Two-fold Mission

Posted July 1, 2011 @ 10:23am | by Comunidad

This is a two-fold mission to Ayacucho this year: Comunidad is installing about 600 more library books across 4 villages, 4 reading levels with an attempt to keep the array of books more or less the same across the rotating book shelves or "retablos".  As simple as this may sound, it takes a good deal of effort to research and purchase the books from New Jersey, reinforce the bindings in Minnesota, create an envelope and card for the simple card catalog system of checkout, to see that the books are schlepped down by my sister's hearty travelers or by me, and finally to track and distribute the books.  I did forget to bring down any of the necessary envelope/card checkout thingies for the books that somehow bypassed my house and got themselves down here.  We have had to cut apart manilla envelopes and fashion our own - and they're not nearly as good looking.

Oh, the second half of the first part of the two fold mission (complicated, eh?) is to make sure the schools are running as well as they can.  We will inspect each classroom to see if white boards or others supplies are needed to enhance the experience.  We will also check on the kitchens for all programs and make sure they are clean and utilizing the food we provide to utmost practicality.  We have a new high school with 140 students eating lunch each day.  That village is named Chockipampa, which is a delight to say aloud.  Go ahead and try it.  I'll strap on the gloves and inspect with clip board in hand - make it look official.

The second half of the two fold mission is to connect River Walls Rotarian, John Kremer, with local officials and experts so that he can best meet the economic requests from our villages in the future.  The mission of Comunidad is, and always has been, to provide education (later nutrition was an added obvious extension to this), but not economic development.  We are focused and small and do what we do.  We have always wanted to connect them with other organizations that do what we do not.  Rotary is perfect to meet these other needs, as an example.  Last year I felt we were unable to light the necessary fire under the rears of the local rotarians.  Our persistence has paid off, however, and I was able to keep the arson supplies in my hand bag this year.  They are going to send a member who is a retired agrarian professor from the local university to meet us in Culluhuanca on Tuesday.  This village trotted out a llama and pony show last year in their request for a tractor from rotary.  The red tape unfurls slowly from the roll, but it is at last unfurling.  We spent the morning listening to this professor.  John understands exactly nothing in Spanish and I caught a mere 30%, but believe he is meeting us on Tuesday and that he is an expert in cheese.  (I'm NEVER telling if that is not what he said).

This morning I went to fetch the 11 boxes of books and supplies in the hotel's storeroom, the bodega.  Two lazy employees watched me go back and forth, grunting with heavy boxes in high altitude with my flabby arms.  I did not want to break into their daydreaming with a request for help.  My pride was high - right under my chin.  Then they tripped over each other to help another javascript:void(0)gringa (blonde and young) carry out a sheaf of paper.  A sheaf of paper!  Perhaps I'll reflect on the loss of youth and beauty later.  Nah!

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