The first week 26/02 – 05/03 2017
Given the fact that our arrival was covering the last days of the Carnival in Bolivia we didn’t have too much time to spend in Samaipata, the place where the actual jobshadowing will take place.
During the first couple of days we were staying in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, the most populated city in Bolivia. The director of the Bolivian organization hosted us in her house. Personally I was quite happy because we had met before with Patricia, the director of Fundación AEA and another old friend was waiting for us. He has been living in Bolivia for more than three years so he could give me information about the country and the customs of this Carnival time. It is different comparing to our Hungarian/European celebrations. The carnival is originally a Christian tradition, but in Bolivia these customs are mixing with the local indigenous people’s beliefs. That makes it a bit crazier, something bizarre for the exploring eyes.
On Wednesday we left Santa Cruz and arrived after 3 hours of driving to Samaipata. This little town is quite calm, only some motorbikes or trucks. Sometimes the loud fights of a couple of stray dogs disturb the peace.
Karina, the Bolivian project coordinator showed us the house that is going to be our home in the upcoming weeks. A really nice and cozy building with a green garden. It is going to be perfect, 3 minutes walking from the municipality where we have been working so far.
The first week of the project was only 2 days. We started with some research and planning. With the help of Hilvert and Karina, our tutor and coordinator, we have received some useful documents and data about the Early School Leaving in the region of Samaipata. The main part of our jobshadowing will be with the local communities living nearby. On Friday we were planning the 2nd week’s field trips. So far it seems that the people and the colleagues in the office of the municipality are really helpful.
If everything goes well, the second week will give us a lot of opportunities to meet teachers, principals and kids from schools nearby.
The weekend, as usual, was free.