You couldn’t walk anywhere without getting hit by a drive-by water balloon or have a bucket dumped on you from…
Are you looking for an opportunity to act locally? Do you want to do your part to make a difference globally? Are you an Amizade alumnus that wants to continue to support Amizade’s global endeavors? The perfect opportunity is coming this spring: in April Amizade will hold its 5th Annual Water Walk—in Pittsburgh on Saturday, April 7 and in Morgantown, WV on Saturday, April 21. Join us and walk for a purpose.
Michael Niemann is spending his spring semester serving and learning in Cochabamba, Bolivia with Amizade. Michael has been keeping a…
Less than 24 hours ago I was ambling from one plane to another connecting flight, through another security line, through customs, and then to baggage claim. Now, 5 minutes ago I finished my first day of class—my final semester of my undergraduate career. But, I’m not tired. I’m not exhausted. Oddly enough I’m not even too stressed, considering the situation. I am energized. I am refreshed. I am reinvigorated. I came back fully reassured that I want to continue studying Spanish; that I want to continue to foster a relationship with and support Amizade; and that Bolivia is Latin America’s best kept secret.
We have spent the last three days helping out in various classrooms in the surrounding communities. Our students have been out and about supporting the students and teachers at Coke’s View Primary School, the Galloway Early Childhood Institute, Ferris Primary School, and the Petersfield Primary and Infant School. It certainly has been a rewarding (and challenging) few days for our students. Over they last three days, they have assisted teachers in the classrooms, graded papers, gave the students some much needed one-on-one support, and interacted with the hundreds of students attending these four area schools.
Amizade is proud to announce that, for the first time in 8 years, we are expanding to two new countries: India and Trinidad and Tobago! In Trinidad, Amizade will be partnering with the small fishing community of Matelot, working to tackle a range of environmental issues including preservation of the coastline, maintaining local hiking trails and working on conservation efforts for the leather back turtle population. In India, Amizade will be working on leadership development in the southern Tamil Nadu region.
After our first week of classes, we took a weekend trip out of the Cochabamba valley and into the jungle. We traded in the dry, high altitude Cochabamba for the humid lower lands of Villa Tunari in the province of Chapare. As we left Cochabamba, the road began climbing the mountains, but everything was still brown and dry like the city. Little towns and farms lined the road, which with the mountains and hills provided for a beautiful landscape.
We were all ready for our break in Bukoba. The students were excited to do something new and leave their studies behind for a few days. Paul and I were happy knowing our budget would allow for some exciting adventures. We set out on our journey from Misha walking with our backpacks ready for adventure. After waiting for the Bunda bus to arrive in Kayanga, we boarded and were off to Bukoba.
Today, Monday Sept. 12, was another beautiful day in Cochabamba. It was also an important day; today was the first day of classes. The four of us from Amizade met at 9 AM to meet our new Spanish instructor, Toni. I had heard very good things about her from many people, so I was excited to meet and work with her. We met at her beautiful house where our class will be.
Sept. 10, 2011 On our first full day in Cochabamba, the four of us in the group decided to meet up in the afternoon at a park to walk around some of the city. As I walked to the park, I passed a lot of houses. Walls to protect from robberies surround most of the houses in the northern part of the city. This is a bit upsetting because the houses are very beautiful, but the five-foot walls that are topped with electric wire, barbed wire, or even broken glass mask the view of them. A lot of people have dogs, and there are also a lot of stray dogs on the streets. Most of the time though, these dogs are calm and harmless and don’t even lift their head as people walk by.