A lot has happened since the last time we wrote…Although Hannah went solo for a few days at the school because Elena had some stomach issues, everything went smoothly. We completed “The Family” unit in our English classes as well as continued with after school community sessions.
As for our independent project, we attended our first “Padres de Familia” meeting – more or less a parent-teachers conference – and asked what the community wanted our help with. All of the parents strongly support the idea of cleaning up the schoolyard and building a small playground. Fortunately we are going to be working closely with the parents through the entire process and have another meeting set up for next week to discuss materials, costs, and a building schedule.
Over the weekend, Hannah went to Moraspungo to meet up with the other Global Routers. She went to Maria Aurora with the other interns for the night, where there were fiestas, lots of dancing, and a lot of fried pig…
We are really looking forward to going to Salinas in a few days and enjoying the gourmet cheese and chocolate that that part of the Sierra manufactures!
Maria Aurora – Mapping Our Progress
It’s been an exciting two weeks here in beautiful downtown Maria Aurora. The elementary school as well as the high school have had an exam week, followed by a week of vacaciones, leaving us out of work. We’ve been filling our time with getting started on our first independent project: a super-duper awesome world map on the wall of the elementary school. It’s been quite a process, from gridding our 1,500 plus 2 9/16” X 2 9/16” squares, to drawing each country. With the help of the kids in the community, we’ve made great headway on our painting. Everyone is eager to help, including Rani’s 3-year-old host brother, Antony, who we’ve kept busy with “painting” the chain link fence with a container of water (a task that he’s taken quite seriously). By the end of the week, we hope to finish the map and then head to Salinas for a group weekend.
Ben and Amelia have been teaching afternoon English classes to various-aged Maria Aurora residents. From Bingo to Jeopardy to out-of-tune guitar jam sessions, they’ve kept it light and hope to continue in the weeks to come. Ben also took on a morning English class during exam week at the high school. He enjoyed teaching to a more invested class, and also is trying to continue teaching after school resumes normally.
Last weekend we got to enjoy another weekend with our families and attend various parties in a neighboring community, Chiguipe (some lackluster fiestas with plenty of Latino dancing). Ben, Rani, and Hannah were treated to some steaming bowls of pig intestines and other grody animal parts, while Amelia won $5 in a sack-hopping race. All in all, a pretty thrilling weekend.
This week, we’re planning on having a meeting with the parents in the community to discuss ideas for independent projects and decide which would be most beneficial and sustainable for the community. Hopefully those will then begin to take shape soon.
In the meantime, we love you, and happy Sukkot to those of the tribe. Hope you’re all enjoying a beautiful fall. And that’s a wrap, oh, we mean a map. HAH.