At the end of March we helped inaugurate a church in Casti which involved sharing a splendid Lama “asado” (barbeque) and spotting ostriches. On the first weekend of April, we visited a youth camp in Solazutti near Aguas Blancas. There, I learned about Guarani people, heaps of new songs and made new friends.
Many people told me that I would bore myself to death while volunteering three months in La Quiaca. On the contrary, time flies by and I can´t believe I´ve already been here for two months! Classes should have started at the beginning of March, but school-doors opened only on the 7th of April due to a teachers´ “paro” (strike). Thanks to broadcasts we launched with national and local radio-stations in my second week here, many youths took – and continue taking – advantage of my English classes. Having hung around with nothing to do for a long time the kids are struggling to catch up material and get their brains working again. When classes began, the community-centre started its comedor (canteen) for more than 110 young people which has made daily life very busy. This service is mainly for students living alone La Quiaca while their families live far off in the campo (fields). My tasks lie in the organisation and administration of the comedor. Also, I give a meditation to the adolescents while they are eating. I need to use a good deal of creativity, authority and confidence in my Spanish to catch their attention and initiate a dialogue. The weekends have a different rhythm and are focused on church activities near and far. Sunday afternoons we often spend with Lorenzo and his family in Sansana Sur, a tiny place near La Quiaca. Many vegetables for the comedor come from there.[gallery] From 16th to 18th of April, we took part in a convention in Jujuy Capital where I performed songs together with youths of the local church – great fun! On my birthday, my host-family and friends surprised me with a party. I feel truly blessed to be surrounded by such lovely people and to be able to be part of the team working for the youngsters here in La Quiaca!