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A FINAL Skype With Natalie

Posted by on May 27, 2014

Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go. 

~T.S. Eliot

Final Skype

We CAN’T believe that this is our FINAL Skype with Natalie! Her internship went by SO quickly. We are SO glad that we’ve had the opportunity to learn from her!

On May 27th, we had a final Skype with Natalie while she is still in Peru. It’s hard to believe just HOW much sharing can be done in a 60 minute Skype … you would BE surprised! Natalie filled us in with all her Q’enqo adventures since our LAST Skype with her. She has been a VERY busy girl! Since our LAST conversation with her she has managed to write several reports for Mosqoy, travel back and forth into Q’enqo to work on renovations, teach EACH class LESSONS on how to use the library and paint a BEAUTIFUL mural in the LIBRARY! Phew … we’re tired just LISTENING to everything she has managed to accomplish in her short time there!

Together with the community, Natalie has managed to strengthen the security of the library windows so that no more books will go missing. They have build a partition wall so that the books stay safe and the eating area remains separate from the precious books. Coordinating the renovations was VERY tricky work because not many people in Q’enqo have the skills to do the technical work required for welding and wiring. The school director and the community President are SO excited about the library that they have offered to help Mosqoy fund some of the work that has been happening with the library! Ya HOO!

Natalie has managed to buy MORE books … which is a GOOD thing because at the end of LAST year there were about 120 books in the library. NOW … there are only about 58 books. GULP! MANY books went missing because the people in the community just aren’t used to having them around. They LOVE them … they are precious … but no one seems to know where the books have gone.

So … GOOD news … they have hired a part-time librarian. His name is Santiago! His wife is a teacher at the Q’enqo school … and he is ALSO a teacher! His job will be to work with the community, help them use the books … and help to keep the books safe! Because the homes in Q’enqo have dirt floors and cook stoves INSIDE, everyone has decided that the books will be most safe and best enjoyed within the library. Santiago will work with the classes and the teachers while he is there for the next seven months. They redid the electrical wiring in the library so now they will even be able to keep it open in the evening sometimes so the high school students can come in and enjoy the library. There are LOTS of POWER outages, though, because Q’enqo is HIGH in the Andes Mountains.

What follows are SOME of our highlights and reflections on ANOTHER amazing Skype:

“Yes! We are Skyping with Natalie! Woo hoo! I can’t wait to learn more about the Q’enqo library! I wonder if it has changed or not! Skype time, class … or … should I say “classes”! All five classes were in the classroom with us. It was squishy but it was worth it! Natalie was talking lots about the Q’enqo library but what really stood out to me was this wonderful fact about the library. Natalie painted a big blue tree with no leaves and some kids put their hand prints on the tree like they were leaves and printed their names under their handprints. I had an awesome time having the last EVER Skype with her because she is getting a new job in Victoria.” ~Kennedy


Natalie’s FIRST look at the library before BEGINNING all her amazing work in the Q’enqo Library these past few weeks. Photo by Natalie Sands

 “I was right … we got to Skype with Natalie again! But, this is the last Skype with Natalie! I wish we could Skype again with her. 🙁 Natalie said to us that she painted a tree stem that is blue on the wall … so kids put their hand in paint and put it on the tree so it’s a hand tree! The kids put their name under their handprint! I wish I could do that! I didn’t get to ask a question … I was scared when Natalie told us that TWO books when missing. Two boys said they did it.” ~Catherine

“Wahhh! It was the last Skype with Natalie. We learned so much from the Q’enqo journey. Two boys in Q’enqo took a book and then Natalie asked them and then they gave the book back. There are 75 families in the community. After the Skype my teacher showed us pictures of the library from when Natalie got there. Natalie is going back to Victoria and getting another job.” ~Ethan

“Today we had another Skype with Natalie! I liked when she said that they eat soup for breakfast! I love soup. I wish that my mom could make soup for breakfast … and … I LOVE potatoes! It was the last Skype with her. 🙁 Will we see Natalie again? I forgot to tell you they put the potatoes into the soup! I really want to try it! YUM!” ~Zyne


