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Q’enqo Library News

Posted by on May 6, 2014

Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.

~Margaret Mead
Meet NATALIE! She's the AMAZING Mosqoy intern working solely with the Q'enqo community and LIBRARY!

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.

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

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!

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!

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!

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!

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 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.

~Desmond Tutu

12 Responses to Q’enqo Library News

  1. Peng Peng

    Hi battalion bloggers!

    I think every one did a great job in there writing! I think it is one of our best blog posts. Do you think so?

    Also what was your favourite part about the Skype? My favourite part was when I heard that the children in Q’enqo were excited to learn. Can you tell me some of your highlights?

    Peng Peng 🙂

  2. Ethan

    Hi Battalion Bloggers!

    We loved the Q’enqo library news post. We learned so many things like how eating Guinea pig is a rare treat in Peru and how their library only has 150 books.

    We are hopeful that the money raised will help them buy more books for their library. 🙂

  3. Amy

    Hi Battalion Bloggers!

    I`m SO sorry i wasn`t here for this blog post but i was sick.But i LOVED this post! We are SO lucky that we skype with mosqoy all the time!

    Sorry for the short comment i had no time to think Trevor has a friend over 😉

    Love Amy 🙂 <3

  4. Ross Mannell

    Hello Battalion Bloggers,

    I know you have left extra bilby comments and will reply soon in this very busy month. I also hope to have time for reading more of your interesting posts soon but I wanted to tell you about May 22 so I thought I’d add it to your latest post.

    On May 22, my Extended Comments for Students blog turns 2. I will be posting a photo of the blog’s 2nd birthday cake on the day, May 22. Also, some time this year my 200th post will appear. As well as sharing posts, I have learned so much from the interaction with students. Watch for the May 22 post at . It will feature two unnamed furry, cuddly little friends (not real).

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

    • The Battalion Bloggers

      Good MORNING, Ross!!!

      We know that you are STILL sleeping … because New South Wales is exactly 16 hours AHEAD of us!

      It seems SO weird to be writing this comment on May 21st at 9:40 am KNOWING that it is ALREADY May 22nd … and only 1:40 am YOUR time!!!

      We REALLY wanted to wish your blog a HAPPY, HAPPY 2nd BIRTHDAY … and we KNEW we had to do it the day BEFORE the 22nd!

      We want you to know just exactly HOW much we have loved learning through this blog that you do for SO many students and their teachers around the world!

      Here are just a FEW of the things we have LOVED about sharing this learning journey with you:

      – you’ve extended our learning by sending us extended comments that have helped us to go even deeper in our learning.

      – we’ve learned TONS about Australia … and if you didn’t share that amazing information on your blog with us, we wouldn’t know so much about Australia!

      – we really loved learning even MORE about bilbies … an animal we would have known NOTHING about if it weren’t for YOU!

      – we’ve loved reading your posts … even the ones for other classes!

      – we have loved every single ONE of your posts and we think it’s SO generous of you spending your free time researching and commenting on class blogs!

      – we love how, if we ask questions, you ALWAYS answer them! That makes us feel PRETTY happy! It’s nice to have another teacher … on the other side of the WORLD!

      Mrs. Renton showed us all the photos of your Panboola bioblitz! We wonder … was that YOU holding the scorpion? Gulp! That is SO brave! Many of us ALSO think that we have a NEW Australian animal to add to our top favourites list … the marsupial mouse! We are VERY excited to read your posts about THAT adventure TOO!

      Happy Birthday to your blog, Ross! We hope it has a VERY special day … and we will be hitting refresh throughout the day to see a photo of its birthday cake!

      The Battalion Bloggers 🙂

      PS We tried VERY hard to make an audioboo of us singing Happy Birthday to your blog … but … for some strange reason, it wouldn’t record for us this morning!

      • Ross Mannell

        Hi Battalion Bloggers,

        The last month has been very busy with volunteer work for my local school, three filming projects underway with another next weekend and working online yet I wouldn’t have it any other way. It has given me a chance to work with many other people and helped me learn new information and skills. Just yesterday (Tuesday, May 27) I also had the chance to be a base umpire for a softball match between two schools. That was fun and my local school won by 6 despite a brilliant match against another good school not too far from here.

