This week we said goodbye to Ingrid and Matthias, who have been volunteering with us for the past month and were guests for several weeks prior to volunteering with us. They were fantastic volunteers and really set the bar high for Hayley and Agustina, who arrived earlier this week to replace them! Hayley and Agustina will mark the new phase of volunteers taking on specific projects around the house. Hayley is now in charge of the garden and Agustina, for example, will be in charge of the language exchanges for the month as she teaches French, Spanish, and is also fluent in English!
This week’s language exchange was with English students from the teaching university in town. They were all very excited and we’re glad to have a set group of Bolivians interested in practicing their English with foreigners. Usually we start with five minutes in English, then five minutes in Spanish. Then we switch partners. There are different questions in English and Spanish on the table in order to break the ice as well. We used to offer snacks, but realized that it was a little too much trouble to prepare things when we were unable to ever predict whether we would have too much or too little. But it seems that no one really noticed or cared at all, since they were so absorbed in conversation!
Our friend Cesar came by and said he would help us make our own iron furniture in his workshop because he finished his contract teaching in the countryside and had some free time on his hands. We’re in the process of looking for a design for patio furniture to put in the garden now. He even suggested that other local and foreign folks could join in and he could give a workshop teaching them how to make the furniture! That would be amazing. Eventually, he is planning on moving to Tarija in order to open his own workshop and community center, providing kids from the countryside a means of making a living with their hands and keeping them engaged and learning.
Julia will be leaving after this next coming week in order to plant the seeds for the coming season on her land in the countryside five hours from Sucre. Hopefully she’ll only be gone for three weeks at the most. She’s beginning to get worn out at her age and so we might have to think about looking for a more local replacement. For now, we’ve hired the former nanny of an old friend of ours to help us clean up on Sundays so that we are able to offer Sunday dinners without too much added stress. We were thinking of offering our first Sunday dinner this Sunday, but didn’t have enough people signed up by Friday night and then Saturday we had far too many people. Such is the way with guests. But we’ll find a way to better coordinate so that we’re able to make the dinners as stable and continuous as wally!
This week’s wally games have been fantastic. On Sunday, we had a great group of 12 people from our hostel as well as various other hostels around town. Everything was very fast-passed and everyone loved it! We’re so glad that our former volunteer, Tom, took the initiative to finally get it going and that the legacy has continued. The game seems to help to bring people together really well and foster a fun sense of camaraderie. It also makes for great fun and storytelling.
Lastly, the documentary folks actually never ended up coming around and never really sent word after their initial emails. Perhaps they’ll make their way over at some point, but until then, another hostel chain in Colombia has proposed the idea of working with the as well to create a South American chain of sister hostels. An interesting idea indeed! Although we still have various programs we’d like to strengthen and promote in-house, it may not be a bad idea to consider linking up to other establishments in the region.
Thanks for reading and hope everyone’s having a great week!
The Beehive Staff