People Who Love and Appreciate You Unconditionally
My girls show me to live in the moment and the power of family bonds.
February 23, 2016 - Mexico
Jaclyn Sisto is from Portland, Oregon, U.S.A.
She is volunteering in Miacatlán, Mexico, as an encargada (a caregiver), looking after the young girls. She also works in the primary school as a special-education teacher's assistant, an English teacher and a violin teacher.
Q: What do you look forward to when you go to spend time with your kids?
A: My kids have incredible imaginations and energy. I love spending time with them because there's never a dull moment when I'm with them.
Q: What do you do when you spend time with them?
A: Some days I do homework, and on other days I might checkup on chores in the garden or if their clothes are washed. My kids love to dance, and so sometimes we will have dance parties in the living room. Other times we visit the granja (farm) to see the animals, or go walking in the campo (field). They have incredible imaginations so almost anything can turn into a game or something fun to do. They like teaching me how to braid their hair or make mud pies.
Q: Do you help them get up in the morning or go to bed?
A: I help with bedtime because of my work schedule, and it's one of my favorite times to have with them.
Q: Do you help them with their school work?
A: Depending on my work schedule, yes. We also do reading every night and math exercises on the weekends. I really appreciate the emphasis my empleada Laura puts on the girl's education. (We call the employees we work alongside with empleadas. She's more like my boss and the official engargada of the section.)
Q: What is your favorite part about the day?
A: My favorite part of the day is probably bedtime because we read together before they go to sleep. It's rewarding to see their reading skills grow and see them be more curious and engaged in the world. I also love tucking them in. It gives me a chance to say goodnight to them individually. Sometimes I play them songs on my violin, which is also one of my favorite things to do.
Q: What are you thankful for from your experience so far at NPH?
A: I'm so thankful for the life lessons I have learned during my time at NPH. My girls have taught me patience and unconditional love. It's not always easy to take care of eighteen girls who range in ages from five- to eight-year-old, but I have learned to not sweat the little stuff. I am a much calmer and relaxed person now. My girls show me every day to live in the moment and appreciate the little things in life.
Q: How is NPH family? Do you feel part of the family?
A: NPH is family because we are bonded through shared experiences. The volunteers I have met during my time here are beautiful, selfless people who have been an incredible support system for me during hard times. My girls have embraced me with open arms since my first day, regardless of language or cultural barriers that we might have had. My NPH family has truly shown me that family is not just by blood, but the people who love and appreciate you for who you are regardless of where you come from.
Oksana Lypowecky, Communications officer
and Jaclyn Sisto, Caregiver/teacher