Saturday, November 12, 2022

Daily Life Around the Village of La Libertad

After our last post about school and the coca industry, we thought it would be nice to show some of the less intense day-by-day happenings in the village.  Here are photos of life and things around the project's buildings in the village.  At the end of the pictures, we have a video of the only working bike in La Libertad!

Here we are in the kitchen.  To the left are Maria and Gustavo.  On the right are Gilmar and Ben.  Gustavo is the owner and caretaker of the buildings.  Maria and Gilmar are volunteers working with the villagers over the Christmas holiday.  Our project frequently provides free housing to volunteers in the village.

This is our chainsaw.  We mostly use it to cut boards during construction projects.  Occasionally we cut small logs for firewood.  However, we do not loan it to other people, as it has come back to us damaged.  On the anti-kickback bar, next to the front hand hold, is resting a butterfly which is the exact same orange and black color scheme as the saw!

This TV is in the house of our main carpenter, Hernan.  His eight-year-old really likes dinosaurs!  There is no TV air signal or cable in the village.  They buy DVDs in the city of Leticia and everyone shares them.

There are always things to repair and clean around our buildings.  Here Gustavo is holding a flattened, mummified rat that we found under one of the houses.

After a long day of work or a day of school and work, we usually watch a movie or play on the Xbox 360 until the power goes out at 8 pm.  The most popular games are soccer, Call of Duty, and Halo.

Our dog Mowgli!  Almost every house in the village has one or more dogs.  They help with security, hunting, and are fun to play with.

Two more volunteers with our director Ben and three of the students in our scholarship program.  It's really great to have new people in the village.  Volunteers visit families, help with tasks or projects, and have interesting stories and experiences about the outside world to share.

Game day in La Libertad!  On some days we play cards, board games, and even paper-and-pen roleplaying games.  On this day we were playing the board game Carcassonne.  The kids really enjoyed it, playing for over two hours without a break.  We also play chess, risk, and dominoes.  Strategy games are especially well-liked.

During the day the kids may use apps to learn basic reading skills.  But in the evenings they frequently listen to music or funny videos on our tablets or their families' cell phones.  They all use an app called ShareIt to share content.

Here is a picture of the Mother's Day school assembly.  Camilo is the teacher shown to the left.  One of our scholarship students is narrating the Colombian version of the story Stone Soup.

The power in the village frequently goes out.  This may be due to not having enough diesel fuel, mechanical problems with the community's generator, or because of a snake crawling into the generator and causing a short circuit.  Repairs may take from one week to a month or more.  Here is our little backup generator to use when we have no power from the village.  It is enough to power the light for our buildings.

This house raft belongs to the family of one of our scholarship students.  The water level was high at this time.  The change in the water level between the rainy season and the dry season can be as much as 25 feet!  What's fun about this is the obstacle course needed to pass to their house.  One of the boards is like a see-saw that must be crossed.  Only one person at a time can go, as the board lifts out of the water in the back of you after passing!

We bought this bike second-hand in Leticia.  The kids took about a week to sand the rust from it, then we bought a can of spray paint to paint it.  That, new bearings, seat, handlebars, chain, and tires and it was like a new bike!  It was great that the kids learned to do much of the maintenance by themselves.  That way they take more pride in the bike and are more careful with it.  Please enjoy the video below of the kids riding past the guesthouse!

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