A Day Spent with Children Is a Day Well Spent
Ignacio is an international volunteer from Spain. He has been in the Dominican Republic for the past year and works in homes for children with special needs. He provides a glimpse into his daily life.
January 7, 2019 - Dominican Republic
Life is a castle and our actions build and strengthen that castle. Good Morning.
A new day begins at NPH Dominican Republic, which offers a new opportunity to make others happy. The working day begins at eight o'clock in the morning. The good morning address is given, the children are greeted, and we discuss how the night went.
Starting the day with a smile can make a whole day happy. Each child has a specific plan: physical therapy, speech therapy, hydrotherapy, occupational therapy, etc. Normally I am an assistant in hydrotherapy sessions; it is a pleasure to be able to help guarantee a good recovery and quality of life.
My next stop is to assist my supervisor. I try to resolve any obstacles presented and spend time with the caregivers to solve problems like logistics, personal problems, or issues with the children.
About 11 a.m. is leisure time. We can play ball, read, paint, or relax. These moments together with the children in the pool are my favorite, because I can connect with them. They are the ones that keep me going day after day.
When leisure time ends, I always take a child with me to pick up lunch. It is a very rewarding feeling to see them utilize the basic actions they learn from day to day. The most important thing is that they perform these actions regularly so they can do them very well.
At noon lunch begins and I feed the children who cannot eat by themselves. Then, we rest from one until three.
At three comes pool time. It is always a fun part of the day. The kids enjoy the water, which makes me happy! I don’t know who has a better time, them or me.
We have a snack at four and have free time until seven, where we can go out to the park with other children or get together to dance and sing.
At seven o'clock it is time for dinner, to have a little time to rest or sleep.
Coordinating a house with your children, workers, helpers, etc. is never easy. You end up exhausted both mentally and physically, but when you stop to think about the reason why you do it, you come to the conclusion that you can always do a little more.
I love the children, I like the caregivers, and I love my coworkers. The decision to come to NPH Dominican Republic has been one of the best in my life. The love that I experience through normal everyday actions like feeding a child or wiping their tears cannot be expressed in words.
At Casas San Marcos and Santa María, I discovered why they are called ‘special children.’ They are special because they lack only the wings to be angels. This is my day-to-day experience. I do not know if I have built a good castle with my actions, but what I do know is that tomorrow I will try again.
Coordinator of Santa Maria