Day 6 of an exceptional journey:
We started the day with a quick trip to the souvenir market. Everyone got back on the bus with bags of goodies to take home. Those goodies ranged from blankets to purses and even a few machetes. We then made our way through traffic to San Martin to tour a children's AIDS home and a facility for special needs adults. Conditions were clean but very basic. The residents welcomed us with smiles, hugs and handshakes. Thought we wished conditions were better, they seemed happy. Good care for persons with special needs and orphans is a struggle no matter how "modern" a society might be - something we need to consider not only overseas but also in our own communities.
We loaded up the buses - one of our group and one of the special needs adults - and headed for a great lunch at Pizza Hut. Between the two groups we must have had over 50 people. This was a special treat for the residents. Then it was off to the zoo. As the leaders gave the instructions to 'pair up' with someone from each group, our group from the states were slow in responding. However, the special needs adults knew the drill. They were the first to go up and take the hand of a new friend. Once everyone was paired up, we had a wonderful time seeing the zoo through the excited eyes of those with special needs.
The late afternoon and evening found some relaxing time at the mission house and enjoying dinner and a rain-cooled evening. Food was prepared and after another birthday celebration, we all headed downstairs to make meals to feed to homeless. Although it is heartbreaking to see some of the conditions that some people live in, they are still thankful for what they have and what they receive. Blessings were given by those giving and receiving as evidenced by a voice in the darkness that proclaimed "Dios te bendiga" (God Bless You) after receiving a meal.