Sunday, March 9, 2008

Crazy, busy week

This past week was great, crazy busy. I was finally able to introduce the first literacy teacher to her group. It is a small group of 4 women that live out of the city. One of them has had some schooling past 1st grade, the others are illiterate and excited to learn. We filled out the paperwork that the Ministry of Education needs to give them materials. I still have to figure out about teacher materials, but Lily - the literacy teacher, is a dynamic person and I know she will make the classes work with whatever resources she has. She even told the women that they would be singing in her classes to help with their lessons. They all laughed. The women agree that they want to have classes twice a week and go all year long. I mentioned that we would focus on these first four months, evaluate and if they pass their literacy test - send them to the university! They laughed - but I think it is so important to give them the idea the world is full of possibilities, they just need to believe it and believe in themselves.

Pictured here is another Literacy Teacher, Lucia. She willing be working with a group of 6 women in the countryside also - and is pictured filling out all the paperwork so that the group can have materials to work with during their classes.

I also met with a non-profit clinic that has given me a proposal to offer dentist, psychologist, and pap smear visits at a very reasonable price. But, even better is that they are offering preventative, health educational talks, or "charlas." The Director of the clinic is very concerned about health prevention in Cajamarca, and wants to do everything in her power to get information out to women. The price tag for all three visits is 20 soles - or $7. DHF will cover most of the cost, but ask the women to pay a small co-pay. I know all the women may not want to go to a clinic setting, but I feel like my job here is to create opportunities that women may not have had previously. According to many of the women, they have had a negative experiences with the public hospital and clinics. So, by providing an alternative health location I feel like it is a chance for women to have a different experience in a health care setting. Those that choose not to participate, that is fine. I'll keep looking for opportunities to bring health care to them, outside of the normal health care setting.

Among all this planning, I feel like there are so many possibilities. So many possibilities, it keeps me from sleeping at night. Like a clown, I have all these plates spinning and I am keeping them spinning while trying to stay sane.

1 comment:

david said...


Reading your journal is really a great treat. Congratulations on the success with literacy teachers--what a great opportunity for the banks. It is wonderful to hear news of Cajamarca.

Dave Bell