Playing with Trompos


Leaving school the other day, a small group of kids were playing with trompos, small tops that they wrap string around and toss down to spin. When done right, they can pick them up while spinning and hold it in their hand. When really done right, they can even transfer them from hand to hand.

Obviously I asked for lessons and they eagerly demonstrated, watched as I failed to throw it correctly, but always giving me a smile (with a little pity behind it) and another chance. I managed to get it spinning on it’s side…as with everything, practice makes perfect.

It’s more difficult then you’d think. I need some more practice!

Luckily, the kids were happy to teach, encourage, and show off their skills.

After this, I walked over to a student’s house to find her younger brother and his friends throwing small stones with string tied to them over the branches of a tree and playing a keep away-type game. They would pull the stone up as someone tried to grab it. They were loving it.

For all the gadgets in this world, kids can be so creative and find great games in the most simple of materials!


GLOWing with Pride


I can’t believe I fell behind on this one! I have been waiting to post about the community GLOW project…but now it’s been a month and a half, or so…

The important thing is, my GLOW girls (from the amazing camp held in June) completed their project!! The young women from each pueblo came up with a community project to complete once they return home. In September there was a reunion in Barranquilla that GLOW participants from every year of camp attended. The young women who completed or were working on a project presented to the others. We wanted them to have ownership over their projects and feel the accomplishment for having reached a goal they had set months earlier. The hope is that through the experience of completing a community service project, the young women will be empowered to take on more leadership roles in their communities. My pueblo is lucky to have these two young leaders!

In my pueblo, the focus was put on the school that both of the girls attended. They wanted to repaint the Aula Maxima, one of the first buildings you see when entering the school. It turns out the school was hoping to fix the inside of the building, which currently is an auditorium with a large floor space and a stage on one side. There is a small room in the back that holds the instruments for the band. We combined forces to work on the building from the inside out. Or really, from the outside in after all was said and done.

At first, it looked like this:

After many planning meetings, talking to the school principle, other teachers, friends, many (nagging) messages from me, the girls put together a fundraising activity for materials.

We bought cement and paint with what they made from the fundraiser and couldn’t take a picture with the materials as they were scooped up right away and put to use immediately.

Through the struggles and accomplishments, it was a wonderful opportunity to work with these amazing young women! I can’t wait to see what comes next for them!