Put a smile on your faceee!

First day of crèche loving today!! Man oh man was everyone excited!! We were all buzzing at breakfast, looking forward to starting the work and meeting all the smiling kids.

Just as we suspected, when we arrived, all the kids were overjoyed to see us. They came piling in by twos and threes to the open gates to play. They climbed on the jungle gym, jumped on the tires, grabbed books to read, and found all the balls and jump ropes to play with as well. We had already split up into two groups, so we got straight into the work.IMG_1474

We are working to repair an old crèche we have worked at previously as well as building a new soup kitchen for them. See, when we are there, we make soup in the morning for the kids and bring it out to the crèche to feed them lunch. While we’re not there, we also provide them with meals so that they don’t go hungry. Some of them are orphans, but even those with families lead a very tough life at home. It is so important that they are fed at least once during the day. With the new soup kitchens at both crèches, we will be able to source food locally and these teachers can cook a meal on site everyday. The new crèche’s soup kitchen is almost complete, which is really exciting! We just need to add the finishing touches on it!

The old crèche is still under way, but the volunteers do every aspect of the building process. We mix the cement, and then have to pack the mixture into a mold and actually make the bricks by hand. Once they are dried, we can use them for the brick lying for the walls. There, we also have to mix the cement together to build the wall. We are also sanding and repainting the entrance because the wood was splitered and the paint was fading. It’s a bit of a fixer upper, but is so necessary to get this crèche back looking fabulous.IMG_1429 IMG_1428 IMG_1435 IMG_1433 IMG_1447IMG_1431IMG_1425

At the newer crèche, like I said, the soup kitchen extension on the classroom is pretty much complete. We are just putting the finishing touches on it and plastering the outside. We are also in the process of building a little tricycle racetrack and a tire pyramid for the kids to play on. We’re preparing to start both of those projects, but it’s taking a bit of weed clearing, sand collecting and tire painting. It’s going to be awesome!IMG_1459 IMG_1467 DSCN4361 DSCN4346 DSCN4340 DSCN0967 DSCN0966 DSCN0964 DSCN0961 DSCN0960 DSCN0959 DSCN0958

They all worked so incredibly hard today on the projects! I’d say it was a very successful and productive first day at the crèches.

This evening, we went on a crocodile and hippo boat cruise. We go around on a tour to check out the local wildlife in St. Lucia. The river flowing through is home to over 800 hippos and 1200 crocodiles. They’re everywhere!! It was crazy to see them all in the water and on the shore. While touring tonight we got an even more special treat. Our token couple (cutest couple ever) had an incredibly memorable moment. Abby’s favorite animal is a hippo and they’ve had a special bond over hippos since they started dating. Therefore, it was the most perfect place for Jourdan to ask her a special question. That’s right, he got down on one knee and proposed!!! His speech was to dye for and had everyone in joyful tears and the look on abby’s face was priceless! She was so surprised and happy at the same time. We are all so incredibly happy for them because they are truly some of the most genuine and sweet people we’ve ever met. We all can’t wait to come to the wedding 😉 ;).DSCN4420DSC_1561DSC_1503DSCN4411DSCN4405DSCN4433 DSC_1590 DSCN4393 DSCN4394 DSCN4395 DSCN4401

That was definitely the peak of the day. With the sunset, the hippos, the kids and the work, it was a memorable day for all of us. We also got a zulu language afterwards where we learned how to greet one another in zulu. We also got our very own zulu names! All of them mean very nice things, and it’s always a cool way to learn about culture through their language. Qbile is our language teacher, and she is too funny. We adore her sense of humor and her lessons. Although, she did give me a zulu name that means troublemaker… Overall, today is definitely one for the books, and we know tomorrow will be just as great!!DSC_0042 DSC_0044 DSC_0050 DSC_0056DSC_0031

Thanks for reading and being patient for these updates!

Until tomorrow all,

Insta-gator Tara

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