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A Visit from Kristina!

Posted by on February 10, 2015

We may sit in our library and yet be in all quarters of the earth. 

~John Lubbock

Yesterday, we were blessed to have a visit from Kristina. She has been working with Mosqoy for the past couple of years. She surprised us by asking if she could come to talk to us about the library that Grade Three students at Battalion Park have been helping to build and fill with books for the past four years! Kristina told us that the children in Q’enqo LOVE using the library! The part-time Librarian, Santiago, goes into the library TWICE a week to help children learn to use the library. He also spends time telling the children the local Quechua Folktales so that they keep their culture alive. Quechua is an oral language … so … there is VERY little of it written down. Santiago also goes into the market in Cusco, monthly, to purchase MORE books for the Q’enqo library!

Kristina told us about how even the high school students come into the library, in the evenings that Santiago has the library open, to use the space for homework and research! We learned that they don’t use the library in QUITE the same way that we use our libraries. Students can’t sign books out, but they are welcome to use them whenever the teachers or Santiago have the library open. Mosqoy still has BIG hopes for this special library … and so do we!

What follows are some of our reflections after Kristina’s visit:

Today, we got to meet someone from Mosqoy ... face to face! Kristina Zoller came to tell us ALL about how the Q'enqo Library Project is going!

Today, we got to meet someone from Mosqoy … face to face! Kristina Zoller came to tell us ALL about how the Q’enqo Library Project is going!

“Today we are going to meet Kristina, our teacher said. Do you know her? She works for Mosqoy. The most interesting fact that she shared with us is that the school in Q’enqo pays for the students. I wonder do the students need to bring their own lunch?” ~Bryan

“Mrs. Renton said this was the first LIVE speaker we’ve ever had from Mosqoy! Hey … when you think about it … it really does seem like we are a lucky class. Kristina was very kind to take time out of her busy schedule to come and see us. She told us about Peru, and the library we helped out with. She also let us pass around some of the blankets that Mosqoy purchased from one of the weaving villages in Peru. She told us about how she went to Peru and how scary it was to drive there because there were no lanes and everyone was going the exact same way and the roads were so thin. And, the scariest part was that there were NO guard rails! I’m pretty sure that it would be a long ways down if you turned and fell. She said that she had to wait an hour because somebody was going the opposite way she was and it took him an hour to decide how to decide how he was going to get around her without hurting anybody. I wonder what your favourite part would be if you were there?” ~Oliver

Kristina told us ALL about the WILD drive to Q'enqo from Cusco!

Kristina told us ALL about the WILD drive to Q’enqo from Cusco!

“When Kristina came in she shared her ideas about Peru. She even talked about how she got to go to the library. she even shoed a video about how long it takes to drive to the library. She ate guinea pig. I hope the library doesn’t close at all. I didn’t know they get (the colours for weaving) from bugs. Kristina told us how they make colours out of bugs. Then she handed me the clay fish. I asked her what the hole was for and she told me. My highlight was that the library was so beautiful and I liked how they painted the hummingbird (on it). When it was time for Kristina to go all of us said goodbye. Mrs. Renton gave her a gift to say thank you.” ~Roxanne

“Wow. Look at all the grade threes walking in I thought to myself. The interesting part was when Kristina said that the Librarian came to the school two days a week. Why? Because in our school the library is open every school day. I have three hopes for the library. One of my hopes is for them to have one more Librarian. My second hope is that the library would open more often. My last hope is for it to have more books. My wonder is that would they ever get another Librarian.” ~Adam

Kristina showed us photos of the Q'enqo library, from the beginning of the journey to now!

Kristina showed us photos of the Q’enqo library, from the beginning of the journey to now!

“Wow! How do Peruvians do pottery like that?!? My highlight was when I got to hold Kristina’s pottery. One was shaped like a fish and the other was like a sphere with geckos on them. That was my highlight because the pottery was handmade. Battalion Park also helped build a library in Q’enqo, Peru! It took roughly FIVE YEARS TO MAKE! The one Librarian’s name is Santiago. He’s the only Librarian there! It’s not just a library. There’s a cafeteria on the other side of a little wall. I wonder if we can help more? This is something I’ll never forget!” ~Riley

“As we walked into the classroom we saw this lady and then right away everybody started to whisper … hey, this the lady from Mosqoy. She was Mrs. Renton’s first live guest speaker she has EVER had … from Mosqoy! Her name was Kristina and she took a few pictures and videos to show us. It was nice to know that the Librarian, (Santiago), still worked at the library. I wonder if Kristina ever went in a guinea pig race? The usual sports that they play is soccer and volleyball. I wonder where else Kristina goes to share her trip and tell those people about the library? I wonder if it’s expensive in the market in Cusco for Santiago to buy the books for the library?” ~Colby

She brought in ARTIFACTS to share with us! This is a GORGEOUS piece of weaving that took over THREE weeks to make ... right from sheering the llama, to dying the wool ... to weaving!

