Kidding Around Centro Esperanza!

Hello Wonderful Listeners! ๐Ÿ™‚

Today has been an especially great day! ๐Ÿ™‚ Can’t you tell by all of the smiling I’m doing? ๐Ÿ™‚ I just can’t smile enough! ๐Ÿ˜€

OK. But seriously, today was awesome. I had the pleasure of volunteering my time once again! If you ready my post yesterday, you’d know that I did some volunteer work too! I decided that doing some community service (not because I’m a felon) would be great for me in many ways.

I had the absolute pleasure of entertaining some kids today. Now, I love kids. Kids are cool and they’re fun and they give you some type of real interaction if you let them. But before I go too far, let me start from the beginning.

I woke up once again at about 7:30 AM so I could get to campus at 8:30 AM. It just so happened to be foggy today so I was not prepared clothing wise to get wet but it happened. I got to carpool with Beverly instead of Nicole. Beverly’s cool. She’s real chill had no problem sparking conversation. Right up my alley!

Well, we carpooled all the way to the volunteer site and I can’t deny, I felt it was a bit sketchy. Lots of rundown and low-income homes for miles. Still, I tried not to judge it because I know good people can live anywhere.

Well, we got there at about 8:50 AM and met up with a nice lady who runs the local neighborhood community center. This center, called Centro Esperanza, is where people gather to receive help, daycare, food, you name it. I didn’t happen to catch this wonderful lady’s name but I doย believe it was Evelyn. (I’m going to refer to her as that anyway.)

Evelyn has been the treasurer for this center since the lasted 80’s. She has been helping to run the center for a very long time and has lived in the neighborhood even longer. She was chock full of history about this neighborhood! (I ended up receiving a history lesson because for about an hour, only the volunteers were present at the site. No one from the neighborhood has shown up yet.)

I can’t recall all of the information she said but the neighborhood underwent so many changes since the 90’s. It apparently used to be very gang heavy but that has died down significantly. It used to be private but it’s now a county neighborhood so the police can patrol the streets! (Listening to all this made me grateful that I know I wouldn’t be shot.)

She went even deeper though. She told me about all of the generations of Hispanic families that lived in the area. Almost, if not, up to four generations were all living in this neighborhood. It’s incredible how much this little place had so much background that I would never have known about otherwise.

Outside of the history lesson, she also went on about her own life. I could tell from how she rambled that she really wanted someone to be around. She just wanted to chat it up and I had no problem doing that. Honestly, she had me captivated.

After that whole spiel, the kids started showing up. And boy, they were ready to have some fun! Honestly, the first car pulled up and out stepped two boys: Sergio and Elvis. I believe they were siblings but Sergio was the older of the two. Both of them were so well-behaved and I couldn’t help but adore how, well, kiddish they were.

Then not too long there after, Jonathon and Peter showed up. I believe they are related too but I’m not sure if they’re siblings; maybe cousins perhaps? Anyway, we ended up playing soccer pretty much the whole time we were there. Even though these kids (minus Peter) were like in the 5th grade, they could play!

Seriously! I might have gotten a bit too competitive in the fluster of play. But I had loads of fun! I haven’t had this much fun doing an outdoor activity in quite some time. Honestly, while I showed up with a bunch of volunteers from my school, I was more intrigued by the kids. They wereย a lot more approachable than my colleagues. :/

The games were intense I tell you! (Ah! If only I had my camera with me today!) I ended up getting drenched with all of the water on the ground. My clothes, shoes, and socks were soggy potatoes. Eww. But I was having so much fun that it didn’t matter!ย Like, I even had the chance to pull some trick shots! ๐Ÿ˜‰ (Well, about as tricky as I can get with my minute skill.)

At about 11:30 AM, we took a lunch break. The sun began to come out and the heat came with it. I live in Texas so you might be able to imagine how hot it got all of a sudden. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ One of my colleagues, Ami, was nice enough to share her snacks with me. Honestly, I was trying to be humble but I was also hungry so I just took ’em. ๐Ÿ˜›

Before we were all able to get back into the game, more kids showed up. They were little ones, probably about three or four years old. They had spunk but I was more happy with seeing them run around and explore the world. I’m a sap like that. ๐Ÿ˜›

With all of this commotion going on, I kinda felt like taking a break. So I say with Jonathon, Elvis, Peter and Sergio to talk with them.

Peter was a cool guy. Clearly he was older because he had tattoos, some dental concerns, and wrinkles. (I know that wrinkles are a weird one to point out but they can give away your age.) Funny enough, we got along without having to say much, mostly because he couldn’t talk all that well. I’m not sure if he just had slurred speech or if he had some other handicap. Regardless, he was quite a joyful person!

Elvis & Sergio, oh my goodness. Those boys are like two peas in a pod! They seriously did not like being separated. Elvis was the spunkier of two though. He wasย really outspoken and I can tell he’ll go a long way with his personality. He’s the perfect mix of “let’s go on an adventure!” and “make sure everyone gets a say”. Sergio was much quieter. Still an active kid but much quieter.

Now, Jonathon, well, I can’t help but admit that I bonded to that little prankster. ๐Ÿ™‚ Well, he’s not a prankster but he’s incredibly active and isย always looking to goof off. You can tell he’s the class clown. I don’t know much about him but he has been playing football for six years and counting. Honestly, he’s good. He’s got moves, I’ll admit.

Something that made me a bit more close to him was having to help him with a bad knee. He actually took a helmet to it and his muscle has been strained ever since. Poor guy. Anyway, he asked me to massage his knee and I hesitantly obliged. His knee was too bad but it definitely was swollen. I massaged, compressed and iced it for a little while. I could tell it was painful but he felt much better afterwards. He even thanked me for helping him. How about that? ๐Ÿ™‚

After all of this, we got back to playing some more games. We played a bit of football (two-hand touch) and some more soccer. We were actually playing all the way up until we had to leave. We were all havingย WAY too much fun.

Before we left though, we took a group picture. I am sad to say that I don’t have it but I’m sure it was a nice one. On the way to the car, Jonathon and Elvis came up to me to talk. Elvis just wanted to say he enjoyed playing with me and that I was a good soccer player. (Even though it’s a compliment from a kid, I’ll take it!)

Jonathon got to my heart a little bit more. He said the same thing as Elvis but he asked me to come back and play with him again if I could. Aww. ๐Ÿ™‚ Theย kidย liked having me around. I told him that I can’t promise I’ll be back but that I will try to come back if I can. Honestly, not sure if I will but I would like to see him again. He was honestly an entertaining and like-able kid.

But with my heart on my sleeve, I left and bid everyone a farewell. By the time I got home, I took a shower to get the soggy potato off and then took a nap. (Who would’ve guessed?) And that marked the end of my volunteer time.

Such events are always pleasing. I know I made some good memories today and I’ll look back on them fondly. If I happen to run into those kids again, I’ll let you know! But with all of that being said, I’m gonna go now.

Until the next time, cheers!

Do you like kids? If you had to play a sport with kids, what would it be? Leave all your thoughts below!


8 thoughts on “Kidding Around Centro Esperanza!

  1. Sounds like you had a busy, fun filled day. ๐Ÿ˜Š In the winter time, it is always great to take the kids sledding down the hills. Helps to tire them out. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Not too sure what we will do this summer…

    Liked by 1 person

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