Paraguay - Rain, Rain Go Away!

On Wednesday, which was Ash Wednesday, we started under grey and threatening skies.
We arrived at the Centre, and we were surprised by a nutritionist and local public health speaker who had come to do height and weight assessments for the children. They gathered the children and did a presentation about mosquito borne illnesses, such as yellow fever and Dengue Fever, which are endemic in the region, although malaria is not.

The health workers demonstrated how they do height and weight assessments for the children. When they began about a year ago, about 50% of the children were not a healthy weight. Now 70% are, with only 10% presenting as underweight.
A volunteer demonstrates how her weight is measured and tracked.

At the Centre, the children receive a healthy lunch and snacks everyday. The menu has been created in consultation with the nutritionist. At home, the children cannot have as high-quality a diet because fresh foods, fruits and vegetables, are more expensive than corn-based products.

Beans! Yum!

The cook at the Centre is Daisy. She volunteers her time, and her daughter, Mistica, is a daily attendee. Daisy works hard every day to create meals for 50 children that are balanced and kid friendly. No easy task!
Daisy is committed to nutritious, delicious meals.

 Unfortunately high winds and rain changed our outdoor activity  plans and moved us indoors... no gardening to be done today! There was so much rain that the playing field began to flood so Kent and Glenn sent to work on a moat for a drainage system to keep the water out of the playing field. Meanwhile, during the home visits, some of our team got a surprise swimming lesson.
Sr Kamila braves the "river."

 The mission team rounded out the evening by attending Ash Wednesday Mass in the local Parish. We were all astonished at how full the church was. There were many people who had to stand outside.
 The parish priest is an effervescent personality and clearly a strong leader of his flock, especially the children.