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The first day of volunteering at Casa Hogar Luz Alba was certainly an experience.

It all started with a wake up call at 5:45 am and then a 6 block walk to the combi bus stop. After finding our “bus line” – a small VW style bus that seats 10 people comfortably we hopped onboard. The drawback to this mode of transportation is that they pack up to 20 people inside and little there are people hanging out windows and doors. Make for an interesting ride. If you are one of the unfortunate ones you stand up and hold onto a pole for support above the seats. This wouldn’t be so bad if you didn’t have to bend your head at a 45 degree angle because the roof is so short that you can’t stand up straight!

After getting off at our stop we walked another 5 blocks to the orphanage. We arrived at 7 am to start our 5 hour shift. Bring it on.

And boy did they! The first task was to sweep and mop the patios, the rooms and kitchen area. At the same time someone has to watch the toddlers and someone else change the baby’s diapers. Then the beds are made and breakfast is served. All this activity within the first hour! There are 19 children at the orphanage of which 15 are under the age of 5 ! And 6 are babies, less than one year old. All of them taken care of by a house mother and 3 other “tias” or aunts as they are called. These are Peruvian women that are not paid but live at the house and have their room and board covered. Without volunteer help the tasks for caring for the children are monumental.

Our tasks for the morning shift are sweeping, mopping, changing diapers, feeding babies and toddlers, making beds, doing laundry and hanging it out to dry, collecting the dry clothes and folding them. There are windows and bathrooms to clean, children to play with and watch. Sometimes they are taken out for a walk in their strollers and along the way additional food is purchased for the lunch or dinner meal. So many things! And that is during the morning shift. The afternoon shift…well we are scheduled for that too so we will get to see what has to be accomplished.

It’s going to be a great experience, learning the ins and outs of daily operations and being able to apply that to The Angel House Peru. This month is going to give us a wealth of useful information. Oh and we will try and post some pictures. We just need to get approval first.

Cleaning Up in His Mighty Grip,

Stephanie and Cindy