Monday, January 11, 2010

Peru Part...5


New School Visit
The following day we drove 50 kilometers into the jungle to see the new school we started building three years ago. The completion has taken longer than expected because all the cement and bricks needed to be carried by workers the final four kilometers through the jungle. During our visit we brought supplies for the school and food for the party.  Many people from the village arrived to meet us on the road and carry the supplies.  When we arrived at the school there were 120 people waiting.  The school is the center of the community and there are only four houses visible in the area.  Over 30 families live in huts in the jungle out of sight of the path.

Half of us crowded into one shady classroom and everyone else looked through the windows. Peruvians like a ceremony and they sang their National Anthem. Then the director of the school and mayor of the village made speeches to welcome us. In the past the school was called the KM 46 School. It is now called the Joseph Pulley School in honor of Brenda’s father. The ceremony was a nice way to officially thank Brenda and Joe for their contributions to the school.
The school is painted lime green.  The cement walls and floors are very smooth and the windows are covered with decorative metal bars.  There are four rooms and two full time teachers for 40 students.  The school is expected to grow to 60 students next year as the families learn the school can help their future. Most of the parents never attended school so the whole concept of taking time to go to school instead of picking bananas is new for them.  We hope the kids can at least learn to read and write before they begin working full time. The village wants us to bring a group back to live in the jungle with them for a few days and see the school classes in progress.  That might be a new PAC Tour trip in the future.
The following day we went to see the Jack Wolff School we built five years ago at the Village of the Dolphins.  This school is nine kilometers from the city and much easier to travel to.  The Jack Wolff School went through similar growing pains when the children there were learning how to go to school. Now the school is more stable and the same director has been there for two years.  There are 16 teachers and 500 students with seven class rooms.  During our visit we had a meeting with all the teachers to discuss future needs.  They gave us a list of a  dozen different items. During the next month we will figure out a budget of which projects we can afford to help them with.  They started a chess club and wanted ten chess sets for the classroom to play at the same time.  I found some nice carved wooden sets for ten dollars each which I was able to deliver before I departed Iquitos.


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