Dia Diecinueve

Chao Hailey and Jacie.imageSelfie in front of HML because that’s what we do best.
imageLice checks. image

Hello all. Today was probably one of the best shifts of my life. Well, one of the saddest too.

My morning shift was in Cunas with Madie. I love her. The kids do therapies in the morning so we only had one or two. When we went in with the itty bitties I got to feed and burp two of them.

At lunch we had a goodbye ceremony for all those who are leaving. We got our OSSO rings and after the meeting we all went up to pack and talk.

My second shift was in Esperanza with Madie again. Today the Tias came out and played with us and it was the best. We played duck, duck, goose, some game that was like London bridges, and we jump roped. Meanwhile it was POURING outside.
 We tried to get everything done early so we could say bye to Hailey and Jacie before HML. I am so sad they are leaving because they are the best.

HML was fun. We did a talent show for the activity, and all the volunteers did random silly talent they had. Heather had the funniest ones. She called them freaky human tricks. The girls love Frozen and they made me sing “Love is an Open Door” with Nik. It was so awkward! Good thing it was only one verse.

When we got home I made soup for everyone because they are all sick. Then of course came the Social Walk..my last one..😞 we went on the swings today and it was way fun.

Now we are currently doing lice checks because one of the volunteers has lice. Oh no! I am dying. I honestly think it would be a good part of experiencing Ecuador, but that could just be me. I don’t want to go to bed because I don’t want to leave! My last shift is in the morning and then I am going o the llama museum with Nicole, Hannah, and Madie. I am excited to tell you all more details about life here when I get home! XOXO

❤️The Girl with Big Plans

Dia Dieciocho

So happy fast Sunday. I almost died today because it was probably the longest time I have fasted in my life. Nicole and I wanted bananas but we were both fasting so we wrote our names on two. imageMy first shift today was in Casas. My last shift there. I as a really good time, but I also missed church again. I worked with Logan and Shawni. There was a huge group of college students that came and helped out so there wasn’t very much to do. I seriously love the Casas kids. Today they did lice checks and there was definately a girl with lice. Also Esperanza has lice now too. I am praying I don’t get it!

Two of my roomates got sick last night. So at lunch Nicole and I went and got them sprite for their stomachs. I also am praying that I don’t get that either.

My second shift was in Cunas with Shawni. While we were there we listed to an sciatic piano CD and a lot of the songs Lily knows we’re in it. It made me miss her and the rest of the family! We are down to only four kids there because one of them went home with his mom the other day. We got done really fast and usually we would help the Tia in itty bitties, but today the Tia wouldn’t let us. I don’t think she liked us.

Anyways we ended up going back to Casas and I said goodbye to all the kids. One of the girls came and sat in my lap and asked when I was leaving. When she found out it was Tuesday she came back over and hugged me for a while and then rubbed my hand. I was so close to crying. I love those kids. They all came up afterwards and said “Hola Lesi!” then gave me hugs. One of the boys (age 6) car up behind me and pinched my bum. Not okay, but funny.

Everyone at the house tonight is in a bad mood because we are all sick and packing. So sad! I am excited to see you all this week! Keep the orphans in your prayers. They are worth every one of them. I love you all!

❤️The Girl with Big Plans

Dia Deicisiete

So this is a panoramic of the view ziplining. I know it is awful quality, but jts the best I’ve got..imageme and Hannah in our gearimageHannah, Nicole, me
image America’s Birthday Cakeimage

Happy Fourth of July!! I am sad I am not in the U.S. To celebrate! Today Nicole, Hannah, and I had an off because we were in the zip lining group. So, we got up early and made crepes and eggs for everyone to eat before shift. We also decorated the house with the Fourth of July stuff mom got from te dollar store.

Zipljning was so fun! I went with Hannah, Nicole, Logan, Heather, Madie, and Shawni. The helmet there definately didn’t fit me or Nicole. At least they stayed on somewhat the entire time. The view was so AMAZING! We got to ride 7 different lines and it took around an hour.

This morning I also helped Hannah make sugar cookies for the Copa America finals today. We had a huge party at OSSO this smarter noon during shift.

I worked with Logan in Alegria, my last shift there. The kids from Alegria weren’t so interested so I missed most of the game. Esta bien.

Instead I helped clean up two pooped in underwear, courtesy of the same child. I also helped one of the boys make a bracelet and spent time with the two cute little girls in Alegria.

For dinner I helped my “Little Man” eat. He was cracking me up. He pushes the food away in the cutest way and then he would look at me and laugh. Every time I gave him a bite he would hold it in his mouth and then open it to reaves like the previous few bites as well. I had to manually make him chew. He thought it was hilarious. He also spilled his soup down my shirt while pushing it away. I found out at the end of shift that Chile won in PKs for anyone who was wondering.

