Building a playground, friendships and families

The Rotary Club of Maple Grove working together with Students Connecting through International Service (SCTIS) and Kids Around the World, were recently able to fulfill a dream two years in the making by building two playgrounds in the small town of Sasabe Mexico, just across the border from Arizona. Judy Johnson, Susan Pryce, and Mary Helen Bosquez were there representing the Rotary Club of Maple Grove. The organization, Kids around the World, refurbishes playgrounds and installs them in third world countries. They were able to get a playground from one of our Maple Grove sites for this project. The second playground was from Sahuarita, Arizona.

 Mary Helen Bosquez (left below), Susan Pryce and Judy Johnson (above) on the playground equipment in Maple Grove prior to its removal, refurbishment, and move to Sasabe Mexico.

Mary Helen Bosquez (left below), Susan Pryce and Judy Johnson (above) on the playground equipment in Maple Grove prior to its removal, refurbishment, and move to Sasabe Mexico.

The installation week consisted of unloading a semi truck of playground equipment on Sunday at the US border into ten pickup trucks for transport .6 mile to the school. Monday was the day to auger and dig holes, 50 in total. Tuesday saw the completion of the hole-digging and the swings set in place. Wednesday the second playground was set up and the cement was mixed and poured.

Mary Helen Bosquex, Susan Pryce and Judy Johnson principal Jose Pedro Marin Flores Jose Pedro Marin Flores and some of the children of Sasabe on the newly installed playground equipment in Sasabe Mexico.
Mary Helen Bosquex, Susan Pryce and Judy Johnson principal Jose Pedro Marin Flores Jose Pedro Marin Flores and some of the children of Sasabe on the newly installed playground equipment in Sasabe Mexico.

Friday morning was the dedication of the playground. This was Flag Day in Mexico and there was a special program at the school to honor the national flag. Then came the inauguration ceremony for the playground. The Mayor Chito Lopez gave a brief speech of gratitude. Principal Pedro then told the children that this was the realization of a dream that had begun more than a few years ago. He said that with the end of the ceremony, this playground would be theirs. He asked them what was the most important word to remember, and they all shouted “Cuidado!” (careful). He urged them to be careful as they played, but also to care for the playground, so that it would last for many more years. We gave the go-ahead, they rushed onto the field with many happy exclamations. It is hard to convey the sheer delight in their faces as they explored their new playground.
“Be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.” A blessing felt.  The team added “A heartfelt thank you to all of the great souls who have contributed in so many ways to this labor of love.”
The Maple Grove Rotary Club meets at 6:45 a.m. every Tuesday morning at 3 Squares Restaurant in Maple Grove. The meetings end promptly at 8 a.m. Guests are welcome. For more information call Tim Deets, 763-710-0351.
The Maple Grove Club is one of 32,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries across the globe with 1.2 million Rotarians worldwide. For more information go to portal.clubrunner.ca/2186