It's hard to believe we are more than halfway through our GROW trip already! We continue to enjoy meeting new people and visiting the various communities in which Pastoral works.
On Wednesday we went to the rural community of Santiago Torres in El Paisnal with Mercedes. There we got to see a nutrition clinic aimed at incorporating leafy greens like spinach and lettuce into daily meal preparation. I loved seeing soy milk made from scratch, as well! Even though the GROW team was definitely shown up in an fast-paced game of futbol with the little kids in the area, it was certainly a fun adventure.
On Thursday we returned to Santo Tomas with Clelia to attend a self-esteem workshop. This workshop was for children from several local schools. The energy of our new friends Daysi and Ingrid, who helped run the workshop, was so much fun to watch. We started the workshop with a game to get to know each other. Each person said their name and a little bit about themselves and made up their own dance move. Each subsequent person in the circle had to do their own dance move, as well as all of the dance moves from the people before them in the circle. As someone who was toward the end of the circle, let me tell you that is quite a lot to remember! With a lot of help from Imani, and a lot of laughter from the students in the workshop, I managed to make it through. But my dance moves still leave a lot to be desired...
Throughout the workshop, the students worked in small groups to discuss definitions of self-esteem, and situations in their lives that could be improved with self-esteem, self-respect, and self-knowledge. I was very impressed with the focus of the students and the thought they put into their discussions. We finished up with an interactive song and said our goodbyes.
After having a truly incredible lunch at the home of one of the women who attended the piñata workshop last week, the GROW team got to talking with Clelia. She told us about how she loves being in charge of one area - Santo Tomas - in her work at Pastoral. She said it lends consistency and reliability to her work in these communities, and contributes to the success Pastoral has had in getting people involved in workshops, and keeping them involved. Seeing Clelia in Santo Tomas, I got the feeling she was in her element. I could see the trust and respect she has built up with women in that community, and it made clear to me the profound effect that Pastoral is having.
We want to give a big shout out to Globemed at Amherst's very own Reynaldo and his parents for hosting us for one of the best dinners I've had in a long time. Yum!!
Mucho amor de GM,