Tonight we had a BBQ for the Fourth and we grilled veggies, pineapple, and hot dogs. We had so much food! We also made some United States shaped cookies for all the volunteers and Katie made a blue and white birthday cake for us. We definately sang happy birthday to America with it. Roddy bought us two fireworks that were so great because they reminded everyone of home. We also discuses all of our favorite memories/traditions for the Fourth at the dinner table, that also reminded me of home.

This week and the next three days are going to be really hard. I am working some of my last shifts in each place and it breaks my heart. These kids mean a lot to me and I am so grateful for the opportunity I have had to meet them. They have changed me for the better. I keep thinking of the song from the Forgotton Carols that says, “Its strange how things are changed when touched by love.” I know it is super cheesy, but it is a good explanation of how I feel about now. I had no idea what how much this experience would impact me. I love you all! See you in 3 days. 😢😳😫😊

Dia Dieciséis

Today my first shift was in Casas. It was pretty crazy! I worked with Shawnie and Jacie. At first the kids were all on therapies so we only had to take care of like 5 total. After therapies they all start getting crazy. They run all over the place and you can’t find half of them because there are so many. So, our solution was to take them down to the Canchas where they could play and we could see them all at once.

While we were down there two kids got in a fight an done hit the other in the face. We are in charge of punishing them so I took him and had to hold him in time out; where he tried to bite me. I told him no and he kept squirming so I grabbed his legs and held him like a baby. He wasn’t too happy about that and he clawed my face. I lost it and grabbed his ha fans squoze it really hard and said no in a really stern voice. I think he is a little scared of me, but it might be a good thing.

HEFY came and helped us today along with Nicole who was working in Cunas so the workload wasn’t awful. We skipped the snack because am we had a going away party for 5 siblings who are leaving tomorrow. They get to go home with their mom. We ate cake and they gave us a juice made with jello packets. It wasn’t very good especially towards the end.

Furing lunchtime Heather and I went for a walk around the neighborhood. It was really fun. Heather is like everyone’s big sister.

My afternoon shift was in Esperanza with Jacie. I was so excited today because one of the girls from Eaperanza offered me a hug before I even asked. (I ask her everyday.) The Tia that is more serious was working today and I think she finally is starting to adjust to me.

Tonight we had a movie party with a few of the kids from each Casa. We let one of the boys from Alegria pick it and he chose Pinnochio. That movie put almost all the volunteers to sleep.The kids really liked it and one of the Milagros boys laughed the entire time. I love that kid!

Tonight we masked and started painting our mural. It is going to be sweet. I will post the finished product! It will be really classy. Sorry I don’t have any pictures today. Tomorrow is zip lining so hopeful I get some then that are cool enough to make up for today! I love you all!

💕The Girl with Big Plans

Dia Cince

Yay! Look we finally started out mural! Also the bottom picture is of a ladder we stole from the construction workers behind our house. The one in the pink is Hailey. She is the greatest. The one on the bottom with the ladder is Madie.
image image

Hola hola! Today my first shift was solo mi in Alergria. It was actually really fun. I am starting to love all the Tias here! I also seriously adore my little Alegria kids. One of the kids spent two hours trying to make bubbles out of water and soap, and he eventually got it to work!

Today two of the kids had their mom visit them. They wee brother and sister both living in Alegria. Their mom looked really young, maybe in her twenties. She brought candy and a new pair of shoes for her son. It was so sad to watch her hand her babies to me and say goodbye.

We also had one of the orphans class come today. I was really happy to see her interact with the kids her age. The entire time they were there on of my Alegria kids would just sit and watch them swing, jump rope, play soccer, etc.  At one point I went and sat by him and he went behind me and just wrapped his arms around my neck and kept saying Lesi, Lesi, Lesi. Today when I was leaving Alegria two of the kids gave me hugs and kisses. It is the sweetest thing next to having them learn your name.

Another Amegria kid always comes up to you and makes you sit somewhere and sing a certain song to him over and over. He also wears bright blue glasses and has a hearing aid. In Alegria I have a “little man” and a “little grandpa.”

My second shift today was a split shift between Milagros and Esperanza. We got to go to the park and play with all the kids. One of the little girls from Alegria sat in dog poop and they just took off her pants and let her play in her underwear. While we were there I spent my time with Nicole, Logan, and Hailey, mostly Nicole, and we pushed the kids around in their wheelchairs.

When I went into Milagros one of my favorite kids was sitting in the floor laughing about who knows what. The Tia and two of the boys told me my blue eyes were beautiful. One if them told me that his eyes were dark briwn with a blue ring around the outside. I didn’t see it, but whatever he says goes. Haha

After today I was seriously contemplating changing my return date and extending because words cannot express the love I have grown to have for the people here at Los Pequiñitos de OSSO.

