On Wednesday, June 14, the Grade Three Bloggers were LUCKY enough to Skype with ASHLI again! This Skype was FILLED with EXCITEMENT … but it was ALSO filled with SADNESS. Why, you ask? Because THIS Skype was the LAST one we would HAVE with her as the Grade Three Bloggers. While we were TERRIBLY excited to hear ALL about her recent experiences with the Q’enqo Library Project, we ALL knew that it would be our LAST … we are moving on to Grade FOUR.
During this Skype visit, Ashli told us that Mosqoy works with NINE different rural communities in Peru. Each weekend, they spend time in three of them. In one of these communities, they are helping to build a weaving centre so that the community can maintain their indigenous, traditional skills but also sell their weaving to bring some money and independence into the community.
Sadly, Ashli had some MORE bad news for us. This is the FIRST time that she has SEEN the completed library project. She said that, while it looks absolutely GORGEOUS – clean, beautiful, bright and full of books – there is one HUGE glitch.
A GLITCH you say? ANOTHER one? Yup. Ashli told us that, although the Q’enqo community has a LOT of potential – the people are very GRATEFUL and INSPIRING – there are no strong LEADERS within the community. No matter HOW excited the kids are for the library … to be using the books … using the beautiful building … it is HARD to use it if the ADULTS don’t care. The TEACHERS don’t show up for classes and the LEADERS don’t show up when they say they will in order to even MEET with the Mosqoy students to LEARN how to make the library function properly. The KIDS want to … but … they are too YOUNG … even younger than US … so they can’t even be trained to work in the library.
Ashli said there is a real NEED for the library and for SUPPORT to get to running. It was a hard lesson for us … AND for Mosqoy. But, we ALL know it is worth it. We learned that it is EASY to START an NGO, (Non-Government Organization). We ALSO learned that, while it might be EASY to start a project like the Battalion Park Library Project, it is CHALLENGING to keep it GOING. Ashli reassured us. She said it is WORTH all the ups and the downs.
So, now we are all on to MORE Capacity Building. The Mosqoy students, who are between 16 and 20 years old, really BELIEVE in this project. They have already volunteered SO many hours of HARD labour to help to build the library over the past several months. Now, because they want the Q’enqo children to have the same chances as THEY have been given, these young adults have decided to each spend several weekends a year going into Q’enqo to run the library! Wow! Ashli thinks this is a HUGE step in the right direction.
Maybe through role-modelling the adults in the Q’enqo community will begin to show more interest. This is only a SHORT TERM solution, though. Eventually they might even have to HIRE someone who can go in to run the library, even if it’s only part time.
Although it was ANOTHER hard lesson to hear, we know that if ANYONE can do it … it will be ASHLI and her AMAZING Mosqoy team.
Here are some of our thoughts about our Skype with Ashli:
“On Wednesday June 13, 2012 we Skyped with Ashli. She was on a mountain called Pinkulluna, (Pin-ku-luna). We thought she fell OFF the mountain because the Skype call ended in the middle of a conversation, but she actually lost internet connection. It took her 20 minutes to get her connection back. In order to get the connection back, she bolted down the mountain to the town below called Ollantaytamba (Oh-yahn-tah-tom-bo). Ashli said that the library is only open during school hours and the adults don’t really want to learn how to use the library. Only the kids want to learn!” ~Damian and Brenden
“Yesterday we had a Skype with Ashli. She was on a mountain! She told us that she would hike up a mountain for Skype and Mrs. Renton got SO excited we thought we would probably have to peel her off of the ceiling again! We got so excited too! We LOVE to Skype with Ashli and her gang! Unfortunately, she talked for a bit and then her Skype suddenly flickered. She had to get off Skype because it was SO windy.” ~Sophie H. and Galen
“Ashli told us the library has about 80 books and 80 kids come to use the library sometimes. The library only operates when the school is open. The shocking thing is that the Q’enqo adults don’t care about learning. Why don’t they care about the library? We think they think they don’t need to learn. Peru is a developing country and it has more poor people than rich people.” ~Elijah and Jun
“Just before we Skyped, Mrs. Renton said that Ashli might be Skyping with us from the top of a mountain! When we hit video call and first saw Ashli … her hair was blowing because it was SO windy! She explained that the mountain was called Pinkulluna and it used to hold grain in the 1400s, during the time of the Incas! She turned her laptop around and showed us the main plaza of a small town called Ollantaytambo. All of a sudden and our smartboard went pitch black. We waited for 20 minutes for Ashli to come back online! Just as the other class started to leave, she was back online. We yelled “She’s back ONLINE!” Ashli told us that when she came back to Peru, in May for the training session, only the kids came and not the adults. They didn’t care to help run the library, but obviously the KIDS couldn’t run it. So, the Mosqoy students have all agreed to take two weekends a year helping the library. We thought that was a lot to volunteer for. To hire a part time librarian would cost about $7.00 a day, (in Canadian money). It was sad for us because it was our LAST Skype with Ashli and the others from Mosqoy.” ~Ava and Julia
“Whahhh! Yesterday we had our LAST Skype with Ashli. If we had Mrs. Renton and the blog for the rest of our LIVES we would be MUCH happier! When we picked up Skype with Ashli, she was on a short mountain called Pinkulluna! It was VERY windy and when the screen went BLACK we thought she fell OFF the mountain. Really, though, she was huffing and puffing DOWN the mountain and into the technical store to buy more internet time … and then … into a cafe in town! When we got to Skype, Ashli told us AWESOME facts!” ~Natasha and Sophie G.