The floor mats have also been very very popular, as students like to roll and slide on them. Photo by Natalie Sands

“Oh my GLOB … YES! Another Skype with … drum roll, please … Miss NATALIE Sands! By the way, BEST Skype EVER! I LOVED it! Anyways, yesterday, Mrs. Renton told my class that we are going to Skype again! Wow! I LOVE my life! Guess what? I got to ask my question! Yay! My question was, “how many kids have you seen go into the library?” ~Amy

“”Hi! We just Skyped with Natalie and I’m actually sort of sad because it was our LAST SKYPE! I had lots of highlights and some of them were: getting to see her again, watching people ask questions, having lots of fun and seeing Natalie’s beautiful smile! There were all five classes in the Skype and all of the classes got to ask two questions each. Some of the questions were:

  • What is the currency in Peru?
  • Have any changes been made in the library?
  • What was your favourite part of your internship?

There were many more questions.” ~Claire


Gr. 2 teacher Marleny and librarian Santiago helping the children read after the library lesson and art activity. Photo by Natalie Sands

“Hurray! Today we had another Skype with Natalie … but it was her last Skype. She is going to get a different job. Someone asked Natalie how many people live in Q’enqo. Natalie said about 400 people. I thought there was only 125 people. She also mentioned that some books were missing! My highlights were learning and finding out that Natalie got more books for the Q’enqo library. My lowlight was that it was Natalie’s final Skype.” ~Isaac

‘Another Skype with Natalie? Yay! We’re going to Skype with Natalie! Here are some of my highlights: we got to learn new facts. We got to ask questions. Here are my lowlights: the Skype had to end because it was recess. I wish we could Skype again!” ~Kelly


Librarian Santiago in front of the library tree after about half the classes have added their hands. Photo by Natalie Sands

“On May 27th we did our last Skype with Natalie. I was really excited because the last time when the class did a Skype with Natalie, I was at a dentist appointment. I was REALLY disappointed that day. But, I am better now! my highlight was when Natalie told us that the library was different. I don’t have a lowlight!” ~Hannah

“Really, Natalie? I said in my mind. Do you have to go back to Victoria? I can’t believe this is your last Skype with us because you’re going back to Victoria. I will never forget what you said to us. I hope you Skype with Ashli when you return back to Victoria. These words are for you, Natalie. Last time we Skyped with you you said that two kids pulled out books because they were very excited  to know how to use the library. That made me laugh. I wish that we could Skype again because you impressed the whole class so much!” ~Lane


These are some Q’enqo students reading and exploring a Battalion Park book about how we use libraries in Canada! Photo by Natalie Sands

“Yay! We got to Skype with Natalie again! It is her last few days in Peru. It will be our last day to Skype with Natalie. She told us that they lost two books but they found them. Two boys took them and left them in their backpacks. They were only seven years old. The boys were really excited. They just wanted to read the books because they were so exciting! My highlight is that we get to Skype with Natalie. My lowlight is that Natalie is leaving to go back to Victoria. I hope we get to Skype with Natalie again!” ~Aya

“Today was our last Skype with Natalie. We got to ask her questions. Did you know that there are around 50 students at the Q’enqo school? Two books were missing from the library and they found them in some backpacks. The students didn’t know that they had to sign out the books. They are learning how to use a library. I know how to use a library.” ~Sam


The library is arranged so that all the books are together on one wall far away from the cafeteria for easy monitoring and access. This is the concrete wall they’ve built.

“Bye, everyone was saying to Natalie, when the Skype was ending! Today we had a Skype with Natalie. It was the last one because now she is going back to Victoria. Natalie answered a few more of our questions like:

  • does it have electricity in the library?
  • what work do people do there?

There were lots MORE questions. The answer to “what do people do for work” is that lots of people farm. Some people mine and because the government has a project to build a soccer stadium some people get to work to build that too. I hope the next kids that will be in Grade Three have the experience to Skype with Natalie at LEAST once!” ~Martin

This also shows a what a common cookhouse and open fire looks like in many traditional communities in Peru.

