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Our Trip to a Noisy Peruvian Cafe!

Posted by on April 25, 2014

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.

~Harriet Tubman
We still have SO many wonders ... with 125 students ALL wondering it's hard to get ALL our questions answered in one Skype!

We still have SO many wonders … with 125 students ALL wondering it’s hard to get ALL our questions answered in one Skype!

Ahh. The MAGIC of technology. Nothing beats the ability to be in TWO places at once … through the POWER of SKYPE! Yesterday, we had the privilege of going to a crowded, NOISY cafe in CUSCO Peru … all while snuggled in close, on the carpet, with 100 OTHER Grade Three students at school! Skype can DO that for you … transport you to MAGICAL places … without spending a SINGLE dime on the airplane tickets!

Yesterday was a SPECIAL day for us. We’ve spent the year asking Ashli and Zoe all KINDS of questions about life in Peru. We’ve learned SO much about the Amazon Cloud Forest, about general life in Peru and about WHY Mosqoy has chosen to make a difference in this beautiful developing South American country. Our focus, yesterday, was to find out MORE about the LIBRARY our Grade Threes have been helping Mosqoy to build for the past four years in Q’enqo Peru. And, we ALSO got to meet a NEW Mosqoy friend … NATALIE, who is the new INTERN who will be going to Q’enqo EACH week to work with the community and our special LIBRARY! Napaykullayki, Natalie! (That’s QUECHUA, we THINK, for HELLO!)

We were in for an AWESOME treat. We NEVER walk away with ALL our wonders answered but we sure walk away with a DEEPER understanding … and … even MORE wonders! What follows are some of our discoveries from yesterday:

“Today we had another Skype with Ashli, along with Natalie! Natalie is the intern for the library in Q’enqo! We learned that in the school in Q’enqo they eat AT school, just in case they HAVEN’T eaten. Ashli was in a cafe because they have better internet in there. In Peru it’s the rainy season and it can flood. My lowlight was when the worker at the cafe shushed Ashli and Natalie. I hope that Ashli finds a part-time librarian.” ~Isaac

“Friday is “Caps for Q’enqo”. And, guess what? Today we Skyped with Ashli and Natalie!!! Natalie is the intern who works in with the library in Q’enqo. My favourite part was asking questions. I didn’t get to ask one!” ~Alex

These are just the questions from ONE class! I think we're going to need to Skype EVERY day!

These are just the questions from ONE class! I think we’re going to need to Skype EVERY day!

“Hi, Ashli and Natalie, the grade threes shouted. Today we were having a Skype with Ashli and Natalie. This is one of the questions I had: I wonder what Ashli’s highlight was while helping out in Q’enqo? Quechua is an oral language. It means that it’s only spoken. But, people are trying to write it down so the language isn’t forgotten. One of my highlights is that Ashli Skyped with us again. But, my lowlight was that Ashli had to STOP Skyping! One good thing is that she is going to help with three weaving villages! Another lowlight was she got shushed in the cafe in Cusco because (they thought) she was too loud. This was an awesome Skype. I wish that I could have another Skype like this again.” ~Daniel

“Today we had a Skype with Ashli and the intern from the Q’enqo library whose name is Natalie. I liked that our camera didn’t turn us upside down again. It was funny how Natalie was like ‘oh, we need this and we need that when she was in the stores(when she was looking in the book stores in Cusco)!

“Yeah. We got to Skype with Ashli! It was SO fun. Some of the best parts were asking questions about the library in Q’enqo, seeing her and getting answers about the library in Q’enqo. Did you know that they eat at school because it is their only nutritious meal of the day? Amazing. They also used to be scared of ruining the building and the books because they have never had a library before and books are precious to them. They also only have two seasons – the wet season and the dry season. That was an awesome Skype. Hopefully we can do it again!” ~Peng Peng

Natalie's FIRST trip to the Q'enqo library ... now that the RAINY season is coming to an end! Photo by Natalie Sands

Natalie’s FIRST trip to the Q’enqo library … now that the RAINY season is coming to an end!
Photo by Natalie Sands

“Yay. We got to Skype with Ashli and her new intern Natalie. I asked ‘do they have books in other languages than Quechua and Spanish?’ My highlights are that we did get to Skype. It was great! But, we also got to learn LOTS about Q’enqo! I still have some wonders and they are:

  • What is Ashli’s hope for the library?
  • How do you get HEAVY supplies from Cusco to Q’enqo?

