Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Final FBT Chapter...Finally

Friday was the big day. The trainees would work with 200 students from Colegio Virgen de Las Mercedes in Jangas in the areas of self-esteem and team building. They decided the day before that they would break up into teams of two with a stronger speaker and weaker speaker as teammates. And the students broke into grade levels and moved around to the different groups. Leanna and Alex did a team over-under game with a ball (I hope you can imagine what I'm talking about). Milene and Kelly did a self-esteem exercised where a box with self-reflective questions on it was passed around the music and when the music stopped the student with the box had to answer one of the questions. Erin and Elizabeth did the spiderweb game where you receive a ball of twine, say your name and something about yourself and then pass it to someone else, keeping part of the twine. When everyone has participated you have a spiderweb with the twine. Jason and Margret did a number of team building exercises like sitting on each other's laps in one big circle. And Kat and Glenn put together a puppet show (in less than 24 hours) about a young girl who learns that beauty is found on the inside not on the outside.

Who knows if the students really enjoyed it, but I was speaking with two of my favorite teachers and they were asking me about using games in their classes. I hope to springboard this into a class for teachers to lean how to use icebreakers and games to teach and review themes in their classes. I've already spoken with my main counterpart at the school and the Directora and they're both on board.

Afterwards, they ate lunch and met a friend of my fellow Peru 9-er Jake's (who lives across the river from me) and heard more about the issues facing the youth of Peru. The trainees said they really learned a lot from this discussion, so I'm really glad that we had this talk in place. The friend did a really good job of highlighting for the trainees all that young people in Peru deal with, their misconceptions about sex, the lack of support and help from the local and national governments, the difficulty getting into and then paying for college, etc. The trainees later stated that it was a real wake up call for them about what exactly they will be dealing with their two years in Peru.

After lunch we went on a tour of Jake's artisan studio. Jake works with ceramicists here in Ancash. He is a Small Business Volunteer, and it was good for the trainees to get to see what he does. Then we followed it up with a conversation about working across cultures. The rest of the night they had free to hang out and do what they pleased, after working so hard that day, they deserved it.

The next day, our final day together, we all became tourists and headed up to this gorgeous glacial lake called Llanganuco. It's a glowing crystal blue, and we all walked around it, and a couple of the trainees even had the courage to jump into the ice cold waters (with bathing suits, of course). We had more sickness on Friday, some people dealing with altitude sickness and some with food that hadn't agreed with them. So not all were present for our little excursion. We then returned to Tarica where they all got packed up and then we headed into Huaraz for them to get to know this gorgeous capital city.

Me and Jake at Llanganuco. Isn't it beautiful? By the way, before you all email me - we're just friends.

When I knew the last combis would be heading out of Huaraz, I said my good-byes and left. They wouldn't leave until 11:00 that night. All in all, I had a great time. I made a bunch of new Peace Corps friends, and I learned that I really like that aspect of training. I would love to be a trainer in the future, but it is all so dependent on schedule and getting the job.

I have since seen the trainees, and as of yesterday, they have been sworn in and are now officially volunteers. They had their big ceremony yesterday. Congrats you guys! I have so enjoyed getting to know you.

And now onto other topics.

1 comment:

Mardy said...

Sounds like the training went really well. I liked to see that the teachers were interested in the team-building activities. If you need any other suggestions, let me know (I have a whole book of collaborative activities.)

Also, pics were great--loved the lake picture.