Wednesday, February 4, 2009

And then there was One

Today I was out in the campo, carrying my cold with me. I think all the Peruvian bacteria and bugs are out to weaken my immune system, but they are not living in me without a fight.

I visited El Triunfo village bank who was due to take their last literacy exam today. The two other literacy groups finished in November last year, but El Triunfo had a number of classes to complete so they worked throughout December and January. We started with 6 women in this group, then downsized to 4 dedicated souls, and then today One. One women took her final exam. There are 2 others that will hopefully take it next week, but they are sick. Really sick. When I rounded the corner to Lorenza's house (the One) I was hopeful to see the whole group. But, my heart dropped when I didn't see a soul. Lorenza came out from behind her plastic tarp that hangs as the kitchen door. Senorita Nora. Paula and Antonia are sick. I have to remind myself that it is OK if only One women in a small group follows through with the literacy program. That is one more woman in Cajamarca that now knows how to read and write. One more educated woman. It is always satisfying to think of an entire group or community that completes a program and raises themselves up. Also, when you think of numbers on the outcome side, One doesn't seem like a whole lot. But, from what I know of Lorenza, she has taken advantage of DHF support like none other. She now helps her children with their homework, she can add and subtract to make perfect ponchos and to assist her in her business money transactions. Join me in congratulating her, not only in being the only one in her village bank that was determined to receive a literacy certificate that says "I am literate," but also for being a strong and steadfast example of what a woman in Peru can do.

Paz ~ Nora

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