A TYPICAL cook stove INSIDE Peruvian homes … another reason to keep the library books INSIDE the LIBRARY! Photo by Natalie Sands

“Yay, I thought, because it was the last Skype with Natalie this year. She told us that when she got to the library she counted all the books. There were only about 50 books. I was relieved when she told us that she got about 50 more books. Also, I was very happy when she said when she was gone the builders started repairing the window frames. When Natalie was working a few men came and started to build the wall to separate the dining hall and the library! Natalie painted a tree on the library wall and everybody dipped their hands into paint and then put their hands on the tree to make leaves. Then the kids signed below their leaves. I wish I could put my handprint there.” ~Daniel

“Today we Skyped with Natalie! It was so fun, even though I didn’t get to ask a question … but … I asked one last time! Natalie started by telling some of her stories, like this one. She said, when she came back to Q’enqo, she counted all the books and there were two missing! So, she went around asking kids then two kids gave her the books back. They, she had to talk with the two kids. But, they just didn’t know how to use a library. Then, it was time to ask some questions. One person, who is my bff at school, asked what animals live in the jungle. Natalie said she didn’t know. Another kids who had crutches said something that I couldn’t quite make out. Well, this was the last Skype with Natalie. I will never forget this day.” ~Kale


It has been SO much fun and such AMAZING learning Skyping with Natalie this year. We will miss her SO much.

“Noo! It CAN’T be the last Skype with Natalie. all five of the classes came. Natalie said that the people of Q’enqo used the library as a cafeteria for the students to eat in … so they are building a wall to separate the books and the food and drinks because those two things do NOT go well together. two little boys went into the library and took two books. The students did not know how to use a library because it is so new. Natalie talked to all the teachers and students to see if someone had the books and the two boys gave her the books back. My highlights are: seeing Natalie again. If I said ALL my highlights, we would be here FOREVER! I have ONE lowlight … that the Skype we had was the last Skype. It is very sad. I REALLY wish we could Skype with her again!” ~Jenna

“Today we Skyped with Natalie for the last time. 🙁 Natalie is going to go back to Victoria and is going to do another job. When Natalie first got to Q’enqo she coloured a blue tree then the classes coloured their hands and put the handprints on the tree. It is like leaves are growing on it. It is really sad that Natalie is going back to Canada. I hope at least to get one more Skype with Mosqoy!” ~Melvin


These Peruvian ladies are racing GUINEA PIGS! While Natalie was working at the library, the school put on a special mothers day event, in which they actually raced Cuy and did apple bobbing with the traditional Quechuan mothers! Not only are the guinea pigs a delicacy to EAT … they provide GREAT entertainment too! FUNNY how we ALWAYS manage to come back to GUINEA PIGS in our posts! Photo by Natalie Sands

“Hi, blog readers! I’m back to tell you about our last Skype with Natalie. 🙁 Guess what? Natalie was sick. 🙁 She said she didn’t know what she would do with the Q’enqo library when she goes back to Victoria. My highlight was getting to say goodbye to Natalie. Some of our questions were: what kinds of foods do they have in Q’enqo? What are they going to do with the Q’enqo library when you go back to Victoria? I’ll never forget our Skype with Natalie.” ~Noam

“Yeah! We are having a Skype again! Today we had a Skype with Natalie! Some of my highlights are: hearing about Natalie’s adventures, getting answers from our wonders, getting more wonders, and a bunch more! But, I have one lowlight: Natalie won’t be able to work with Q’enqo anymore! She does not have that much money anymore, so she is going to Victoria to get a full time job. But, still, the Skype was really fun. I’m hoping we can connect with Natalie again and maybe she could leave a comment on the blog! That would be SO cool! I hope we see her again!” ~Peng Peng

“…we all have an obligation as citizens of this earth to leave the world a healthier, cleaner, and better place for our children and future generations.”
Blythe Danner

2 Responses to A FINAL Skype With Natalie

  1. Amy

    Hi Battalion Bloggers! I loved this skype! It was super fun, and I loved the post too! 🙂

    Love Amy!

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