Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Woo! Spring Break!

Who can believe it’s February? Apparently time flies when you’re teaching English. And building a bottle school. And planning for Spring Break. Speaking of Spring Break, in less than a month, we will have our first group of Spring Break volunteers arriving in Sololá. Fifteen fresh-faced students from the beautiful Nashville campus of Vanderbilt University will be here for a week, experiencing a little bit of the Program Director lifestyle. The following week, we will be welcoming students from both Tulane University and the University of Georgia. Finally, to round out the month of March, we will be hosting medical students from the University of Alabama-Birmingham. Each group will be working on a week-long project in one or both of our schools in Chaquijyá. Now, preparing these projects ahead of time is no walk in the park. Let me paint you a picture.
Talkin' it out with Celso, the principal of La Primaría Cooperativa
Vanderbilt is coming in a little less than a month to assist in building a playground in La Escuela Central. Essentially, the volunteers have 4-5 days to construct a full functioning playground that can withstand the madness of 275 children. Since January, the group and I have been brainstorming a plan of what we want to include in our playground. Easy? Well no. Getting everyone in the community on the same page in building the structures is probably the hardest part. The architect wants to build everything out of wood. He wants all the wood shipped in from the capital. The metal worker wants to build everything out of…you guessed it…metal. He wants to construct everything at his shop, for an exorbitant fee. Meanwhile, the director of the school wants me to present a blueprint to the PTA-equivalent to gain their support for the project. We need manpower from the community to assist in building the structures. No manpower, no playground. A lot of action going on at once.
However, this is fun. All this time I’ve made some great relationships, come up with cool ideas, and at the end of the day, we’re doing something for the kids! I know everything will get done eventually, and I’m excited to have the volunteers come and work next to us for a week. Stayed tuned for project and Spring Break updates!

See ya!


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