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Boiler Up!!!!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Wasn’t it May yesterday?

Finally, my summer is starting to wind down, so I can enjoy some much needed down time. Less than a week before classes, but I’ll take it! This has been by far the busiest summer of my life, but so rewarding.

I jumped right into things the Monday after finals in May. I traveled with a group of about 20 people from St. Mary’s Church (back in my hometown) to Guatemala. There, we visited a NPH (Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos) school and helped with some projects they had going on. Some of the group went to an off-site house where the older girls live and worked on some of the electricity problems. Most of the women (including me) stayed at the school and helped in the kitchen or with sewing tablecloths for the kids’ quinceañeras. Vidalia, the woman who was in charge of the sewing room, was so sweet and patient when we were learning to use the industrial machines, plus she told me I was a good sewer. Here is a picture of her teaching me how to use the machine:

The people who had visited there previously cautioned us about the rice and bean dinners, but I thought they were delicious, especially with the homemade tortillas. Taco Bell should take a hint. Overall though, I absolutely loved meeting, playing, and (attempting) to talk with all the kids there. They were all so warm-hearted and welcoming, which made it feel so much like home. The kids were also so inspirational, I learned so much from them. I really I hope to go back soon to see the kids grow up. But hopefully next time, I’ll know how to say a little more than “My name is Mary. I am 19.”

I was in Guatemala for about a week, but it seemed like a day it flew by so fast. A couple weeks after I came home to Indiana, I started working as a day camp counselor at a camp a few minutes from my house. This was definitely a tough job, and I can cross out camp counselor off a list of career possibilities. Even though it was difficult (very, very difficult), I got into the groove of things and found out how I can best work with children while still having a little fun. Since most of the kids go to the camp all summer, being with them 40 hours a week really made me appreciate all the kids quirks, differences, and similarities. I gained so much from the experience, and I’d gladly take the job again in a heartbeat.

My summer was really full of working with kids, and I learned a lot about myself along the way. First, teaching is definitely not for me, I just want to play Uno and swing on swing sets with them. Second, I can put on band-aid like nobody’s business, since I probably used a hundred of them. Lastly, being able to make a kid laugh when they were crying or make them smile when they were sad is the greatest reward I had all summer. I want to be a pediatric nurse more now than I ever have before, and I hope my classes this semester will reaffirm that.

Happy End of Summer and Boiler Up!

--- Mary Jacobs

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