Monday, June 23, 2014

Day 6: Return to Los Pinitos

Unleashing our Inner Artist

Early Wednesday morning we grabbed our breakfast and anxiously headed to the train station in order to begin our daily journey. However, today was a special day for all of our returning volunteers, as we were traveling to the Jardín Los Pinitos--the kindergarten we worked at last year! Once we arrived, Cecilia, the owner of the Jardín, immediately remembered us all and gave us each a giant hug and kiss on the cheek. Celicia is a remarkable woman who donated her home to be used as a daycare facility for the poorest families in this low-income community. Last year WINS worked to clean up their backyard and renovate it into a playground for the children. Even after a year, the playground was still in great condition, and we couldn't wait to to start our new project!

Our project this year at Los Pinitos consisted of painting a mural on the brick wall that was built last year. Even though we are all science majors, we found our inner artist and designed our first piece of WINS artwork: Los Pinitos Under the Sea. We each picked our own sea creature to paint and got started. We planned out our underwater design full of fish, jellyfish, and seahorses. We even included the young children in our project by using their little hands in the painting of the seaweed! They loved getting messy, and it was the perfect way to connect our passion and project together. 

After we put the finishing touches on the mural, we were all treated to a traditional and home-made Argentinian meal. It was such a rewarding experience to see the joy our mural brought to Cecilia, her family, and all of the children. Our hearts (and stomachs) were full of pure happiness!

We hope to return next year, but as a small reminder of our love for Los Pinitos we drew a starfish for each volunteer and signed it with a seahorse proudly saying "Con Amor". 

Empanada-Making and Wine-Tasting

 After our artistic jobs were complete, we headed back to the hostel for an Argentinian traditional dinner--empanadas. We got a quick empanada-making lesson from Javier (a Milhouse employee and our Argentinian guide), a glass of Malbec, and decided to try our hands as chefs. The empanadas turned our delicious and we even got to make our own dessert. However the night wouldn't be complete without us all sharing a cup of Mate, the traditional yerba tea made famous by Argentina. Exhausted, but excited to explore the city, we decided to make a night of it and headed to a restaurant called 'Jobs' for a tense game of jenga and a few rounds of pool! It was long but exciting day for us, and we couldn't wait to return to Jardín Travesuras to finish up our project. 

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