Thursday, August 7, 2014

Our first 3 weeks in Bolivia

The first three weeks in Bolivia have been a diverse and exhilarating experience, trying out all the different foods and starting on the projects. It has been an eye opening hectic schedule but with the support with the co-operanates, Cerys our team leader, other volunteers and Emma & family we have quickly felt at home in Bolivia.

Traditional dance by the Tia’s at the Valley of the Moon 10 year anniversary party
At Up Close Bolivia there are 5 projects and we have all been split across the projects. Leighanne is representing International Service at the Valley of the Moon children centre. Daily tasks involve supporting the tias with various activities such as teaching the children the alphabet and counting numbers. With the 10 year anniversary of the children centre we asked Emma how she feels “The children centre is a dream come true, never thought it would come true and it shows what hard work can achieve”. The children centre started from a donation from Manchester also the mothers club of Mallasa was involved with the creation of the children centre.  

Working at the zoo has been loads of fun; from sowing hammocks to making juices for the monkeys.  We were privileged in the first week to be able to attend the opening of the puma house, which was also attended by the Mayor. At the fundacion provenir we have quickly learned many specialist skills; such as many occupational therapy techniques from Andrea and horse riding every week with Felix.  The children who attend are amazing and it was such a proud moment to attend the award giving ceremony.

Working at the Mallasa zoo to make hammocks for the monkey enclosures

End of semester certificate giving ceremony at the Fundacion Provenir, which provides equine therapy for children with disabilities
Our other projects are the football classes, nuestro espacio and English classes. All have been really successful with loads of children turning up to the classes. In football, the children have been learning passing techniques and playing matches, and in nuestro escpacio the children have been learning about the environment and planting.  Our English classes are themed with a group having a country; and learning about the geography, animals, traditional dress and myths of the country.

Football coaching in Jupapina

We're excited to carry on with the projects and see the progress of the children and enjoying our time in La Paz and beyond.

The view from our house in Mallasa

Written by Jade Parker and Leighanne Powles.

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