I am now volunteering at TNT´s other project, the Magical School of English in Flora Tristan, a neighborhood at the base of the mountains. It's about 40 minutes by bus from our house, and the neighborhood is very low-income. They have dirt roads, tin roofs, and just put in a sewer system in the last month. The school serves about 75-100 students per day, from 4 to 17 years old. There are four classes for children and one adult class, Monday through Friday. Currently we teach English for an hour and then have an hour of playtime on the sportcourt that's down the hill. At the end of the month, the classtime will be extended to an hour and fifteen minutes, and we're also thinking about keeping the school open for more hours and functioning like a community center, where children could come work on their homework.
|Inside the school, our bathroom is on the right|
|Saw this woman on my way home after school|
|The view from outside my old classroom|
I'm also working on getting a psychologist to come talk to the parents about child development, parenting, and other things that they expressed interest in learning about at a school meeting. Monthly workshops for parents on things like health, mental health, parenting, job skills, handicrafts, and rights, will hopefully make the school more of a community center. This is the project I'm most excited about, because I think the school has a lot of potential to do so much more for this community, and I know I have the background to help make that happen.
In other news: I had an excellent Christmas, including parties for the school and the orphanage, and for New Years we went to the beach. I am not speaking as much Spanish as I would like to be, but I have a friend I do translating work for in my spare time (don't have much!) in exchange for cups of coffee and we speak Spanish together. I am working on getting a job in Colombia in May so I can pay for myself staying there for the six months and volunteering, although hopefully I could get a job in social services so I'm doing what I'm passionate about. I miss all the comforts and delicous foods of home but I am still so grateful to be here and I smile so much everyday. I miss you all!
Thank you so much to anyone who made a contribution to me, it means the world to me and I am much closer to having enough money to stay down here until the end of April. Only $500 to go!