteers.”

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