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Adventures on the Loose

Aldea Yanapay

PERU | Thursday, 26 November 2009 | Views [814]

working on homework

working on homework

So, back in Cusco, I search for a volunteer opportunity. I find one that fits me at Yanapay. Most mornings, I spend at the police station working with the children that are there. Some are there because of their parents or because they have no where else to go...others because they got in a fight at a discoteque or got caught stealing or robbing someone in the Plaza. It`s tough because they are only allowed outside when the police say they can go, and that doesn`t seem to be often. In the mornings, depending on their ages, I get to draw pictures or color with them or teach some English or help with math problems. It just depends on the day. It`s a good experience though.

In the afternoons, I am working at a school, which is really more of an after-school program. It is basically run entirely by volunteers, so the fact that I am teaching 4, 5, and 6 year olds, while it is strange to me, isn`t so strange to them. The kids understand that different people will be in and out every week, but the project leader and a few other staff are constant. My first week, I worked in the Biblioteca (Library) helping the kids (ages 4-8 or so) do their homework. It can be tough trying to keep them separated and focused and semi-quiet, but it was worth it. Especially when a child finally figures out an answer or reads a sentence or smiles because they aren`t frustrated anymore. After that, it is circle time with the whole school, and then family time. ¡Soy Tigre! I am in the Tiger Family. The first week, we learned all about the magic garden, which is being built at the school. (In Spanish) I taught all about the hens, guinea pigs, potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, mint, and other things in the garden. The kids got to build a model of the garden, complete with a greenhouse made from plastic bottles and a henhouse with gallinas drawn by tracing their hands (like we do turkeys for Thanksgiving.) It was tons of fun, and I think I have some of the most precious kids in the school.

This week, we are learning about cultural exchange. The school has a brand new pen-pal school in New York, and the kids are working on writing letters and telling the kids about themselves, their school, and their country. It is a bit more difficult to keep their attention with this topic, but the first day went ok.  The school also has a room for art, a room for games, and a reinforcement room if the kids don`t have homework that day, or finish early.

This is keeping me quite busy, but I am definitely loving it. I wish I could stay longer, even though I am excited about coming home in two weeks, too.  And, I am using Darcy`s camera right now, so eventually, I will have some pictures from Cusco and Yanapay.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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