Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Our Weekend at the Painted Turtle

Gloria and Nilton, who are from Paraguay, flew in to California to volunteer at the Painted Turtle's Rheumatic Family Weekend.  Entire families of children who are living with Rheumatic diseases are invited up to camp for a weekend where they can leave all of their worries behind and focus on just enjoying being and playing together as a family.
Gloria and Nilton are going to start similar family programs in Paraguay this fall, so in addition to volunteering, they were there to soak up every piece of information they could so that they can go back to Paraguay and implement it.  They got to talk to the leadership of the program and pepper them with all of their questions.  This is G, N & I with the Painted Turtle Camp Director!

I was there to translate for them and to be a liaison... but in the end, I think I ended up having the most fun of anyone!  I was so so so happy to be there with these wonderful people!  It was incredible to get to spend time with the families and just focus on them rather than worry about running the program.  I was just about ready to retire and just become a permanent camp counselor.
We met so many of the most amazing, giving people - people who volunteer their time EVERY WEEKEND to bring these special experiences to children living with illness and their families.  It was truly inspiring to get to spend time with the other volunteers and remember that there are such beautiful people out there.
Thank you thank you thank you to everyone there who made this such a magical, educational and inspiring weekend - Gloria and Nilton left full of ideas and excitement, and I left refreshed and rejuvenized about why we do what we do.  Just amazing!

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