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Aiden’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 14 Jun 2006

Location: Posadas, Argentina

MapWell guys and girls it is almost at the end of my placement.
Well, actually its the last day tomorrow, and though the days were early and the work was a little mundane, the smiles from the children and co workers makes it all worthwhile.
I have not talked about my workings very much at all. Entonces, i will give you a bit of an explination and so forth.
The nursey is called Corazon de Maria, and it is there to help parents who have to work in the mornings, cant afford to feed there children and also who just need a break from them!! (Which i can understand.) All the people who work there are volunteers themselves. We consist of Nellida, Nellise, Nelllise, (yes there are two, its not a typo-), Vinnie, Nancy, Naomi, Susana, Paula and the chef Mingo.
After working for a week you completely forget how different financially we are. They are the nicest people and they definitely make the nursey at fun place to work. I have been to Paulas home, with her granddaughter Tatiana.... I was completely shocked at the place they lived. Working with Paula and Tatiana, and chatting to them, you just assume that they are the same as you. The front door isnt there, and the house is made of morter... but I think that is pretty standard.
They live in a neighrhood where children and random stray dogs rule. Cars are a definitely luxury and the bus is the form of transport.
When you go into the nursey, it seems very normal, but when you get to the nuts and bolts, after first impression, things that are now normal for me, which would shock you all i think.
There is no hot water, period. This means that all dishes, pots and pans which are used everyday are washed in cold water. (I can see Rula and Mum cringing right now.)
Actually, a few days ago all water to the nursey was off due to a cracked pipe and all water had to be obtained from outside the nursey.... lots of carrying.
The cold water are placed into buckets in the sink in order to save water. Also all the pots and pans except one, would definitely be found at a garbage tip in the industrial estate out the back of Brisbane.
The food that is made for the children are donated by some organised farm distributers.... i didnt really understand when they were explaining it to me. Now, whatever is leftover after the days cooking, is given to us at work. I think this is where the ´perk´ of this volunteer work is. There is a unwritten rule where if you dont work hard, you dont get food to eat or take home.... so, otherwise I dont know how these volunteers survive. The food is alright... ok, I dont eat it, but if I was really really really hungry, i would.
The director of the nursey was saying that this is often the only food that they get in the day and so they often eat so much they throw up. Not good to hear, or clean up.
I was also helping out in the garden where Paula and I went to work with the local vegetation... ie chopped the hell out of it!!
Though this was fun, what we did with the clippings and branches was a little surprising. After cleaning up the front and the back of the nursey, we had quite a lot of off cuts to dispose of up the back just past the swings. Yes, I was a little surprised when Paula casually lit up the clippings and fed the fire with dried grass until and full blaze was occurring a good 3 metres from the children. MMmmm... ok, it is a little strange throwing all clippings on the fire, and them trying to stop 23, 2 year old kids from doing the same, let alone in a residencial area..... now I know why the air is so smokie all the time!
Un poco extraño.
Im not sure Anna-banana, but im not sure if thats allowed in Oz?? Correct me if im wrong.
We are often working in the dark because having the lights on all day increases the electric bill, the toilet needed to be flushed by putting your hands in top and fiddling with something to make it flush, (no sorry, not doing that). The toys they have are far from transformers and even barbie dolls and are all broken. They are all toys that have been discarded by other families, and if my mum picked it up of the floor, it would be in the bin.
The people of Posadas are definitely not english speakers. Portugese is definitley the language of choice. Though, i think it is fair enough. Not many people here will even se the amount of money it costs to go to Oz, but Brasil is a drive away. In saying that, i did think that they would know more about Oz. I have been asked twice what language we speak in Oz... mmmm.. damn, maybe Australia isnt famous.
However, now after being there for a while, I am use to being the different one and now I know what it feels like to be an absolute outcast and not understanding all the jokes being said about you on the table. And you know what? I really dont care.
I now have a lot more compasion for those that dont speak english and come to Oz.
I am very happy with my placement there in the nursey and wouldnt change it for the world. The people made it so good, and they are wonderful characters.... i wish could have understod them more. Today, they threw Rach and I a little feast with pizza, empanadas, and beer..... as well as cake. We all sat around laughing our heads off, whether it was at me, or about me, I dont know, I dont care, and I will miss them all the more.
BIGS HUGS AND KISSES, as my time in Posadas comes to an end.
THANK YOU TASH FOR THE PICTURES!! AS WELL AS CLARE, LERI, RACH, FI, EMILY.
yeh.... ummm.. they arent up yet. Sorry, hang tight until Brasil.