This blog is about getting around to things and not procrastinating anymore. The Round Tuit that a good friend gave me sits on the reception desk in Instituto Estelar Bilingüe as a constant reminder that there is no better time than today to put ideas into action.
For a long time, I have thought about visiting a rest home (hogar de ancianos). When I was younger, I went frequently with a church outreach program, and I always liked it. I know that I am not alone in wanting to reach out to these people who are often very alone and bored. Some never receive visitors.
So after some planning and organizing, Estelar’s Grandparent Club (Club de Abuelos) has finally been launched. Many Estelar students have expressed interest in participating in the weekly visits to Liberia’s rest home, a short walk from the school, but for various reasons only the receptionist and I realized the first visit yesterday afternoon.
It was a very rewarding experience! We chatted, smiled, and laughed a lot with three men who were visibly grateful for our visit. Before we knew it, an hour had gone by! We told them we would be back next week.
We were fortunate to meet the director of activities who was extremely friendly and excited about our visit. She explained that before her recent arrival, there were no activities for the thirty residents. They simply sat around all day, waiting for meal time, visiting time, and sleeping time. Having worked in rest homes in the States, she is trying to incorporate a wide variety of activities to “bring out the talent” in the residents. She is looking for volunteers to help lead fun activities, like painting, learning basic English, singing, and making crafts.
Look no further, I told her. Instituto Estelar Bilingüe’s current and future students and staff are going to get involved!