Sunday, June 29, 2008

Volunteers Needed For Vacation Classes

Vacation classes start on July 14. We will be offering classes in English, Math and Physics. We want to keep the classes small so could use at least two teachers for each subject.

We charge our volunteers nothing. In addition to that small amount we provide a place to live. You can take a look at the Volunteers compound by clicking here.

If you are interested contact us at

Think it just might be the best experience of your life.

Just Up-dated The Open House Post.

Click on the title to go directly to the update.

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Day After

Yesterday dawned almost cloudless. Today it rained until almost noon. How lucky can you get.

Because of the heavy rains not many students showed up for school. We hung out in the kitchen huddled around the fireplace to dry off and get warm.
Since this was the last day of both Lisa, our volunteer from Ireland and Ryan from the United States we decided to kill one of the three roosters before they killed each other and have a farewell lunch.
Lisa, who is on her way to other parts of South America had to leave before lunch, but not before the kids presented her with their hand-made cards.
Looking on are two of our newest volunteers, Sara from Switzerland and Isabel from the UK.

Lisa, you were a big help in preparing the kids for the presentation and you do a great rendition of "I am the music man." Thank you....I will miss you.
Ryan a long term volunteer returned yesterday for the program to the delight of all of the students and teachers. He is super popular and during his stay here he became a good friend to everyone. A few weeks ago he left, without fanfare, to visit other parts of Ecuador before he became an illegal alien. So today we gave him the usual farewell, that tears a little at the hearts of everyone. As the song goes "Cuando un amigo se va, queda un espacio vasio." (When a friend leaves, they leave an empty space.)

Ryan, goodbye, happy trails and we will see you next January 2009.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Big Day Has Arrived.

We arrived early today and found the school the same as we left the afternoon before. The rocks for the fire pit were where they had been piled late yesterday. The lamb had been butchered however.

It is one of those rare days when there was hardly a cloud in the sky....Everything was going to be just fine.

We had a few hours before the guests would be arriving so we got to work. I had four volunteers ready to help so we all went off in different directions. We wired the "Command Center" for electricity, cleaned the rooms and sports field and were moving the rocks to the area where the fire pit was being dug, as the first guests started to arrive.
The families and friends have arrived and while the oven was being readied, snacks were served and everybody was happy.

The pit was lined with rocks and a fire was built using wood from the Capolin tree which burns very hot.
When the fire burns down the coals are removed and potatoes and habas (a kind of Lima bean) in there shells are placed on top of the hot rocks.
The lamb is placed in the center. The pit is covered with corrugated tin and then covered with earth.

We are now ready to start the program as it will be an hour before we will uncover the pit.

Let The Show Begin

I was not able to take pictures of the first part of the program as I was too busy trying to exact my will on the young performers. Maria Antonia took a video of the program and as soon as it is available I will post a link here.

The program started with the singing of the national anthem of Ecuador in both Kichwa and Spanish.
Followed by "Fight of the Numbers" a skit performed by the children ages four through six. Here they are waiting patiently for the show to start.
They did an exceptional job and it was hilarious.
The next part of the program was presented by all of the students, young and old. It was a tribute to all of the volunteers who have worked here at the school for the past two years. There have been 20 different volunteers and they have come from nine different countries. We called this segment "Volunteers On Parade".
Each country was honored by playing the national anthem of the country while one child carried the flag and placed it on a post, which we called the Flag Tree. Following the flag another student carried the picture of the volunteer and placed it on the map of the world, where we had located hooks with strings connecting to the countries from which they came.

When the parade was finished, Luis, the director gave a little talk about how even though the distances were great it was really a very small world. We ended this part by singing in English....It's a small world after all. We had a few hitches but everyone got the message.

The final act was traditional dances performed by the students and led by Fabiola who has been working with them since January


This was probably the hottest day of the year and Jesica was glad the dance was over.

The pit is opened and it is time to eat.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Getting Ready For Open House.

The plan is to have the presentation on the sports field. The only IF, and it is a big one, is what will the weather be like. Today is beautiful and warm....But what about tomorrow.

The command center for the presentation is finished....
The fatted lamb is here.
We had a very rough rehearsal in one of the classrooms today....Nothing short of chaos.

There are still a thousand things to do. I have my fingers crossed.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Saturday....What A Beautiful Day.

There is something about a day full of physical activity that leaves you both exhilarated and pleasantly exhausted. While Lorenzo was turning the destroyed water tank into a small store, I decided it was time to fill in the crater of the would-be swimming pool that was started by the students in February. See story here.
I don't know of another school in the world where the students would be allowed to pursue their fantasies in such a manner. It reminded me when I was about that age when my friends and I decided to dig a cave in our backyard.

This will probably be the site of our barbaque pit where we will prepare the meal for our "Open Huse" guests on the 19th. Hope to see some of you here.

Work Begins On The Water Tank Make-Over.

Friday we started converting the destroyed water tank into a small "Tienda".
Five year old Jwamari, the boy that suggested we make a "tienda" looks on. He is very proud....But wait till he sees the sign.

At midday Saturday we were here.

A counter top, a little paint, a sign and it is finished.

Our Volunteers....Past And Present.

Beginning in June we will offer Spanish lessons for the volunteers. The classes will be held in the English classroom in Central Salasaca.

Many of the volunteers feel the need to learn or improve there language skills and take the time to attend language schools either in BaƱos or Quito. The cost is pretty standard in both cities....Five dollars per hour.

Our intention is to offer the classes in the afternoon and evening at a much reduced price or depending on the instructors, maybe even free.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Thanks For The Donations.

Thanks to those who have donated to our cause, we now have a new piece of equipment that will be used in our "Open House" presentation on the 19th.

We had to cancel the dance lessons last week because we had no CD player. From now on we will not have to depend on borrowed equipment each time we need music.
Above Ed is testing the system by reading a story to two Isabel, Jwamari and Maria, one of our teachers.

It works great. Thank you again.

Today....Another Great View Of Chimborazo.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Amy, Ben, Amd Ryan Had To Leave.....Welcome Lisa And Ed.

Ed comes to us from the USA. He will be here for at least six months. When Ed turns around I will give you a look at his face. Maybe next time. Check out his blog, aptly named "Ed's Trip".How he got here from Arkansas, is an interesting story.
After traveling around Ecuador for a few weeks Lisa came go give us a hand. Lisa is from Ireland and is the fourth person from that country to volunteer here at Katitawa.
Welcome to your both, we are glad that you are here.

Only 11 More Days Until Open House

I wish there were more. If the weather is nice we will have the program outside. If there are any readers out in Never-Never land that will be in Ecuador the 19th....Come on over. Leave a comment is you need directions.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Time For Follow-Up Hepatitis Shots

The last time these the nurse from the health department showed up, there was a lot of screaming and crying that could be heard for miles. Today only one little guy had to coaxed by his friends to get in line.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Jefferson And His Harp.

All you need is a cardboard box, some twine and a broom handle....And a little paint to make it beautiful.
You can even tune it.

Celine....She Came, She Went....She Will Return.

Thanks Celine for stopping by. Your help in the English classes was great and your moves on the soccer field will not soon be forgotten.