        The Panboola bioblitz was one of the great experiences as it took my back to university days when I was on a field study as part of my science degree. The arm with the scorpion wasn’t me as I was holding the camera. That particular scorpion isn’t a deadly type although a sting would hurt. It was a cold morning when the photo was taken so the scorpion wasn’t very active.

        The antechinus (marsupial mouse) is a favourite of mine (although I have many favourites). Knowing about them, it’s easy to tell them apart from the mammalian mouse simply by looking at their pointier snout. The mammalian and marsupial mice are good examples of unrelated animals having similarities because they live in similar ways. They look a little alike because they do the same things. Isn’t nature exciting and always full of new species to investigate?

        I am also working on a reply to your comment on my bilby post so it will be there shortly.

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

    • The Battalion Bloggers

      Hi Ross!

      Happy second birthday to your blog! It sure LOOKS like it was a FUN party! It’s AMAZING that you’ve had 73 400 visitors in only TWO years! Our blog is going to be THREE years old in JANUARY … and we only have 21 695 hits so far! It’s SO cool that you have had 179 countries visit your blog! That’s CRAZY! Our blog only has 138 flags so far! We have 41 more flags to go until we match your number of flags!

      Awesome challenge, Ross! We’ve done some thinking and writing about what names the koala and the kangaroo should have! First, we wrote all our personal choices on a document. Then, we had to vote on which names they should be. We whittled it down to the MOST popular name for EACH stuffie … INCLUDING the BABY!

      Our CHOICES are … drum roll, please:

      • Koala: Sapphire
      • Kangaroo: Boxer
      • BABY Kangaroo: Roo

      You may be wondering WHY we chose these names for the stuffies!!! Well … we think SAPPHIRE is the PERFECT name for the koala because you’ve told us SO much about Sapphire the koala who lives at the Patoroo Palace! One of our Battalion Bloggers ALSO told us that you can find REAL sapphires in Australia. Maybe THAT’S how Sapphire GOT her name!

      We think the kangaroo should be named BOXER. Why? One of the MANY videos you have shared with us on your Extended Comment Blog, after you sent us the baby animal cards and we did some research, showed us some kangaroos that were boxing!!!

      We know that you said you were looking for names for two stuffed animals. But … we noticed THREE! We think the BABY needs a name TOO! So … we think it should be called ROO! Why ROO? Well … it’s NOT a FULL kanga … it’s only a roo! 🙂

      Gosh … this was FUN!

      Happy Extended Comment Blog BIRTHDAY, Ross!

      The Battalion Bloggers 🙂

  5. Amy

    Hi Mrs.Renton i don`t have your email so i just wanted you to know i go on the blog every day!

    Love Amy

    PS you`er the best teacher ever

    • Laurie Renton

      Hi Amy!

      Thank you for leaving a comment on the blog! You’ll have to remember to ask me for my email tomorrow … I will GLADLY give it to you! 😉

      What’s your FAVOURITE blog post this year? Why?


      Mrs. Renton 🙂

  6. Ross Mannell

    Hello Battalion Bloggers,

    What an amazing experience! Your chance to help and communicate with those working with Q’enqo Library has not only enriched your lives and the people of Q’enqo, it has brought awareness to the world as they share your journey through posts on this blog.

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

  7. Kennedy

    Hello Mrs.Renton

    I am writing a comment with my grandma. this is her first time she has seen the blog and is very pleased with what we have done!

    She also was really impressed that a ten year old girl made that scarf that Natalie was wearing! When I told her that in Peru they eat guiniea pig she started to make the sourpuss face, but calmed down when I told her it tasted like chicken and their are different foods around the world! 😉

    that is all I showed her for now but I told her to check out the blog! 🙂

    Love Kennedy and her AWESOME grandma!

    • Laurie Renton

      Hi Kennedy!

      I love that you shared our blog with your Grandma! Now that she knows where to find it, she will be able to check back to see some of the amazing things we have accomplished this year! I bet she will love seeing how you made your marionette too!

      I think it’s funny that your Grandma made a sourpuss face … just like WE all did when we first heard about the guinea pig thing!!! But, that stuff doesn’t bother us so much anymore because we’ve done some amazing learning about what people eat around the world! I’m STILL amazed that a ten year old could make a scarf like that. I wouldn’t have been able to when I was ten!

      I wonder what your Grandma’s FAVOURITE part of the blog was?


      Mrs. Renton 🙂

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