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A Final Skype … with … ASHLI!

Posted by on June 19, 2013

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

~Lao Tzu

We spent an AMAZING hour Skyping with Ashli this morning!

We spent an AMAZING hour Skyping with Ashli this morning!

This was our FINAL Skype of the year as the Grade Three Battalion Hawk Bloggers. We were mixed with happiness, excitement AND sadness. Happiness and EXCITEMENT to hear the latest Q’enqo library news … and SADNESS because this journey will belong to NEW Grade Threes NEXT year! Don’t worry, though, we know that we will ALWAYS be Battalion Hawk Bloggers … and we will ALWAYS be welcome to read and comment on the NEW adventures shared NEXT year!

What follows are our thoughts and reflections on the AMAZING information Ashli shared with us this morning! We hope you enjoy hearing a little more about what is happening with the Battalion Park Library Project! During this magical Skype, we heard about how the remaining money, raised by the incredible Grade Three Students over the past three years, will be spent to further improve the library in Q’enqo Peru. This journey has been FULL of amazing learning … and … we’ve discovered that building capacity and becoming change makers has both excitement AND sadness in the lessons learned. To read MORE about some of those challenges, read past posts by the Battalion Hawk Bloggers. ALL these lessons have been VALUABLE and would NEVER have happened through a “prescribed curriculum”. They occurred because of WONDER, CURIOSITY and INCREDIBLE connects made to FURTHER our understanding and help to answer some of our “I wonders”.

We got to ask her some more questions about her experiences in Peru ... and about the Battalion Park Library Project!

We got to ask Ashli some more questions about her experiences in Peru … and about the Battalion Park Library Project!

“You’ll NEVER guess what we did today. Okay, maybe you will find out what we were up to … we SKYPED with a person that helps Q’enqo. Do you even know where Q’enqo is? It’s a place in Peru. Anyways, the person we Skyped with was a girl named Ashli. Ashli talked about ideas we could do with the leftover money we raised for the library that the Grade Threes have been working on for the last three years. The ideas she came up with were:

  • Part-time librarian
  • A little room for the librarian to live in
  • Getting fiction and beginner reader books

Two other classes, Mrs. D and Mrs. A, also came to Skype with us. All the classes agreed to do all three ideas. 1. Because they were all good ideas and 2. we had enough money for all three! Skyping with Ashli was AMAZING and FUN. We would LOVE to Skype with her again!” ~Jayden and Lauren

We still had SO many questions!

We still had SO many questions!

“Our Skype with Ashli was awesome although it was the last. Here are some things you should know about. Ashli gave us some options to vote on: get more books for the library, get a part time librarian, (Tuesday to Thursday), make a living and eating quarters for the part time librarian … at the library. There is enough money to do all of them! In Nuevo Sol, (Peruvian money), there is about $6000.00 dollars left. That’s AMAZING! Thank you, Ashli, for the AWESOME Skype!” ~Christopher

Ashli had SO much exciting news to share with us!

Ashli had SO much exciting news to share with us!

“You won’t guess what WE just did. We Skyped with Ashli. Ashli is one of our readers. She is the person who told us about Q’enqo Peru and our school raised about $5029.50 over three years. There is $2500.00 left because money goes so much farther there. She has three things that she is going to do with that $2500.00. these are what they are: trying to get a librarian three days a week, for six months. The librarian is going to teach the teachers, children and students to learn how to work the library by themselves. $2500.00 in Canadian goes a lot further in Peru. In Peru it is 6000 sol … 2.5 times the Canadian dollar. Ashli told us they have a ton of parades in Q’enqo. It is amazing how many parades there are. In the library they have about 120 books. We are thinking of getting fiction and “beginning to read” books in the library. When the hire the librarian, it is going to take them 5 hours to get to Q’enqo – a one hour bus ride and then a four hour hike. We hope that we have inspired you to go out in the world and help others.” ~Tyler and Davis

We haven't Skyped as much with her, this year, but each time we HAVE we walk away with NEW exciting learning!

We haven’t Skyped as much with her, this year, but each time we HAVE we walk away with NEW exciting learning!

“Today we Skyped with Ashli. How cool is that? She spent some time talking about the library in Q’enqo and how they are renovating the library. She also gave us three options. Those three options are:

  • getting more fiction books
  • getting a librarian
  • the third option goes with the second one: it’s building a room for the librarian to live three days a week because they would have a four or five hour hike just to GET to Q’enqo

That IS a long distance to hike. We raised about $900.00 this year but, in Nuevo Sol, $900.00 Canadian is about $2200.00. Isn’t that a BUNCH of money? She said that in a festival, she had to dance for four days and four nights straight! Just renovating the library , fixing the windows, filling in the holes and all … that was $1500.00. That goes a LOT further in Nuevo Sol! I hope that next year’s Grade Threes raise MORE money and make a difference TOO!” ~Chris P.