Well, that’s only SOME of my wonders! Guess what? On April 24, Natalie said to us that when she was in Cusco she saw things that she would like for the library and she said that she was like a little girl and wanted to get a LOT of things! Did you know that Quechua is an oral language? That means that there are not a lot of writings in Quechua. It was SO cool that we got to Skype with Ashli and Natalie. I hope we get to do it again!” ~Jenna

“Yes! We got to Skype with Ashli and Natalie. Tomorrow, Natalie will be at the Q’enqo library. It was kind of funny when they shushed Ashli and Natalie. After, their faces turned red. It was really fun. My favourite part was when they shushed them. They were really excited but the people in the cafe thought they were too loud. But, I did not think they were too loud! It was awesome to Skype with them. I forgot to tell you that Natalie is the new intern. We had a bunch of questions to ask. Some of them were: did more girls or boys go to the library? Do parents go to the library? There were way more questions. It was kinds of sad to stop the Skype but we will Skype again!” ~Aya

Even NELSON has a question he is ITCHING to ask!

Even NELSON has a question he is ITCHING to ask!

“Yay! Today we Skyped with Ashli and Natalie! I finally got to ask a question! My highlights are that I got to ask a question, that the library wasn’t destroyed and that the camera wasn’t upside down! My question was ‘are the people in Q’enqo using the library, or are they still scared to ruin the books?’ I hope we get to Skype again!” ~Melvin

“Wow, Ashli! I was amazed at how you introduced Natalie to the whole class. I felt interested in how you and Natalie are helping the Q’enqo library. Natalie is going to help find a librarian and teach them how to use the library. For the past four years the grade threes have raise money to build a library in Q’enqo Peru. On Friday we are raising more money for Q’enqo by having a “Caps for Q’enqo” day.” ~Lane

This awesome Quechua song was written by Daria. We LOVE it because Quechua is an ORAL language … very FEW books exist in Quechua. We WONDER what they’re SAYING!

We don’t know how ACCURATE this site is … but here are some MORE Quechua phrases.

“What happens to the library during the flood season? Well, this year the library was closed up. Kids use the library more than adults do. Kids do because adults can’t read and the adults don’t have the same education as the kids. Ashli and Natalie were in a cafe. Once, they became too loud and they were shushed by the staff. Are there any other languaged books other than Spanish and Quechua? Yes! There is an English/Spanish dictionary! Do you know the story of the Little Prince? Well, they translated it into Quechua!” ~Cohen

“Hi! We were Skyping with Ashli again! Zoe wasn’t with her but Ashli introduced us to Natalie, a new intern. I don’t know where Zoe was. We missed her. We had lots of questions and some of them were:

  • do girls use the library more than boys?
  • do they have books in the Q’enqo library other than Spanish and Quechua?

All the grade three classes joined us so there were FIVE classes in our CLASSROOM! So, that would add up to 125 students and seven adults! That’s a LOT! Do you know what an intern is? Well, an intern is someone that will do something for an organization. So, Natalie is an intern for Ashli in the organization called Mosqoy. She is helping Ashli by helping the people in Q’enqo and the library. We will be having a fundraiser at Battalion Park and all the money we make we will send to the Q’enqo library so they can get more books. I hope that the money we donate will help get more books!” ~Claire

It's interesting to see how varied our HIGHLIGHTS are after each of our Skypes!

It’s interesting to see how varied our HIGHLIGHTS are after each of our Skypes!

