Saturday, August 03, 2013

Gladney Teen Service Trip in Colombia - Day 5

We had a fun day today seeing more of Bogotá. Started off with a great trip for mountain climbing or biking. Super fun!

Beth Whitacre and I both conquered a Colombian mountain face.

Then we had a quick lunch and it was back on the bus to the Salt Cathedral. Very beautiful and a marvel. We even had an added treat of getting to see the two Gladney families currently in Colombia taking placement of their children through Gladney's Colombia Adoption Program. It was wonderful getting to visit with them and meet their kids. 

Part of the tour we actually got to mine for salt.  Hard work!  I would not have been a successful miner. After the salt cathedral we headed back to the hotel for dinner. The traditional Colombian soup is GREAT! 

Now it is off to bed, we are leaving for the airport at 6 am. See ya Monday :-)

Angie Parish

Intake Specialist| Eastern Europe and Latin America

Friday, August 02, 2013

Gladney Teen Service Trip in Colombia - Day 4

Today was super fun. We started off in our classrooms and made crafts.  No "lessons" today. Then we went out for snack/recess time. The kids were all wanting to make more of the lacing craft Beth brought.  They stood in line and we each had a part in the craft, cutting laces, getting the lacing started or just keeping the kids entertained while they waited. After that we headed back to our classes.  

Beth and I surprised our classes with a dance party. We started off with the chicken dance! The kids loved it and so did the teachers. Next we did the cupid shuffle and the macarena (sp?). Then they did a Colombian dance for us it was all so fun.The teachers even commented that usually the kids would be acting up but they were all into it and well behaved. Word got out about our party and the orphanage staff began to stand at the window watching us dance.  They had a great laugh I am sure.

After the dance party we headed to lunch for pizza.  Today one of  the orphanage girls came up and told us "thanks for the pizza'.  Juanita from the orphanage said this is the only time they get pizza.  Once a year,when we come.  To think I was thinking pizza again.  She brought me back to reality. Thanks for pizza anytime ...

After lunch we had a presentation for the kids. They did several dances and dressed in Colombian ponchos and skirts.  It was great.  Then they asked us to perform the chicken dance with them so we did.
This was followed by some moving words from Frank Garrott, Gladney's President, about how we love being with the kids and love Colombia.  

Then it was free play time with the kids until it was time to go.We did get to go to the baby room today and play with them for a bit. Very fun.They are so adorable.

Time to go. The kids ran out of their classrooms and met us with hugs and kisses. It was an emotional time for our kids and for the orphanage kids.  Some were crying, asking us not to leave.  All I could do was give extra hugs and get on the bus.  The ride was quiet.  

Angie Parish
Intake Specialist| Eastern Europe and Latin America

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Gladney Teen Service Trip in Colombia - Day 3

Today began a little rough ...we were given a new driver who wasn't sure what hotel we were at.  He went to the wrong one so he arrived to pick us up and hour late.

After we got to the orphanage we immediately went to our classrooms and got to "teaching".   Today my class did tissue paper fish and then we did a USA puzzle. The kids really enjoyed both but especially the puzzle. They were asking what state we were each from and then pointing to it; asking how to say it etc. 

Lunch was interesting for the teens...white rice (they all loved), a salad of tomatoes, corn and beans and some potatoes with a ranch/alfredo like sauce, and think a pork chop ...with some kind of sauce. Of course I loved it all but the teens seemed a little wary. 

After lunch we went out side to play for the afternoon. Today I brought nail polish.  I think I painted 12-13 sets of nails and some toes.  Beth Whitacre, Intercountry Adoption Caseworker, had her lacing craft which was a big hit and then of course there is always soccer and basketball going on.  Our snack was chocolate chip cookies form the on-site bakery and apples along with some wonderful Colombian coffee. 

Tonight we are headed to Pizza Hut for dinner and then back to the hotel for some needed rest.  The kids at orphanage are full on and want total attention understandably . . .  lots of hugs and a few kisses too. One little guy told me I was a clown -- Joe Smith had to translate for me. It was so fun playing with him on his roller blades, chasing him, spinning him, etc. 

When we leave they all ask are you coming tomorrow. It will be hard to tell them tomorrow is goodbye. REALLY HARD!

Angie Parish
Intake Specialist| Eastern Europe and Latin America