Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.
Meet NATALIE! She’s the AMAZING Mosqoy intern working solely with the Q’enqo community and LIBRARY!
We have been blessed with SO many wonderful Skypes with the amazing Mosqoy crew this year! On Monday we had another SURPRISE Skype with NATALIE! Since our LAST Skype … just a few DAYS ago, she’s already been to the library in Q’enqo FOUR times! She was LUCKY, though, because she was able to catch a ride with the teachers who live in Cusco and work in Q’enqo. When the weather is good, they are able to travel by taxi. Sounds GREAT … but, it’s STILL a 1 1/2 hour TRIP … and THAT’S when the ROADS are good!
Since we last spoke with Natalie and Ashli, Natalie has had a big meeting with the community members in Q’enqo to find out what their hopes and needs are for our special library. They’ve had to take SEVERAL steps back … to revisit what a library is for. We know that the parents are VERY interested and concerned about their childrens’ literacy and math education. They want their children to learn these skills in Spanish because there are MANY more opportunities if you can count, add and subtract, and read and write in Spanish for children living in Peru. We already know that most of the adults in the Q’enqo community are illiterate. They want MORE for their children.
Natalie told us about how they need to renovate a little room for the part-time librarian to stay in. The library will operate differently than a library runs in Canada. They have decided that the books will need to STAY in the library. Why, you ask? Because the children in this community are unable to do homework after school. They are VERY busy helping their families with chores on the family farms in order to meet their BASIC needs.
Natalie was heading back up to Q’enqo right after our Skype to spend a few more days working with the community. They will hire a librarian to work two days a week to do lessons with the children during the day. On these days, they also hope to keep the library open in the evening so that high school students will be able to use it as a place to study, if they have the time. During her next few days in Q’enqo, Natalie plans to work with the teachers with some “training days”. She will spend an hour with each class, and their teachers, talking about how to use the books and how to take good care of them.
The EXCITING part? When Natalie showed up for her community meeting, she was nervous … but the kids were peeking in the windows … and RUNNING into the library … jumping, excited and GRABBING books to read them! One little boy was SO proud to show Natalie the Spanish words he could recognize in one of the books he was looking at! What follows are our individual highlights:
“What? In the middle of NOWHERE … a Skype with Natalie! The only person who knew was Jenna! And, well, the rest of the class had no idea! Some of our questions were:
- During the rainy season what happens to the Q’enqo library?
- Do they have a part-time librarian?
- What are your biggest hopes and DREAMS for the library?
- Do more GIRLS or more BOYS use the library?
- Are they still scared to ruin the books?
- Do ADULTS ever use the library?
Over the past three years of building the library all the grade threes have made fundraisers and that money goes into the bank and then they take the money and use it for more books and renovations. The money that they have raised over the four years … they think they can buy 50 more books! How do you get to Q’enqo you ask? Well first you fly to Cusco Peru and then you take a taxi to Corao, which is 30 minutes away. And, then you take a taxi up to Q’enqo, which is an hour. So, it takes about 1:30 minutes to get to Q’enqo. If you were to walk to Q’enqo from Cusco, then it would take about 4 hours. Did you know that Natalie went to Q’enqo four times in two weeks? That’s a lot of times that she went to Q’enqo in two weeks! I HOPE and WISH that we can Skype with Natalie again before the end of the year!” ~Claire
This is the path beside the fresh water lake that Natalie passed on her way into Q’enqo last week. Photo by Natalie Sands
“What a great surprise Skype with Natalie! It was an AWESOME Skype! My highlight was that we got to see Natalie but my favourite thing she said was that some people have to go to work every day but have to go from Cusco to Q’enqo or from Q’enqo to Cusco. But, they have to take a cab straight up a mountain and that takes about one and a half to two hours. If it is rainy season you can’t go up there at all. One of the questions were how many books are in the library. The answer was 150 books in the Q’enqo library! I had a great time Skyping with Natalie. Thanks to here, I know WAY more than I did before the Skype!” ~Kennedy
“We had a surprise Skype with Natalie because this Skype was postponed from last week! Yipee! Natalie was texting us on Skype! ‘Call me when you are ready!’ “Okay!’ ‘So, Natalie, we have heard that you have been working down at the library!’ ‘Ya! So, I’ve been down at the library four times in two weeks!’ ‘Wow! That’s amazing!What was the one moment you were very proud of during the library process?’ ‘Well, when we were building it I was so happy to see kids peeking into the window!’ My highlight was definitely asking my question! I hope we can Skype again!” ~Cohen
Of COURSE guinea pigs came up in our Skype! These guinea pigs run freely on the dirt floors of the homes on Ollantaytambo!