“Yay!!! Today we did a Skype with Ashli and Natalie. It was really fun. They told us a lot of things. Yesterday we wrote questions for them. We didn’t get to ask all of our questions because there was like five classes in one classroom. And, in the Skype, Ashli first introduced Natalie to us. Zoe wasn’t there. We kind of missed her. But, that was TOTALLY fine because Ashli and Natalie were there! Natalie is an intern in the library in Q’enqo. I hope they have a good time.” ~Hannah

“Woo Hoo! Finally it’s Ashli day! On April 23, 2014 the five classes walked cautiously down the hall. Then, at that very moment Ashli called. We asked Ashli a few awesome questions and she answered a LOT. They were:

  • what are your biggest highlights?
  • do more girls or boys go to the library?
  • do you speak Quechua?
  • What happens to the library during the rainy season?

The answer for what are your BIGGEST highlights was ‘seeing the kids laugh!’ Ashli hired another person named Natalie! She is there to help with the library. Ashli and Natalie don’t know if more girls or boys use the library. Ashli can speak a little Quechua and she wants to learn to read a book in Quechua called The Little Prince. Quechua is a really hard language. My class saw a video in Quechua. It looked like it was about a celebration. The answer for what happens to the library during the rainy season … well … the library is closed in the rainy season! I can’t wait to Skype with Ashli again.” ~Hilary

Natalie's FIRST look at the library in Q'enqo ... it's bare ... but NOT for LONG! Photo by Natalie Sands

Natalie’s FIRST look at the library in Q’enqo … it’s bare … but NOT for LONG!
Photo by Natalie Sands

“Guess what? We Skyped with Ashli and Natalie! This time they are trying to get a kitchen close to the library because food and precious books DON’T go together! Natalie also is getting more books for the library! My highlight was that we were not upside down on the Skype! Ashli was SO excited that she got the quiet signal in the cafe … but it’s okay … we get a little loud too sometimes! It’s funny because Natalie is my buddy’s name too. We are going to Skype again!” ~Catherine

“Ggg, ggg, ggg … the Skype was opening. Today we Skyped with Ashli and Natalie. You know who Natalie is? Ashli just hired Natalie to work with the Q’enqo library. The funniest part of the Skype was when some people, (because Ashli was Skyping with us in a cafe in Cusco), shh-ed Ashli because she was SO excited! I hope we get some more books in the library!” ~Martin

“Hi! Today we Skyped with Ashli. She had another person but it was not Zoe. The other person was somebody named Natalie. She’s an intern. She’s there to help with the Q’enqo library. They’re going to hire a part-time librarian. They are going to put sticky labels on all the books. Did you know that the people in Q’enqo don’t have four seasons like Canada? They only have two seasons. The wet season and the dry season. The library is stronger than some of the other buildings so in the rainy season it does not get ruined. I can’t wait to Skype with Ashli again!” ~Noam

“Hi readers! Let me tell you about what happened this morning. Mrs. Renton told us we were going to Skype AGAIN … of course … drum roll, please … with ASHLI! And … a new intern … Natalie! Yeah! I never get to ask questions. Oh well. At least I see her! Huh? Oh … you want to know my question? Okay. It is: what is your BIGGEST hope for the library, Ashli? You know, there was ONE lowlight. Ashli got shh-ed.” ~Amy

Oh oh ... as we reflect ... even MORE wonders begin to flood in!

Oh oh … as we reflect … even MORE wonders begin to flood in!

“Today we had another Skype with Ashli … BUT … she had someone new with her. Her name was Natalie … an intern. When we saw them they were in Cusco Peru in a CAFE! When they were sitting down Ashli was speaking Spanish! My highlight was when she talked about the rainy season. She said that the people in Q’enqo closed down the library (until they can train people to help with it) so it doesn’t get ruined (in the rainy season). The houses in Q’enqo are made out of adobe and they have to be rebuilt several times in the rainy season.” ~Zyne

