Saturday, March 5, 2011

What does it matter what kind of car you drive or how much money you long as you are happy and grateful for the things you do have!!! The institute where my retired grandparents still work at is called Instituto Central do Povo, People`s Central Institute. Currently they provide childcare for infants to 4 years of age. They used to school children up to high school but they no longer have enough funding for that.
While touring through the institute as I have always done once I have arrived; I am once again humbled by its lack of necessities. The workers and teachers are few, the children are many. They are not certified or contain degrees; they train for one day...ONE. And with that they began their day at 7:30am when someone rings a handbell to say to all that the school day has started. They feed the kids three meals a day and bathe them as well. One teacher for many children leaves no time to hold them or play with them.
As I approach one of the building around lunch time, the kids hunger cries can be heard. They can only be feed one at a time...I picked one of the children up, but she continued to cry, the little thing was just hungry. It broke my heart! It makes you just want to stay there forever and hold them!
The following day I returned to the institute in the morning with my grandmother to take some pictures and spend a little time with the children. In the afternoon I went for my second time up the favela (slum hill). Again reality slaps you in the face! Life is a gift and you should be grateful for what you have.
So..I am very grateful for my family and for the months I will be spending in Brasil! It has already made a difference emotional and physically. I´m trying to take advantage and be grateful for every opportunity such as, walking to the market to get fresh bread, walking in the small park and buying sweet popcorn from the cart vendor and today I´m headed to a big block party with some Dutch folks that are visiting and working at the institute. And I´m extremely grateful for the chance to go to CARNIVAL tomorrow!!!