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April 22, 2007

8th time: Chillin w/ the kids

The play area this past Friday was a bit empty. There were two kids I hung out with the majority of the time I was there. They were two boys; one was three and the other around four or five. They were real cool cats and real enthusiastic about everything we did. They were constantly yelling “Zach watch this� or “Zach come check this out� and that type of thing which kept me busy.
A while later another boy came in named Donovan who was eight and I could tell he had been to the play area quite a bit since he knew where everything was. He was a real good kid and well behaved so it was fun just talking to him and shooting some hoops. We stayed outside most of the time I was there because it was a hot sunny day. Talking to Donovan made me realize that it must be tough for him to keep going in and out of the hospital for his brother. He was a trooper about it though and seemed to handle the situation pretty well for an eight year old. Knowing how long some of the siblings are in the hospital visiting really can hit home in a sense because it means that their siblings are usually very sick. As I see the same faces week after week, I realize that it must be very difficult for the families as they spend extended periods of time in the hospital. Donovan kept telling me he wished I was going to be there the next day cuz he would be back and wanted to hang out again. Knowing this kind of thing makes volunteering a very rewarding thing for me and keeps me wanting to come back and help out week after week.

April 16, 2007

# 7: gettin' my butt whooped

When I got to the hospital, I signed in and talked to Ben for a bit in the volunteer office. He got a phone call asking if anyone could deliver a gift to a boy upstairs. I said I’d go, so I went to the gift shop and got the gift. It was a bag with a bunch of balloons attached. So I took it up to the boy’s room on the 6th floor. It was kinda interesting taking a handful of balloons up in the elevator with like 5 other people in there. Once I got to the room, it was just the boy by himself. He was probably around 11 or 12 and seemed like a real normal kid. I talked to him for a little and gave him his gift bag and balloons.
When I got back down to the play area, I recognized a handful of the kids that have been there past weeks. I ended up outside for a majority of the time because it was pretty nice out. I spent sometime with a boy named Jamie playing basketball and different games. Another girl kept calling me to go on the teeter totter every 2 minutes so needless to say I’m a professional teeter totter now. I also spent time two sisters and they’re little brother. The girls had lots to talk about and they’re little brother who couldn’t really talk yet just liked cruising around in his fisher price car. One of the girls started telling me about the karate lessons she takes and started karate chopping me. Then it didn’t help that about 3 other kids thought it would be fun to start karate chopping me and gettin’ me with all sorts of Bruce Lee cross kicks and stuff. So basically I got my but kicked by a ton of little tykes. And yea, one was a girl. So I left that day with one life lesson: don’t play ruff with kids if they know karate… you just cant win.

April 7, 2007

6th time: buzzzy day with the kids

Today was a very hectic day in the play area. I walked in and there were around 10 or 12 kids there. Charles wasn’t there either but another woman named Amy was there filling in. I started the day by spending time with two Somalia brothers who were pretty excited to have me there wanting to hang out with them. We played with cars for a while and raced them around the course we made up. After that they decided to play some video games. Amy had her hands full most of the day so I had to take on some extra responsibility which I thought was pretty cool. I ended up checking in all the kids who came in, answering phone calls, changing video games around, and just making sure things went smoothly. I enjoyed these extra jobs because it made me feel like I was helping out a lot more than just hangin’ with the kids every time. The whole day I had my hands full with one thing or another trying to spend time with each child who stopped in. Overall, it ended up being very busy but very exciting at the same time as each child was enthusiastic about having me there to spend time with them. Spending time with these kids really made me look back on my own childhood as we talked about things like ninja turtles and the coolest video games on Nintendo. The kids are always so willing to talk about anything on their mind which always keeps the volunteer experiences interesting and fun. Sometimes I just wish I could be a kid again and worry about nothing but what toy to play with.

5th time: she speaks spanish?

This past week at the hospital wasn’t too bad but wasn’t toooo exciting either because there weren’t many kids that day. There were only two kids in the play area when I showed up but they were pretty cool cats. I started by putting together a few puzzles with one girl which was pretty fun because she got pretty excited when we finally finished each puzzle. The finding nemo puzzle was tuff stuff even for me but she handled it pretty well and taught me a few things about puzzles too. After that I began to spend time with a girl who spoke mainly Spanish and little English. It was quite interesting as I had to pretend to be fluent in Spanish at times and think back to Mexico vacation and try to understand bits and pieces of what she was saying. Unfortunately all I learned in Mexico was how to order coronas from Pablo the greatest bartender in all of Mexico. In all seriousness though she was a very nice girl and we had a fun time playing with Polly pockets. Then a boy came in who I recognized from earlier weeks named Eli. We played a few video games together and somehow he managed to beat me every time. Let me just say… kid was skilled. Anyway, before I knew it, it was time to jet so I helped clean up and I was out.