Come with us as we return to South America this summer to volunteer at La Casa De Fe, a home for abandoned and special needs children in Shell, Ecuador.

"Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” ~Mathew 19:14

Friday, November 11, 2011

Playing in the Park


This journal is the last of my stories from visiting my Compassion children in Ecuador.  I had over 400 photos to choose from, so warning, it is long :)

After visiting with my Compassion sponsored boys in Quito, I went back to my friend’s house, got a good night sleep and woke early for a visit with two of my girls. The plan was basically the same, meet at the office, go to the park to play, then go out to eat.

I managed to catch the right bus that dropped me right in front of the Compassion office. I got there about 45 minutes early, and so I sat and waited for my children to arrive.

Both girls got there at the same time. It was sooo good to see them again! It was a happy reunion with the girls, their parents, and their project workers. Pamela’s cousin, Angelica had also come along for the trip. We had all played together at their house last year, and she did not want to be left behind.

2011-08-16 Pamela and Angela 024  2011-08-16 Pamela and Angela 024  2011-08-16 Pamela and Angela 019

Pamela                    Angelica                     Angela

I had brought a stuffed animal for each of my girls, and I rearranged some of the gifts so that Angelica would have something as well. After the greetings were out of the way, the three girls and I hopped in a taxi and along with the adults we headed to the park.

We spent the morning playing in the park, and chasing each other all over the place. The girls were amazed by all of the different play equipment and kept running from one play structure to another, I think they wanted to try everything out.

Their favorite part was playing on the old airplane that had been converted into a playground. When they first saw the plane it seemed to be closed, but as soon as they saw other kids climb through the fence they were running toward the plane and dragging me as fast as they could. “Hurry Madrina! We need to get there before it closes again!!” 

2011-08-16 Pamela and Angela 013

The girls climbed out the window of the plane and posed on the wing… Can you tell this is not in the USA…

2011-08-16 Pamela and Angela 033

The airplane had been painted and on the left side was the huge slide.

2011-08-16 Pamela and Angela 414

The girls were a little nervous…

2011-08-16 Pamela and Angela 415

but their smiles said it was not too scary.

2011-08-16 Pamela and Angela 060

All of us in front of the plane.

2011-08-16 Pamela and Angela 422

Saying hi to the adults

2011-08-16 Pamela and Angela 426

Posing on the wing

2011-08-16 Pamela and Angela 430

The inside of the plane was all empty except for the benches at the back

2011-08-16 Pamela and Angela 420

The girls had a lot of fun… and I did too :)

2011-08-16 Pamela and Angela 431

Afterward we found a vendor who was selling snow cones…

When we were all worn out from playing we went back to the pavilion where the adults were resting. We posed for a ton of photos, then played jump rope.

2011-08-16 Pamela and Angela 282

Angela, Angelica, Pamela and I with their teddy bears

2011-08-16 Pamela and Angela 287

The whole group (Pamela’s project worker and great aunt “mom.” Angela, her mom, Angelica, Pamela, and Angela’s tutor)

2011-08-16 Pamela and Angela 368

Pamela’s Family

2011-08-16 Pamela and Angela 369

Angela and her mom (also named Angela)

2011-08-16 Pamela and Angela 370     2011-08-16 Pamela and Angela 371

Pamela and Angelica are actually niece and aunt, but since they are the same age, their family calls them their twins.

2011-08-16 Pamela and Angela 372

Jumping doubles with Angela

2011-08-16 Pamela and Angela 374

And with Pamela

2011-08-16 Pamela and Angela 380

Pamela tried to turn the rope….

2011-08-16 Pamela and Angela 381

..but she couldn’t quite figure it out

2011-08-16 Pamela and Angela 383

Angela knew exactly what to do

2011-08-16 Pamela and Angela 378

Watching the expert

Then we headed out of the park for lunch. Because it had taken so long the day before to order in the food court, my guide and I decided to go to a local Burger King instead. When we took the order, we had to explain to the girls what a hamburger was. We asked each person if they wanted a roll with beef, or a roll with chicken. All three girls wanted burgers. 

While we were waiting for our food, we got to open the “surprises” that we had been teasing the girls about all morning. I had to do some creative shuffling because I had not counted on having Angelica with us, but in the end each girl looked happy with her gifts.

2011-08-16 Pamela and Angela 0632011-08-16 Pamela and Angela 0662011-08-16 Pamela and Angela 0652011-08-16 Pamela and Angela 078

Angela and Pamela got new binders to hold the letters that I send to them and all three girls got clothing, school supplies, toys, candy, and headbands that I had made for them

2011-08-16 Pamela and Angela 433

Then the food arrived and we all dug in…..

After they finished their burgers the girls begged me to go with them to the playland. They had so much fun running in the tunnels, but they were sad that I was too tall to go in with them.

2011-08-16 Pamela and Angela 439

Pamela and Angela had to bring their bears with them

2011-08-16 Pamela and Angela 440

I don’t know how Angelica did it in her skirt, but she was one of the fastest up the playground.

2011-08-16 Pamela and Angela 442

After playing for a while we realized that they were supposed to have taken their shoes off

2011-08-16 Pamela and Angela 443

Pamela said something and Angela thought it was the funniest thing! (no, I don’t remember what it was)

2011-08-16 Pamela and Angela 449

The netting made it hard to take photos, but this is Angela and Angelica in the playland

2011-08-16 Pamela and Angela 452

Pamela :)

2011-08-16 Pamela and Angela 187

When they were all worn out again, we all had ice cream as a special treat…

Then the girls saw the vendor who had set up in front of the restaurant…

2011-08-16 Pamela and Angela 0862011-08-16 Pamela and Angela 088

First you get in ….. Then they close up the opening most of the way

2011-08-16 Pamela and Angela 0902011-08-16 Pamela and Angela 092

Then the leaf blower fills it up………. Till it is full!

2011-08-16 Pamela and Angela 1192011-08-16 Pamela and Angela 125

The girls had a hard time getting their balance and spent most of the time either laying down, or crawling

2011-08-16 Pamela and Angela 151

But they did manage to get up on their feet a few times…

2011-08-16 Pamela and Angela 1672011-08-16 Pamela and Angela 175

2011-08-16 Pamela and Angela 160

They seemed to have a lot of fun

2011-08-16 Pamela and Angela 176


All too soon it was time to say goodbye so that the families could make it back home. First we dropped Pamela, Angelica, and their family off at the trolley station. It was so hard to say goodbye.

2011-08-16 Pamela and Angela 1932011-08-16 Pamela and Angela 194

Then we took Angela and her mom back to the hotel to pick up their bags, and we had a few more minutes together before their taxi came to pick them up. We were both out of words by then and so we just sat and smiled at each other. She sat on my lap and I reminded her that I would write her many many letters, and that I was always thinking about her and I loved her very much.

When the taxi came we took one last photo, then said goodbye.

2011-08-16 Pamela and Angela 197

Out of all the visits that I had with my Compassion children, that was the hardest one to see end. I love those little girls so much and it had been such a joyful time to see their smiles, hear their laughter, and feel their little hands swallowed in mine.

Every time I think of that visit I thank God that he gave me the opportunity to be a part of the lives of those two precious girls and by extension, their entire families.

1 comment:

  1. Love, love, love this post! It must be so wonderful not to need a translator to talk to your kids. What fun you had! I am jealous also that you get to see them every year. This is all good jealousy, of course, if there is such a thing. Because I don't begrudge you your joy, I rejoice with you in it. :-)

    Linda T. from OC