Our Proniño placement in Guayaquil has come to an end and there were lots of tears when we said goodbye to “our” children and teachers last week.
The inauguration of the library in the "Clara Bruno" morning school was a complete success. Our Spanish colleagues baked tortillas for the teachers and we finished the renovation and decoration at 11 a.m. on the dot. All the books had been there for ages, but previously the little room was filthy and chaotic. With the library system we developed, the teachers can now make sure the issuing of the books is regulated and the children can browse through the available stories.
Because the children always had exams in our last few days, we could only say goodbye personally to a few of the ones at this school. Which made the farewell party at the afternoon school all the more moving. The pupils performed a dance for us, the choir sang for us, and the mothers prepared a delicious farewell meal. The children showered us with lots of little gifts. They handed us messages in letters and drawings, like for example: "we will miss you very much, we love you and we will never forget you".
The words of headmistress Alicia moved us all to tears. But we too didn’t come empty-handed. From the $400 Proniño budget for every school, we bought a new music system so that the kids can continue to be well prepared for their future competitions.
In the last few weeks the children’s attendance rate rose to nearly 100%, there were more parents at the school grounds in the afternoons, and the children did their exams in the shortest time, so that they could play with us in the playground as soon as possible. We will miss this light-heartedness and unconditional affection of the children.
They were wonderful, tiring, sometimes chaotic, but happy weeks. The incredible love and openness with which we were welcomed grew into friendships during this time. Our team from O2 has grown together into a great unit in the last few weeks and the local support from our Telefónica colleagues here in South America was amazing.
Yesterday we already said goodbye to the Spaniards and Rodrigo, our friend from Venezuela. Today Laxmi set off for Galapagos and we are flying to the "enchanted islands" tomorrow morning.
See you soon in Munich – best wishes from Linde and Christiane
Christiane and Linde are two of our Pronino volunteers and are
blogging from Latin America. To find out more about Proniño, head to http://dnc.o2.co.uk/home/Pronino.