Thursday, October 21, 2010
Friday, August 20, 2010
Saturday, July 10, 2010
I have been trying really hard to get some projects going both in the Dequeni foundation, and the school ive been working with, but I feel kinda like im just spinning my wheels. I am still trying to get the school garden started, but all the teachers in the entire county went on strike and I wasnt able to do anything for a while. And now they are on winter break, so it wont be till august till it finally gets rolling. I was feeling really discourage one day because it seemed like all that I was working for was just in vain, but the next day the principle and the teacher I was working with started working on my project when I wasnt even there, preparing the space for the garden, and that made me feel a lot better about the work Im doing here. I guess I just need to do my best and realize that things arent always going to go the way I envision them, and that I cant force the people here to do what I want. I think if I relax a little more I might actually get a little bit more done.
As far as the foundation, some days I feel kinda useless there, but I do still like haning out with the kids. They are really great, Most days when I come to work, five or six of them will run up to me and give me a big hug. Usually brightens up my day. My supervisor gave me a big project to organize in a couple weeks. She wants me to plan an entire day of games and activities for about 170 people, and I have to be the one coordinating it all. I asked for a bunch of help from my fellow volunteers, but I am nervous that it is all just gonna blow up in my face. We shall see I guess.
I am finally going to start working with the adolecent part of the foundation, we are doing a leadership camp, and the people I am working with gave me about three hours to fill with workshops. It is kinda funny being a volunteer because usually when someone gives you more work to do and doesnt increase your pay you get angry, but as a volunteer you just get excited when you get more and more work.
That is about all I have for now, but if you would like to know something specific please let me know. I dont really know what to write most of the time, and I and not sure if people really read these blogs, so I have been slacking on keeping up on them. Bye for now.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
I am mainly working with the foundation called dequeni. As I explained before we work with kids that normally would be working on the streets. The organization is one of the leaders in the country in the fight against child labor. But the kids usually come from bery humble socioeconomic backgrounds as well. Many of them are starved for attention and have behavior problems. Most days I help them with their homework, and I am trying to teach some of them how to read. We also play games and do arts and crafts activities. We just celebrated the international day against childhood labor, and we had a big celebration at the foundation with games for all the kids, and their parents. But it was a real desaster trying to organize a hundred and fifty kids into groups to play games. Last week I also implemented a new form of rewards and punishments for the kids based on their behavior everyday. I was really nervous that the people that I work with wouldnt like it because it creats more work for them, but they really seems to be using it, and it really works with the kids.
I am also working with a school that right next to my house. I am trying to start a school garden, but I am having a really hard time getting it started. I want the garden to have a deeper meaning for the kids, and I want them to understand that maintaining the garden is like maintianing the environtment. My site has a problem with trash managment, and littering, so Im trying to teach the kids at the school about the importance of taking care of their school, and their community. My friend jose luis and I tought 10 clases the other day about the decompasition of trash and the importance of not littering. I dont know if Im getting through to them though. Well see I guess.
OH and you wouldnt believe how crazy they are here for the world cup. There are paraguayan flags everywhere and I think there will be riots if they win, and also when they loose.
I am having a really hard time writing in english right now, so dont make fun of my spelling.
Until next time
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
On friday we all went to the US embassey for our swear in. There was a speech by the director of peace corps paraguay, and the Ambassador, but Rob was selected to be the guest volunteer speaker and just put the other two to shame with his speach it was so good. After that it was a bit of a party weekend. We were all given till tuesday to get to our respective sites, so everyone in our group stayed in the same hotel for the weekend. You can probably imagine what kinds of things insued when you put 5+ americans in the same hotel in a forein city. But besides that the weekend was really cool too. There are also volunteers from Japan, Korea, and Taiwan here, and there was a big sportsday mixer in the main park in Asunsion. We played ultimate frisbee and basketball with them. Then later that night there was a benifit concert put on by Peacecorps volunteers along with volunteers from Japan, and korea in nice little open air bar.
