After having a successful trip last year to San Vincente de Paul Orphanage, in Quito, Ecuador I decided to return again. Over the past year I had kept in contact with Sister Rosa at Casa 5, and also one of the l5 year old orphans, Gabby. A retired school teacher and friend, Jima Severson, accompanied me on this trip. We arrived in Quito the evening of September l0, 200l. As you can imagine the disaster that hit the States September 11, brought a new dimension to our trip.
When we arrived at the orphanage it was lunchtime. I opened up the door to Casa 5 and to my delight the children looked up and smiles broke out, they jumped up yelling Betty, Betty!! It brought tears to my eyes. Even little Marco who was 2 l/2 last year remembered me. It was so heart warming. We were delighted to find two l9 year old volunteer girls from England living in Casa 5. We had brought over with us clothes, toys, school supplies and diapers for the children. Of course the gifts were received with gratitude and smiles.
This year I was able to rent a bus and take l6 of the children to see the movie Shrek. We had a ball. You should have seen their eyes when we showed up with the bus! We took up the entire front row of the show house. We had children from 3 years up to l8 years. Not one of them moved a muscle during the show. I had quite a time getting the Ecuadorians at the show to give me l6 pops and l6 popcorns...ha.
Back at Casa 5 Sister Rosa informed me they were in need of bed frames. Their mattresses lay on cross wood which were broken and the mattresses were sinking. I gave Sister Rosa $400 for supplies and other things they needed. We also purchased $300 worth of school supplies for the entire orphanage.
Jima and I shared our time with the nursery. There were about 35 babies in the nursery. I was also pleasantly surprised to find several other volunteers there from the States from the Church of Jesus Christ, which happens to be my church. We held babies, played with babies, and CHANGED babies! They are never all dry at once. They are beautiful children. Through some friends of my son we were able to go shopping and purchase several rocking chairs for the nursery and two small ones for Casa 5. Through my son's newsletter and letters to the editor I had $l300 donated to help with their needs.
The stories of these children are heart rendering. One of the beautiful little girls had been thrown away in the garbage only to be found by a little 5 year old that thought it was a puppy moving. The Sisters that care for these children are kind and angels of God to give their life to the caring of these orphans.
I am sure I will go back. I am not sure exactly when as Brian is getting married this year. The children at the orphanage seem to be my children now and I will always want to see that they receive help. If any of you are making a trip to Quito please contact me if you are willing to take some items over for the children or to make a donation to them. We have wonderful friends there that will take you to the orphanage to meet the children or to just gather your items you take over there. I see no boundaries when it involves children.