by Izzy, 12 yrs.
The morning sounds waft throughout the hotel. A wake-up call makes sure that all of us are awake. We get dressed and prepare for our day. We shuffle to the dining area. We eat our delicious breakfast. After breakfast, we go to room 102 to carry supplies to the bus. We carry the suitcases to the bus like a line of ants. We wait for the bus to pull around. It finally does. We load the supplies into the back of the bus. We file into the bus. We choose our seats that we rode in yesterday.
We set off for the Malnutrition Center. All of us who have never been to Guatemala wonder what’s in store for us at the Center. We look at the buildings, people, and items that pass by. We occasionally wave to a pedestrian. The pedestrian usually smiles and waves back. The warmth of the people here is comfortable. I feel at home, and I’m pretty sure everyone else does as well. The famous gas station that whistles and waves to the bus comes up. We wave. The people at the gas station wave, whistle, and cheer.
We are travelling through farmland. People smile and wave. We watch the farmer and his family water and pick plants and crops. The land is hilly and beautiful.
We eventually reach the Malnutrition Center. A child with a towel wrapped around her head peers over the windowsill. “AAAWWWW,” we say. She is adorable. We enter the Malnutrition Center. We take a tour and get situated. We are now familiar with the bathrooms, children’s rooms, dining areas, the break room, and the schedule. Lilly, Mrs. Mahan, and I are going to be working with the Bunnies. The Bunnies are the toddlers.
After the tour, we step over the gate to the children. The children smile and want to be held. They hug us. We play with them. Howie told us that these children will take a piece of our heart. He was absolutely right. These children are the cutest babies I have ever seen! I am going to need to come back if I ever want to see that piece of my heart ever again.
We get familiar with the children by reading their nametags. I meet Kimberly, Jesica, Manuel, Alison, and others. We play with them and their toys. Snack time comes. The babies sit on the floor and drink their rice juice. They go right back to playing after that. Some children cry. When we pick them up, they won’t let us put them back down! I think I spent 3 hours holding a stubborn baby, but I enjoyed it. I take a break. I eat a snack.
After my break-time, I go back to the Bunnies’ area. Lunch time comes. The children eat heartily. We help some of them eat. After lunchtime, we brush their teeth, change their diapers, and put them down in their cribs for a nap. All of us go up for our lunch. We eat really quickly because we haven’t had a full meal since 6:45am. Howie tells us what the game plan for the afternoon is going to be. We are going to do team projects. Everyone does as he says after lunch and break-time is finished.