Your $1500 in donations got me here and let me do amazing things volunteering at this I'm trying to raise $575 to come home after 15 months! Make a donation (every dollar helps!) and read all about this unexpected adventure I've had. Thank you for your endless support!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

After-school activities

Just wanted to post some pictures of the 3rd hour class that we have started running. Yesterday we had music class, and the kids are loving it. Last week we sang Firework by Katy Perry (we have to choose songs the kids will enjoy singing but are also appropriate and slow enough that they can) and Baby by Justin Bieber. I, of course, added some fun interpretive dance moves to Firework, which the kids all enjoyed laughing at. We have a new volunteer who has a great singing voice, so she's taken over now! This week the songs are Just the Way You Are by Bruno Mars and  Soul Sister by Train. Not my first choice...but they're easy to learn!!

The kids here are really into K-pop (Korean pop) and a couple of the girls said they would come up with a coreographed dance to a song called "Mr. Simple" by Super Junior. Here's the link if you're curious about what it sounds like. Catchy, no? How can you have so many people in one band? K-pop is huge here, and when we were doing surveys to find out what other classes we could offer, one person put down Korean. I don't think that will be happening anytime soon, since we don't have any Korean volunteers. However, we are thinking about starting a student government program. There was a program in Paraguay where students elected a President, Vice President, and ambassadors, who would then observe their classmates and if they saw anything that  looked like there might be abuse going on, they would tell their supervising teacher. Then the child and the supervising teacher would go to the parents to investigate what's going on. Pretty neat, huh? We also think it would give children more ownership of the school. Since we have electricity at school now we have started the computer skills class, and hopefully will start the typing program part of it early next week. 

We are gearing up for another psychology workshop on Sunday and the first workshop for kids on Friday.  The workshop for kids will be about bullying, and their rights and responsibilities. Hopefully this workshop will help start to change the way that children interact with each other in this area, as many children engage in bullying, violence, and violent play. The workshop for the parents on Sunday will be about physical health and emotions, and the interaction between the two.This is something that definitely does not get talked about enough here, and I think it will be some pretty revolutionary content for the parents to hear about!

Here's a couple photos of me and my co-coordinator Enrique, and one of our teachers, Teresa. They refuse to take a serious picture with me! We're standing in front of the side of the school where one of our students painted our new logo. Our new website will be launched soon which has the new logo. I'll give you all the details when it's launched (as it's much more professional and something you might want to share with other people).

In Julia news, I am considering staying in Arequipa as School Coordinator and Marketing Director (a position we don't have but desperately need) until September. If I get free housing, can raise enough money, get a big donation from TNT to fund me doing that, or move out of the volunteer house into a cheaper homestay, I will do that. I really want to see that all the work we started will be continued in the future, with the new curriculum, social workers, and our future plans to present our project to governments and organizations for funding. I'll keep you updated!

You all have helped me raise $1500, and I only need $500 more to meet my 6 month mark. Thank you for all of your contributions and please share my blog with your friends and family!

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