Sunday, October 19, 2008

Rufino Masaquiza Rejoins The Staff At Katitawa.

Rufino Masaquiza was teaching as a volunteer here at Katitawa when the school was first started more than 10 years ago.
 


Today, thanks to a donation from one of the readers of this blog who has guaranteed the salary for one year, we were able to bring him back to the benefit of a new generation.

Rufino will be teaching once again Kichwa, traditional music, arts and crafts.

Welcome back.

Illiniza Sur.....Showed its self.

Illiniza Sur, about 55 Km southwest of Quito was visiable on the walk to school a few days ago. Illiniza is a dormat stratovolcano and is 5,246 meters elevation.
 

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Sumak Kawsay Yachay Will Have A New Home.

The foundation Sumak Kawsay Yachay will have a new home. Click on the title of this post for the rest of the story.
 

New Headquarters For Sumak Kawasay Yachay

Today we started to clean our new headquarters for SKY. We anticipate to be moved in by the 26th of October.

The building is located in the barrio of Mangiwa de Katitawa, which is the barrio where the Katitawa School is located. The building belongs to the community and has been vacant for some time.
 
Marcelo Masaquiza, the president of the community offered the building to the foundation, in recognition of the work that we have been doing at the school, which can be used as needed. All we need to do is pay for the electricity and water. In the coming year there may be a small fee....Not to exceed $50 per month.
 
We plan to use the second leval to house the volunteers and the lower leval will be the new home of the Rosa Maria Library- We will also have space for our afternoon English classes and after school "Homework" help for students who live in Salasaca and need a little extra help in various subjects.

We will also offer a high speed Internet connection for use of the community. The only other Internet service available is a very slow connection in Salasaca Central. There will be a small usage fee to help cover the cost of the satellite connection. At the present time we have one rather newish computer and one six years old. As soon as we have the funds available we will expand the service.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Katitawa Recycling Center Is Open For Business.

Every once in a while we get a volunteer who wants to do something and they just can't be stopped. Jannick from France is one. He saw a great deal of recyclable material littering the road that we traveled each morning and asked if he could get the kids involved in a recycling project here at the school. Remembering a past project where we ended up with a room full of trash and nowhere to get rid of it....I said sure, as long as we have all the bases covered so that we can complete the cycle.

Yannick did his research well and told me that he was told of a place in Ambato that may accept plastic, which is the biggest problem. I said "that's wonderful", Jannick said, "when can we check it out?". I said, "maybe next week". Yannick said, "which day?". I said, "maybe Wednesday"- The next Tuesday, Yannick asked, "tomorrow, right? So we went. That is not exactly the conversation as he was a little more persistent.

The visit to the recycling center was a whole lot more productive than we had imagened. They take about 20 different kinds of trash and will even pick it up at the school. We may even end up making a little proffit for some project that will be decided once we see how successful we will be.

The next step is to create a place to store the material so that it does not look like a collection of trash. Again....Every day Jannick's questions were the same. Where can we build it and when can we start. He was a man on a mission. We decided on an unused area at the end of the dining room and he went to work.
 
Jannick recuited Paul, from Holland and Diana from the USA, who were here for a short time, to give hime a hand.
 

 

 

The place is not 100% finished, however this is Jannick's last day and he took the kids out for their first collection trip. They came back with five large bags of trash which now will be sorted and bagged. What was trash when laying on the side of the roadm is now product and who know what it will become in its next life.
 

Jannick was not planning on leaving for another three months, the government changed some rules and he had to be out of the country in two days. Visitors from all countries can now visit Ecuador without a visa, but as of a few weeks ago they can only stay for a maximum of 90 days per year where it used to be 180.

I had heard nothing of this new regulation until Yannick went to BaƱos to have his passport stamped for the second 90 days and they told him that he had to leave the country by the 13th. So we lost a volunteer who in seven weeks made a difference here and everyone will miss him.

I promised him that we would finish the center and keep the program going....And we will. Thank you Yannick.

It's Yannick's Time To Say Goodbye....Sooner than expected.

Yannick's last day.
 

 

 

The letters and gifts are presented.

 

The traditional "Thank You" speach by Luis

 

The "Goodbyes" have been said....And the school bus is leaving.

 

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Old Bus Just Can't Make It Up The Hill Anymore.

The old VW is getting tired....And the last hill is just too much, so the kids have to get out and walk the last 100 meters.
 
If we don't have anymore troubles then this the children will survive. It does make a nice picture and a little exercise will do them good.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Erika, Gave A Six Week Painting Class To Two Past Graduates Of Katitawa.

 

 
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It's Saturday....Time for a break.

The last few days have been sunny and warm....Sometimes even hot. I came to the school today to do a few chores, like let the chickens out of the coop, water the garden because we have had no rain for several days, and just hang out enjoying the solitude.

As it turned out, the chickens were already out, which makes me wonder if they were ever in. I found the cistern low and started to fill it, which means I must block off the water in the small canal. I started the pump and went up to water the garden but the water only came in spurts and a lot of air. After an hour of this I walked back down and found that someone had removed the blockage and even emptied the small sandbag I had used and took the bag.

Walking back up the hill, a little ticked, I looked at the forest of pines, which grow at the exact hammock width, and thought....Why not.

I let the chickens out of their pen,
 
Hung my hammock.

 
And climbed in.

 
A look to the right.

 
A look ahead.

 
A look to the left.

 
A look up above and went to sleep.