Photo by Natalie Sands
Wow! Really! Natalie you inspired me with all your information about the library in Q’enqo Peru. I love the part where you talked about how the librarian will have a room for an office and also to sleep in. I hope you enjoy travelling to Q’enqo for two months! I wish I went to Peru because your information inspired the class. If we saw you in real life we would ask a million more questions! We can’t wait to Skype with you again!” ~Lane
“Guess what? I was right! We got to Skype with Natalie again! But, this time it was only with Natalie. This Skype was different because we usually Skype after recess. Today she was in her room. She taught us a new word in Quechua … it is a small town: Corao. It’s cool because when you say the “r” you have to roll your tongue! Natalie was lucky because instead of hiking she mostly took a cab to Q’enqo. But, she likes to hike too. She said she saw a lot of guinea pigs. She said it tastes good like chicken! At first she had no idea why there were guinea pigs running on the floor. In Peru guinea pigs are actually a delicacy! Natalie was surprised when she saw a beautiful scarf made by a ten year old little girl in Peru. We will probably Skype again!” ~Catherine
Knowing that the BEAUTIFUL scarf Natalie was wearing was made by a ten year old Peruvian girl was a HIGHLIGHT for MANY of us!
“That’s cool! I never knew that people don’t use the library. I was shocked! Did you know that guinea pig is small after you cook it? Guinea pig is a very special rare treat in Peru. In Q’enqo they are going to learn how to use the library books. We raised over 1000 dollars for Q’enqo this year. It would be amazing if our class got to go to Peru. One of my highlights was just seeing Natalie. One of the best parts was hearing about the library. I can’t wait until we Skype again!” ~Ethan
“Today we had another Skype with Natalie and she said she was in Q’enqo for four days. My favourite part was when I got to ask a question. I asked: how to you get heavy things from Cusco to Q’enqo. She said that she straps them to the roof of the taxi! She gets free rides with the teachers because they get a special deal as teachers to go from Cusco to Q’enqo every day. I can’t wait to have another Skype with Natalie and Ashli.” ~Zyne
With only THREE classes in the room MANY more of us were able to ask questions!
“Today we had a Skype with Natalie. Someone asked “do more boys or girls go to the library?” Natalie answered: more girls visit the library. Another person asked “what are your biggest hopes for the library?” In reply, Natalie explained that her biggest hope is that the library starts running by itself. Someone else asked “what did the people in Q’enqo feel like when they had to work on the library?” I hope we get to Skype with Natalie again!” ~Kale
“What? I can’t believe that we have a Skype with Natalie! Some of the highlights were asking her questions about the library, listening to her stories and seeing how excited kids are for the library! I was really happy to see the kids wanting to learn! Some people skip school because they don’t lie a class. Natalie also once tried guinea pig. She said it tasted like chicken! Weird! I wonder how you cook it and what ingredients would you need? Maybe I should search it up? Natalie is very lucky. Because, usually you have to hike up to Q’enqo but she was lucky and did not have to hike. Instead she got to drive! That was an awesome Skype! Hopefully, soon, we can do another one!” ~Peng Peng
“We are having a Skype with Natalie. I will tell you my highlights: that we did get to Skype with her because she is SO busy, that we got to hear about the library. Like, she saw these little kids running into the library and just jumping and REALLY wanted to read the books! I was very happy because Mrs. Renton and I were emailing each other and she told me before the other teachers!!! I got to ask a question. I asked: what are your BIGGEST hopes for the library? Natalie replied that the library can run itself and will not need me to be there a lot. It makes me happy that we get to Skype with Natalie and Ashli because we get to learn a LOT of information from them! It’s SO fun to talk to them! I hope we get to Skype with them again … but … I know we will!” ~Jenna
By the time Natalie is finished with her internship working with the Q’enqo library she is going to be in AMAZING shape … she’s ALREADY been up there FOUR times in a week!
