surviving illness, my first day teaching, and the women's craft workshop
11.05.2010 - 14.05.2010 21 °C
Days 3 - 6 in Cusco - 11th - 14th May
Today was my first day back at the school after a spell in the health clinic! Myself and another girl Vicky spent three days in a local clinic after coming down with stomach bugs: salmonella and amoeba’s. Not great!
Happy to get back into things, today I was running the kindergarten class with another volunteer, Lisa, and the computer class for grades 1 & 2.
In kindergarten we were given the theme ‘parts of the body’ to work with. We started off by getting the kids to sing ‘heads, shoulders, knees and toes’ or ‘cabeza, ombros, rodillas, y dedos’ as it is in Spanish which seemed to work well. The children responded to the song and by the smiles, they seemed to find it quite funny! Next we helped them draw themselves on paper and asked them to identify all the body parts we’d sung about - they seemed to know them all and taught us a few more too! I had great fun practicing my Spanish and as I’d just learnt my colours, tested the children on these too. After a while the children became restless so we went outside to play ‘gato, gato, perrito’ and ‘ring a ring a roses’ which consisted of lots of running round laughing and falling over!
After a short break to recover, it was on to computer class. We wrote out instructions on the board in Spanish and made sure the computers were set up properly before the children filed into the class and ran to find a free computer. A Swedish company donated 10 computers to the school last year, so with our class of 22, it was 2 children per computer.
We started them on a colouring game to help them master their mouse control, then a space invaders type game where letters fall from the sky and the children have to type the letter on the keyboard to shoot it down with a spaceship. This seemed to go well, so all we had to do was walk round the class, checking they could play the games correctly and help them if they seemed lost or got stuck. The children love the computers and before I knew it the hour lesson had flown by.
After lessons, it was back to the house for lunch, then out again in the afternoon for community work. As I was still recovering, Pip, the volunteer leader, had rostered me onto one of the women’s craft workshop’s with another volunteer Jenny. The workshop was held in one of the schools around Pumamarca, and our job was to record each woman’s name and number as they came in, record who was taking wool and who was handing in completed items. Not an easy job! My Spanish numbers have definitely improved from this experience!
The craft workshops were set up by Peru’s Challenge 3 to 4 years ago, and they are a way for the women in the community to meet, socialise, gain access to the social worker and make extra money for their families. In our school in Pumamarca, a display point has been set up where the finished items are displayed and tour groups visit each week and purchase items. 50% of the sale goes towards the woman who made it, 25% towards buying new materials and 25% into a general fund from which a Christmas hamper is bought for each of the mothers. If there is any left over money, the mother’s can decide what they want to do with it. Last year they decided to use it to fund a health clinic for the children and pap smears for all the women in the community.