AGAIN we find we are learning about how hard it is to build capacity! SUCH great learning!

AGAIN we find we are learning about how hard it is to build capacity! SUCH great learning!

“Today we learned about the library in Peru. Ashli told us about the library. Everyone saw Ashli on the Skype. I would really love to see Ashli again. I wonder if she is going back to Peru.” ~Cemre

There was SO much information ... we began to get our thoughts together to share the experience with our GLOBAL readers!

There was SO much information … we began to get our thoughts together to share the experience with our GLOBAL readers!

“Today we had a Skype with Ashli. We were talking about what we used the money for.  We used some money to repaint the walls. Now we have 2500 dollars left  in Canadian – that’s about 6000 Nuevo Sol. We are going to use that money for early reader books, a librarian for six months, and building a room for the librarian to stay in Q’enqo for three days a week. Ashli asked how we felt. We loved ALL of them. Then, we got to ask some good questions! The Skype was great. We loved Skyping with Ashli!” ~James and Constantine

“Today we Skyped with Ashli. She had some suggestions to do with our leftover money. They have 2 500 dollars left from the money that Battalion Park Grade Threes have raised over the past three years. The suggestions were: buy fiction books and early readers. Get a librarian and get a room for the librarian. Ashli even told us that in Peru, for Hallowe’en, they don’t  trick-er-treating. Instead, it is a sad holiday. The holiday is called Day of the Dead. In Peru, they have celebrations. We wonder what their favourite holiday is. We like Christmas!” ~Elijah and Danny


Some of us were SHOCKED to hear that MOST girls only go to Grade TWO there … that would mean that NONE of our Grade Three girls would be in school if they lived there.

“Guess what we did this morning! We has a Skype with Ashli! It was AMAZINGLY AWESOME! We have gotten over a 100 BOOKS for the library! Can you believe that? We have inspired two other schools to help the library also! Now, with all the leftover money we raised, Mosqoy will hire a librarian to come in three days a week for 6 months. There is also a tiny room at the back of the library that they are going to make for the librarian so he or she can sleep there. Thank you, Ashli, for inspiring us on this wonderful journey! We hope we made a difference for the kids in Q’enqo!” ~Rayann, Rebecca and Chelsea


Many of us immediately thought that the new librarian would be a lady. Ashli quickly helped us to realize that, in Peru, the PREDOMINENT leaders are MEN! So … the NEW librarian will MOST likely be a MAN!

“We really enjoyed the Skype with Ashli. It was wonderful. First, she told us she was in England through skype messages. Then, we had some issues with the webcam. We have learned so much by Skyping with Ashli. In Q’enqo, they still have 6000 Sol left. We actutally fund-raised about $3500.00 in Canadian, (over three years). The library in Q’enqo is gonna get a room for the librarian to stay in because the librarian has to hike for four hours. That would be tiring. We would be asleep by the time we got there!” ~Tre and Amro


ONE day, it would be SO nice to Skype with the CHILDREN living in Q’enqo!

“Wow! That’s interesting, I thought, as I listened to what Ashli was saying. We were having a very EXCITING Skype with her. She told us about the things that the Peruvians would need that we could spend the money we raised on! We has plenty extra! In fact we had $2500.00 left! But, the amount in Peruvian Sol is $6000! That’s a LOT! Now, I shall tell you what Q’enqo Peru needed. Well, you know how we raised a library, (check the blog, if not) … you can’t have one without books … the room only had a few! In order to have books you need a librarian to get more and to supervise. But, in order for him or her to stay, the person would need to live somewhere. So, Q’enqo Peru needed to turn the little rundown room beside the library into a small place for the librarian to live. It would include a teensy kitchen, a bed and things like that! Now, I think I’m running out of time! Bye!” ~Ella

“Hi Ashli! WOW! $2500.00? That’s going to go farther in Peru! When you asked about voting on your three suggestions, we thought together that all your three suggestions were very good for spending the $2500 that is left. We also think that next year we will raise way more money! Having a librarian for Peru in your 3rd suggestion sounds like it could be a good choice, but the others are still good too! Which of the three suggestions did YOU like best? Thank you for telling us some of your answers to our questions!” ~Joyce and Zubayda


MAYBE the NEW librarian will come from CUSCO … after all … it is the SECOND largest CITY in Peru!

