Day Off at the Quebrada

Fredy, the night watchman and friend, took us on a walk to a nearby quebrada. A quebrada is a branch of the river where kids play, women wash clothes, and others go to relax and swim. On the way, we encountered groups of playful, laughing kids, unsure if their curiosity or fear of us was stronger. Curiosity won out and they ran over and smiled for the camera. Nathan Schenkman (son of Katherine Kaplan OB/Gyne who volunteers with us annually) a pre-med student from North Carolina and Alicia Stapleton, a 4th year med student from Loyola Chicago were here volunteering and joined us on our walk.

Kids here care for each other. While the adults are out in the fields gathering food, the 11 year old watch 6 and 2 year olds. This little girl waits patiently behind the safety gate- sticks nailed to the wall. Here mother is actually inside cooking lunch and she's just checking out the action on her street. The sparse dirt road with grass on either side carries women with stacks of wood on their head, barefoot kids, pregnant dogs demonstrating public display of affection. It also guides pretty well dressed folks on their way to work at the municipality or hospital.
We passed the children, a big black sand hill with kids rolling down the sides covered in black, an open field, and finally arrived at the quebrada. Kids were swinging on vines and plopping into the water, others were floating on their back letting the current carry them around the many bends of the river. Our dog Wooki was terrified of the water, but none the less had an involuntary bath. The water was cool and refreshing and the sound of crickets, frogs, and birds brought a sense of peace. We are so blessed to have friends like Fredy, Nathan and Alicia and little tranquil places to escape to now and then.

18 July 2012

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