Friday, August 16, 2013

Lawrence's reflections

I haven't really drunk coffee regularly before.  

It's not that I don't like the flavour, it's just that I never needed the caffeine kick to help me along with my day. The last week however I have had at least 3 cups a day. Perhaps that’s due the sudden increase of workload or the persistent cough keeping me up at night. Whatever it is, the caffeine has definitely been welcome. Being more of a foreigner to a long day’s work than the country I am living in, it hasn’t been a joyride. It definitely has though, been the best week since arriving.
I normally work with Aldeas Infantiles, a charity organization that run nursery centres in inner city La Paz for 2-5 year. This week though, due to a not too uncommon public transport strike, I got a change of tempo. Unable to get into the centre on the Tuesday most of the Aldeas volunteers including myself ended up with a office day. I promptly got asked to help make a Sexual Health presentation look aesthetically pleasing, and to redesign a children's poster. I was excited to be able to contribute through one of my strengths.

The work piled up throughout the week, I got to start work on a booklet on nutrition (there is a very high malnutrition rate in La Paz and moreover in El Alto), design several murals for outside my centre and even had the mandatory pleasure of writing this fantastic blog for you guys. I got the feeling of being very useful.

Working in my centre, Pura Pura, is good fun too. My centre has around 25 children attending on a daily basis, around 10 of these are babies and the other 15 are 2-5 year olds. The Madres there are very helpful and kind, despite the difficulty I have holding a conversation in spanish.  This can also make the lessons I deliver challenging. The great thing about small children though is that you don't need a large vocabulary to express what you are trying to get across and because they are so well behaved the lessons do go smoothly and I feel like I am genuinely teaching them. 

It has been an amazing experience so far. Living with people I don't know, learning how to get by on a small budget; it feels like good preparation for university. Except I get to live 3500m above sea level and I pop down to the Amazon jungle or largest salt flats in the world on weekends.

Written by Lawrence Barraclough
Edited by Sarah Cassidy 

To find out about International Service's ICS projects and stay up to date with our latest activities, please visit our blogs and 'like' our facebook page:

UpClose Bolivia
ChildFund - Encounter of the Youth's Generation
 Aldeas Infantiles - Entrepreneurial Education 

International Citizen Service - Bolivia Facebook page

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