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Monthly Archives: July 2008

Building a daycare

Well, we didn´t exactly build the daycare, but we prepared the foundation on which the daycare will be built. That´s the most important part, right? Afterall, if you don´t have a strong foundation the structure will go “splat” (as the song says).

We literally started with nothing. We had to clear the field in order to begin. That was done by burning the grass as the girls started digging up trees and weeds.

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After the grass was burned, we continued to dig and clear away debris.

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Amanda was determined to get rid of this small tree. She was having a good time with that machete.

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Then it was time to start digging the trenches. These trenches will be filled with cement which will serve as the foundation on which the brick walls will be built. Most structures here in Bolivia are made of  brick or cement.

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Some of the girls sitting in one of their trenches.

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I have to post this image of Margo standing by a termite mound. These things are everywhere. When we asked about them, people told us ants lived in them. But when we started breaking them open, they were filled with termites.

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Our first days together

I finally have some images to post. These are from when we first arrived in Santa Cruz and we were at the home of Tito and Yolanda.

We had cooks at the house who kept us well fed. Tito and Yolanda have some neighbor ladies (I believe it is a mother and her daughters) who they hire to cook for groups that stay at their house.

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It´s so dry and dusty here, so every day we all had dirty feet. Amanda, Rachel, Grael and Leah solved this problem by washing their feet in the laundry sink.

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After church on Sunday, before we split up into our homes, we took the opportunity to take some pictures. Here is Rachel, Grael, Kirsten and Sara L hanging out.

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After Sara L. and Grael left, some of the girls found out that there is a roof area that was accessible by stairs. They decided to do some posing for me. This roof is above the courtyard area between Tito and Yolanda´s house and the dorm area where we stayed.

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Then they wanted to go back down to the courtyard and do some “jumping” pictures off a little ledge. This was the result. I was literally laughing out loud looking at these pictures. My shutter speed was too slow so they are a little blurry, but they are still pretty funny.

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More of the girls had to leave. Here is the “tunnel” the girls made for Kirsten, Alyssa and Margo. Notice their sad faces.

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Sara M, Rachel, Amanda and Leah watch from behind the bars at the house as the girls pack up and ride off with Lidia. I just thought this first picture was funny. The second one was their sad faces, again, as the bid farewell to their friends.

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A day in the life of Youth Venture Bolivia

Our typical day looks like this:

6:00-7:00
Get up and get dressed

7:00-8:00am
Walk to your bus stop (which is just somewhere along the road where the bus will pass by at some point), catch your bus, or get a ride to the daycare with your host parent

8:00-9:30am’ish
Wait around until everyone is at the daycare and breakfast is ready. Eat breakfast, which usually consists of (hot) tea with some sort of bread, or some sort of rice dish.

9:30am’ish
Walk to the building site (about a 5 minute, or so, walk) or stay at the daycare, depending on what your job that day is. Work all morning with breaks here and there, usually because we are not sure what we are suppose to do next, or we are having trouble communicating with the Bolivianos who are giving us instructions.

Noon’ish
Go back to the daycare for lunch. Lunch usually consists of some sort of soup, some sort of chicken or beef dish with rice, some sort of salad (sometimes salad means tomatoes, peppers and carrots cut up and served on a plate), and water to drink.

After lunch until 2:00
Siesta! Some take a nap for their siesta, some kick around the soccer ball, and others just hang out and chit chat or write in their journals.

2:00
Get back to work. Notice there is no “‘ish” here. Usually at 2:00 on the dot, the guys get back to work which means it’s time for us to get back to work.

4:00’ish-5:00’ish
At some point we finish working for the day. It may depend on the weather, if there is a good stopping point in the work, or if certain work needs to get done that day. At this point we go back to the daycare with an afternoon snack waiting for us. This normally consists of some sort of bread or maybe a plantain or yuca dish, along with (hot) tea.

5:00’ish-6:30’ish
Catch the bus home, or get a ride with a (host) family member.

At this point the schedule varies with each girl and her family. Most likely they get home, shower, eat dinner, hang out with the host family or go to an internet cafe, and then go to bed.

This schedule may vary from day to day, of course, and it is different on the weekends. But this gives you a little bit of an idea what we are doing on a daily basis.

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