“Do you know what the Battalion Park School Library Project is? We’re working with Mosqoy to help build a library in Q’enqo Peru. Today we Skyped with one of the members of Mosqoy. Her name was Ashli! We talked about a lot of things, like how we have a ton of money left. $2500.00 to be precise. If you don’t already know … we raised $900.00 THIS year! Ashli was AWESOME. She gave us information and answered all our questions with enthusiasm! She gave us three different ideas on how we could spend the rest of our money. Here are her ideas:

  • The first one is that we could buy even MORE books for the library!
  • The second one was that we could hire a librarian to come in three days a week for 6 months to teach the community to use the library.
  • The third applies to the second one as well. We make a stay-in room for the librarian to stay in while they are on duty. This would include a bed, kitchen, dining table and maybe even a sofa and a tv!

But, guess what … we have enough money to do them ALL! 🙂 We hope you have enjoyed reading about our experience!” ~AJ, Ben and Tommy


Although we know our year is almost over … MANY of us will continue to check back to see how the journey is going … and … to leave COMMENTS on the BLOG … just like LAST year’s bloggers sometimes do!

We LOVE that our money has gone further than ANY of us could have EVER imagined. We are THRILLED that, although the library is currently UNDER used … because the people in the community are still lacking the necessary SKILLS and TIME to help it run independently, Ashli is working hard to bring independence to this project. They will post a job description and hope to hire someone who will have the passion to teach the community members how to run the library. With our money, they have enough to hire someone for three days a week … for six whole MONTHS!  The hope is that this special person will ALSO be able to help some of the YOUNGER children to READ.

But, to do this, they will need to renovate a little room in the school, beside the library, so that this part-time librarian is able to stay within the community, since the trek in is such a LONG one. Since this is the RAINY season in Peru, this work will not begin until AFTER that time. It will continue throughout the 2013 – 2014 year. We SURE hope that we will STILL be able to connect … to hear MORE about how this work progresses!

We are SO proud of learning to be change makers and SO grateful to the magical learning that Ashli has shared with us these past few years. Who knows … maybe ONE day some of us will show up with our RESUMES … and join the Mosqoy adventure ALONG with Ashli!

We wonder:

  • Have YOU ever had a life changing experience like this?

5 Responses to A Final Skype … with … ASHLI!

  1. Jayden

    Hi Ms .Renton and class. 😉
    I loved the Skype with ashli. did you like the Skype? I got to go.

    Jayden 🙂

    • Laurie Renton

      Hi Jayden!

      I agree with you. I am SO glad that we could finish the year with a Skype from Ashli! We discovered LOTS of new exciting news yesterday! It makes my HEART sing to know that there is left-over money for all the cool initiatives they will work on next year! You will have to keep checking the blog and leaving comments when you move on to Grade Four! It will STILL be fun to watch the journey that you are a part of!

      Mrs. Renton 🙂

  2. Ross Mannell

    Hello Battalion Hawk Bloggers,

    Well, as in all things in our lives, time has moved on and you are reaching the end of the school year. It seems such a short time ago we were just getting to know each other. You have learned and achieved so much this school year and I know there are many more learning experiences ahead when you return to school and enter Grade 4.

    The Lao Tzu quote at the beginning of your post is a favourite of mine….
    “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

    When facing a task with so much to do, I can see my goal but the steps in achieving the goal can seem overwhelming (too much to think about). To help me on my journey, I take a first step. When complete I take another step. Before we know it, the first step has led to many and the goal is close at hand.

    Think of the steps you have already taken in your lives. You were born. You learned to walk and talk. You have learned to recognise letters and numbers. You have made friends and learned about the world. So many steps have already been taken and now you are taking another. You’ll be moving on to Grade 4.

    Writing about this made me think, how long is our learning journey? I have taken many more steps in my life than you yet there are still many steps I hope to be able to take. My goal is to keep learning and sharing as I journey.

    Another Lao Tzu quote is “A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.”

    I’m a traveller on my learning journey. I never know where learning might take me and I don’t think of where I might arrive. It’s the journey that’s important.

    Keep your minds open to all the experiences helping you to learn as you continue your own journeys. You won’t know where they might lead but what you learn along the way makes the journey worthwhile. 🙂

    Ross Mannell
    Teacher (retired), N.S.W., Australia

  3. christopher

    Hi Mrs.Renton!

    WOW! I can’t believe that schools cancelled! Can I come to YOUR house to learn…I know were it is;)

    I am so sad that school is almost over):


    • Laurie Renton

      Good morning, Christopher!

      I agree – I can’t believe that school was cancelled today – but I understand why. There are so many people trying to make their way to work from so many areas in the city … and the flooding is nothing like I’ve EVER seen. The pictures on the news are shocking. I feel SO badly for all the people who have been evacuated from their homes.

      I LOVE that you want to come to my house to continue learning for the day! If I know you like I THINK I know you, though, I know that you will spend a MAGICAL day continuing to learn … and play! See you Monday, kiddo!

      Mrs. Renton 🙂

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