Monday, June 16, 2008

Sunday in Loma Pampa

We spent our second Sunday in Loma Pampa, where the students are doing some service projects and anthro field research. I went down early with the students who are working with the women’s group, to participate in the first day of baking classes, one of the activities our program is sponsoring and in which our students are helping out. About twenty people attended, mostly women and girls, and learned how to bake bread from the teacher we had hired for the occasion. Our students got very involved – Alana was like an assistant to the teacher, while Nina grated cheese and Lisi and Nicole managed the enrollment of participants and the sale of the produce. This last part was particularly tricky – it was decided to offer the bread for sale at below-market price, and people were extremely enthusiastic to buy it. (It was also delicious, I might add, having had no role in its production but having eaten more than my fair share.) Nicole and Lisi were a bit overwhelmed by the throng of customers, but managed things well and came up with some good ideas for how to run things next week. This is obviously a fertile opportunity to start a community-based bakery, something the students will be helping to plan over the next few weeks.

Meanwhile, the rest of the students worked on the construction of the community center. They laid rocks into the trenches they had dug last week, and helped to mix cement for the foundation. Unfortunately there was a shortage of materials, so work ended early. The sky was overcast, which provided some merciful cover against the strong sun of Cochabamba.

In the afternoon G. took Kelly and Tom over to Concordia Central to set up the computers which we had donated last week – classes will start on Thursday. Another group of students went to attend the afternoon knitting session that the Loma Pampa women’s group holds every Sunday, and which our program is also supporting. The rest of the students ran an English class for kids in the barrio. Probably 30 kids and teenagers showed up, and practiced some rudimentary English phrases while teaching our students how to say the same things in Quechua. Afterwards, our students joined the barrio kids in a variety of games that spontaneously erupted following class. Movies follow this posting.

Tomorrow morning we are off to La Paz for a short visit to the highlands.

Amy teaching English

Jacob and Aida in Loma Pampa

Katie plays with the kids

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