This afternoon I met up with Kimberly at the Salomón Klein orphanage. She was an associate with Holy Cross in Portland a few years back; now she’s living in Cochabamba and working with an orphanage network. A few weeks ago she got in touch with Roy, Caitlin, and me and had us over for dinner. Today I met her to borrow a new book, The World Is Flat by Thomas Friedman. I was excited about reading it because I heard an interesting interview with Freedman on NPR over the summer.
I got to the orphanage at 4:00pm, which is one of the times that they feed the babies. (Sadly, five new babies have arrived just in the time I’ve been here in Cochabamba. Guadalupe and Maria Ana are two recent arrivals. They’re identical twin girls born November 17. You can look at when I wrote this and do the math yourself.) Since I was around, I thought I would lend an inexperienced hand. My first two babies went pretty well. They were generally cooperative and I had the chance to practice some Spanish phrases that I don’t normally use: “You should open your mouth like this,” “No—less food on your face, more in your stomach,” and “Don’t cry.” I regret to say that I also lied to the infants. “Look at how tasty this looks!” I would eat their creamed potato goop if you paid me, but only then. I was doing O.K. with baby #3, but all of a sudden she decided to empty the contents of her stomach on me. I was pretty surprised by how much was in there. No matter—I changed her clothes and fed one more baby. Between the five volunteers, we fed the twenty or so kids in a little less than an hour.
At the end, I returned home with the book and jeans that needed a little wash.