May at Clara Luna by Will Coley

image1 This month we celebrated the anniversary of Clara Luna, Paola can’t remember which possibly 6 years, with a tapas night, the food was nearly as varied as the month we’ve just had!

The house has been busy with new volunteers, with a particularly French feel, firstly with couple Matthieu and Julie, then Ava and Charles – adding further to my confusion between French and Spanish! Other changes include the arrival of Lilly from the USA, me (Will) from the sunny UK and the departure of veteran volunteer Jordan.

Lessons continue strongly, with our newest student Michael (12) image2making great progress, already having learnt many verbs, topics and now starting to use these in the future tense! Whilst over at the Centro de Salud, lessons with the doctors continue with hilarity and are great fun, with self proclaimed ‘super chica’ Maria and ever keen Leonardo, who mistakenly said he was ‘shitting in a chair’. The lessons are going from strength to strength, now moving beyond just the present tense and with the occasional drop in of a curious paramedic or nurse.

image3Over at the foundation the French have brought a great deal of variety of activities, including a trip to the lagoon at Agua Blanc, a beauty day with Julie and cooking with French cook Charles. Not forgetting Ava who commits a great deal of time and energy to all those at the foundation. Meanwhile Brayden continues to see patients everyday, in and around Puerto Lopez, with notable progress being made.

image4Club de Niños is as ever wonderfully chaotic with up to 40 excitable kids we’ve been kept on our toes! There have been welcome moments of calm instigated by creative art activities lead by Lilly, successfully making masks out of egg boxes, however paper mache was a little less successful and altogether more sticky! The children also made cards, and performed Clara Luna composed song ‘Mi Ma ma Mi Ama’ for mother’s day.

One of the highlights of the month was the visit of the students from America, there trip included the running of activities at a local school, the performance of Little Red Riding Hood puppet show and Maria’s largest ever class! A special note to Maria who continues to troop on with up to 4 hours of lessons a day and whom we all love! The Americans also kindly donated books and art supplies – Thanks!

image5-2Life in Clara Luna was a little shaken by the onset of Chikungunya which at one point infected 5 out of the 7 volunteers and lead to group trips to the Centro de Salud but which now has just become a running house joke! In better news, our weekends have been very memorable and varied with activities including private boat trips, Agua Blanca, Montinita, Isla de la Plata and many group dinners, including one for Matthieu’s birthday – Feliz Cumpleanos!

All in all it has been a very successful and rewarding month at Clara Luna, I will miss it greatly but I’m sure all the volunteers and Paola will continue their fantastic work.