Tuesday morning of my stay in Ayacucho the placement where we worked was called the street children. Not the most appropriate name, I thought, but that’s what CCS called it and I couldn’t come up with anything better.
Adjacent to one of the city’s huge farmers’ markets, there is a simple building set up as a sort of drop-off center for kids whose parents are working in the market. The boys and girls go to work in the morning with their parents, work at their stall for a while, and then when they need a break, they walk over to the center to hang out, play with other kids or work on their homework. A lot of the schools were on break due to the Semana Santa (Easter) celebrations, so there were more kids at the center than usual.
Tina, Meg, Gayle and I brought out a deck of Uno cards and played game after game with the youngsters. It helped us all learn our numbers and colors, I’ll tell you that. We also drew pictures with them and they would point to the pictures and tell us the name in Spanish.
Just as we were leaving for the morning, two little girls, ages six and seven, came walking in. They were so adorable, just beautiful lambs and so friendly and happy. They hugged us foreigners as if we were all old friends. When we left the center, we walked through the market place to see what it was like and ran into the two little lambs at their father’s stall. And got more hugs.
It was a happy morning, filled with lots of laughter and silliness.