Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A Near Miss...

Welcome to another blog post my friends! Today was a miraculous day. Alice has been feeling down with a bad cough since we got here and last night was horrible for her. When she woke up this morning she really wanted to go do the book delivery but she was feeling really tired. So, Kira and I set off to find a school in Texistepeque.
We caught a bus to Santa Ana and easily found the connecting bus to Texistepeque. It was a long trip (2 hrs) but everything was going great. During the bus ride I started chatting with a lady next to us and we started talking about the schools in the area. I told her we were going to visit the school in Texistepeque and explained about the libraries and everything. She thought it was wonderful but wondered why we had chosen to go to the school in Texistepeque because it was considered one of the richer schools in the area. She knew of some more rural schools in the area that may be in greater need. I told her to have the principals contact Books for a Better World so we can get them connected—I hope they do. As we got off the bus the lady kindly showed us the location of the school.
As we walked up to the school we could hear a marching band playing. Kira and I were astonished because we had never seen a school with that kind of a music program in Central America. We were beginning to see what our friend had told us about it being a richer school. We found the principal and he knew nothing of Books for a Better World. We then looked through their decent-sized library and couldn’t find any of our books from years past. Scratching our heads, Kira and I began to realize that we were in the wrong school! Luckily, Kira had been to El Salvador three years ago and remembered having visited the school in Texistepeque before. She remembered that she had taken a photo in front of the school so we went to an Internet cafĂ© to look through her pictures for clues. She found the photo she was thinking of and it had a beautiful sign, which read: “Centro Escolar Canton Costa Rica.” It was just the clue we needed!
Time was running short so we hopped on a mototaxi (a small, three-wheel motorcycle) and he took us down a bunch of winding dirt trails to where the school was located. I don’t think we would have ever found it on our own!
Just as we arrived, a woman was getting ready to lock up the front gate. All of the children had gone home for the day and she was the last one there. When we introduced ourselves she was so excited! She told us that they were worried we weren’t coming because volunteers usually come earlier in the year. She let us in to the little two-room school and we sat down with her. She told us how much they enjoy using the books and that they have set aside reading hours on Mondays and Wednesdays of every week. One look at the books was all we needed to see that they were being put to good use. As she glanced at the shiny new covers of the books in our collection you could sense the anticipation she had to share them with the students. She almost jumped out of her seat when she saw “Harry Potter.” It was so much fun to see her enthusiasm and we felt lucky to have found her there just in time! We left that school with a great feeling that what we are doing is making a difference in that tiny, two-room school.


Heather said...

How fun!! As I read this post, I couldn't help but think of investigative shows and movies where they have to find clues to solve the mystery. It was so fun to read, and I can't believe you're actually experiencing all of this. Keep it up so this boring Utah girl (wait.. I'm not a "Utah girl." I just live in Utah.) can live vicariously through you!

Crystal said...

Allen, that is so cool. I'm glad you were able to make it to the school in time despite the confusion. You are doing a good work for all those kids and educators. I'm really glad you are involved in BFBW.