We started out the day with beautiful sunny skies and a trip to the FH office for a short presentation. Afterwards we headed to Nueve de Marzo, a school on the outskirts of town which educates approximately 500 children ages K-12. We had the opportunity to work with a classroom of 6/7 year old children to teach English (they also taught us some Spanish!). We worked on the names for various animals and made sure to throw in each animal’s sound as well – think Lion “Roarrrrr”.
While at Nueve de Marzo we also juried an art contest for teenage students. The students participating in the contest were finalists from previous contests and represented several different schools. Students were to base their art around the idea of environment. We were to judge their work using four criteria: creativity/originality, technique, message, presentation. It was a challenging task given how good all of their work was! In the end, the top three students from each group (we had to split them into three groups) received a backpack.
After lunch we headed to Rio Jordan Church to make music with a group of children. We used musical instruments called BoomWhackers which are essentially plastic tubes of differing lengths, each length producing a specific note. Using sheet music with color coded notes (each BoomWhacker tube has its own color) we worked in teams of three (one adult and two children) to play Happy Birthday and Mary Had a Little Lamb. Each team of three was responsible for a specific note in the song. It was a very enjoyable experience with many, many laughs.
After BoomWhackers we participated in a clinic on hand washing. We were fortunate to have a pediatric surgeon on our team who demonstrated how to thoroughly wash one’s hands. Once all of the kids had a chance to try washing their hands using this new method we broke into smaller groups and went out into the community to show a few of the local residents what the children learned. It was a fun experience and well received by the community.
Steve and Anne R had a sweet home visit with their sponsor child Elizabeth and got to meet her mother and siblings. Elizabeth’s father is a pastor and was working construction at the time. They shared gifts, and meal, and countless hugs. Elizabeth, who is 7 years old, was so appreciative of the coloring books and pencils. Steve and Anne now have a second family in Bolivia!