“Woo HOO! We get a surprise Skype with Natalie! We had SO many questions. These were some of our questions for Natalie: do more girls or boys use the library? Do any adults use the library? But, when Natalie answered them we walked away with MORE questions! Some of my highlights were that the library has 150 books in all and that girls and boys use the library. Natalie’s BIGGEST hope for the library was that the library was going to run by itself with a librarian! She told us that she went FOUR times to Q’enqo. Guess what?!? Once, when she went up to Q’enqo the people told her she could NOT work on the library (and that she would have to come back the next day)! It’s a 1000 metres elevation difference between Corao and Q’enqo. That’s SO far up. By the way, Q’enqo is WAY up in the Andes mountains. The Skype was so fun! I hope we get to Skype with Natalie again!” ~Noam
“Yay! Today we Skyped with Natalie. I didn’t know that more girls than boys go to the library. It was awesome to Skype with Natalie. I LOVED to hear about the Mosqoy work they have done. I didn’t know that guinea pig was a really, really rare treat!” ~Melvin
“Wow! What a surprise! Guess what … we Skyped with Natalie … just Natalie! Did you know that some girls in Peru weave a lot? So, Natalie got a scarf made by a ten year old girl! We had a lot of questions accomplished. Natalie went to Q’enqo four times since our last Skype with Ashli and Natalie! My most favourite highlight was everything! I finally got to ask a question! It was: do kids in Q’enqo go to school in the rainy season? And … the answer was yes, but sometimes they can’t.” ~Hilary
We LOVE the reflection time AFTER our Skypes, too, because we ALL have DIFFERENT highlights!
“Are you serious? I can’t believe that the trip from Corao to Q’enqo is about a 1000 metre elevation change up into the mountains! Isn’t that cool? That part was definitely a highlight. It was a highlight because it is always cool to know stories like that!” ~Alex
“Yay! We got to Skype with Natalie! Natalie told us all about her adventures from Cusco to Q’enqo. My favourite part is when she told us about the guinea pig that run around their houses, (in Ollantaytambo). They caught one and Natalie ate the guinea pig. Oh. I forgot to tell you she at the guinea pig at someone’s house and she said it tasted delicious!!! There was a three year old boy in the house and he was chasing the guinea pig around! Ha ha ha! It was funny! She said that they were going to get 50 more books in the library. One day I would LOVE to go to Q’enqo Peru! I can’t wait until we Skype with Natalie again!” ~Aya
“Yay! A Skype, I thought to myself. We were having a Skype with Natalie. She told us some books went missing from the library in Q’enqo so the people in Q’enqo are installing better windows so the books won’t be stolen as much. I was very sad that some books were gone. Natalie told us they might get 50 more books into the library. More girls use the library than the boys. People in Q’enqo have to walk an hour to go to school for high school. One of my highlights was Skyping and getting lots of questions answered. The scarf Natalie was wearing was woven by a ten year old girl.” ~Daniel
Oh oh … the MORE we reflect, the MORE we WONDER!!!
“Oh my gosh … we are having a Skype with Natalie. My highlights: I like when Natalie said that a ten year old girl wove a scarf for her. Natalie was 24 and could not do that! Another highlight: that we got to ask a few more questions. Now, in the Q’enqo library, they have 150 books. I know if you live in Cusco and have a job in Q’enqo, then you would have to take a cab straight up to the mountain. It might take two hours. I feel really happy because we got to Skype with Natalie!” ~Kelly
“What? Today we had a surprise Skype with Natalie! Only three classes came to Skype and the rest of the classes couldn’t because they had to do other stuff and they didn’t know it was coming up and the couldn’t change the day. My lowlight was that my leg was starting to get sore in the middle of the Skype. My highlight was that Natalie wasn’t shushed. Natalie told us that her scarf was made by a ten year old girl in Peru!” ~Isaac
“G. G. G. The Skype sounded when it was opening. Somebody from the three classes in the room said, quietly, I hope we are not upside down!!! Today we Skyped just with Natalie. She was in her room in Cusco so if she got excited and loud nobody would need to shush her! Some of our questions were:
- Do many books get lost?
- Do more girls or boys use the library?
- How many books are in the library?
The answers to that question was that the library has around 150 books now. That’s a little books still. In our classroom we have more than that! She explained about her four trips to Q’enqo and how you get from Cusco to Q’enqo. First you take a bus to a town called Corao and then you take a taxi to Q’enqo. Well, this was another magical, beautiful Skype that I will never forget!” ~Martin
We can NOT wait for our next Skype with Natalie … and Ashli … to hear ALL about the WONDERFUL work Mosqoy is doing with the library in Q’enqo! We KNOW we will CERTAINLY have MORE questions!
Do your little bit of good where you are; its those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.