Operation Smile spreads smiles through Chiriqui, Panama in April 2010!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Day 4

Today was another wonderful day. We spent the whole day at the shelter again. We arrived at the shelter at 7:45 and at about 10 we were wondering how we were going to last the day. I was worried that we would run out of things to do with the kids, but we never did! We stayed until 7 at night, almost 12 hours! As soon as we arrived the kids came running because they knew we had toys. As the day went on, we made more and more friends and the Spanish keeps getting easier. Today we brought out the mardi gras beads and everyone wanted one.

One of the highlights of my day was meeting this boy, Ricardo, who LOVED my camera. I showed him how to use it and he went around taking tons of pictures of everyone. Every once and a while, he'd bring it back to me and show me all the ones he'd taken. And he asked me to go through all the pictures on my camera from the past couple of days and tell him where each one was and who was in it. He has taken pictures of his feet all over the place. It took me a while to figure out why, he has six toes. He loved taking pictures of this girl with feet like his too.

I also had a blast with this girl named Brenda. She is this adorable little girl who always wears two pig tails on top of her head. She didn't talk until the last hour of the day, and then it was really hard to understand her because she has a cleft palate. That has made things really hard in general. It is impossible to understand most of the children with cleft palates. She just sat down next to me and ripped of tiny pieces of clay which she handed to me one by one as gifts. She has the most beautiful smile. I held the clay up to my face and then slowly ripped a whole in it just big enough for my eye. As soon as she saw it she'd laugh and laugh! There was this little girl who would color in this coloring book filled with ducks. Then she'd proudly show me the pages and I'd quack at them. She couldn't get enough of it.

When we left for the night all the kids ran up and gave us hugs.

After dinner we went to the supermarket which was an adventure and sat outside by this colorful fountain drinking sodas. I have never had so much soda in my life as I have had these past few days, but right now, there is nothing more refreshing than a chilled Coke.

The surgeons did 46 surgeries today. How amazing!
Tomorrow we go to the hospital!!!

1 comment:

  1. Heyyyy Julia...you sound like you are having such an amazing time!! I am honestly so proud of you and I am amazed at what you are doing. I know you are taking tons of pictures and can't wait to see them all. These kids are going to remember what you did for them for the rest of their lives. The spanish should be getting way easier now and as I know you well, you are probably adapting in lightning speed. I can't believe how many lives you are making better.

    Love you sooo much,