Orphans Mary and Joseph - Live nativity play
Kindness

Yuletide at the Olon Orphanage #AtoZChallenge

The joy of brightening other lives, bearing each others’ burdens, easing others’ loads and supplanting empty hearts and lives with generous gifts becomes for us the magic of the holidays. — W. C. Jones

December 24 is my favorite day of the year. I spend it at the Fundación Santa Maria de la Esperanza Orphanage, or Olon Orphanage, as it is called.  The children give a performance for donors and volunteers who have assisted them throughout the year. It is their beautiful way of saying thank you.

Here are some highlights from the 2016 performance.

 

Nativity Reenactment

Mary and Joseph, Olon Orphanage, Ecuador
Mary and Joseph, seeking accommodation

Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus visited by shepherds
Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus are visited by shepherds

Dance

Dancers perform beautiful synchronized routines in outfits that are reused each year.
Synchronized dance routine by orphanage girls, Ecuador
Synchronized dance routine

Concert

A new addition to the performance in 2016 was a concert by the children! Musical instruments are being donated and expats who live nearby are giving lessons. A lot of practice preceded this day, the girls’ first public concert.

 

Concert by orphanage teens
First ever concert for these budding musicians
(accompanied by some of their music teachers, standing)

Gifts

After the incredible performances, each child receives a backpack filled with gifts. The backpacks are unique to each child based on their age and likes. Some gifts have been brought from overseas, some purchased locally. It is truly a global effort filling these backpacks with gifts.

 

Orphanage teens relaxing after receiving gifts from Santa
Performance over and gifts in hand
means it is time to relax

 

Orphan excited to have a new backpack
Happy with his backpack
and his new kite is being assembled, too

After many hugs and some tears, we depart. It is time for the orphanage Christmas meal, which we collaborated to make and deliver prior to the performance.

What is your favorite day of the year?

2017 A to Z Challenge - Y

If you are visiting from the #AtoZChallenge please include your blog link in a comment so I can check it out.

 

Click here to read more about the Olon orphanage.

Emily is a US Expat in Ecuador. She grew up on a Minnesota farm, worked in IT in California's Silicon Valley, then moved to a coastal Ecuador fishing village. Emily's goal is to share Ecuador with you, one snippet at a time. Topics include attractions, compassion, ecotourism, Ecuador products, everyday Ecuador, and flora and fauna. Please let Emily know what you would like to read more about!

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