Today we saw lots of little people (toddlers) South American toddlers are the cutest children EVER! The first two places we visited were in one of the poorest area's in Cochabamba. The first project had about 20 toddlers and the second (an older project) with 60 children from the ages of 0-5. Most of the children in these two projects have come from single parents, the project allows the parents to work in the day, otherwise the children would have been left at home all day or would work on the streets with their parents. The projects also work with the parents teaching them about good nutrition and care for their children. The helpers/teachers at these projects were amazing, so patient and peaceful with the children. In the second home we had a song from each classroom (accept the 0years olds) they just stared at us, sooooooo adorable though.
In the afternoon we visited a project, which for me I couldn't believe after meeting the boys and girls that they actually come from this background: The children still live with with their parents but the project offers them an opportunity for escape in the daytime. All of these childrens parents are prostitutes, normally from the age of 0-10 the child will work in the brothel cleaning, and then at the age of about 10 (both boys and girls) they begin to do what there parents do, if they are not involved with this, they will just be locked in there room all day. The youngest in the project is 2 and the eldest is 14years old. There are some days when the children don't turn up at the project because they have been locked in their room by there parents. For me this project offers the child an escape out of this business and a chance to understand and be taught others ways to make money. Yes it is awful that these are there backgrounds but again a project which is providing them with a brighter future.
At five o'clock we traveled to the bus station in Cochambama to buy our tickets for Oruro. What a place, people milling around everywhere, ticket offices shouting out their sales, people selling things, busy busy busy. We got our bus at 5.30 and four hours later arrived in Oruro, after a twisty, bumping journey around the mountain, we stopped a couple of times on the side of the road on the way and people would hop on the bus trying to sell food. Bruce Almighty was on the little tv on the bus (in spanish) I still found it funny even though I didn't understand.
That night I stayed in a girls and boys home with my brother. The children here have been sent by social services, from parents who are either in prison or abuse them, even children who have been found wondering the streets without a family. Its hard to believe when you meet these children that there backgrounds are so dark, but they are so grateful for what they have now and have been told about christianity, when they pray and talk about there lives there is such passion in there eyes and faces, they just know they have been given another chance. I slept in the girls dorm and my brother in the boys. The children have met my brother a few times before, so were excited to meet his sister, they want to no everything about you, including the question, which I have had asked to me everywhere I have been on this trip so far: 'Do you have a husband' (which I don't) usually with a surprised look on their faces, and then they usually they try and set you up someone, its amusing. My spanish has improved since I got here, I defiantly understand better what someone asks me, I just struggle to reply. When we went to bed the girls were all eyeing up my suitcase, and then the questions came? I was lost, I had know idea what they were say? They tried to speak in english but all I got from them was: 'What is bread' I'm not sure if this was what they meant? I am going to buy a dictionary...