Wow - what a great day!
We started the morning with breakfast and a team devotional and then proceeded to the women's prison. Words can't describe the scene in there - and photographs are prohibited. Basically it's a whole community of women that are not permitted to leave. Their children can come and go. Visitors can come and go. But the women cannot. Apparently, the women are expected to pay for their own food & pay for their own 'rent'. The only way for them to make any money is either the children working outside the prison or friends & family bringing them money or prostitution within the prison. Very very sad. Your heart breaks to see their living conditions - yet the children seem to accept all this as normal. We will be going back there a few more times this week.
Then we went to the Bolivian Hope Center (BHC). We brought with us 12 children from the prison. They are accustomed to being taken to a playground with the Farthings (you have to pay to play in the park here!) - but this time was going to be special. For the very first time, they opened the playground inside BHC. They were ecstatic! I found a soccer ball and started up a game with a few of the boys - I stayed goalie so that may skills (or lack of skills) would not be exposed.
There was a girl I met named Anai who is 9 years old and reminded me so much of Abigail. Of course, that only broke my heart more when I imagined my own children living where Anai lives.
I did my best to communicate. I find myself talking in French a lot. It's like I'm thinking 'they are speaking a foreign language ... I know a foreign language ... maybe it will work! ... nope, it doesn't.'
After lunch (yes, this is all before lunch), we began work on the 3rd floor of the housing facility for the orphans. The walls are made of brick, so, we were laying brick. We raised the better part of 3 walls on the 3rd floor - and I'm just hoping my wall is still standing when we go back tomorrow!
It was a wonderful first day. We are about to go out for dinner and then it's likely bedtime (we need it ---- ohhhhhh we need it!)