Saturday, April 12, 2014

Semillas de Amor: Field trip update

April 2
By: Sarah MacCarthy

It has been two weeks since I left Turbaco, Colombia, but I am eager to share the story about our field trip to Cartagena with sixty-five children and twelve adults. Saturday morning, March 15th, we all woke up early and prepared ourselves for a fun-filled day in Cartagena. We put on our Colombian soccer jerseys and headed to the corner where the bus was going to collect us. We loaded up and the adventure began! The children were so incredibly excited, as many of them had never been to the city before, let alone seen the ocean. Eager eyes stared outside the bus as we rolled through the busy, traffic-filled streets en route to the city. Music was playing, and the kids were singing loudly.

The bus came to a stop outside the ancient-walled city, and the kids unloaded into the park. We carefully escorted the children through the streets and arrived at "La Universidad de Cartagena". This was the first and probably most important stop on the tour. We attended a presentation, interacted with the staff, watched two short videos and explored the library. The kids were engaged and interested the entire time. At the end, everyone snacked on hot dogs and soda in the beautiful university plaza.

The tour continued as we split the group into two smaller groups. This allowed us to take half of the group to the gold museum and and the other half to the Palacio de la Inquisición, a common tourist stop in Cartagena. We toured both facilities, and the kids enjoyed both experiences. After well-guided tours and several short videos, we headed outside to Bolivar Park. The kids were able to run around and burn some energy before the pizza arrived. We ended the field trip with pizza in the park.

As you can see from the pictures, there were many smiles, many firsts and overall the trip was a success. The trip to the university gave these young, impressionable minds a look into the opportunities ahead. The trip was invaluable, and I was glad to be a part of the experience.

Thank you to Eagle Condor for making this trip possible.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Semillas de Amor: Bottle cap art project

March 14
By Sarah MacCarthy

The last seven days has been filled with washing, planning, painting and glueing plastic bottle caps for the new sign to hang outside the foundation. Previously there has been no title on the building in Nueva Colombia. Our goal with the art project was to work together "as a team" to create a sign to represent the foundation. We incorporated the colors of the Colombian flag into the design. Luckily yellow, blue and red bottle caps are the most abundant colors of plastic bottle caps here in Colombia. In comparison we found very few green, purple and orange caps but incorporated those colors into the border. Enjoy the pictures below! We are excited with the result.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

El Bichito: Noche de las Chicas

March 11
By Alicia Platt

Friday night we had Noche de las Chicas! Fist we reviewed what 'CHICA' stands for--Confianza, Hermosa, Inteligente, Cariñosa, Atletica (confident, beautiful, intelligent, loving, athletic). We then talked about respect and how each of them deserved respect and also owed it to others. Afterwards, we enjoyed a movie and fruit salad together. They loved Pocahontas, though we did have to cover our eyes during the kissing parts...Overall it was great to get together and have some fun with just the girls!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Semilllas de Amor: Recycling project update

March 9
By Sarah MacCarthy

It has been a busy week here at Semillas de Amor. We finished the collection and washing process of all the plastic bottle caps. We will see the project come full circle this week.
This week I would like to highlight Jessy, one of the young boys at the foundation. You can see him below in the top, left picture. The art project has brought together various classroom themes that we have been working towards, including working as a team and setting goals. Jessy did a great job this week and worked well in the team environment which is essential for the completion of this project.

Our goal setting has been expanding from short-term goals, to medium-term goals and will conclude next week when we go to the University of Cartagena and think about our long-term goals.

This will be my last week in the foundation and it will be a busy one! We will keep you updated on all the excitement to come.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Semillas de Amor: Recycling project

February 28
By Sarah MacCarthy

Semillas de Amor in Turbaco has been busy collecting plastic bottle caps for our upcoming art project. The idea originally came from my cousin, who is a middle-school art teacher in Colorado. We are working towards two different goals. The first goal is to work together as a "team" to accomplish a larger project and the second goal is to recycle these bottle caps that would otherwise remain in the street. The kids bring as many "tapas" as they can to the foundation each day. In another week, we will start to wash, design and assemble a sign for the foundation.

The field trip to Cartagena is still in the works and that will be another exciting event coming up in March. We hope to tour the local university, visit a couple museums and take the kids out for pizza. It should be a great experience.

Stay tuned for more photos and updates to come!

Karen, Nohemi and Zuliney arrive to the foundation with the bottle caps that they have found.

The local Turbaco kids have been helping us with our upcoming art project.

Friday, February 21, 2014

El Bichito: All you need is “lo-vay”

February 16
By Alicia Platt

Friday was Día de San Valentín/Día de Amor y Amistad! They don’t celebrate it much here, but we did! We watched a short Charlie Brown clip in Spanish, learned Valentine’s Day words in English (thus, loh-vay), and made tarjetas de San Valentín (Valentines). There aren’t a lot of kids who come to El Bichito right now, as their school is out for their summer until March (and they don’t live close or need homework help), but the 8 or 10 who stayed made some great Valentines for their parents or grandparents.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

El Bichito: February 10th update from Alicia

February 10
By Alicia Platt

Things are marching on here at El Bichito. I'm still trying to figure out a daily routine and am trying to plan better.  Even though there weren't many participants, we did have a math competition one day, which was fun, and a nutrition lesson that went really well. We also continue to lend books to kids every day, and I've been incorporating English into the FAMA or other lessons that we do, which they seem to like. Furthermore, English lessons with the college students have continued approximately 3 times a week (depending on the rain...) and I've enjoyed teaching those. My greatest feat this last week, however, was probably organizing the supply room!