Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Mother Teresa House Cusco

Last Monday I started volunteering with Maximo Nivel in Cusco. I was placed in Mother Teresa house to work with children with disabilities. When I arrived to the orphanage I was thrown into a room full of children and volunteers. There is about 20 children who live at the Mother Teresa House in Cusco. Their disabilities range from Down Syndrome to Muscular Dystrophy.

We start the day at 8am by undressing and showering each kid. This is a very labor intensive task. Some children can't move their arms and legs and most of them can't communicate. Once the children are down bathing we put on diapers and dress them in fresh cloths. Most of them are placed into wheel chairs and tied in with scarves and belts since they don't have built in restraints. Most of the wheel chairs have flat wheels, some are impossible to steer through the narrow hallways.
A from Mother Teresa

After the kids are dressed we wheel a select group into the play room. Here we do physical therapy with the children as well as play with them. The donated toys are mostly broken and missing parts. Most of the toys that are suppose to make noise are broken. A select group of toys are the favorites but the remainder end up on the floor anyway.

After physical therapy we wheel the children into the dinning room for lunch. This is also challenging since many of the children are sick and prefer not to eat. Some children can eat by-themselves but must be watched so they don't steel other food or spill their bowls on the ground. Some children forget that spoons exist and begin eating with their hands. Most of the children must be fed by the volunteers. It can take 30 mins to an hour to feed each child. Each volunteer feeds two children.

Once the children finish eating we attempt to brush their teeth. Most children will bat the brush away or bite the brush preventing the volunteers from moving the brush. Once their teeth are brushed we put them back into their bedroom.

Volunteers from UMDNJ -SOM
After we put the children back in their room we leave for the day. We usually head back to our families house for lunch.

After lunch I head downtown on the bus for my tandem class. In tandem class I meet up with two Peruvian women to speak in Spanglish. I teach them English and they teach me Spanish. We spend one to two hours talking in a coffee shop or walking around cusco.

I get home around 6:30pm to eat dinner with the family and spend the rest of the night talking to my roommates.

1 comment:

  1. I to am currently volunteering at The Madre Teresa de Calcutta Cuzco, and everything is still the same, with the wonderful smile from the children.