"Every planet has its own weird customs. About a year before we met, I spent six weeks on a moon where the principal form of recreation was juggling geese. My hand to God. Baby geese - goslings! They were juggled."

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

And we´re off...

Recycled art seems to have swept through Pucará faster than I ever would have imagined.  The first week I was in town, I showed my host family the crafts I´d made from trash (folded chip bags, crocheted plastic bags, paper, beads, etc.) and they told other people, and soon the teachers from the school saw the crafts, and soon everyone in the town wanted to know how to make them.

So now I´ll be in the school working with the older kids each Tuesday.  Today was our first day and I think they did well, except we ran into one problem - we ran out of trash!  I hope they continue to be excited about the idea and begin cleaning up the street and saving their own trash.  I worked with another community member´s group of kids last week and we did just that - collected a couple bags full of trash to wash and cut up.  Some teens came to this group and asked if we could have a workshop every day (every day!) to work on the trash projects.

Lately now I´m acting as the volunteer/Spanish school coordinator and kind of learning as I go.  The community has one student now who is only here for a few days, but the trick was finding activities for him to do in the afternoons.  Luckily another tourist group is coming through on Wednesday, so the family showing the group the panela-making process had to cut caña (sugar cane) today and yesterday for the demonstration.  The student helped them yesterday with cutting the caña and hopefully tomorrow will see how the caña juice is transformed into chemical-free granular sugar.

And finally... one of the teachers invited me to stay with her family in her house in Ibarra to see Inti Raymi (the indigenous festival of the solstice).  I missed it last year despite living in an indigenous community (they didn´t celebrate it).  Apparently the night before they dance all night in a circle and bathe in waterfalls.  Should be fun!

Siempre Verde high school group from Georgia and South Carolina (?) on a tour of a farm
Making panela (raw sugar) from caña (sugar cane) juice.  
Working in the vivero (tree nursery) during a minga.

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