Ecuador: Day One
We visited two orphanages on our first day here. One for kids seven and under and one for boys twelve and under.
I had all kinds of expectations about what orphanages in Ecuador were going to be like, none of them positive. And frankly, while there are many, many things I’ve seen that are heartbreaking, there have also been pleasant surprises. The children were happy, smiling and eager to make new friends with our group. They were mostly clean and obviously supportive of each other.
And while there may not be enough beds for each child to have his own bed, someone may have donated toothbrushes, but no toothpaste and the food will run out this week without additional donations, these children do appear to have adults who genuinely care about them. While it’s far less than each child deserves and should have, it’s there.
As I watched and compared these kids to kids in foster care in the US, I realized, that these kids, despite lack of resources and food receive more kindness than many of the foster children I have met in the US (outside of the Fairfax Families4Kids kids). And they are significantly better off for it.
I met many wonderful children on our first day; the boys who helped me print out pictures by pressing buttons, collecting the finished photos and handing me paper and laminating sleeves. The kids who grabbed their laminated 4/6’s, proudly showing them off to anyone who would look. But I felt most appreciated by the little boy, age 6, who teased me by calling me a “Bruha” or a “witch” for not including him in every picture I printed.
And as I passed through the guarded gate to leave, he called after me… hopefully, “Manana, Bruja?” “Tomorrow, Witch?”
JB Sallee caught this image of a little boy admiring his photograph (also shot by JB).
There are some limitations on how much I can share on my blog, so please friend me on Facebook (Joan Robins Brady) and include “Ecuador” in the message, if you would like to see pictures. I’ll be posting pictures on FB over the next few days.
If you would like to make a donation to help purchase much-needed food, beds and other necessities, please click here and click on the “chip in” box on the right.