Friday, February 15, 2008

Summer Camps

I just finished up a 3 day environmental summer camp swing through my site and the sites of he two closet volunteers to me. What a great experience! This has been my first real good old fashioned American job title related work since arriving in site about 2 months ago. You may be thinking "Austin really sounds like a bum, what's he been doing for the past 2 months?" Well basically learning two languages and a new culture, meeting new people, exploring, and relaxing! The Paraguayan life is best described as "tranquilo" and although they absolutely know how to work, they are also experts at chillin' out on the porch 'cause it's fricking hot!

My camp was scheduled for Sunday, but because of rain we decided to flip the order and have it on Wednesday. Since the buses weren't running on Sunday, I had to either leave super early Monday morning to make it to Sam's site on the first bus, OR bike it. After consulting with my PC neighbors Sam and Niko (who both strongly advised me not to do it because of the horrible sticky red devil mud) I strapped on my backpack and rolled off down the road. The ride really wasn't that bad. 23 kilometers on rolling hills like mini Ozark Mountains.

To make a long story short, and to skip to the part that applies to me, both Sam and Niko's camps went very very well. I learned a lot and got to warm up for my own camp.

I expected maybe 20 kids for my camp. Being new in my community and because many people aren't familiar with Peace Corps, I didn't expect much. I was way off. It was hard to get an exact number, but we counted between 40 and 50 kids between ages 8 and 15. They were all excited, and participated with enthusiasm. We played games, sang songs, ate snacks, had a water balloon fight. Great fun had by all and a great introduction to the community.

Time to go, more to come!

- Austin

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