While we have been working here at CDF we have had the help of groups that come almost every week. On Wednesday the team that is here for this week coordinated a paseo (field trip) to a local river and walking trail.
Between the team and a few of the summer volunteers we had enough people to pair up one-on-one with the children from Casa De Fe. I was buddies with Edison, a 11 year old boy who is deaf. He does not always get included in activities at the house, so it was really neat to be able to involve him in the hike. We had an awesome time together running on the trails, playing games, and exploring. But I am getting ahead of myself…
After lunch at CDF we took the kids by bus to Puyo, the capital city of the region. When we got there it was drizzling and so we made a quick change of plans. We all walked over to a local hotel/conference center that had a covered play area. We played Bear-Hunter-Machete (a team version of rock-paper-scissors), and musical chairs. The kids had a great time and Edison was one of the last four players in musical chairs.
After playing games the rain let up and we had 20 minutes to explore the trails at the conference center. Edison and I decided to run with a few of the other kids and their buddies. We ran and ran and ran. I started getting tired but Edison just kept on running. Whenever we stopped I had to watch him closely because any time he saw someone else running he would join them. Calling for a deaf child to “wait up” or “come back” does not work so well….
After a lot of exercise we had a yummy snack of popcorn and fruit juice and then went to the original trail that we were planning to hike. The paved trail followed the river and had beautiful views of the jungle. As we walked Edison kept changing pace. We started in the front of the group, were all the way at the end, and then finished in the front again. Edison wanted to carry my backpack, and it worked out perfectly because it gave me a handle to grab when he started to loose his balance.
When we got to a grassy spot we stopped to play with the kids. Edison enjoyed throwing the Frisbee, but he soon realized that instead of throwing the Frisbee to another person, it was more fun to throw the Frisbee into the jungle and then go in after it.
While we were on the walk we got to see a few animals. Aside from the tiny fish in the river, a few people saw a big red parrot. We also saw a band of monkeys climbing through the trees and on our way home we saw some random llamas on the side of the road.
I really enjoyed the time I got to spend with the kids on the outing. They all loved getting out of the house, and having lots of attention from their buddies. For me it was so nice to be responsible for just one child and to be able to focus all of my attention on him. For the most part I did not have to worry about planning and making sure that everything was happening the way it was supposed to. It was a great day.
(We have had a few other outings, but I will have to write about them later)