August 16, 2006
On Friday morning (August 11, 2006) we finished the Bioregional Mapping topic. Kids managed to finish off with their own maps quite quickly. The last element of the previous lesson was incorporating the soil to the drawing, so students continued by introducing native species such as animals and plants. Kids were drawing trees such as Ceibos, Papayas, Mangos, Platanos, etc… and animals such as birds, fishes, and mammals. The next two elements were the worst and best things human beings do. They drew rubbish and petrol in the sea and in the river, cars polluting the air and people cutting trees. On the other side, as some of the good things people are doing, they drew organic farms, the track of Miguelito Recyclon (logo of the county-wide recycling program) and funny looking Planet Drum volunteers planting trees. Lastly I explained what they had been drawing over these two classes and the aim of this activity. It was interesting for me to see the differences between their way of seeing and reproducing what they notice around them!
Last Monday I arranged a final examination for the kids, which was about most of the topics covered during the whole course. I wanted to check what really remained in their minds from this program. The test included multiple choice questions, sentences and diagrams to complete, and drawings. The main topics were about the meaning of habitat, community, ecosystem, climate, photosynthesis, estuary, native species, characteristics between different native plants etc. Most of them performed quite well with minor errors, and I was particularly pleased to recognize that a girl called Fernanda, who could not attend the course for awhile since the grandmother didn’t let her, completed the test without any kind of errors! Such a bright girl!
I realized that they still had problems with the compass points of reference so I spent more or less half an hour explaining again how they can orientate themselves, considering it is easy to know were the east and west are as the places where the sun rises and sets. We spent the last part of the class organizing our final trip (and party) to Bellavista to see what their bioregion looks like!
I can’t believe today was the last day of the course! It was a really moving and emotional day. Firstly we tried to meet with the Mayor to thank him for being so supportive and cooperative with us, but he was not in. Next we walked to Bellavista and students had an opportunity to admire the place where they live.
The kids received a certificate of participation with colored pictures of our incredible group on it (many thanks to Pat for his help in printing, such a great jefesito!) and a plastic folder containing all their works.Afterwards, considering I brought something to eat, we had a small party! We had an excellent time conversing and eating a lot! Kids were hugging me so hard and were telling me they did not want me to leave…so sweet! I was delighted to know they enjoyed the course and they wished to carry on!
I am going to miss them a lot but luckily tomorrow they are all going to come and meet me at the Planet Drum house to say goodbye…one more time…
I feel so weird, my last report…hope you all enjoyed my stories as much as I did by sharing amazing moments with my Ecuadorian Angels.
Con el Corazon, Valentineta