Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Summer Camp Graduation

Our summer camp is set to end on Friday, and it seems to have flown. The kids have been fantastic, and it has been wonderful to get to know them and their families better as we prepare to start classes in a few weeks. On Friday we’ll be holding a graduation ceremony for all of our attendees, during which they’ll receive diplomas and CDs containing pictures we’ve collected from the last three weeks. Led by Christian and Laura, they have learned a great deal about the environment and made pledges to do what they can to protect it. This is exciting because littering is a big problem in Rumiloma (indeed, everywhere) and we and Christian and Laura would like the kids to see the link between what they do with their trash and how clean and pleasant the cancha (the field outside the Manna library) is, both for them to play fútbol on and for the cows who graze there daily.

Last Thursday (as Hannah said, Friday was a feriado, or vacation day, and we didn’t have camp) we took the kids on their second field trip. We went to el Museo Interactiva de Ciencias, the Interactive Science Museum, also in Quito. The museum is set into a hill, and its extensive converted-textile-factory-building houses an extremely varied and fascinating swath of rooms devoted to many definitions of “interactive science.” One enormous room was maintained to be cold and damp to house the factory’s actual antique textile machines to display the textile-making process of a century ago. One of the kids’ favorite sections, though, was the psychology room (gratifying to me given my undergraduate degree). As our guide demonstrated the spinning optical illusions on a wall, the kids were duly impressed to turn to find my face spinning out of control. It’s quite a hilarious experience to watch a group of children’s eyes, enraptured, grow wide staring at a spinning wooden circle and then have them burst out into yells and laughter upon turning to look at you. I took the opportunity to snap some photos from my stance as part of the illusion.

Congratulations, boys and girls of Manna and Añamisi’s Curso de Vacaciones! We hope to see you at our art and English classes come fall; and, of course, at our library playing Uno and Othello every afternoon!

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