Saying "Yes" to Life at NPH

Project Assistant at NPH Mexico
August 23, 2016 - Mexico

Katie shopping with teenage girls for graduation outfits.
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Coming to Mexico seven months ago has been the most life changing, challenging and rewarding experience I have ever had. I didn’t realize all that I was saying ‘yes’ to when I accepted the position as a volunteer at our teenagers’ home in Cuernavaca, Mexico, as the Project Assistant.

The day starts with six hours in the office working as the Project Assistant. Our office works with all five of the Mexico homes designing projects of every kind. We oversee the building and overhaul of everyday necessities or larger projects such as waterproofing the homes or building security walls. Once the money has been fundraised, we complete the projects by working with businesses such as construction and various other companies throughout Mexico. One of the things that I love about this aspect of my job is that I am able to learn not only about the culture of Mexican business and construction, but I am also learning business and construction. I also really enjoy having a fair share of projects in our youngest children’s home in Miacatlan. By going to the home for work 2-4 times a month, I have been able to build relationships with the younger children as well as the teenagers in Cuernavaca.

As much as I love my job in Projects, my favorite part of the day is always working with our teenagers. At 2:30 pm, after the kids have gotten out of school I serve them lunch. This is one of the best parts of the day with them. It is hard to see all 150 of our kids every day, but during lunch is usually the one time a day when I get to see all of them, ask them about their day and find out how I can best serve them on that particular day.

Around 5:00 pm, I spend an hour with the kids helping them with homework. Usually I help with English homework because I can barely do Physics or Geometry in English, let alone trying to do explain it in Spanish. After homework we have activities for an hour and a half. As volunteers we partake in one of the many activities such as soccer, basketball, running, volleyball, art, or dance. I think my favorites are art and running because it is a therapeutic time for kids and myself as well. It is a time to continue to hear about their day and what else is going on in their lives.

After activities we serve dinner and finally we say goodnight to the kids. I think out of everything, saying goodnight is my favorite part of the day. You know that feeling when you have had a good day or even a bad day and a hug instantly makes it better? Well, times that by 40-80 hugs when saying goodnight, and that can make any type of day better.

The kids have surpassed what I imagined. They are the best teachers; they say the funniest things and give so much love. It’s not always fun and games, but most nights I walk back up to my apartment and I thank God and NPH for this opportunity.

Katie Theis   
Project Assistant

 

 


 

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