My time at Project Somos is coming to an end, this is my fifth week volunteering here and it has gone by at an alarmingly fast rate. I can’t quite believe that a week from now I will be leaving this place and not seeing these familiar faces everyday. My experience has been an exceptional one, full of fun, learning and lots of laughing. Within these mothers and children I have found great friends withstanding, even, the barriers of my poor Spanish.
In my last blog post I described the work I have been doing teaching the mothers. Here I will go into a bit of detail of my time with the kids of Somos. A lot of my day is spent with the children. There are nine kids in the Somos home varying from the ages of 2-9. When I’m around I like to try and give the mothers a break by engaging as many kids as possible in activities. Often, when the mothers are busy or in a meeting I will put on bouncy pop music. The kids immediately become entranced by the shiny pop tunes and we will usually begin a “dance party.” Lately I’ve been playing the new Taylor Swift album, the kids are beginning to learn the words to some of the catchiest lyrics to her hit songs. They give me requests of songs to put on and I take turns holding their hands and jumping around with them. This is an especially effective activity with some of the littlest kiddies who don’t often smile when separated from their mothers.
I have also had some time to designate to the older boys, teaching them a bit of English. They are very eager to learn, and when I can keep their attention it is a great learning environment. Although of course being boys of 9 and 7 it is difficult for them to sit still for a period of time. Therefore, I try and keep it light, teaching them English songs such as “the hokey pokey,” and playing bingo with different english categories. When I can tell the boys are getting restless I will suggest we change activities and we will run around for a while playing soccer or frisbee.
Overall my time at Project Somos has been an experience I won’t forget. I have had so much fun getting to know the moms and listening (to what I can understand) of their stories. Moreover, playing with the adorable children and dancing to Taylor Swift has also been a task I have been happy to fulfill. I think that what Greg and Heather are accomplishing is so important, and completely admirable. I hope they continue succeeding in the creation of their vision and that some day I will be able to come back to volunteer again.