“I think I just learned SO much about Ashli and the Q’enqo library. What was my biggest highlight, you ask? Well, that we got to meet someone new. Her name was Natalie. Natalie was there to help out with the library. You know what was the most interesting question? I thought it was “do you know how to speak Quechua?’ because DON’T you want to KNOW how she communicates with the people in Q’enqo? Oops. I forgot to tell you the answer to the question. Ashli knows how to speak Spanish but she is learning how to speak Quechua. Here are some of the questions that we wrote on the chart. Have you hired a librarian? What was your highlight in the past four years? What are your biggest hopes for the library? Well, I had a fantastic time Skyping with Ashli and Natalie.” ~Kennedy

“I am so glad that nothing happened to the library. Did you know that kids in Q’enqo don’t use the books? One funny part was we Ashli got shushed. Natalie is the new intern for the library. I kind of missed Zoe there. My highlight was the whole thing. Ashli is trying to learn Quechua. People in Q’enqo are scared to use the books because they think they will lose them. I love books. Some people don’t take that for granted.” ~Ethan

“Here are some highlights: I liked how Ashli introduced Natalie. Natalie is going to find a part-time librarian and more books for the library. Ashli also told us that she was in Cusco Peru! Someone asked if adults use the library and Ashli quietly said no because if Ashli did not talk quietly she would get shushed. I was amazed how Ashli could speak Spanish. We also told her about Caps for Q’enqo. What is Caps for Q’enqo, you ask? On April 25th we are going to wear our favourite hats and the money we raise we are giving to Ashli to buy more books!” ~Kelly

There were SO many more highlights from this amazing Skype with Ashli and Natalie! Over the next few weeks, Natalie will be visiting the Q’enqo community to assess what will work best for the COMMUNITY. That means finding out about the qualities of the person needed who will be hired as a part-time librarian. This person will need to be someone who will work well with the community as they build capacity and comfort with using this amazing library. The children are EAGER to sign books out. Many adults in the community are illiterate. Who knows … maybe ONE day the CHILDREN of Q’enqo will teach the ADULTS how to read using the books from their VERY own library!

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.

~Margaret Mead

9 Responses to Our Trip to a Noisy Peruvian Cafe!

  1. Hilary

    Hi Mrs Renton,

    I just read the new blog post. 🙂 It was awesome but I do think it dose need a little more highlights. 😉 I think it’s going to be a hit. 😉 I have some questions for you

    *What are your favourite highlights from Ashli?
    *what are your lowlights?
    *what do you like to know more about Peru?
    *when is our skype with Ashli

    Hilary 😉

    • Laurie Renton

      Good morning, Hilary!

      I am glad that you spotted the new post! I agree … it was ANOTHER great entry on the blog! It is always interesting, to me, to see WHAT we all take away as highlights after our skypes! SO many people were struck by the fact that Ashli and Natalie were “shushed”! We were ALL so excited that we’re lucky the Grade SIXES didn’t come in and shush US!!!

      I love your questions, Hilary! Thank you for ASKING! Hmm. They are HARD questions, though. I think one of my BIGGEST highlights over the past four years HAS to be seeing the photo of Geneva putting the very FIRST book on a shelf in the newly completely library prior to the grand opening. But … EVERY skype has been a highlight because I ALWAYS walk away having learned a WHOLE bunch of new stuff!!! And, truthfully, watching seven and eight year olds discover that they CAN make a difference in the world has been SO goosebumpy! I have LOVED watching our school community come together to help us bring a library and books to these children as well. There have been just TOO many highlights to choose just one!

      Lowlights? The discovery that the adults in the community weren’t help the kids to use the library … it made me sad to hear that most of them are illiterate … and … afraid to ruing the books they feel are precious … and that they have to work SO hard just to meet their basic needs, that they don’t have the TIME to help either.

      What would I like to know MORE about Peru? ANOTHER hard question, Hilary! I will have to give that some thought, and get back to you. I have SO many questions … if I could only ask THREE … that would be HARD!

