At the beginning of the summer holidays we decided not only to change the time of our meetings to the early morning because of the heat during the day, but also to extend the variety of activities offered outside the comedor.
So we welcomed summertime with a barbecue at a campsite in the mountains.
Of course our children liked this idea a lot and the word spread immediately to the other children in San Miguel And we finally went on a trip with 60 youngsters. !!We received a lot of support from the parents and staff of the “Accion Social“.
We spent a wonderful day swimming in the pool, playing and eating lots of food, i.e. milk rice and sandwiches to satisfy the children’s’ hunger.
In Argentina summer and Christmas time start at about the same time,so we decided to introduce the children to some German traditions.
Here in Argentina people do not celebrate Christmas except for some lights and decoration in their houses. We started off with an Advent calendar made of socks which we filled with some sweets and little surprises.
Of course, first of all we had to explain the sense of hanging up 24 socks, but after that, each day we picked a child based for example, on best behavior, and he or she would then take one sock of the rope and keep what was inside. We personally made sure that no one missed getting a sock.
Also we changed the comedor into a large Christmas bakery where the children cooked many, many tasty cookies.
Finally, on the 24th of December, we rented a bouncing castle and put it up in the yard. This way we would be prepared for a modest, but very festive Christmas Eve. All this was made possible thanks to our main sponsor in Chilecito.
Since San Miguel is located about 5 km from the centre of Chilecito most of the families usually made up of six to ten children do not get to go on trips there often.
That is why we decided to introduce all these children to the area they live in which has a lot more to offer than just the main plaza (square) in the centre.
We started off with a visit to the local ice-cream factory. After a short bus ride we walked in search of the factory. Even we the volunteers, did not know at all what to expect Actually our only plan was to buy each of the children an ice-cream to make them smile.
Lucky for us, the owner of the factory himself showed us around and even turned the machines on to demonstrate how everything works.
And in the end he gave us all huge amounts of delicious ice-cream!
Sometimes one simply has to be fortunate in life. With the great support of the population we were able to offer highlights like this.
Furthermore we had the chance to visit a circus nearby in Chilecito. All 30 of us could enter for free! It was a show of Circus Kroner (related to the German Kroners) on a Saturday evening.
This was just an amazing event for all of us, i.e. the lady elephant was impressive and the clown made us laugh a lot.
Also we could hire a personal teacher of Salsa to teach not only the basic steps, but also some more difficult step sequences....
In the near future we intend to go and visit a radio station.
At first glance it might seem like there is not much to do around here, but adding some creativity one can always find new activities to do and trips to go on.
Of course we shall never lose sight of how limited budget is .
At the moment we are in the lucky situation of being able to offer some extras as our main sponsor Gaston Milicay, head of “Grupo Humano”
(An organization supported by the local government), offers us financial help.
But this relationship is not very secure so that we still are dependent on the donations from Germany. We do welcome these with open arms for they are the only way to continue offering our program to all those children.