This week there are a lot of fun things to look forward to, but it is definately bitersweet. Last night one of the volunteers decided to stay two months less than he planed on and that makes a total of like 7 of us leaving next week. I am so sad to be leaving and there is definitely a sad spirit? I don’t know what to call it…around the house.

Tonight was a few of the girls’ last time at HML and it was really am sad to watch. The taxi home was really quiet and most everyone was sleeping or half asleep. HML is hard because there isn’t really time for dinner before we leave so we end up eating at like 8 and by then people don’t want to eat real food. It is still worth it though, even though the kids speak really fast Spanish and I don’t understand a lick of what they say to me. Haha

I realize that no matter what time I have here it is going to be really difficult to leave. I am making he most of the time I have left and I am excited to tell you about my OSSO family that I LOVE! I love you all!

❤️ The Girl with Big Plans

Dia Catorce

Sorry the pictures are first…

This is he Hippie Market:
imageMe and Shawni with the owner of Hidden Door
image Bread Knots at Fabi’simageToday my morning shift was in Alegria. I love those kids! One of the kids is one of my favorites out of all of the kids. My favorite is when he crosses on leg on his other knee or when he crosses his fingers when he eats. He is my little man!

Today I was in charge of actividad and we played Jenga. They love Jenga! I also got to do two of the little girls’ hair. The HEFY kids are here and around four of them help us out with the kids. It is nice because all of the kids get included.

While I was helping with another girl she decided that she wanted to do my hair. It is a lot thinner now. Haha the same girl gave me a hug before I even asked today and I was so excited!

Today I had an off with Logan and Shawni and they are two of my favorites! We went into town and wandered around going in and out of random souvenir shops. Don’t worry we definitely stopped for ice cream and a churro.

We met the rest of the volunteers at Fabianos, an Italian restraunt, and it was really yummy! Afterwards there was a classic rock concert that the American embasy put on in celebration of the Fourh. We had a blast! Haley I was dying for you! You would have loved it!

When we were leaving the played “Living on a Prayer” and we were dancing all over the place! In the taxi ride home we were jamming to American music, curtousey of the taxi driver. Tonight was way fun.

Dia Trece

Today I started off in Cunas again. I love the morning shift there because we get to hang out with the babies. Today I got to feed the littlest baby. She is an adorable newborn. My heart seriously melts whenever I play with the Cunas kids.

I worked with Nicole in Cunas and there was another American girl there helping who was my age. Her name was Emily, and she was super nice. She is kind of on a two week exchange program but through a college.

Today during our time with the babies the kitchen’s fire alarm went off. I am pretty positive they burnt an entire chicken. Luckily we didn’t have to evacuate or anything!

During lunch a group of us went to Monay and bought tomatoes, Spaghetti sauce,  and got money out. We also got some helado! Thought of you again dad!

My afternoon shift was in Casas with Logan and Nik. I was pretty nervous because of past experiences with them, but I loved it today. I honestly believe I am here to learn from those adorable kids.

They all finally know my name and it is so fun to play with them. Today I got to work in Casa Uno where the 3-6 year oldish kids live. We played ring around the rosy, read books, and I gave them horse rides. They were the CUTEST things.

We watched a movie today. First it was a Barbie movie and then when all the boys got bored we changed to Looney Tunes. Some of the kids came up and sat on my lap throughout the movie. They were really crazy for dinner and bedtime, but I still loved it. Who knew right?

Tonight we had a deep clean of the house and I cleaned the bathroom. I got to try a white pineapple tonight and it is really good! I wish I could bring one home!

We went in another social walk tonight and we explored the construction of the Rossero’s house and played volleyball on the net in the backyard. We had some funny times! Life is good here at the Cuenca House!
image image

Dia Doce

Today was so good! My card finally worked at the ATM! That means I have money to go zip lining on Saturday! This morning I had an off with Shawni and we went to Monay (the mall/grocery store). It was really nice, even compared to the U.S.. That is where we took out our money. Then I bought Oreos and Coco cookies to bring home. Don’t worry, I got some vanilla ones for Mason too! I also got two hammocks today! Yay!

First two pictures of of both directions of the road we live on.
image image This is over a bridge ob the same road.imageThese are some Chulitas that we saw in town today.image

Today Catalina made fish and I didn’t dare take any because it is really offensive to throw food away here. So I was not adventurous. Sorry I will try next time. Haha

My PM shift was in Casas and to be honest I prayed at least 5 times before, during, and after the shift to be able to survive. During the shift two boys locked themselves in a bathroom stall together and they refused to open it. The door was too low to be able to slide under, and too high to reach over. So after asking them ten times I climbed on top of the urinal and started climbing into the  stall to get them out. Meanwhile this other kid is crapping in the adjacent stall with the door unlocked. What the crap? The two boys in the stall put the toliet paper roll in the toilet and then threw it at me while I was sticking my  head underneath the stall. My cute coworkering volunteer, Jacie, came and put her hand on my back and said she was sorry that I had to put up with them. She is seriously the cutest person I know.

