Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Campo Catch-Up

Since my arrival back into Cajamarca I have had to play catch-up and do some Campo (countryside) visits. On Monday I went to our literacy group outside of Los Banos to remind them that their 3 month 'test' is happening next week. I had to explain that the test is a good thing (not a scary thing) and it will help us see if they have improved and moved towards reaching some of their individual literacy goals. There was still a little fear in their eyes when I said, TEST, but hopefully that will go away come next Monday when we celebrate their advances.

Following the literacy check-in I visited the village bank Progresistas who were scheduled to prepare to start their 2nd cycle of loans. The group had their Acta meeting; where they agreed on group rules and bank regulations, voted on their Directive and came to other bank agreements. There was some miscommunication
about place and time so we started late, but in the meantime there was plenty going on. Paola, former bank treasurer, came early and shared with us the story of her sick daughter. She has tried medicine, doctor's visit, other remedies, but nothing works. Her daughter is permanently sick. The women listened to her story, syptoms, etc... and came to the conclusion that Paola's daughter was 'scared.' She needed a cleaning (either with a candle, newspaper, egg or guinea pig). The closest available cleaning object was a candle, so the older grandmother that was strategically positioned next to Paola, took charge. She whispered something into the candle and then passed the candle over the little girls body. At the end of the process, they lit the candle and the cleaning was done. Let's hope this poor little thing gets

Then on Tuesday I accompanied Elizabeth to form yet another village bank, Azucenas. I was so glad that I had accompanied her; this group of women is just plain energetic and full of life. When the formal process of forming the bank, swearing them in and giving them their loan money was done, I invited them to participate in Hope House activities. I didn't really need to do that since half of the group had already signed up for computer class. That same half, plus a handful more also signed up for sewing and cooking class. I hope their excitement and interest doesn't fade as they begin to participate with us. Finally, we took a group picture. I said, 1, 2, 3, Cheese! The group burst out in laughter. The word Cheese appeared to be one of the funniest thing they have heard all year.

Paz ~ Nora

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