Saturday, May 23, 2015

Tita's blog

Through this Project I get to go with two of the UK volunteers, Fiona and Alex to three centres that give scholar support to children. They are usually kids from 13 to 16 with some younger ones that can have more difficulties to communicate with the volunteers but they are always part of the activities we do. Each week is a different story, some different faces, and always excited to participate.

On Tuesdays we go to San Isidro, we arrive and usually have to wait for the children to undertake the tasks of the support class first, children of this center are usually older than 13 years and most are 16, at the beginning of each session they are usually listening to music, they try to show little interest, but never refuse to be part of the activities. There are two or three boys that at some point put resistance to work with the other girls or do crafts, probably because they feel intimidated but they end up doing more elaborate and creative things. In the first session we were invited sandwiches and the next they made fruit salad because Fiona is vegetarian. I really liked this because here in Bolivia perhaps more than elsewhere we have the habit of showing our affection and interest in other people with food and the kids were not comfortable with doing just one thing, it just feels that they are happy with us going. A few days ago was my birthday and I had told two of the girls before, so they made me some bracelets and I was given a tampico, this filled me with love and I really did not want to be anywhere else on my birthday. 

This week the topic was renewable energy. After Fiona and Alex talked about the types and benefits of this energy, they also talked about how often it is used in South America, in La Paz and the United Kingdom to give examples that children can see on a day to day basis. Fiona made a card which showed examples with foil and some 3D images. The idea was to inspire the children to make their own examples or some similar of ways to use the renewable energy. On Wednesdays we go to Villa Copacabana, here are more varied ages, but the older girls often help the little ones. This environment is very comfortable for all to work together because it is large, bright and they have plenty of resources. Thursdays we go to Pampahasi Alto, one could say this is placed in a mountain between other mountains, so it has an amazing view, is a very nice place. Daniel one of the guys from the center always has very interesting comments, on this session he was the only one to propose another type of renewable energy that we hadn´t mentioned. The center itself does not have many resources, the bathroom is in poor condition, but the boys come from very far without fail and eager to do the activities. We decided to do the Action Friday of our project here. 

Every Friday we all go to one of the projects to help, last week it was our project and we made a mural and hanging gardens. This week it was Urban Agriculture’s turn. We arrived at the office at 8 in the morning to go to El Alto, when we arrived we were divided into groups to help different producers. I was in Doña Juana´s team. She and her husband explained that the idea was to build a greenhouse. First we had to get the ground ready, with the pickaxe. This was easier for some than for others, the guys that are part of the  urban agriculture project were clearly doing a more efficient work but we did it well together. 

We also made adobe bricks, for me the hardest part was to make the mixture although it looks simple as it is only mixing sand and water, but only the weight of the blade was enough for me, then the amount of sand that I could actually mix up or carry around seemed ridiculous. The rest of the group that was helping other homes came to our home at noon and shared an apthapi, local producers invited us a delicious quinoa soup and apple juice. Everything was vegetarian; there were cakes, crepes, pasta with different additives, sandwiches, pancakes, and more. Everything was very tasty though we didn’t follow exactly the idea of ​​bringing nutritious and healthy things, the producers were also happy with the things we got. Another thing we did was to sift the earth, this was going well until there was an accident where one of the girls who held the posts of sieve received a huge wood on the edge of the eye, luckily it was not a major damage but that event marked the end of our workshop. To see what we accomplished in a few hours is very rewarding, while you realize how different life is from one side to another of the city. 

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