Tuesday, August 18, 2015

My journey

 It’s really weird thinking we’ll be home soon, as La Paz seems like our home now. As soon as I’ve got home and had a crumpet I’ll want to get straight back on a plane and come back. 10 weeks completely flies by. Saying goodbye to the producers was emotional for our team leaders, as they’ve been working closely with them for months, and I think that’s when it properly hit me that we were leaving. It’s been a rush to put the finishing touches on everything; sewing the Chiluva booklet, giving last improvements to the website and finishing the recycling manual, but we’re finally at an end.  I think the blow of having to leave soon is being softened by the sheer amount of doughnuts my team is eating. The bakery didn’t have anything left in it this morning and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was us that cleared it out.

 This week we did 2 workshops with the producers and the children on nutrition, agriculture techniques (such as making natural pesticides), and ways to cook and preserve vegetables and gender equality. I found this really successful, especially the gender equality workshop as it was really enlightening to hear stories from the women, and how they saw themselves. One woman requested to have more workshops and said it was a good way for her to get her feelings out, and made her feel less scared. This had a big impact on me as I felt we were helping make a difference to these women, even though it was in a very small way. Hopefully the success of the workshop will mean Focapaci carries it on after we are gone so it can continue to make them live without fear.
   We gave each of the children one of the finally completely Chiluva booklets each, and other members of my team read it out to them as I was doing the gender equality workshop. They really seemed to enjoy it so it felt like our work making new copies paid off. We spent the last part of the day on the final workshop playing musical bumps and generally messing around with the kids, which was a fun end to our last day of work in El Alto. 

   We have to do dances for the final event, which I’m not looking forward to. I wasn’t born with natural rhythm or balance, so it’s probably going to end very badly. If I’m to give one piece of advice to George and Eric before I go, it’s please, do not do the dance, and spare future volunteers the pain. Despite that I’m looking forward to the event, it’s going to be nice to see everyone together, but as much as I’m looking forward to going home, saying bye to my host family is going to make me cry.

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