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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Cerian Roberts talks about her time on the project Volunteering and Participating for inclusion




Time has passed quickly and we already find ourselves a month into the project. Half of us had action Friday with Childfund and the other half with the zebras. The Urban agriculture group had their guided learning, where we were all upset to discover how immoral Nestle are, which is a shame as a kit kat chunky is one of the things I am missing the most.
As part of action Friday with childfund we painted the wall of a school. I personally though that we might leave the wall looking worse than when we began. There´s a reason I left art at GCSE. Despite this the wall turned out very well. I especially had low expectations for the center detail on the Bolivian flag, nut even that turned out picture perfect. If anything the activity highlighted Lauren´s suitability for a career in teaching. Lauren, along with Kate, had already outlined what we were going to paint on the wall before we got there, and throughout kept reminding us to ¨make sure the colors are evenly dispersed¨. We didn´t quite manage to finish the entire wall in the time we had, but we left it with a perfectly formed bumblebee, and a mushroom and mysterious bird house that had been added, neither of which Lauren was particularly pleased about. Toward the end a few children came to help paint the wall too.
Traffic is one aspect of La Paz that we are getting more accustomed to. My house mate, Dom, who has only had the one close encounter, claims it´s all about being ´bold but not complacent´. Our host father, Jose, has been reminding us that there are two paths, ´hospital or dancing´. Dom and I have since gone our separate ways. I remembered to sing the Bee Gees ´you should be dancing´to her whilst she was wrapped up in a blankett on the sofa with an upset stomach.
On Saturday the Best Buddies had an event at the University. Before everyone went to the auditorium for the presentation, we held an activity outside for everyone on disability awareness, employment and education, accessibility and breaking barriers. I was on disability awareness, and showed them a list of famous people with disabilities, such as Mozart, Abraham Lincoln and Steven Spielberg, who have been successful despite their disability. We also gave them a rather difficult maths equation to solve to show them the daily struggles of someone living with an intellectual disability. Spanish is still a definite barrier. You have to be very trusting of the person writing your translations, especially when your reading something to a group of people in a language you don´t understand. It would be an easy prank to play on a non-Spanish speaker, but luckily this hasn´t happened.
It is very difficult to believe that we are already half way through the placement as it feels like we are only just getting into the project.

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