Friday, May 29
At orientation yesterday, it was impressed upon us that service,is a big part of La Salle University. And it that spirit, today was the first day that our group was really able to dive into the wonder that is CRIT or Centro de Rehabilitacion Infantil Telefon.
This facility provides services for children with disabilities, cancer, or other special needs. The building itself radiates joy and hope as it is painted bright pink and orange, and as you walk in there, all you see are ways to make children happy. From bright colors, to games, balloons, movies, and face painting, the environment created cultivates joy for those who are going through rough times. After a quick tour of the building, we learned that there are only 15 full time doctors on staff and they offer a variety of methods for physical therapy. During the tour, we met several accomplished children who have learned how to live with their disability rather than making themselves victims of circumstance.
We were split into two groups of five for the remainder of the time. Five were placed in charge of games and five were placed in charge of coloring.
All of these activities were meant to ease the minds of children going in for tests. I managed to make friends with a child who had ADHD and was hoping for help in behavior therapy; I also met a young boy named Nelly who was wheel-chair bound. Although in a wheel chair, it turns out that he was waiting for his brother who was also getting some sort of treatment that day. However, Nelly forgot where his Mother was and so I spent a lot of time helping him search for his Mom. The entire time we searched, he kept telling me that he needed to find his Mother. The only thing I could tell him was to not be afraid. After searching all of the visitor-friendly part of the facility, I had to muster up the courage to tell someone on staff that he could not find his Mother and we needed help. It was hard finding the right words to say but they understood and after another ten minutes, they were able to find her. I was also fortunate to meet another child who spoke English and was able to tell me more about the CRIT.
I had a traditional Mayan meal prepared by my host Mom, who is Mayan.
After lunch, we had our second intermediate conversation class. This was a very entertaining class because, after a quick placement test and dissecting a story, we were given 20 minutes to convey the idea of a song by creating costumes and acting out the song. There were five songs and five groups of two, chosen at random. The first to present were Ashley and Alyssa, who made huge eye for the song “Malaguena” Chloe and I made mustaches and danced like crazy for the song “El Marachi Loco”. Shelby and Haley choreographed a short dance for “La Bamba”; John and Allison created a full costume for their song; Irfan and Emma swapped genders for their love song . All had a great time!
When I got home, my host Mom surprised me with a “welcome cake” and we celebrated me being in Cancun. I also met some of my host family’s friends and neighbors, which was a lot of fun. And that wrapped up a great third day in this amazing place.