So I realized the other day that I am approaching 6 months at site…aka ONE FOURTH of my 2 years of service! I remember when people told me how fast 2 years would fly by, I nodded in naive agreement, but seriously it has! What have I been doing all this time?
Well as expected the two years goes in waves of excitement with overwhelming busyness and lulls where you feel like you haven’t been doing anything. In the beginning of this year I was happily overwhelmed working on interviews and writing my community diagnostic (which will also be used to contribute a section of the community’s updated Plan of Development, and hence will need to be more “formal and scientific”), organizing a month of summer school classes (environmental education but also a mix of English, health and computing classes), helping SERNANP carry out a week’s worth of activities for Día de los Humedales (see earlier blog post) and accompanying someone from ECOAN (a NGO, “Ecosistemas Andinos”) on his monthly migratory bird monitoring near my community.
Unfortunately, recently has been one of my “lulls” where I have been doing far more planning and brainstorming than actual activities…but hey that’s how it goes right? Currently I have been coordinating a lot with the high school in my community. I am very fortunate to have very supportive director and teachers, and for this I am trying to take full advantage of the opportunity to incorporate “prácticos” (hands on/practical educational activities) into their curriculum. The second semester starts in the middle of May and the director agreed to start a recycling campaign. Originally, I viewed this as an opportunity to pilot a recycling campaign that I would love to extend to the municipality and the whole community, but in recent conversations with the director, I discovered that she is very enthusiastic to expand the project into more of a “healthy, environmentally conscious school” activity – separation of trash into recyclables, organics for worm composting, the rest to be deposited in a small landfill (“microrelleno”) and the construction of a greenhouse which will utilize the compost produced to grow flowers and trees…basically includes all of the aims the Community Based Environmental Management PCV program (education, trash management and forestation)! So if this goes as planned, the project will begin in the next month or so, and in time, the students will share their acquired knowledge with their families at home and the students’ work will provide a model that could be elaborated to include more of the general community.
As for activities that are more definitely established: with ECOAN and SERNANP, we will be giving a series of 8 monthly environmental talks in the middle and high schools on themes pertaining to conservation of the lake and the national reserve; I was invited to help with Club Ciencia (Science Club) in the high school which will be participating in a regional Science Fair competition for the first year, and starting the end of this week I will be helping administer the first bimonthly English oral exam with the English teacher in the high school.
Well that pretty much sums up the highlights