Project Play Going Strong

What a difference a month makes

Back in Cali, 4 weeks later. Who knew there would be so many updates!

Wow! Little kids really are amazing…. and apparently so is ProjectPlay.

In my return, I entered the baby room at Oscar Scarpetta and was astounded to look around and see babies moving all over the place. Babies that one month ago were laying in care seats and propped sitting were now walking and crawling everywhere.  Know I realize that some of these changes are just normal development, but I have to believe that ProjectPlay also has something to do with it too.  I am thrilled and impressed with the success of ProjectPlay to date.  There are definitely a few kinks to be worked out, but overall… the bare bones of the operation (as they say) are running smoothly.  The adolescents are taking their responsibilities very seriously and are very invested in the improvements of the little ones.  I was met by hugs and kisses and questions of  “did you see so-and-so walking?” “so-and-so is starting to say a few words” “so-and-so can sit up all by herself.”  They felt really proud.
The ProjectPlay gym is an exciting whirlwind of activity when the adolescents are working with the little ones.  And the supervisors, Wan Su and Ana are doing an amazing job keeping them focused and motivated. They are reading books, running, jumping ,climbing, coloring, painting, laughing, hugging, playing pretend. Here, see for yourself:

Is the doctor in?....
Bouncing Tramp and Ball Pit
A little time to paint
So many babies so little time
Chiquetines Update
The amazing volunteer crew at Chiquetines are still VERY motivated working to improve the gross motor skills with the baby’s and toddlers here, especially those with neurological disabilities and developmental delays.  We taped our first in-service right before I left for Peru. While I was gone they all watched the video… and began implementing the programs.  Ee had a follow-up hands-on session this week.  This core group of women is absolutely amazing and totally committed to these kiddos.  There are about 5 of them that plan on working to provide “physical therapy” using the programs we designed together (with my “You can be a physical therapist too” handbook).  Hopefully these little ones continue to make progress.

This is what I look like when I explain stuff in Spanish
My buddy continues to struggle to heal from her injury… and after her hospitalization has had to spend LOTS of hours in bed. So, I spent the morning coloring, playing board games, taking goofy pictures with her.  I didn’t want to leave… those moments where I can’t help but think– this should not have to happen to a little girl like this, not just to go through all the health stuff she has been through, but to do it without a mom. Without someone to dote over her, play with her, hold her and tell her it will be okay.  Instead, she spends all day in her bunk-bed, most of the time alone. It’ll break your heart. But she is so darn happy.

High class all the time
The Crew
I am thrilled to be back with Magnolia… this time I am staying in her house with her and I am enjoying every minute.  It has been great sharing my stories of Peru, pictures and lots of laughs with all my many friends here.  Was lucky enough to get to go with Magnolia and a wonderful Australian family to visit some sights on Saturday.  This family has two little girls 10 and 13 adopted from Colombia and are spending their vacation showing the girls their country.  So fun to get to see this side of the coin! What a fantastic crew!!!!

Lunch with the Aussie Girls
On Tuesday off to Medellin to reconnect with everyone there… more to come.