Biblioworks Week 5 - Yamparaez
Trip Start Dec 06, 2010
31Trip End Mar 31, 2011
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Where I stayed
Santa Cecelia Inn
All we knew about Yamparaez, is that it is a small town, on the way to a bigger market town called Tarabuco, with no direct buses going to it, so it is a bit of a challenge to go to or from it. As mentioned in a previous blog, I will use the information from BiblioWorks' Volunteer Handbook to give you a bit of information about the pueblos that we visit, as it is hard to find any information about them on the web
"Yamparaez is about a 25 minute drive from the sity of Sucre on a high cold "pampa". Even though the town is normally cold, the people there are warm. The library in Yampa was opened early in 2007 and since then has been one of our strongest libraries. The teachers love using the library as a teaching tool and kids love having a place that they call their own.
In each library we organize a volunteer library committee of people who are dedicated to supporting the activities of the library. Yamparaez definitely wins the prize for the best library committee. The group of people supporting the library out there is incredibly hard-working and truly wants to see their community grow and strengthen."
Knowing this information, we were looking forward to our time in Yamparaez. We practiced our play on Monday morning with Roxana, a BiblioWorks employee, who was going to play the part of a very old grandmother who comes into the libray looking for her big storybook called "El Canto del Kirkincho" (The Armadillo's Song)
On Tuesday, Chris, Pat and Matt went to the carpenter's shop to load newly-built chairs, tables, cabinets and shelving into a truck which was going to take them to the town of Tomina, where the brand-new BiblioWorks' library is located. Next Monday, we will take part in the festivities at the inaugaration of this library. Gail went shopping for odds and ends that we still needed for our workshop and I continued to work on 'fancying up' the cactus that we will use for photos at the Tomina library. Later that day we packed up everything that we needed for construction, workshop and puppet show in Yamparaez - 4 big bags full - and hoped that we wouldn't need anything else because if we didn't have it with us, we wouldn't have it, once we were there.
All Wednesday night, it rained and rained. It was a pretty drippy and foggy start to our day as we waited for the small micro or van, that when full holds 12 - 15 people, uncomfortably. Our long legs are just not meant for sitting in micros. Gail, Roxana and I went in the first micro that was ready to go while Chris and Pat waited, somewhat impatiently for an hour, for the carpenter who said that he would meet them at the bus station with wood for building shelves. Finally after a couple of hours, all of us were together, in Yamparaez, ready to work.
Being in the countryside in a pretty little pueblo was great
Rather than take a crowded micro home, we caught a ride in the back of a pickup truck with a tarp over a frame. We had a comfortable and scenic ride home.
Thursday started out wet and cold again. The rainy season was late so we are getting the rains now. Some of the adobe houses in Sucre have become waterlogged and the whole sides of houses have collapsed onto the street. We could also see landslides on the hillsides. Actually we were lucky because it rained all day in Sucre, but not in Yamparaez
Our day with the kids was awesome. When we arrived at the library, the kids were already waiting for us. Our puppet workshop was a big success and the kids went from looking very serious and a little scared of us, to laughing and ending the day with big, toothy smiles. The puppets were incredibly creative and Chris and I were thrilled that we could give a 2 hour workshop to kids, all in Spanish, and they could all understand us!!!!! A huge leap in our learning curve, and a bit tiring...
After lunch, we went for a walk around Yamparaez and took a lot of photos of the town and the surrounding area. The people here are camera shy, so we do not have many photos of the wonderful faces that we see here.
The afternoon puppet show was great too. We had about 30 to 40 kids who arrived punctually at the library at 3 p.m. to see the puppet workshop creations display and the show
Friday was a pretty quiet day for us. The cactus needed a few last minute touches, the condor had to be packaged and ready to endure the bus ride to Tomina on Sunday morning, our clothes needed to go to the laundromat and we needed to buy some food for dinner and breakfast. The sun came out for a few minutes but wasn't out long enough to warm us up. On the front page of the local paper the headlines said that the rains had caused terrible flooding, destroying crops and homes in Sucre, La Paz and Cochabamba. It snowed in the high city of Potosi.
On Saturday morning, the four us of piled into the Dinobus and headed 5 km to Sucre's Parque Cretacico Cal Orck'o. This park has the world's largest collection of dinosaur tracks. The footprints were first seen by workers in the local cement factory about 25 years ago
Nine months ago a huge triangular section of the wall collapsed, wiping out a whole section of prints. Surprisingly, a new set of footprints appeared under the part that had fallen off. Even though there have many attempts to preserve the wall, nothing has worked. Sadly, according to Swiss scientists, erosion will probably will destroy most of the wall by 2020.
The park also had life-size models of the dinosaurs on display
Tomorrrow, we are off to Tomina for Library #8's grand opening.