A quick look backwards, before we look forward

20 01 2011

I sit in my bed today. Sick. Yes, finally after over 2 months I have  managed to eat something/drink something (still don’t know exactly what it was) that my body really REALLY did not like. I see it as a sort of rite of passage when traveling like this.  Thus it has become a day of rest…. a day to catch-up on sleep, TV watching, project researching and well, blog writing of course.

To begin, a quick look backwards. I got a phone call from Gloria in Medellin a few days ago- she had finally looked at the blog and loved it.  But was shocked that I had not included pictures of a weekend trip we took to an awesome pueblo outside of Medellin called Santafe Antioquia.  It was an amazing mountainous drive, a huge tunnel, a motor-taxi ride around the town, shopping in the main square, LOTS of sweating (it is very very hot), an even more laughing. So here you are Gloria (and others) a few pictures for you to enjoy:

Along the drive... smokey mountain


Donkeys and motor-taxi, near church in main plaza

Self-portrait, me walking across puenta occidental (bridge)

cool old church

more greenery, blue sky and layers of mountains on the drive


The first week and a half in Cali has been filled with organizing, introductions, navigations, and basically just figuring things out here in Cali. But I am thrilled with how everything is coming together.  I am going to be spending most of my time between three different institutions: Oscar Scarpetta, Chiquetines and Fundamor.  Also, I will spend some time with a nun, who is a good friend of Magnolia’s, to see some of the projects she has to help street children in Cali.

Oscar Scarpetta: I told you all a little bit about this institution in a previous post.  I have slowly been getting to know most of the kids here and learn a few names, a feat that is not easy to do as there are over 120 of them. I have been working with the staff to identify the kids with PT needs and start working with them too.  But what I am most excited about, is a project that I recently started working on with the administration here.  There are two major issues that ALL orphanages that I have visited face: 1) babies and young children not receiving attention or stimulation to encourage development 2) older adolescents that are ageing-out of orphanages that have no job/technical or actual life skills training.  So we have come up with a way to address both these issues in one program.  I think most of you received my newsletter update (if not you can see it here) that talked about ProjectPlay. The plan at Oscar Scarpetta is to initiate project play with the addition that those providing the 1 on1 play interaction for the kids will be the older adolescents in the orphanage.  These adolescents will learn about applying for a job, job responsibilities and accountability.  They will receive payment which will go into a group account for all the older kids participating. They will then work together to use funds to plan outings to allow these teenagers much-needed opportunities outside the orphanage.  We are thrilled!!! So now the next step will be to develop the materials… and of course to raise funds. So if this sounds like a project you might like to support, please contact me or superkids.

Chiquetines: This is a fantastic home for younger kids. It really actually reminds me a lot of Casa de Maria in Medellin.  There are so many cute little babies and kids here.  I am excited as a PT, because there are several young children here with actual neurological issues leading to their delay in motor skills, not just the “institutional delay” I have seen in some other places.  I think there is a lot that I will be able to do with the kids and training of volunteers/caregivers to really help them develop and participate with the others.

Fundamor: Wow. That is really all I can say about this amazing place. I went there for the first time and was absolutely stunned by the home that they have developed.  This organization was started 16 years ago by a private family to provide a home for adults with HIV and AIDS.  Through the years it has morphed to become an amazing holistic orphanage for children in ICBF (under protection of the state) with HIV and their siblings. Right now they have about 60 kids living there. They pride themselves on addressing all aspects of development of the child and really encouraging healthy-living. They have an organic farm, practice holistic medicine with the  kids, have programs including art, music, self-esteem, environmental awareness, and well, just overall “humanbeing-ness”  It was a dream!! I can’t wait to work with them and learn from them.

Janet Fink, the director of Super Kids and two supporters of Super Kids are coming next week to get to know the institutions and of course the kids!!  I am so excited to show them our projects and the influence that Super Kids is having on these places. And for them to see the amazing influence these places will have on them.

Until then,





2 responses

22 01 2011

Hope you’re feeling lots better by now, Keely. Nice that even your “sick day” was a productive day with your blog writing.

23 01 2011

Goodness gracious – what you are doing is SO inspiring!!

Also, I miss hot weather and sweating like crazy. AND, more importantly, I hope you’re feeling better!

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