Monday, December 17, 2012

A Day in the Life of an Amigos de Jesus Volunteer: Kristin Mullen-Muhr


Kristin Mullen-Muhr is originally from Arlington Heights, IL and graduated from the University of Dayton with a degree in music education. Along with her seven other community members, she is currently serving as a volunteer with Amigos de Jesus, a home for over sixty abused and abandoned children located in rural Honduras. Read more about a typical day in her life as a volunteer. 

My day begins with a 5 minute walk from the volunteer house to the Amigos de Jesus grade school (preschool through sixth grade), where I spend most of my day.   


During the regular school day (7:15 A.M-1:15 P.M) I spend my time teaching music and art classes as well as tutoring students individually. Each of my five classes receives one art class and one music class per week. My classes are small (ranging from six students to ten) which really helps me to get to know my students well.
After school, I walk with the kids and teachers to eat lunch with the entire Amigos de Jesus family in the comedor (dining hall). The meals always begin and end with a prayer which is led by one of the kids. A typical lunch includes tortillas, rice and some type of meat (usually chicken). We also get to drink fresh fruit juice that has been prepared from some of the fruit grown on our property.
After lunch, everyone returns to the schools for two hours of after school programs. The first hour is designated for tutoring and doing homework. In the second hour, the students get to choose two talleres (workshops) which include music, dance, sports, library, and English. I teach the music taller with one of the older boys. Right now, the students are learning how to play various popular songs on the ukuleke and Honduran folk songs on the xylophone.
Two days a week, my volunteer community and I get to prepare our own meal and eat it in the volunteer house. It’s nice to be able to share stories about our day as well as talk in English for a little bit. Community dinner is always followed by some sort of community activity, whether it is a night to just play games and have fun as a community or a spirituality night. The other five dinners, we get to eat in the comedor with the kids.
One of my favorite parts of the day comes after dinner when we get to just spend time with the kids. Whether it is a heated game of capture the flag, a good conversation while looking at the stars, or an impromptu music lesson, I really love this opportunity to get to know a different side of our kids. 

Each day ends with prayer circle. It is such a peaceful and meaningful time of the day because all of the Amigos family joins hands and is given the opportunity to say their prayers and intentions out loud. It is really beautiful to not only listen to the way the kids pray, but also to listen to my fellow volunteers and co-workers offer their intentions. After saying the Our Father and Hail Mary, it’s time to give everyone a hug and say buenas noches.