Friday, May 15, 2009

Getting ready for summer '09

The semester has just ended, and I am preparing to lead a second group of students to Bolivia. It comes as a surprise to me that this blog was read rather widely last summer - the first thing people say to me when I tell them I'm returning with students to Bolivia is, "Will you be doing the blog again?" I am happy to oblige. 

This blog serves as an informal means of communication between myself and the wider world - mostly parents and friends of my students, myself, Rutgers University, and Study Abroad. It provides a window on what goes on in Bolivia during our travels, and helps to spread the word about the many things we are experiencing and learning during our time away. 

What to expect in Bolivia? Some things this summer will be the same as last year. We will still be working with La Fundación Pro Justicia, a Bolivian NGO that works to improve access to justice for marginalized urban peoples. The members of Pro Justicia - Guery, Eric, Ethel, and Ruth - will be our companions and guides, helping us to learn about Bolivia and its various challenges. We will still be doing homestays and language classes run through Bolivia Cultura and Volunteer Bolivia (www.volunteerbolivia.org), where Lee Cridland and Javier Molina do a fantastic job making sure all the details go smoothly. We will still be doing service-learning with the people of Loma Pampa and the ambulantes of the Cancha, the ambulant vendors in Cochabamba's giant outdoor marketplace - but more on them later.

What's new this summer will be our efforts to create a health clinic for the ambulantes group. We will be doing construction work in Loma Pampa, putting the finishing touches on the community center that our students began work on last summer. And we will be working with the children in the local orphanage, helping them in their studies and recreation. There is a lot to look forward to.

Please follow this blog for regular updates, both prior to departure and after we have arrived. Departure date is July 1!

2 comments:

amyet said...

Anyone interested in reading more about the ambulantes prior to the program can visit www.losambulantes.com! Good luck everyone!

kelly said...

I am sooo interested for this trip/service/program again. Long live the blog!!