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18 Reynolds St.
East Norwalk, CT

Dedicated to building bright futures for impoverished children, their families, and their communities.

Simply Smiles blog

Follow our blog and read insights from Simply Smiles staff, volunteers and other individuals whose lives are affected by our work!

Shepaug in Oaxaca 2013 - Blog #1

Timothy Nurnberger

Starting with our flight, the red eye from JFK to Mexico City, we knew we were in for an adventure. Our first Mexican meal was at Chili's .... but it can't compare with the great food that we have eaten so far! On our second flight (the small plane that terrified Señorita) we were able to get a first glimpse of the beautiful Oaxaca. Kristen welcomed us with open arms (literally) at the airport we all hopped in to her van for the short drive to the Simply Smiles center of operations. Upon our arrival we immediately learned of the presence of 5 puppies! PUPPIES! We then each drank one liter of water, had a tour, a quick puppy visit and then it was nap time! After our very refreshing rest we got in the van and went to CasaHogar, the children's home. We played with the kids there and made lots of new friends. Even though it rained, we all had a blast! Next was a stop at Los Primos Tacos to pick up dinner. These tacos were the real deal (no Taco Bell here!). We watched the cocinero trim the pork .... we were a little skeptical at first but the tacos won us over in the end! We ended our first night here with a group game of Apples to Apples, infiltrated by one of the adorable puppies .... who we promptly named Manzana (which means apple ... Mazi for short).

After waking up and a fantastic breakfast (thanks Green team!) we got right to work on the new dorms. Our first task: transfer the montón of blocks from ground level to the second floor. Mission impossible? Not for us! We have our own vikingo after all. We formed an assembly line to make the work easier. With the added challenge of puppy obstacles we all came together to get the work done. Lunch was delicious, of course! We had authentic Mexican street chickens. What's a street chicken you might ask ... well it's delicious! After lunch came our first taste of some good old hard work, mixing cement! We're keeping hydrated (hydrate or die!) and putting on lots of sunscreen. Tonight we are excited to go back to Casa Hogar and have a hot dog roast with our new friends.

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