Yesterday I survived an experience that can only be described as Colombian. A training session with the Chiquitines volunteers – ten incredibly loving,very talkative, persuasive women who I am sure I will never cease to be entertained by.
As part of Phase Two, I spent a couple of hours explaining to the volunteers what I have been working on with my kiddos for the last month and teaching them simple strategies to continue assisting their development after I leave. They were incredibly receptive to the information I gave them and had tons of questions about how to best help the kids they work with. Questions were hurled at me from three separate women simultaneously while two more shouted out a conversation about their friend’s nephew’s love life over the top of it all - with hands gesturing in all directions and mouths moving a mile a minute each. Throw a handful of babies and a couple of mats into the mix and you have yourself a very lively meeting.
Crazy antics more or less aside though, the following were the take home points of the get-together:
1.Rocker chairs = bad. Tummy time = good.
2. Speed feeding pureed = bad. Taking the time to work on feeding with one little one once a week = better.
3.Exercise ball = GREAT for the core strengthening so many of the kids need to be able to sit solo.
4.Better organized and more easily-accessed toys = more frequently used toys.
5.The ultimate solution to continuing therapy with these little guys = me staying in Cali! At least so goes the logic of this specific group of women. One of them even offered to find me a Colombian boyfriend to help seal the deal…
Ahh, las voluntarias. Never a dull moment.