On monday I had to go get the rest of my bags from my host family in my previous house. I also took a telescope that my mom sent down here to give to me sister. You should have seen the look on their faces when I pulled it out of my bag. My host sister has been wanting a telescope for years, and wants to study astronomy in school. It was such a good present, THANKS MOM!. On the way back to my new site, I got on a bus alone with all my things, and right when I got on two guys in the back of the bus started yelling at me to come sit by them. I thought I might know them from playing basketball or something so I went back to sit by them. When I realized that I didnt know them and that they were just two drunk guys it was too late. They were rediculous and were screaming and shouting at me. Saying I am marine Paraguayo, I am you protector. And they were screaming estados unidos. They made me sit between them and one of the guys grabbed my back to hold it for me. It made me a bit nervous but I ignored it for the moment. When they both got up to pee out of the back door of the moving bus, I grabbed my back and moved forward a seat. They were trying to offer me prostitutes and what not and being complet jerks to everyone on the bus. They kept taking my hat and giving me theirs. The entire bus was staring and laughing at me, but it was a really uncomfortable situation. Then all the sudden they pulled out a knife, and asked me if it made me nervous. I dont know why, or what possesed me but I just took it out of the guys hand, because I figured he was joking around, but now that I think about it he could have been serious. I told him that I wasnt scared and pulled my machete out of my bag that my professor had given me. That made the two drunk guys laugh a ton, so luckily nothing bad happend.
The next day I went to the foundation where Im going to work at, just to tell them that I was there and that I would start to work this week. When I go there I saw that they were having a huge 25th aniversary party. I was joking with them saying that they shouldnt have gone to so much trouble for my welcome party. there were like a hundred people there that all work for the foundation in one way or another. For some reason all the women there wanted to take pictures with me. They told me I looked like a movie star, but by the end of the day I was blinded by all the flashes. It got the the point that the person running the meeting on the microphone started joking around saying that if they wanted a picture with me they had to get in line and pay 5mil guarani first. It was really funny.
That was yesterday, and for the rest of the day I was organizing my things in my new room, and I built a makeshift cloths rack. I was pretty proud of what I built with just my letherman tool.
That pretty much brings us up the the present.
Write me sometime will you, Id love to hear from you all.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
So I finally know where I am going to be living for the next two years. It wasnt much of a suprise though because it is just outside of Asuncion. The name of the town is Fernando de
First of all I am going to be working with a foundation called DEQUENI. The foundation provides a place for kids during the day since their school only last four hours a day. Normally the kids would be working in the streets trying to sell just about anything, (gum, candy, fruit, newspapers, bingo tickets) but this program gets them off the street, they feed them lunch, and a snack and it also, provide them with some learning as well. The kids get a little bit of homework along with their lunch to ensure that they are doing more than just feeding their stomachs. There are only two professors and there are about 150 kids that come on any given day throughout the week, so you can imagin why they might need some help. There is also an adolecent division of the foundation that helps adolescents get jobs as grocery baggers. There are currently about 1500 baggers thoughout paraguay that the agency is responsible for. The agency also functions as a technical college when there are classes in motorcycle mechanics, hair styling, sewing, etc. All the departments need help so each of them seems to be pressuring me a bit to help their sector.
Secondly there is a youth group called J por J (Jovenes por Jovenes) that is part of the local church. I went to the church on Sunday just to find out a little bit about them, but they ended up introducing me to everyone and making me talk in front of everyone about what I was doing there. It was a really fun and interesting group that seems to do a lot of work for the community, and it happend to be their 11th aniversary. They were singing and dancing, and they made me get in the middle of the circle and dance for everythone.
Third, there is a highschool just a block from my house here, and the principle was excited to see me and to have me teach a class in their school. I talk to a professor about doing self esteem classes, classes about planning for the future, and also doing projects dealing with the environment.
Fourth I went to the city hall and talked to the secratary of womens affairs, (I think it would be called in english) and they said they would have a whole list of things that I could do if I so desire, which may include teaching english.
So if I want I could have work to do seven days a week. This makes me happy actually, because I am really excited to get started. I am really tired of training, and right now it actually feels like I am a volunteer but I have to keep reminding myself that I have three more weeks of training. I am here in Fernando de
My family here is really cool too, Ive been teeching them card games, like spoons, and BS. There are two girls 9 and 11, and their cousin lives there too, he is 14. The parents are really nice and laid back, and the family is accustomed to having volunteers with them because it is the same house that the previous volunteer was living in. For some reason the volunteer left me a bunch of books, all of his furniture, shoes, and a basket ball, and a football. For the duration of training I had been thinking that finding a place to live and starting to integrate myself into the community was going to be really hard, but I cant believe how easy it has all been. My site is also close enough to Asunsion that I can take one bus and get to about anywhere. I went to a movie on Saturday with one of my co-workers. Everyone has been really nice.
This one things that sucks is that my good friend that Ive been hanging out with throughout training got assigned to a city about seven hours away, but it probably will be the best for him. We keep making jokes to our trainers and the director of the program that they are always trying to separate us and kill our bromance. But its all good, because everyone has to come through my site to go to all of the meetings that we have in Asuncion. Also it is a good site to have if anyone is going to come visit me, because I can get to the airport by bus in a half an hour. SO COME VISIT ME: