First Day in the Field
Trip Start Mar 04, 2011
31Trip End Mar 19, 2011
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When we arrived the children were assembled in an outside courtyard, singing and waiting for us to arrive. We sat in the courtyard with them, while the teachers introduced themselves. Then it was our turn to introduce ourselves to the students. When we finished, team member Dorothy read the children a book about the story of creation, while four other team members positioned themselves so the children could see the book's wonderful artwork. We left five copies of the book, which Dorothy cut and laminated, for the teachers to use
Then it was time to break out into our teams, which included a Bible team, sports, three crafts teams and an academic team. Our plan was to divide the children into six groups and for each team to spend 30 minutes with each group. Our teams had prepared ahead of time and had crafts, lessons, games and props to use in their work. It was a great system.
Each team distinguished itself in spirit and preparation and the Center teachers assisted by translating when needed. Barb Thompson headed our crafts team (Carol Donnelly, Cathi Book, and Evangeline Dempster) and found three wonderful yet simple crafts to do with each child. Gwen Kelley led the Bible team (Sheran White and Krista Frederick) as they focused on the story of David and Goliath.
Cheryl Bradbury's sports team (Rick Cotter, Dana Slavic, Hannah Thompson and Donna Sims-Reed) was in the hot sun for four hours as they led the children in volleyball (with no net), relay races and other fun activities. The academic team (Dale Harper, Carla Bailey and Verdeen Edmonson), led by Karla Byrd, presented some lessons to the students on the solar system and American history
At the end of the day, Pastor Stanko presented $1,000 cash to the Center for their feeding program from his ministry's Sophia Fund, and then the team presented nine of our duffel bags, filled with shoes, toys, books and games. Prior to that, Pastor Francis showed some of the team the one locked cabinet that holds the supplies our team brought in 2010. It was painful to think that this one small cabinet held all the supplies Upako Center had for 127 children.
Everyone was pumped up on the way home, commenting on how patient and well-behaved the children were, but also how much children are alike no matter where you go in the world. After some rest at the hotel, the team went to the Tamarind seafood restaurant not far from the Hilton where everyone enjoyed a memorable meal. Tomorrow it's off to the Each One Touch One Orphanage with a quick stop to see their latest project, Operation Chicken Coop, funded through Dr. Stanko's ministry.