March 15th 2004 - Day 5

7:30 we had a breakfast of sausage and tomato stew with rice and beans. The bus arrived at 8:00am, but according to El Salvadorian time we did not leave until 9:00.

We arrived at the Benjamin Bloom Pediatric Hospital with six huge tubs of paint, 8 brushes, 4 rollers, 2 step ladders, newspaper, masking tape, balloons and stuffed animals. We were assigned the neonatal unit on the fourth floor, which turned out to be children between the ages of 2 months to 6 years old. We began by meeting the children and handing out the stuffed animals. Faces with big brown eyes smiled shyly at us. Soon they became braver and started playing with some of us. Since we were painting some of the rooms, the children in there needed to be moved into the play area. We split into groups with people washing walls, taping borders and keeping the children entertained. Once the walls were prepared, the painting began. We managed to give a first coat to two rooms and the waiting area; one room was painted in a cocoa beige, the other in a mellow yellow. Tomorrow we will do second coats in these rooms, plus paint the other two rooms and the play area. We hope to do murals and brighten the walls on Wednesday.

This was just the morning because we had meetings with Interact Clubs the rest of the day. The bus took us to the ABC school (Academia Britannica Cuscutlan). We ate lunch outside, then met with their Interact Club. Kailea is an exchange student here. We shared project information and got to know each other, and hopefully the e-mail exchange will start some friendships. Since we had a while before our next meeting, Ivo suggested a trip to the Galleria Mall. We spent an hour there before we proceeded on to the Club Arabic for supper and a meeting with the Interact Cuscatlan. One of the members of this club is Doris, (who owned the beach house) who will be an exchange student with the Mont Tremblant group. They presented a slide show on their projects and we discussed ours. When the meeting was over, we had a time to make even more friends.