Upon our arrival at the February 14th School, we were greeted by an amazing group of adults working for Batuta, as well as by Sister Amparo, head of the school where Batuta has its musical center. The boxes were opened and the donations were sorted by age and size. Meanwhile, all the children awaiting their new clothes for Christmas celebrated the day's events by enjoying refreshments and snacks donated by a local entity. The donations were then handed out to the children all of whom were overwhelmed with excitement and gratefulness, and as a result they each shared a little bit of themselves with us.

Memorable Experiences. Anthony: "One of the most memorable experiences for me was the moment when I helped a little girl, about 5 years old; find the right fitting shoes for her. Once she found a comfortable pair, she began looking at women's shoes. I remember thinking that she was looking for a gift for her mom, and when I offered to help find some for her, she responded by saying she didn't have one. I felt incredibly stunned that a girl much younger than me had already lost one of the most important people in her life."

Yasmine: "After teaching some girls the Hula Hoop, I sat down to watch them practice. All of a sudden, two little girls came to thank me for the performance. I responded by saying "it was my pleasure." By the time they offered me a gift, I was already deeply touched. Smiling broadly, each then handed me one bar of chocolate, which I was earlier told they receive only once a year. I thanked them for their generosity but told them it would be more rewarding if they enjoyed it. They refused and placed it in my hand. I will never forget that moment, not because of the chocolate but because of the action."

Anthony: "I think all of us definitely remember the sight of a little boy who received a pair of soccer cleats. He was so excited by the gift, that he kissed them and held them tight to his chest the whole time, only briefly releasing his grip to show them off to his friends."

As the day's events came to a close, we had an unforgettable adventure as the rain started coming down really hard. We were asked to leave immediately, without much of an explanation. As we drove off, our driver explained that the dirt roads full of ditches disappear under the rain, making it impossible to leave due to major flooding. A few miles down the road the flooding was well underway and water made its way into the floor of our vehicle, making it really difficult to leave. We made it out just in time. We have many fond memories of this life changing experience, and little did we know that it marked the beginning of Yasmanth and the project Children Helping Children.



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