She brought in ARTIFACTS to share with us! This is a GORGEOUS piece of weaving that took over THREE weeks to make … right from sheering the llama, to dying the wool … to weaving!

“Ever wonder about the mysteries of Peru? I did, and we had a presentation about it. I learned that the only bug that COULD make dye, (the cochineal bug), could only make red dye. I wonder what type of plant could turn red to purple or green or BLUE? I also didn’t know that there are alpacas in Q’enqo either. And, you can dye alpaca fur too. The library we had that presentation about can’t sign out books. I hope the children get to soon. They deserve to. The kids who go to the library LOVE going there. Santiago is the Librarian. He helps a lot.” ~Marcus

“I’m SO excited, I screamed in my head, walking into the room. Today, in the afternoon, a guest speaker, her name is Kristina, is going to tell us about the library project in Peru. I liked the part when she told us about the temple and how it was made. I hope the library gets bigger and LOTS of books get added. I wonder if they fill guinea pigs like Thanksgiving turkey?” ~Mani

She brought some of the MOST beautiful pottery done with designs like you'd find at the Nazca Lines!

She brought some of the MOST beautiful pottery done with designs from Incan times!

“I wonder if the library in Peru was built in the 1980s century. I wonder how many people in the school are in grade three. I learned, from Kristina, that Peru has huge mountain ranges. I thought that Peru was only hilly. One of my highlights was seeing the amazing designs on the clothes and blankets. Why? Because the cloth was handmade and must have taken hours and hours to make! I hope for the library to have more books in the future. I also hope that they can afford three computers for research and gaming. I really hope Peru develops in the next 100 years or so.” ~William

“Wow! Yesterday we had a guest speaker. Kristina was going to tell us about the library in Q’enqo. My highlight was seeing the pottery made by hands and the scarf or table cloth with the llama design and owl. I hope the library gets sports things like new soccer balls or volleyballs … a ball of any kind. I wonder if the library has changed or not. I wish Q’enqo could be like us and have clean clothes and good food like us. One more thing. I wonder what guinea pig babies look like!” ~Luisa

MORE amazing pottery!

MORE amazing pottery!

“We got to meet Kristina. She lived in Peru for two years. She talked to us about the library in Q’enqo. We are raising money for the library so they can have a lot of books to read and have a nicer school. I hope that the school is still improving and I hope they make a better park because the park is all rusty and crusty. I think that when she said you need to put a hole in the clay fish she shared was neat. You have to put newspaper inside so it doesn’t fall apart. But the newspaper burns to ashes and flows out when you put it in a kiln. We were SO lucky that Kristina came in”. ~Carter

“Ever wonder if there is a library in Q’enqo … because there is! The library has 200 books for 75 kids. But, I wonder if they have two of one book! I loved the weaving. It was so soft! And, I really liked the llamas. I bet it would be hard to weave all those designs. It was so cool to have someone from Peru come in to see us!” ~Liam

“She’s here! She’s here, I said to myself when I walked in the classroom. My highlight is when she shared the pottery and the woven quilt. She shared that one of the quilts was machine made and the rest are handmade. My hope for the library is kids have a lot of fun there. I really really wonder how long it takes to get from Canada to Q’enqo, Peru? I really loved having Kristina here.” ~Shaye

Each community has a DIFFERENT way of weaving designs that is passed down from generation to generation!

Each community has a DIFFERENT way of weaving designs that is passed down from generation to generation!

“Wow! That is SO cool, I thought, when I came into the class. All the beautiful weaving that was on the table near the not-so-smart smartboard! My favourite part was that Kristina actually tasted guinea pig. I think that is really bizarre. I really hope the library is ALWAYS gonna keep getting better and get more books. But, I wonder when the kids from Peru are going to learn how to sign out books. I have hope in them.” ~Sofie

“Wow! I love Kristina’s pottery. I love it because it is hard to make. I wonder how it was handmade. I think it was hard to get on a bus to Q’enqo.” ~Prayers

The children from Q'enqo sent us the MOST wonderful writing and art, done in Spanish, which Kristina translated for us!

