One of my favorite things about working for this project is that things that are just ideas one day can become reality within weeks. In December, there had been discussion of having workshops available for the parents. At the monthly parent meeting we took a survey asking what kind of workshops they would want and the majority of parents said they wanted a psychologist to come talk to them. They also said they were interested in learning about child development and parenting. I asked my Peruvian friend if he knew any psychologists, he did, and we set up a workshop for the next month.
It was a success! Since most parents work Monday-Saturday, the turnout wasn't that high, but the moms who did come were very interested. The psychologist talked about things like praising and encouraging your child's good behavior as opposed to yelling and punishing bad behavior, not fighting in front of your children, not taking negative messages from spouses to heart and taking that out on your children.
The parents had a lot of questions, which was great, because we thought they wouldn't want to talk very much. We were also able to introduce two social work students and one anthropologist that we will have running workshops and doing a diagnosis of the area, respectively. I am most excited about a bullying workshop, because this area especially has a lot of problems with bullying and violent play. The social workers have a lot of health experience, so hopefully we can run a lot of health workshops as well.
The launch of the curriculum went well and all the students are jazzed about the extra hour of activities. We are hoping to get some professionals to help us out during that extra hour so that students can be learning art, music, and dance from professionals and being coached in sport by experienced coaches.
In non-school related news, we had a Superbowl party at the volunteer house yesterday which was a pretty big hit for the Americans and a kind of boring cultural event for non-Americans. Apparently a game of American football takes too long. I hadn't noticed! I made pulled pork sandwiches with coleslaw and we had a 13x9 pan of guacamole. It was fun and tasty and very American (although the commentary was in Spanish).