We spent the morning cleaning the church as a gift for letting us stay there. Five of us had the task of cleaning 8 windows. It was a big job, including leaning outside way up high to clean certain areas. Meanwhile, I also learned new ways to clean wood floors. I am glad that wasn’t my job! At lunch I ate in the same classroom but with a new group of kids. The Thursday through Saturday afternoon group is younger, and they were quite eager to take a lot of pictures. We drove 10 or 15 minutes to a different part of El Alto. This part reminded me of Cotonou, Benin. It was very flat, although you could see the snow covered mountains in the distance (which we DEFINITELY did not see in Cotonou). The people seemed more poor and more spread out in this section of town, as if it was a village inside of a large city.
I really enjoyed our time in this area called Villa Natividad. We walked around inviting people to our program. Nancy and I went to the school to see if we could do a mini-program as school let out. She said getting permission was much easier with a gringo by her side. We went back to the plaza, a large empty area in the middle of some houses, and were treated to the best peach juice I have ever tasted. Soon we were ready to go, blaring our clown music through the plaza. Little kids came running over from the indoor gym nearby, people stopped in the streets in their cars to watch, mothers and fathers brought their kids over. It was a lot of fun to be a part of this type of outdoor rural(ish) program.
Then we went back to the school to do a program. The kids really seemed to enjoy the dances. I didn’t dance on one of them, as I don’t really know it. I wanted to take some pictures, which was a huge mistake. I was instantly surrounded by the students who were asking for autographs. I knew if I said yes to one, I would be obligated to give a lot of autographs, and so would the other CEC students. So, what could I do but say yes! I had to laugh as I watched everyone get surrounded. I think that was supposed to be the end of our program anyway.
As soon as we could pull ourselves away, we rushed to the church where we were late for our night program. They fed us soup right there in the church, and then we started another program. The church was small, and it was packed.