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This morning I taught the little kids the time using a wooden clock we had bought for them- it was more difficult than stuff we've done before but the majority of them picked it up, especially one little boy who was very good and excited about learning the time. Mum had the older girls writting stories about themselves which they prefered over dictation and spellings.
In our morning break we played the same local game with the girls, this time we decided to chalk it on the concrete rather than playing in the dirty sand.
This afternoon was stressful... We took the parachute and beanbags in for the children, who at first were having great fun tossing the beanbags up in the air. But the boys got too excited and started being rough which led to a little girl cutting her lip (she's fine thankfully!) It's hard because there are so many children to control and they don't understand when you try and teach them that being boystrous is naughty, the 'head girl' just ended up giving them a slap to try and keep them in order!!
Lots of love Ella and Wendy x
Stepperiders are a family owned and run business that are located two hours outside of UB; they cater to tourists who wish to sleep in a ger, horse ride and enjoy a slower pace. I'm volunteering with them for four weeks and this is a recap of how my first week went.
There is dirt under my fingernails, my hair is dry and stringy, my clothes are covered in horse hair and grass, and the huge grin on my face is a strong indication of how much these things make me happy. Actually, not so much happy as opposed to content. The countryside life, no showers, lots of horse riding and socialising is perfectly suited to my needs. It serves as the supreme getaway. I'm here, volunteering with Stepperiders, and having the time of my life. The company is owned by Mongolians, and the camp consists of about 10 gers, both for tourists and Mongolians working here and their families. There are always kids running around, old people staring out at the mountains while the wrinkles on their face convey the acquired wisdom that comes with age, there are the trekking guides and then five volunteers, including myself. Us volunteers make a nice group of American, Australians and English, and our job is to help around the camp, make tourists feel comfortable, teach the staff and kids English and, of course, ride horses! I've established a routine of waking up around 9, coming down for breakfast then sitting around for a few hours either reading or writing or talking to guests, lunch is served around midday and afterwards we get everyone on horses and go for a ride. When we get back, we lay around some more talking, maybe greet some new guests and show them the communal ger and where they will be sleeping, explain some Mongolian rules (#1 rule: RT = T+2. Real Time is the Time they tell you ...
One year ago, on the date of August 23rd, a kindergarten class was set up by Projects Abroad with a main aim to help improve the life and education of the orphaned children at the shelter. The kindergarten class is the place where our care volunteers can play with the kids and teach them drawing, craft, English, simple Mathematics, songs and children behaviour lessons. Working alongside and coordinating with the volunteers is a great local teacher hired by Projects Abroad. During the one year, with the contribution of 64 care volunteers and 26 physiotherapy volunteers, the classroom and its activities have gone really well. To celebrate it, last Friday we brought cakes, fruit, balloons, poster and songs there to have a party with the current volunteers and all the children. Let's check out some photos taken during the birthday party:
Helena Strandsberg Sørensen, 20 from Denmark, arrived in Peru having already spent 2 months with Projects Abroad in Mexico, volunteering on the Care program. She had decided to take a gap year between high school and university and wanted to learn more about the countries, people and culture she was going to visit. She also wanted to make a difference, so volunteering was a great way to do this.
In Peru, Helena split her 3 months between the Care and Teaching Programs, working in a kindergarten with 3 to 5 year olds and then in a secondary school teaching English. In both placements, Helena helped out with general classroom management and supporting the teachers' activities. Additionally, in the English classes she prepared activities, helped with pronunciation and did lots of marking; whilst in the kindergarten she played with the children, helped with hand washing and meal times and specifically supported a boy with special needs.
Helena noted that Projects Abroad really helps the placements they work in as they provide additional resources and teacher training as well as the support offered by volunteers. Helena felt particularly useful in her kindergarten as there were many children and only one teacher: “having a volunteer really helped the teacher to do her job, because I could help keeping order in the class and carry out the activities.” As well as her practical support, Helena felt that she was able to help make the day more fun for the children as well as enabling them to learn that little bit more.
The difference in culture was one of the things that made her Peruvian experience so special for Helena. She says that she had barely any problems adjusting to the difference ...
Our Two Week Special volunteers august 2013 have successfully completed their two weeks of hard work at our street children centres, at the summer kindergarten but also at the renovation site where it consisted of building a washroom and paint a big classroom for a Daara.
Like the previous Two Weeks they attended many social activities in the evenings, such as African dance lessons, carriage ride tour in the city... Also, they went to a trip to Lompoul desert and did some shopping too.
Thanks so much to all of you : Xi Chen ( Canada), Andrew Choi (Canada), Alexandra Braun ( Belgium), Alexie Van Canneyt (Belgium), Diego Alari (Italy), Stephanie Harkes (UK), William Cook (UK), Louise Procureur (Belgium), Lilas Mignard Debise (France), Joseph Blindt (UK) , Ololade Omisore (UK), Eseosa Omorogbe ( Nigeria), Lina Perez (Spain) and Eloise Lanckriet (Belgium). You did "Mega" well!!!
Thanks to you this people can now have a shower when they want to and therefore live a more normal life.
Good luck in your studies, you will be missed!