NPH Bolivia: Staying Busy During Quarantine

With free time owing to a 14-day nationally mandated quarantine, our children find creative and fun ways to keep busy.
March 26, 2020 - Bolivia

Renzo plays ping pong, a favorite activity of the kids during the national quarantine.

At midnight, Sunday, 22 March, the Bolivian government imposed a country-wide 14-day quarantine prohibiting people from leaving their homes except to buy groceries or receive medical care. The government hopes to slow the spread of COVID-19, which has reached a total of 40 confirmed cases as of 26 March.

With no classes scheduled, our children have new-found free time and it is up to the remaining caregivers and volunteers to devise fun ways to keep them busy and constructively entertained. With a mixture of work, games, and homework, we fill the children’s schedule with a variety of fun things to do.

In the morning the children’s schedule can include chores and academic studies, which include cleaning their casita, working with our agronomist Hugo, helping in the clinic, working in the casita of our youngest children, and helping in the library.

Last weekend the older boys and girls worked with Hugo to harvest fish from the fish ponds for the home to eat. The boys used a large net and dredged the pond from one side to the other to catch the fish in their nets. Once collected the older girls helped clean and prep the fish for cooking. On Sunday, we cooked a large lunch for the entire home; each person got half a fish with rice, yucca, salad, and lemonade.

“It was a lot of fun being able to go into the pond and fish for our lunch with the older kids,” Renzo explained. “Tío Hugo knows a lot and was teaching us how to clean and prep the fish for grilling.”

After lunch the children chose their own activities. They can participate in planned activities or rest and relax. Choices range from table games, drawing, jigsaw puzzles, and writing cards to their godparents to sports like soccer, volleyball, and ping pong, and watching movies together at night.

Anticipation is high for a big ping pong tournament the volunteers are hosting Friday night. There will be two brackets: one for the younger kids and one for older kids. The children have been practicing every afternoon and many of them are confident they will win it all.

“I am definitely going to win the tournament,” Maynor laughs. “I have been practicing every day for it and I know I am the best.”

To give to NPH to support us during this COVID-19 pandemic, please visit our donation page.

Names changed to protect children’s privacy.

Brad Bobel   
Communications Officer, NPH Bolivia




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