They call me Gringo.

To be fair, it’s not like I know their names either. Day one of the orphanage is complete. I do seem to base some of my expectations off of classic literature or movies or Broadway plays it seems. I’m not entirely sure what version of Oliver I base the idea of an orphanage off of so I wanted to make sure I covered all the paces. The word just seems cruel, it seems bleak, it seems harsh. I did expect to see me boys and girls of all ages lining up to be served gruel (or porridge) and then maybe dance on the tables and sing about stealing stuff, but doing so in raggedy, raggedy clothes. That was not the case. Which is okay because even if they did spontaneously burst into song it would definitely be in Spanish and I’d still find it quite appealing but a little part of me would be like, “Can I at least get subtitles or an interpreter? “before I bought another ticket to the show. What I’m trying to say is that it was a pretty good first day. The staff here might have made it out to be more of a horror show than it was as well, but I don’t think you can fully know what to expect out of these situations. If they aren’t orphans, they’re people separated from my families by social services due to some form of abuse or neglect that stemmed from the parent. It’s a bad situation for everyone involved, and you really do wish the best for the kids, especially once you’ve met them. One might assume kids that are living in these unfortunate circumstances might be a bit somber, deflated, and melancholy but they embody such joy and passion that it really is a delight to see. Plus, once again I’m a white giant. Who is now literally called a name that just means White Person. Gringo I am! We’ll see if it morphs into something badass like Hans but so far I’m just that tall white guy. It is nice to know that I’ll have a partner starting tomorrow and for the rest of my stay, along with another woman staying for at least two weeks I reckon. These kids are just like they were injected with adrenaline straight into their heart before I arrive. It’s insane. They’re insane. But it’s good. It’s good. It’s just a little more kids than I’m used to and more control than I’m even used to. By control I mean, the “Tias” leave me alone in a relatively big area with them and then seem to piddle paddle along on their phones. I believe there are four women there but at most I had two watching the kids with me, and for the majority of the time it was one or less. Which is fine, it’s just a bit difficult for one person to handle especially when it’s just you and fifteen children spanning a range of fifteen years and you’re not entirely sure how to communicate with any single one of them. Still. First day! I got it done. I believe they enjoy me. Even if it’s just for the fact that I can lift them up to where they touch the ceiling then that’s enough. At least it’s a good way to start off bonding. They finally get to experience being tall and they think I’m super strong in the process. I will never tire from small children think I’m the next Arnold Schwarnandzkahkadadwsudaeger. Eventually I’ll learn my names. Eventually I’ll learn theirs. Eventually tears will be shed when their favorite gringo has to leave. I just got a ways off before any of that happens. Until then, I’m just going to be an enjoyable presence in their life. So it goes.

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