July at Clara Luna

The month of July for Clara Luna was one of great change and excitement. We celebrated and commiserated the departure of Matheiu, Julie and Ava, our 3 French friends, as well as the always-enthusiastic Will, and the generous soul of Lilly, all of whom shared their own unique character and flavour with Clara Luna over the course of the previous month. But as is always the way at the volunteer house, the departure of one group of great people just makes room for the next, and we welcomed with open arms Romeo and Caroline, a couple of British and Dutch heritage respectively and both settled in fast and comfortable.
The beginning of the month had the Clara Luna household preparing gifts, games, and a party to celebrate the Día del Niño, or Children’s Day, on one wonderfully chaotic Friday afternoon Club de Niños, and our efforts resulted in an afternoon enjoyed by the volunteers just as much, if not more than the children we were preparing for. Musical chairs, musical statues, pass-the-parcel, and banana cake were the order of the day, as well as smiles shared all around.

A few weeks earlier some of the volunteers had a chance encounterwith a local political figure in the process of promoting the Día del Medio Ambiente or Day of the Environment for the region. The excited conversation that followed resulted in all the Clara Luna volunteers being invited to join forces with another local foundation to aid in the planting of several dozen trees native to the Puerto Lopez area in the area surrounding the town bus station. This was an opportunity to socialise and get to know some of the community figures, as well as a chance to help increase awareness of the impact, both good and bad that people can have on their environment in the local community.
Outside “officially sanctioned” Clara Luna activity, a few of the volunteers banded together for a weekend’s celebration in nearby surf-party town, Montañita. The details of said weekend were hazy at best, but suffice to say was and enjoyable and team-building experience for everyone involved. In other good news, the Chikungunya epidemic that took it’s toll onthe majority of volunteers faded away into an inside joke, and a light-hearted warning for all the new arrivals.

At the foundation, home visits continued on their course with significant improvements being made by several patients, but more importantly, the entire community begun its preparation for the town Paralympics to be held in the month of July. The dayis the brainchild of our beautiful and fearless leader, Paola, and is the talk of all the patients and their family’s both in and outside of official ‘treatment time’.

That about sums up the previous 4 weeks at the Clara Luna School, but it would be remiss of me not to mention the birthday of our amazing leader and friend, Paola, which, in true Paola fashion, we celebrated with a night of tapas and sangria on the balcony of the volunteer household. Happy 25th birthday Paola 😉