25 May 2006

Camp Bolivian style Blog 25th May 2006

In the past I have had many years experience working with teenagers but last weekend was definitely a different experience. I don’t work with the teenagers so it was hard to communicate in Spanish, with teenagers I don’t have a relationship with.

Let me give you a taste of what went on Friday and Saturday.

Teenagers (21 of them arrived for 8.30pm)

We arranged to have some foam mattresses for the kids to share to sleep on. I was amazed how many kids said that they don’t have a bed at home so the mattress was like a hotel! Some teenage boys sleep with their mother so they found it hard to sleep alone on a mattress and don’t seem to use a pillow; so in my class with 6 girls I felt like the queen as I had a pillow. I was a bit embarrassed.

We did a bible quiz and had supper and the lights went out at midnight but this just encouraged the teenagers to talk more and as I said I didn’t know any of these kids personally so it was hard to tell them to go to sleep. So around 2am it was peace and quiet but it didn’t last long as the boys woke up at 5 am and in their classroom up stairs they kept stumping so that way they would wake up the girls down stairs with me. I sat there thinking “I’m too old for this” but I survived!

After breakfast we had to arrange for all the teenagers to practice a drama or song or bible reading etc. Luckily I had a Spanish lesson from my teacher that I could use at this camp. Then at 12 noon we boarded a bus to take all the kids to a park. We had lunch around 2pm and we were all responsible for 4 kids each so that way they wouldn’t go off on their own. We went for a walk and wait for the young people from church to come and help but they came too late so we did our own thing. We had dinner at 5 pm and each group preformed their drama etc.

We got the kids home by 7.30pm and we all went home exhausted!

17 May 2006

Blog for Bolivia 16th May 06

Yesterday was a challenge in many ways. My heart breaks for some of these kids here and there is not much I can do for them except love them with all my might while they are in my class.

My latest newsletter introduces, 2 little ones named Coco and Josie. I don’t really know how many are in the family as Bolivians sometimes have extended family living with them. But this family run a local pub so the parents are often drinking a lot and the kids are left to wander the streets and care for them selves. They are only 4 and 3 yrs old and their 2 year- old brother some times visits my class but he always comes without any pants or shoes. His name is Francisco.

Yesterday I had problems with the whole three of them!
Francisco had pants that kept falling down and all I could see was where he hadn’t been cleaned after going to the bathroom and he kept playing with his rear end.
This is not very hygienic for my class, as I don’t want the other kids in my class to get sick. Then Josie doesn’t like you to touch her as maybe she gets abused at home but yesterday she had a running nose and is always tired in my class and doesn’t want to participate except for sleep. I discovered that she had hit another child so I sent her home. I am aware as they wander the streets they have to defend for them selves so they think this normal.

Then Coco was in my class with a cold and blood shot eyes. I told him that we didn’t want all the kids to be sick so could he please go home and rest! I knew that he wouldn’t like this, as he would miss out on his drink and biscuit. He disappeared for a while and when he returned his eyes weren’t red at all so I don’t know what he did. He still came to class and coughed and sneezed on everyone but at least he was somewhere where people care for him and pay attention. Before class started I patted his back to break down his congestion.
When our classes had finished Josie returned with another little one as I guess she wanted her biscuit and drink. The little one that was with her looked only 2 years old also and none of the kids had had a wash for days and didn’t like it when I washed their hands and face but this new little one had the BIGGGEST knot of hair that I have ever seen! I would guess that you would have to shave his head to remove.
If I give money, they expect it all the time and I have to be seen doing it fairly for all not just one. Several weeks ago a little girl came and said that she couldn’t go to school because her mother didn’t have any money to buy schoolbooks etc. I don’t know if her mother received any assistance for the centre but I privately gave her two schoolbooks and she left contented but often doesn’t come back as they have received what they came for! When I saw her next time, I asked how school was going and she said “Good Thanks” so then I was happy that she is going.

Bolivia with no “Change”
It’s a crazy system here as no one has change. When you withdraw your money from the ATM machine it only comes in larger notes. Normally back home you buy something and then get change but here no one has it, they all borrow from each other. Many times I go to buy something small so I can have change for transport but of course they don’t have change so you can’t buy what you wanted. I’ve even heard of someone going to a BANK to pay a bill and the bank didn’t have change also. When I visited Potosi I discovered that money here stopped printing many years ago so our money if very ancient. There are many people forging money so now at many shops they have a special machine to see if its real money or not. Some times you end up with money that you can’t use.


11 May 2006


Just a short note to let all my friends know that my passport has arrived after 6 months of dramas so now they can stamp my one year visa inside the passport. ya....................

STill eagerally waiting to move into my apartment in early june

At the moment the maid does all the cooking, cleaning, washing and shopping and makes my bed etc.
So I will have to start cooking for myself which will be good...............


8 May 2006


I´ve been going to a prayer meeting all in spanish every fortnight so this is good for my spanish and hope to teach the ladies some more crafts in the future.

yesterday i went to a fair and was amazed at the security standards for the rides
I am amazed that no one gets injured.

Another point of interest is that my passport is ready......yeah.....
its only been since november

til next time



5 May 2006

Today friday I am going to teach my Bolivans friends some crafts so this should be good


1 May 2006


Going on a picnic Bolivian style is a whole new experience.

Normally in OZ you may go after a sunday lunch but in bolivia you dont get to you destination til 4.30pm and of course it gets dark around 6.30pm so there is not much time to enjoy daylight as the sun is setting. Half of us returned from our bush walk before it got to dark but others left too late and had to walk back in the dark without a torch. It could have been dangerous for them but we waited for an hour and they all returned safely. They dont have Careflight here if some one got injured. We arrived home around 8pm.

Well monday was a public holiday but as usuall we all worked at the centre.
I gave a little party for a girl who turned 5.

I had a nice saturday afternoon I meet a team from Norway. It was really great to talk to them and I hope to see them again before they move on to the next place

thats all for now