Second day in Panama! The group started the day off with a wonderful, shaded hike to the highest point in Panama City. We ate at a yummy cafe and left for the orphanage with fully bellies. the girls were so excited to see us and we were just excited to see them. The girls energy is contagious and although I was tired before arriving, I immediately woke up. Conversation is difficult but that does not keep me from interacting with everyone. We speak with movement, hugs, facial expressions, and cheers. The girls taught me the power of sensing and watching someone to communicate as opposed to speaking. They have also taught me the importance of loving one another and finding the joy in life regardless of circumstance. Sharing with them the gift of dance has reminded me why we all start dancing in the first place, because it feels good and makes us happy! Lots of love, little Spanish!
~ Haley Hoekstra, Dance Diplomat
Loyola Marymount University