Top 10 Memories of 2018 at NPH Bolivia
Last year was full of laughter and accomplishments at NPH Bolivia. Here are some of our favorite moments.
January 7, 2019 - Bolivia
1) Sunny Pool Excursion: Our children love the twice-yearly group expedition to a nearby aquatic park. Splashing around in the cool water is a great way for them to have fun. And more kids learn to swim each year.
2) Primary School Gains Autonomy: In August 2018 NPH Bolivia’s on-campus primary school received an administrative resolution to function as an autonomous and independent school. Gaining independence from the Ministry of Education was a long and arduous process, but worthwhile given the many benefits to the functioning of the school. Our school will still continue to operate under the auspices of the national government, but the facility now has the flexibility to offer specialized tutoring and assistance to children who need extra help in certain areas. For example, we have hired a highly qualified English teacher and a skilled music teacher, which helps our 61 students be more creative and broaden their educational opportunities. Long term, we anticipate these changes will allow us to better meet each student’s individual needs and to improve grades overall across the school.
3) Celebrating Carnival: Lent, the 40 days that precede Easter, is an important season of prayer and reflection in the religious calendar. The period leading up to Lent is known as carnival. It’s a time for fun and community celebration. For three full days, Bolivians take a break from work to make traditional foods; perform cultural dances; and participate in parades, festivals, and games. Carnival is a big event in Bolivia and an important part of our culture.
4) Volunteer Appreciation: Every six months NPH Bolivia is blessed with new yearlong volunteers from all around the world. Volunteers are important because they bring advanced education and professional experience to important roles in our home. Some of these skills are difficult to find locally. Their commitment to at least one year with us helps them to form enduring and meaningful relationships with our children. Global volunteers always bring something new to our home. Whether it be dances, languages, or simply new perspectives, their contributions help widen our children’s understanding of the world.
5) Our Self-Sustaining Farm: Our on-site farm provides fresh vegetables and meat daily and gives our children firsthand experience with animal husbandry. Our kids not only learn how to care for crops and animals, but they also see how we rely on them to survive. Common events like the birth of piglets take on new meaning. The kids’ excitement and awe are contagious!
6) Top-Tier Dental Hygiene: In 2018 NPH Bolivia welcomed several visitors as part of a medical brigade from the Netherlands. We are very grateful, as are all of our children, to receive full dental checkups. Our visitors also spent time educating the children about prevention: how to clean their teeth, when to brush, and how to spot the signs of tooth decay. Our children receive regular dental exams from our local team, however, this international visit was a fun opportunity to provide additional support to our internal staff and teach the children about dental health from a new perspective.
7) Celebrating Our Anniversary: We celebrated 13 years of operation with a huge buffet-style breakfast and mass, traditional games, friendly competitions, and a big barbecue in the afternoon. It was an important and meaningful moment for everyone to take a break from work, enjoy time with each other, and reflect on our mission as a family for all children.
8) Day of the Child: On this day our home recognizes all that our children have overcome and celebrates their potential to accomplish their dreams. There was no better way to celebrate their accomplishments than with lots of games, cake, and dancing.
9) Winter Vacation: Five Spanish Scouts came to our home last year to run activities with the children. The fun included everything from dodge ball and reading to theatre and dancing. According to many, it was their “best vacation ever!”
10) Strengthening Our Faith: In July, our home received a new volunteer dedicated to teaching the Catholic faith. Our children attend religious education classes in school, however, there are few options for extracurricular study and activities that dive deeper into their beliefs. Our volunteer Julie brings a new strength to NPH Bolivia’s spiritual growth through weekly reflections and workshops held with our children in the evenings after school.