      Gosh … I am not sure when our next skype will be with Ashli, but I do know that if Natalie is going into Q’enqo every week for the next few months … maybe our next skype will be in two WEEKS! Maybe even SOONER, if we can catch Ashli on line, on skype, to let her know how WONDERFULLY well the fundraiser went!

      Hilary … you should be a reporter! What WONDERFUL questions you’ve asked! I PROMISE to give the “wonder” question more thought and I will add to this comment as soon as I come up with my BIG three!!!

      Mrs. Renton 🙂

  2. Joan Price

    Hi Mrs Renton, or allillunchu (the Quechua I learned for hello) I always enjoy learning about what your grade is doing with Q’engo in Peru. It is SO good that you can Skype and have contact with the people there. The library looks fantastic! When I visited a school in Peru the teacher cooked the meal for the children. It was like porridge. The government provided it and also a potato bread roll. The children all walk to school! I LOVE learning about Peru and Cusco is a lovely place!

    • The Battalion Bloggers

      Hi Joan!

      Thank you for leaving another awesome comment on our blog! Thank you for teaching us how to say hello in Quechua. It’s different than our google search … but it’s probably accurate because you have friends in Peru. We don’t Skype with the people who live in Q’enqo, but we Skype with Ashli, Zoe and Natalie. They work with Mosqoy and they are working in Q’enqo. So, they help us to understand what’s going on with the library … and all about life in Peru.

      Hmm. Porridge for lunch. We wonder if it’s potato porridge because we know that they grow so many varieties of potatoes … and they eat a TON of potatoes. Some of us have tried potato pancakes … but very FEW of us have ever tried potato bread. We wonder what it tastes like!

      Thank you for leaving us a great comment!

      The Battalion Bloggers 🙂

  3. Natalie Sands

    Thank you so much for your blog Grade 3 class!!! I am working on many many tasks for the library project in another noisy cafe in Peru, and I just recieved your blog. I have been getting funny looks from other people in the cafe because I am smiling and laughing really loud at all of your great reflections on our skype meeting. I hope I am not shhhusssshed again! I am very excited to see how much you are learning through this project and I look forward to our next skype meeting!

    • The Battalion Bloggers

      Hi Natalie!

      Thank you for leaving a thoughtful comment on our blog! We love that you are helping the library and it has been fun to Skype with you to hear all about what’s going on in the library! We’ve heard about SOME of your tasks, with our Skype, and now we are wondering what else you’ve been up to in Q’enqo since our last Skype! We wonder how you are able to do your tasks in a noisy cafe! Many of us would have a hard time concentrating!

      We are glad that our blog post made you laugh … although we hate the thought of you being shushed again! We hope you weren’t shushed again!

      What are some of the new tasks you are working on? Have you had any NEW adventures? We CAN’T wait for our NEXT Skype with you!

      The Battalion Bloggers 🙂

  4. Jenna

    Hi Battalion Bloggers!

    I LOVED the post!

    I was thinking…..
    Do you have highlights
    Do you have any lowlights ( I don’t think SO!! 😉 )
    Are you happy that we get to Skype with Ashli a LOT!

    I told my dance teachers to check out the blog!!

    Jenna 🙂 😉

    • The Battalion Bloggers

      Hi Jenna!

      Thank you for ALWAYS leaving GREAT comments on the blog! We had LOTS of highlights from our Skype with Ashli and Natalie! Here are just a FEW of them:

      – getting to meet Natalie on Skype
      – getting to ask questions
      – listening and learning from the answers
      – learning new things about the library and Q’enqo
      – getting to see Ashli again
      – that our camera wasn’t upside down again
      – getting NEW questions from the ANSWERS!!!

      Hmm. There MAY have been a lowlight, or two:

      – Ashli and Natalie getting shushed
      – not getting to ALL ask our questions (we have SO many questions)
      – having to say goodbye and hang up

      We are SO lucky that we get to Skype with Ashli and Natalie as often as we do. Thank you for telling your DANCE teachers about our blog! We wonder if they visited the blog! We wonder what YOUR highlights and lowlights were!

      The Battalion Bloggers 🙂

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