Thursday, October 1, 2015

The dirt road

I'm overlooking the city of La Paz from the dirt road that leads to the Alpacoma centre. It's funny, I've lived my whole life in this city and I've never seen it from this end. It's been six months since I've been exposed to this perspective of La Paz and every time I walk this dirt road I feel so lucky because this whole experience and the people I've met have changed me in a profound way, but more importantly it has given me better knowledge of my own country and of the people who live in it. 

The six months I've worked as a Team Leader in the Childhood and Youth Empowerment project were shared with one of the best people I'll ever get the pleasure to know. Vince, my co-Team Leader, taught me so many things, he pushed me every day and we lived so many experiences together. I think we had lots of things in common and that definitely helped the working and personal relationship we developed but it also made our project what it is today. 

To have carried on as Team Leader for one more cohort came as a surprise and also as a challenge. The project was changing partners; I would be working with another Team Leader and preparing for ICS 2. The period between cohorts was really busy because we had lots of work to do closing ICS 1 while at the same preparing the arrival of UK Team Leaders and the volunteers. 

In this period I met Rachel, the UK Team Leader for Sociedad Catolica. I was surprised at how quickly we developed a strong working and personal relationship, I was looking forward to be sharing along her this new experience but unfortunately, due to illness, Rachel had to go back to the UK. It was a hard blow to take but I know that we met and experienced those weeks for a reason. Rach, I will always be your Bolivian friend. 

Induction week started and I was really busy with all the logistics. During this week I was informed I would be working with a Bolivian Team Leader: Raul, who had been working last cohort on the Zebras project. All my worries quickly disappeared as he showed great initiative and enthusiasm to work on the project. 

This cohort we will continue with the work plan we created last cohort but we will include more activities related with the Greenhouses, we will also be working with young mothers in the Hormigón Armado and we will be assisting with a music workshop in the centre of Alpacoma. 

Mauricio, Connor, Cristina, Abril, Caitlin, Silvana, Mason, Ella, Angelica, Alan, Luis, Fernando and Harry: I want you to enjoy this experience, I want you to make mistakes and learn from them, I want you to make the most of every minute of the project because before you know it we will be on our final event saying good bye to the children, the youths and the Staff. 

In the last six months I have been walking the dirt road with different people. I have made lifelong friendships and I know I will see them again…I just can’t wait for that day.

Empo team C - 14… let’s walk the dirt road together.

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