Day 13 – The project is almost complete

August 28, 2013

This morning was Anna’s birthday, so we all woke up and gathered outside her room. We all went inside singing “Happy Birthday” to wake her up. We went down to the kitchen for breakfast.   Orlando cooked us a special breakfast for Anna’s birthday, bacon and scrambled eggs.  Then we ate one of the two birthday cakes that Anna got.  (Juan Carlos also bought a cake for Anna).  We all broke into our three groups to clean up and do our chores. Once everything was cleaned up we all went to the worksite.

At the worksite we put the flag pole in, finished leveling off the topsoil in the park area, fixed up the basketball net area, planted the rest of the flowers and trees, and poured lots of slabs of concrete. We are almost done our work on this project and the work is becoming less physical. After today we just need to finish the concrete and the last few miscellaneous things, like putting in the monument.

During recess, Denise helped the director of the school distribute over 130 hats to each one of the students and teachers at the center.  Denise’s mom knitted these hats and the children proudly played the rest of the recess wearing them.

 We came back to the scout’s hall to eat lunch quickly and then went back to the worksite. At 3:30 we finished our work for the day and came back to shower and hang out with the Cochabamba Interactors.

After dinner we took taxis to the men’s jail. There, we went inside and up to a room where the children that live in the prison were gathered. We entertained them with singing and dancing. We presented them with a soccer ball and some uniforms that we raised money for. We handed out their dinner and dessert. We were not allowed to take any pictures while in the prison.  We played with them for a little while after that. We left the prison and took taxis back to the scout hall. We talked and went to bed.

-Cole (and Israel)

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Day 12 – Prison Play Group and an Ice Cream Date

August 27, 2013

This morning we got to wake up a whole hour later at 7:30. After breakfast and chores we had a quick meeting, explaining what we would be doing today. One of our connections with the Cochabamba  Rotary club, Pheobe,  had arranged for us to spend some time with children from a school close to the prisons. All the children in the school have a parent in the jail and most of them sleep there at night as well. Unfortunately our group was too large to all go at once, so we were split into two groups. One group would go in the morning while the other one went to finish up projects at the work site, in the afternoon the groups would switch. Once instructions were given and groups were split up the group going to work first packed up and headed out. During the morning this group worked on leveling out the ground under the playground, pulling weeds, cleaning up and pouring concrete.

The other group took taxis at 10:00 to the school and met up with Pheobe, before being introduced to the kids. All of the kids were very excited to see everyone. Unfortunately we were not aware that we were supposed to prepare songs and games. So after only a slight panic we pulled together, ‘ Itsy Bitsy Spider’,’ Hokey Pokey’ and ‘Wheels on the Bus’. After this the kids then sang songs to us with their classes, in Spanish. Before they went back to class we got a short amount of time to play with the kids. Many of the kids found older buddies which they clung to and played with. Everyone had a really good time even though Steven’s buddy nibbled his ear and Cole’s buddy slapped him across the face. After they all returned to class, some of the Interactors got to visit them there and continuing playing. Once we had left the school, Pheobe took us to go see a small store/ restaurant run by the women who have been released from prison. Many of us bought a few things and enjoyed seeing that the women have some form of rehabilitation. After we returned back to the scout hall in taxis, we met back up with the other group for lunch.

After lunch and dishes were done, one group went to the work site to finish the leveling and concrete work. The other group packed up our stuff and decided to walk the prison so we could see more of the city. We decided to walk through the market and many of us stopped to shop for a few minutes. When we arrived outside the school we still had to wait for Pheobe. So we walked around the square and looked at some woodworking projects made by the male prisoners. These were displayed and sold in the town square.  As Pheobe had still not arrived we took time to visit the store with the crafts made by the female ex-prisoners.  We sat in the square for a few more minutes until she arrived, an hour late. When we got into the school all the kids were in class so we broke up into which age groups we wanted to visit. The ones who visited older students got to hear stories about daily life, which were somewhat shocking and sad. Younger groups played, took pictures and did crafts. We left just as school was ending and as we started walking back we witnessed an anti-abortion protest.  The rest of the walk back we watched street vendors, restaurants and daily Bolivian life go by.

We had an early dinner so that we could meet up with the Cochabamba Interactors and go out for ice cream. They picked us up at 6:00 and brought us to a restaurant about 20 minutes away. As there were not really enough vehicles to take all of us for ice cream, several Interactors sat in the open back of a truck while all 5 leaders shared the back seat.  Drivers in Bolivia are crazy!  One of the leaders complimented their 17 year old driver on how well maneuvered through the streets.  He then informed us that he did not even have a driver’s license!!  We were very lucky that the Interact group bought each of us a cheese empanada and cinnamon/milk flavoured ice cream. Afterwards we all walked to a nearby grocery store to buy lots of snacks including plenty of coca tea to bring back home. We all piled into taxis and headed back to the hall for a few quick card games and hopefully lots of sleep.

– Sophie and Emma

Market vendors

Market vendors


Girls at the Amistad De Le Casa practicing a dance for a talent show

Girls at the Amistad De Le Casa practicing a dance for a talent show


Alyssa

Alyssa


Svetlana

Svetlana


Wren

Wren


Steven

Steven


Cole

Cole


Men’s  Prison-note the housing added on the top of the building

Men’s Prison-note the housing added on the top of the building


Little guy at the Amistad

Little guy at the Amistad