Friday, March 9, 2012

Update on the Project

Just wanted to quickly update of all you who might be reading my blog in order to keep up to date with how my bottle school project is going. The good news: we are almost finished! We basically have about oen more walls worth of bottles to fill and put into the infrastructure and then we ar egood to go. After the bottles are in place and that final wall is plastered over, the only thing left is to put in the electricity, windows, door and paint the classroom. These last couple of weeks have been a little frustrating because we are so close to the finish line and people are starting to lose their ganas or will to finish the project out. Luckily we have a lot of support from the local schools in the area to help us collect the plastic trash we need to stuff the bottles we already have. I got the only high school and largest school in my municipality to fill around 300 bottles for my school in a competition to see who could fill the most bottles in 2 hours. There were three different classes and the winning class got cookies and a group photo which I will include here in this blog. The HIF (hug it forward) chiefs came to visit my community as well and we had a fabulous time talking about the project and the possibility of future bottle school projects in El Salvador, which was really exciting for me since I have been crazy about the idea of bottle schools ever since I first heard about them. I am now known as the Bottle School PCV (Peace Corps Volunteer) for El Salvador by all my bosses and peers. I got a superlative from my training group that was ¨most likely to build a Taj Mahal our of bottles.¨
I was gone this week from my community for a Spanish class but I will be checking in on the project as soon as I get back this afternoon. My school director informed me that she is organizing cleaning campaigns in other schools to get all the plastic trash we need and then next week we will finish filling the bottles. We will see if all that was actually done or not. Either way, the project will be finished this month so I am trying to just be patient and enjoy the entire process. But I will say that for future projects schools will have to fill at least half of the total number of bottles they need for their classroom(s) before we even break ground because thats the most time consuming part of the entire project. Also, if you give the community a starting point and that cant complete that first part, then that is probably a pretty good indicator that they wouldn´t be able to see the whole project through because they are actually not committed enough to the project AND it gets the community to take ownership of the project from Day One.

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