Archive for January, 2010

El Mecco

F and I hiked up to El Mecco today, the cross near our home. I don’t know who forgot to bring the water, but we got thirsty. Getting up was no problem. Coming down, though, another story. We got lost and Fernando scouted for a trail while I slept on a rock. It was sunny, windy, and blue. Goats ran the hill in the distance and I could make out five tiny horses, their heads all turned in the same direction. If it wasn’t for the thirst, I wouldn’t have minded being stranded all day long.

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There are 27 girls at Buen Pastor. Creating time for all their homework at the one functioning computer they had was impossible.  Thanks to a very generous librarian who donated $1000 during the Holidays, Fernando was able to purchase two new computers in Querétaro and we bought used, excellent quality monitors from a Cyber Cafe here in Guanajuato. Fernando installed the computers earlier this week. Everyone is very happy with their speed and the ability to get a chance to do their homework!

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Tomatoes, mandarins, and more on Aldama.

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Classes begin

Today marks the first day of classes at the University of Guanajuato.  After the Christmas break, the town is once again brimming with UG students, and so are the busses!  F and I went to Leon yesterday to look for a couch and lighting. On the way back, the bus stations were packed.   The bus that took us from Central (the bus station in Guanajuato) to GTO centro was so full, that three people were standing on the exit steps.  Apparently, there was not enough room for safety.

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Red doors

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There were a few wonderful surprises this week.  Daneli got a pair of glasses and a sponsor, Isabel started to learn to read and write,  and new books arrived in the mail!  The older girls are delighted with their Harry Potters and have already created a schedule of who gets to read and when.  They’ll be using a photo of the family that sent the books as a book marker.  All these wonderful things are happening, and I feel more just around the corner. Thanks to everyone who helps these girls grow with gratitude and books!

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In yesterday’s blog post, I mentioned that Buen Pastor attracts some pretty special people. I met one of those people yesterday, Isang Smith.  After graduating from Columbia and before participating in the American Lung Association’s Big Ride, 22 year old Isang is spending time in Guanajuato. When she’s not in school studying Spanish or out on the trail with her biking buddies, Isang will be doing something incredibly memorable and life changing: she will be teaching Isabel how to read and write.

Isabel has never had the opportunity to attend school. Primeria (elementary) won’t accept her because at 14, she’s too old. So with the help of Fernando in the mornings and Isang in the afternoons, Isabel will be well on her way to gaining one of the most important skills she can have, literacy. Not only will being able to read and write increase her self-esteem, but it will give her more job opportunities in the future and also decrease her chances of unwanted pregnancy during her teen years.

Isabel met her maestra yesterday. They took to one another immediately.  Their auspicious partnership holds so much promise.

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