Last week was an extremely busy one for the Book-Satterlees. It is amazing how much life can speed up without you really even noticing it! On Monday we set up for our first Club de Tarea (Homework Club). Our plan is to have it Mondays and Wednesdays in the mornings and afternoons. Here in Mexico City some children go to school in the morning, and others go in the afternoon/evening. We wanted to reach both groups, so we set it up so we would have time in the morning and afternoon. The basic idea is to supplement what the kids are doing in school and really encourage them to enjoy learning and to think critically. We have a time of crafts, reading, homework help and group games. Or at least, that is the plan. It hasn't actually worked out that way yet! Which brings us back to Monday. Sunday night we stayed up late cutting out the last strips of paper for our Advent Chain craft, we arrived Monday morning ready to go, but by the end of the morning we had a grand total of 0 children. :) We weren't that discouraged, however, because we sat outside by our sign and were able to chat with many different parents and kids throughout the day. By the end of the week we had a total of 2! December is a difficult month to begin something like this because of the approaching vacations. We are quite alright with a slow start, however, it is giving us some time to evaluate our schedule and our plan of action. Yesterday, Monday, we had one person in the morning and one in the afternoon. The fun part is that both of these individuals are people who have never participated in anything that our church has done before, including English classes, so it is fun to know that we are bringing in a wider crowd than just the kids at our church. We are pretty certain that once January starts we will begin having a larger number of participants, but in the mean time I am thankful for a gradual start!
On Tuesday we had the opportunity to go to one of the basureros of Mexico City, or the dump. There is a whole community of people who work and live in the basurero. The conditions are pretty overwhelming. We went to the basurero with an organization called Operation Serve International. This organization brings doctors and nurses, as well as other lay people, to the basureros to provide medical services for the people. In the summer there is a group here every week. I was able to translate for one of the doctors and Kevin worked in the optometry tent. Although none of the people there were optometrists, they had a cheat sheet and a number of different lenses which enabled them to fit people with glasses that improved their visions. It was a really amazing experience for us both. Many of the people who spoke with the doctor ended up opening up about things that were going on in their life that went far beyond their physical well-being. It was a little overwhelming, but I felt really privileged to be able to hear some of the stuff that they are going through, to pray with some of them and just to hold their hand.
I know this is becoming a really long blog entry, but I also want to comment briefly on the beginnings of our volunteering with World Vision (WV). Although I feel a little less useful here, I feel as if we are learning a lot. We are working in the area of human rights. On Saturday mornings we meet with a group of young people who are representatives of their different communities. The Saturday morning workshop is led by two men who are part of a program that teaches young people who have dealt with a lot of hurt and pain in their lives that they are truly of worth, that they can overcome their circumstances, and ways to respond to difficult life circumstances that do not include violence. We also help out when WV goes to different schools or fairs. In these instances we have different games that are directed towards teaching children their rights and basic civic responsibilities.
Ok, so that it is about it for now. Congratulations to those of you who have actually made it to the end of this marathon blog! We really appreciate the love and support we receive from all of you. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers!