We had breakfast around 8:30 which included mango and chips and salsa. After breakfast we started our third day with a reflection about gratitude, ending the reflection with the following quote: “what if you woke up tomorrow with only the things you took time to thank God for today” – Ruth Logan Heme.
Then we left around 10:00 to visit Los Amiguitos where we went on a tour of the center. After the tour we had time to play with the kids (all under age 4) with bubbles, chalk, and balls. While the kids went inside to wash their hands for lunch we had Agua de Jamaica (pronounced ha-MY-cah, which is a hibiscus iced tea) which was very refreshing in the heat.
After helping the kids eat lunch we went to the medical center where we talked to Dr Sylvia about her work and the mission of friendship. She informed us about how she provides care in medicine to those who might not be able to otherwise afford it and communicated her needs for medicine, specifically prenatal vitamins. It was sad to hear the desperation in her voice as she talked about her lack of medicine and basic needs to continue practicing. Since that experience we have all been feeling called to act and help by donating.
After visiting the medical center we went to the Nueva Vida and Misión de Amistad office where we learned all about the work that they do. We learned that they are 14 parishes in Erie that are affiliated with the Mission, but only 3 parishes are active in offering support. We had a wonderful lunch of chicken, rice, and vegetables with horchata and more jamaica. After lunch we got to play games with the girls in the Nueva Vida program (1st-6th grade). We played Jenga, bingo, and a Disney board game.
After our time with the girls we headed back to Casa Blanca where we had some time to rest, eat a snack, and reflect on privilege. Around 7, we walked to paseo de Montejo for dinner, where we took an excursion to Italy at Trattoria la Pasta for pizza, pasta and salads. After dinner we went to get ice cream where they had a variety of local flavors! We ended the night with a walk back home to Casa Blanca in perfect evening weather!