The past few days have been filled with Casa Mosqoy meetings, more video interviews with the prospective Mosqoy 4 students, and me working on leadership and teambuilding documents for the Mosqoy leaders as well as the potential incoming students. Writing and translating into Spanish when you’ve only been studying the language intensively for a month is not easy, but it’s good as it forces me to expand my vocabulary and improve my grammar.
In addition to the above, on Tuesday, Lindsay and I went to the weaving community of Amaru (about a 30-minute drive out of the popular market town, Pisac) with Ebhert, one of the Mosqoy leaders, to buy textiles and converse with the weavers and their President, Gregorio, about what kind of support they would like from the Mosqoy students. As Lindsay mentioned in her last blog post, one of Mosqoy’s goals is to implement a volunteer service program wherein the Mosqoy students give back to weaving communities in the Sacred Valley Region. I think that this initiative is quite important since the students receive scholarships from all around the world due to people’s generosity and this is a way for the students to give back. While the students may not have money to give to the weaving communities, they certainly acquire skills during their post-secondary education that could be really helpful to the communities.
Gregorio conversed with the weavers in Quechua and the weavers articulated that they would appreciate English classes, cooking classes, interior design support, help in the communal garden, and support with creating a brochure about Amaru(including a route on how to get there) so that the community can become more tourist-friendly.
It was interesting to see the differences between Amaru and Q’enqo. Amaru seemed quite a bit more developed: for example, they had a nice common area, a weaving centre and a beautiful communal garden. I don’t know if it’s because of its proximity to Pisac where perhaps the weavers can sell their goods more easily than the weavers of Q’enqo. Furthermore, the community of Amaru has taken some concrete steps to improve their situation: Gregorio has been working on setting up a small hostel and showed Lindsay and I a nice dorm-room which is almost ready for tourists.
I’m off to Ollantaytambo tomorrow to visit some students’ families and to conduct a couple of teambuilding/leadership sessions with the potential next generation of Mosqoy students. Today marks one more month of volunteer-work which is quite scary to think about as I feel like I still have so much left to do!
An offering of tea and bread in Amaru.
Gregorio showing Lindsay and I the room he set up for tourists.
Lindsay & I with the Amaru weavers.
Adrian, Elvira and I had a couple of visitors at our Wednesday night meeting.