Thursday, April 21, 2011

One room Schoolhouse

I have figured out that I have not really recovered physically from traveling. You will have to excuse my lack of energy. Posting about the school in El Tambo will have to be cut in two.
We visited a more remote school in the Andes mountains in a settlement called El Tambo. It is hardly what I would call a village. It is more of a scattering of homes across a mountain side. It is named for the Rio Tambo which runs through it. We had to park the bus just off the main road. The children were expecting our visit, so they ran to the bus to greet us.And then we started the trek on foot to the schoolhouse. It is about a half mile trek on a trail that winds uphill.
There were friends along the way. There were llamas, cows, goats and a dog. I was also told by Frank that one year he was chased by a bull. Luckily we did not see a bull on the morning we visited.
The story behind the school is that in the 1990s, a woman and her husband from the USA settled into a house nearby. The woman made friends with some of the children in the area. When she asked them about school, she discovered that they did not go to school because there wasn't any. So she set out to do something about it. With the help of people from the US, she had a school house built. Now she and her daughter teach some 40+ students. She also has a couple of former students who also help teach.

Here is the back porch of the school house. The trails on the way up to the school are usually muddy, so the children stop on the porch and change out of boots into their inside shoes.
Here is a picture of inside the school house with their teacher standing in front. Instruction includes English and Bible. Many of these children are very poor. The mission team that I went to Ecuador with has been visiting this school for nine years now. The backpacks, clothing and shoes that the children wear are largely thanks to team members. A couple of days ago I mentioned buying shoes with another woman using my Spanish skills. These shoes were for some students here in El Tambo.
It is cool in the Andes Mountains. Luckily there is a nice big wood stove in the school.
More tomorrow.


Martha said...

I love your pictures and stories. What a great adventure!

I'm sorry you aren't feeling like yourself again yet. Hope you feel better again soon.

Katya said...

This looks like it was an awesome visit! How beautiful the scenery is...but quite a workout negotiating it!!! The school looks like a real labor of love!!!