The children from Q’enqo sent us the MOST wonderful writing and art, done in Spanish, which Kristina translated for us!

“I was excited to see Kristina. When she was talking to us it looks like she know everything. I hope the library gets bigger. I wonder if I should go to Machu Picchu. It looks like fun.” ~Saadia

“When I walked into the classroom Kristina was standing at the table. There was pottery which was made in Peru. There was one piece of clay with geckos on it. My favourite one was the pottery with the geckos on it. I have no part of it that I did not like. I hope the library can get more than 500 books. I wonder if the library can get bigger. I wonder if guinea pigs live in the mountains in Q’enqo. I wonder if llamas can go into the property. I wonder if they will repaint the library. I wish Kristina could come again!” ~Thomas

Thanks to Adam and Marcus for taking the photo while I kept our pile of 200 books from toppling over!

Thanks to Adam and Marcus for taking the photo while Mrs. Renton kept our pile of 200 books from toppling over!

“I wonder how many books are in the library? The answer: there are 200 books in the library! I hope the library gets more books. My highlight was the kids writing letters to us because it was sweet and they chose to make us letters. I wonder if Kristina was scared going on the one way highway in the mountains?” ~Haya

“When we were lining up from gym and getting ready to go back to the classroom I was so EXCITED to meet Kristina. I’m glad the kids in Q’enqo like the library. If I sat in the car for two hours I could get car sick for sure. I bet it’s a lot of work being the only Librarian. I wonder what kids of food they eat in the cafeteria other than potatoes. I also wonder how many kids are in each classroom. I really liked the artifacts Kristina shared with us. They’re so unique. My favourite one was three clay fish and the clay mug and the weaving. The animals on the weaving were so pretty and colourful.” ~Marah

As ALWAYS, we still have TONS of questions ... isn't that JUST the way LEARNING works?!?

As ALWAYS, we still have TONS of questions … isn’t that JUST the way LEARNING works?!?

“I wonder how bugs can make dye? My highlight is that I got to touch the clay fish pottery. It was neat. Especially with their beautiful colours and shades of black, brown and white. I hope that Q’enqo becomes more urban so the library can get more kids and the kids can learn more. I also wonder why Q’enqo is so rural. I wonder if there is any possible way to get to Q’enqo other than taking Mosqoy to Q’enqo? I wonder how many people in Q’enqo go to the library in 2014 – 2015. My lowlight is that I did not get to touch the waving or one of the pieces of pottery. I felt a little sad before the library was reconstructed. But now, the Q’enqo library is gorgeous!” ~Faith

“Wow! Kristina’s here, I said to myself as me and my classmates walked into the class and sat on the carpet. We were not the only class on our carpet. All four classes came in. One thing I thought was cool was called the Nazca Lines. They look like animals … like a spider or a hummingbird. that’s why the Nazca lines are cool. Google it and go on images and see for yourself. My highlight was getting to touch the pottery because I didn’t touch pottery in a long time. My lowlight was not being able to touch the weaving. I wonder how many books they will have next year? I hope the library gets a lot of books next year. Another thing I thought was cool was the tablecloth because it was so colourful. Another highlight was the library had over 200 books. All of us were really happy that Kristina came in and did all of this and answered all the questions.” ~Robert

We think we've got some BIG work to do for the next few months!

We think we’ve got some BIG work to do for the next few months!

This afternoon, we took some guesses to find out how tall 200 books in a stack would be. MOST of us thought the stack would be at LEAST as tall as Mrs. Renton! Quickly, after actually counting AND stacking 200 books, we discovered that 200 books is really NOT many. Not even HALF as tall as Mrs. Renton! As a matter of fact, after taking 200 books off the classroom shelves … there were STILL tons of books on our shelves. That’s when we decided that we NEEDED to continue to help Mosqoy with its work in Q’enqo. So … ANOTHER group of grade threes will CONTINUE their partnership THIS year in order to bring the love of books, with MORE books, to the tiny community of Q’enqo. We are EXCITED to SEE where this adventure TAKES us!

Below is the Prezi that Kristina made to share her Peruvian experiences with us. We hope you enjoy it as MUCH as WE did!

The richest person in the world – in fact all the riches in the world – couldn’t provide you with anything like the endless, incredible loot available at your local library. 

~Malcolm Forbes

We still wonder SO many things! We’ll just have to keep ASKING our PERUVIAN friends!

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