Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Volunteering at a school near Calca, Peru

 
It is winter here in Canada now, cold, windy, snowy. I have a husband on a tractor cleaning up the two driveways in the dark from the snowstorm that we had on Monday this week.
And for me it is time to do a little more blogging about my adventures in Peru.


I had prepared the photos in this blog a while back, just didn't seem able to find the words to adequately describe the joy and the learning and the pleasure that surrounded and overflowed in me when we visited the school and had some fun learning hours with the kids a few times a week during the last part of my stay in Calca. 





Emerita taught classes on colour theory with the kids using some of Johannes Itten's methods of seeing complementary and contrasting colours. They were all eyes and 'some' ears.

 Letting them paint with brushes and aniline paints, using old soup tins to hold the water and off they were after some show and tell instructions.










Here they are looking at a boy/men's traditional hat (chullo), knitted in brilliant colours and with patterns/icons that have significance for the family, telling about their fields, their mountains - their life in/with Mother Nature/PachaMama.












Younger kids expressing themselves - the youngest class was grade one, I believe the kids were around 5 or 6 years old. This being their first year in school we got the class room teacher to translate into Quechua some of what Emerita had shared with everyone in Spanish, just to make sure that the kids had a chance to understand better what it was we were up to in their class room. Some of them hadn't started learning Spanish until this year in school.













The focus of a few of the bigger kids. Having first written a poem about their lives on the mountain. They run back up to 4200m on the weekends to spend time with their family and friends - when they have to go and herd animals, sheep, llamas, alpacas up into the remote spots to find good grazing for their family herd










The last class that I was part of - the kids had brought in weaving from their families - and the topic was 'Icons in your mothers weaving, what does it tell us' - there was chatter and focus and stories and afterwards eager kids with pencils, paintbrushes, paint and beautiful poems illustrated by the authors.






The sink where the kids washed their hands and their plates and spoons after any of the meals they had at school and where they just splashed each other for the fun of it because ..... what else is there to do with running water on a reasonably warm day at school!



Boys playing soccer in the back ground and the girls having a serious conversation amongst themselves and with Emerita about their lives in the mountains, about herding, living, playing, and going to school.




If you go to the Apulaya website, there is a short movie with more in-depth information on the work that Emerita and Valerio do at the school, sometimes by themselves sometimes with fortunate volunteers like myself.  

It was a privilege to participate!

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