Despite that story I did have an ok time in Casas today and I am not super against going. I think the more you work their the more numb you become to the chaos. There were two cute sisters who I played with. The one was crying and then I scooped them up and sang the “Sisters” song from White Christmas to them and they loved it! Then the three of us played tag. I also finally connected with the ring leading antagonists from Casas. I played fusball with them. I have discovered that they are all angels when you are one on one.

When it came time to eat the kids were really onrey and refused to get in their train. We eventually gave up and took them in without the train. We left early tonight because of HML. That is always pretty nice.

This week I got to stay home from HML with Madie and go to FHE with the OSSO kids. I loved it! It was one of the sweetest experiences, and it will probably be the reason I cry a lot when I am home. We sang “I am a Child of God” in Spanish and that is when it really hit me how sad it was that these kids didn’t have earthly families. I really felt Hevenly Father’s love for all of the kids and I realized how important it was for me to spend all my time here focusing on them. They are so sweet and I am really going to miss their unconditional love.

While I am talking up the wonderfulness of these kids, I want to mention that one of the babies from OSSO is currently in the hospital with pneumonia. The doctors think she needs a feeding tube, but the cost of surgery is $5,000. We have the option of having the surgery from a free doctor, but we are almost positive that they will kill her. If there is anything you could do to donate or spread the word it would be much appreciated. You can send the donations to the OSSO office in Rexburg.

Thanks for all your love, support, and prayers. I love and miss you all.

❤️The Girl with Big Plans

Dia Once

Ok so today I worked the morning at Cunas with Madie. I got to play with the itty bittys. They are the babies at Todao Tores. They seriously melt your heart. They are also really quiet and it was a nice break from shifts like Casas. I even got to rock some of the babies to sleep. Also because I worked off sote I missed out on going to church. 🙁

During that shift two volunteers at Casas got “married”. My he kids made them wedding rings and decorated. They even made her a newspaper veil! They aren’t allowed to hold hands or kiss, due to OSSO rules, they linked arms and shook hands. They signed away their vows and at the top the certificate said “Married and Kissed” in Spanish. So funny!

Clarification to those who read the earlier blog about my first kiss..the kid was like 3 so don’t you fret!

My second shift was in Alegria with Logan. The kids there actually seemed excited to see me. I think one of the kids called me fat in Spanish so that’s cool. We played with Jenga blocks. Those are their favorite thing.

Two of the kids totally blowout pooped their diapers and while I was changing one she peeshedeeshed all over the changing table. Yay.

Today HEFY showed up and it was super stressful because there were so many people. They pretty much took all the kids from Alegria so Logan and I just pushed the other kids in the swings. HEFY will be here for 2 weeks working on the house for the Roseros, but they will also help with the kids too.

Tonight Nicole, Logan, and Hailey, and I all went on what we call a “social walk”. They are really a good time! Haha we are starting a tradition. No worries we walk inside the gates walls of the orphanage.

I think that’s about all for now! Chao! 💕

P.S. Sorry about no pictures today.

Dia Diez

Today my morning in shift was in the wonderful Milagros! I love that Casa! I worked with Hailey, one of my favorites. Milagros always gives me good stories!

So the boy I played soccer with at the very beginning always sits and announces imaginary soccer games. So today he was announcing a game about him being on gwa gwa’s team. Gwa gwa is another girl here’s baby doll. You had to be there.

Then another one of the Milagros boys was leaning against the window sill and his pants fell off. He was just chillin’ in his diaper.

Then another boy who has severe autism threw his colada on the ground and it went everywhere. Then he shoved Hailey into me. He is known for always smacking you in the stomach when you least expect it.

One of the boys also taught me how to make a friendship bracelet and it’s a hot mess, but he is making me finish it for him. Cool story bro. Haha

My second shift was spent off site at Azogous. It is another orphanage that makes OSSO’s look super nice. We spent it cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms. There were ants everywhere and the kids had lice. Sketchy!

Also when we got done cleaning we had some extra time where we got to play with the kids. We pretty much just sang songs with them and played a Spanish duck duck goose. There was a girl there who was blind and she came up and wrapped her arms around my waist and . had me help lead her everywhere.

Tonight I cooked cinnamon rolls and crescent rolls for everyone! I doubled the batch and it was so much! Everyone was really excited though. It is funny, when anyone wants to eat what you are making they volunteer to help. I got a lot of helpers. Haha tonight we also had a Nacho Libre movie party. I skipped out and a bunch of us went for a walk around the orphanage.

We also decided our mural idea, don’t worry I will give you updates. I am really excited that u get to be a part of one!

Sorry this is so short! Chao.

Bread dough x 10image RollsimageCinnamon Rolls