18 June 2012

La Escuela Agrícola San Francisco de Asis

I have arrived at the agriculture school where I will be working for the next two months! It is a three year program for students from ages 15 to 18, the majority of which are from campesino families around Paraguay. There are also students from Ecuador(!!), Argentina, Haiti, Bolivia, and maybe more but I am not sure. It is a boarding school so the wake-up bell rings at 5:45am, breakfast is at 7am after morning chores, and all students must be in their rooms by 9:30pm. The three grades are split into two sections and alternate one week of class in the field and then a week of classroom teaching. The curriculum is very intensive, with only half a day off on Saturday.

Here is an image of the school from Google Maps. The red dot is on the hotel, the trees to the left are where the buildings are and to the right are most of the gardens. You can zoom out to see where the school is within Paraguay.

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I have not yet met all of the staff and teachers that I will be working with, but so far everyone I have met has been extremely welcoming and excited to have me here. There is a family with two young children from the United States and a South African English teacher, otherwise no other interns.

As is often necessary when working with small development organizations, I am remaining very flexible. The original requests sent to me when I was still in the US were to help with the marketing of the schools products (they have biointensive vegetable gardens and many animals), to integrate the school's products into a nutritious menu for the school, and to help with the garden's production. Since I arrived, I have also been asked to help document the curriculum by helping some of the teachers use computers to type up their lesson plans and syllabi, as well as create powerpoints and help with translation. No matter what combination of tasks and projects I end up doing, I am very excited to be here and start learning more about this organization. There is so much I can learn here and I know that I can also make a difference here. So let's begin!

I do have a strong internet connection, so be in touch and let's Skype/chat! When I'm not exhausted from my 5:45am-10pm schedule that is...


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