Thursday, 3 July 2014

Love in action is changing lives

 Alejandra Quintana  spent three months volunteering with our family this year, in which time she, and her friend Fabiola Matute, became firm favourites with our kids as their Auntie Ally and Auntie Fab.
Now back home in Mexico, their hearts at still with our family.
Looking at our website last week, Ally spotted a very early picture of Esther, which prompted her to write about experience.
"The other day I saw a picture of baby Esther (pronounced as Esta there) just few days after becoming a Happy House Kid.
 It really shocked me, she looked so skinny, with the eyes almost to big for her face, her arms so thin, she looked neglected and sad, and it got me thinking of my time there.
I had the wonderful opportunity to be a volunteer for three months at Happy House, they where the most incredible three months of my life.
 While I was there one of my duties was to help in the baby banda giving physical therapy to the younger members of the family, specially to Esther who was having problems learning how to walk.
Fabiola, my friend who was also volunteering with me, Aunty Flo,  and whichever auntie was on baby duty,  and I would go to the baby banda everyday to do the exercises with them, some times the babies enjoyed them them more than others, occasionally having a grizzle, but we kept doing them every single day.
I decided that my personal goal at the Happy House was getting Esther to walk before I went home.
 It would take us about 15 minutes to walk just from the baby banda to the big banda, with Esther pushing the walker, and many times she cried. To distract her we sang her all the Happy House songs, specially her favourite one, the love song, the one Aunty Rose taught them (Love is something that if you give it away, it just comes back to you…).
 I remember her proud little face when she was walking from banda to banda and one of her big sisters would start cheering her, or passing through the blue banda (the one next to the library) and noticing Mama and Uncle Billy were watching her, she would start laughing and walking faster, like  she was trying to show them how good she was doing.
 Uncle Billy would go to the baby banda to say hello to the little ones, he would say to her “Esthaaa, are you going to school soon Esthaa?”  I always felt he had a special love for her and after seeing the picture of her I realized that even though he loves all the children he has a special bond with this little girl who has come so far.
 One day I was walking holding her hands and we were singing, without her noticing I let go of her hands and she kept walking all by herself!
I was so happy and proud of her, I almost cried. The very next day Uncle Billy sent her to school, she was so happy to be a big girl, to wear a uniform and to be part of Madam Sara's baby class.
 I guess what I am trying to say is that it is amazing what love can do, and what the love and magic of the Happy House can achieve in just in one year. 
The two year old Esther, the laughing, singing, happy, smart beautiful Esther that I met has nothing to do with the girl in the picture, the one that arrived at the Happy House so small and weak,  and it is all because of the loving work of the people who devote their lives to making the lives of the children better."
* Video of Esther singing  Auntie Rose's song taken by Auntie Ally.
*And  video of Aunties Fab and Ally in an after-school sing song, when Esther gets a lift from Auntie Ally! Taken by Auntie Libby.