Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Update on life here

Since I havent updated my blog since who knows when, I thought I would type up a Little update while my pictures load on facebook! I am now in my 7th month, going on 8 months here in El Salvador with PC and it has been a wild ride. I am working on several project that involve the environment, one of which I am really excited about: bottle schools. Peace Corps Volunteers in Guatemala have been making classrooms out of cement columns, chicken wire and plastic bottles stuffed with plastic bags. So I am trying to break ground here in El Salvador by doing one of the first bottle schools here in the country. This classroom would be for 7th grade (which we are also trying to get a teacher for) and will use about 2,00 bottles and about 300,000 plastic bags. It’s a pretty amazing idea and I can´t believe that it isn’t more popular around here and especially in the states. These buildings have been tested by engineers and are certifiably earthquake safe, which is a huge deal in a country the size of Massachusetts that has about 22 volcanoes. We have been gathering bottles in the community by doing trash pickups and I am doing a bottle drive at the school, which if we can collect and stuff 2,000 2.5L bottles I will be buying pizza hut for the kids, which is a big deal here. I will be posting pictures as the process continues.

I have also finished my adobe house and started a garden, protected by some heavy duty chicken wire to keep all the chickens from devouring my pretty flowers. It’s a nice little one room house that houses my bed, all my stuff, and my kitchen. I finally have my own pila where I wash my clothes and dishes. Basically life is good, my English classes are going well and its almost the rainy season which means that the rains will make the heat go away (I hope). I still need to put up gutters around my house so it doesn’t get washed away in the rain.

I had an environmental festival last week and it went REALLY well, I was even surprised at how well it went. We had a three fold agenda starting with a costume competition with the kids where they had to make costumes using either all natural OR recycled materials. I had 6 kids participate which was a huge number considering I was expecting only 3. The kids and their parents were so creative, it blew me away. After we crowned the king, queen, princesses, and princes of the environment, my fellow PC volunteers put on a play about recycling which my community LOVED. Finally, we finished off the day with an art class where about 30 kids got to make earrings using plastic chip bags as the main earring piece and it went super smoothly thanks to some girls who were visiting me through this organization called the Traveling School (its so cool, look it up!).

Enjoy the pictures and thanks for reading!

Art Day with the kids using recycled paper to make beads
Waterfall walk with my school!
Environmental festival making earrings using chip bags
Costume contest

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