“Yesterday, we had a Skype with Ashli. She told us so many good things and some sad things. One of the things that she told us is that the grown ups didn’t care about the library. I can’t believe that only the kids like the library.” ~Zahra
“Ashli was on a mountain when we started our Skype. Her laptop kept freezing because she didn’t have enough power on her power stick. We lost her so she ran down the mountain and went to a store to buy more internet time. Then, she went to a close by cafe … all that in only 20 minutes! When Ashli was on the mountain, she showed us the village and when she was in the cafe, it was like two different places. Ashli and the rest of Mosqoy are building a weaving centre in another rural community at the far end of the Andes Mountains! The adults in Q’enqo are choosing not to help with the library in Q’enqo because they don’t really care. This past weekend was Ashli’s first time seeing the library complete!” ~Jesse
“Yesterday, we Skyped with Ashli. For the first few minutes she was on a mountain called Pinkullun, but the internet connection shut down and she had to zoom down the mountain, (in 15 minutes), and she found a cafe with internet connection. She plugged her computer in. She told us that they have about 80 books and there are 80 kids that use the library … so that means one book for each! The Q’enqo kids LOVE the library but when Mosqoy wants to have a meeting to help teach the adults about the library, the adults don’t even show up! Mosqoy works with nine small communities in Peru. Q’enqo is the ONLY community with a lake! It was sad to press the “end call” button because … it was the LAST Skype of the YEAR!” ~Martin, Henrik and Tormod
“On June 13, 2012 we, the Grade Three Bloggers, had our LAST Skype with Ashli as Grade Threes. Ashli was Skyping with us on a mountain called Pinkalluno and she took us on a tour! This mountain is near a town called Ollantaytambo. Ashli told us that Mosqoy works with NINE rural communities, including one called Bom Bom (we don’t know how to spell it). She is helping to build a small weaving centre there. Did you know that Bom Bom is the LAST village in the Andes? Well … it IS! This might be unbelievable, but the Q’enqo parents and adults don’t care at ALL about the library. Ashli is going to check the library out again in July. She thinks she should take a little break and go on a real adventure in the JUNGLE … to EXPLORE!” ~Kaylee and Mya
“Mrs. Renton wants to be a GENIE and POOF us all to Peru! We can’t believe that the adults don’t want to help in the library. Ashli told us that she needs to make another couple of keys for the library because, every time she tries to get in, it is CLOSED. The leaders only have it unlocked on school days. Ashli also told us it’s very hard to make sure that no one loses a book, and that it doesn’t go back in the wrong place … so they are trying to figure out what to do next. They may have to hire people to work there to keep track of the books. We were sad to hear that we had to press “end call” because we know that it was the LAST call.” ~Alexia
“We Skyped with Ashli on a mountain called Pinkulluna. We lost connection. After, she told us that she had to run down the mountain and tried to get a better connection. She went to a cafe to get the internet. There was a sad thing she told us. The adults don’t care and were not interested in helping in the library.” ~Rijul
“For a while, we were worried because Ashli was not online and then she came back. My favourite part was when Ashli was on the mountain and she showed us the view and it was beautiful. Ashli was amazed about the “Pennies for Peru” and I am proud. Ashli will be staying in Peru until November.” ~Zack
“Hint: Never Skype on a very rocky mountain (bad connection). Ashli Skyped with us on an Andes Mountain. She had to run down the steep rocky slanted mountain to get better connection so that we could Skype.” ~Max and Eric
“Don’t press the “end call” button! Ashli told us that the village she was Skyping from was called Pinkulluna. She didn’t have much internet connection because there were no plug-ins. We NEED to tell you that the adults and the teacher don’t bother to keep the library open, so they don’t even care.” ~Larissa and Thalia
At the end of an AMAZING Skype, it was HARD to push “end call”. Mrs. Renton even CRIED. Oh boy … here we GO again … where IS that Kleenex box?!? First Ross Mannell makes her cry with his beautiful “Roots and Wings” comment … and now THIS! Although we were all VERY sad knowing that this was our last Skype adventure with Ashli and Mosqoy … our teachers had a surprise for us. Since huge work was being done in Q’enqo over the Summer months, Mrs. Renton and Mrs. Adamson told us that they would invite us BACK in September to hear about all the good news along with the NEW Grade Threes! Phew! THAT was a RELIEF!
Who KNOWS … maybe ONE day SOME of these amazing Grade Threes will grow up to WORK with Mosqoy! Wouldn’t that be AMAZING?
Don’t worry … even though this was our last SKYPE with Ashli for the year … it WON’T be our last POST! Next week we will be “passing the torch” to the NEW Grade Threes. We want to write a post for THEM … to share our hopes and dreams for their journey NEXT year!