Saturday, February 14, 2009

Book Donations

February 11, 2009

I made a day trip yesterday to Chimaltenango with Hugo, our library director, to pick up a book donation from Child Aid for our Mini-Libraries project. I have to admit I wasn’t in the best mood as I stumbled out to the town square in a mental stupor, bundled up in 2 sweaters, a winter coat, scarf, hat and mittens at 3 am (welcome to the tropics of Central America!). Carrying rocks in my pocket as a chucho deterrent, I was cursing myself for having agreed to the day trip and silently praying Hugo would be on time (Guatemalans have a tendency to arrive at least one hour late… to everything).

Spending 12 hours on a bus in one day is never anyone’s idea of a good time, but things began to look up when Hugo was there early. 6 hours, 240 kilometers and one Pollo Campero breakfast meal later, Child Aid made it more than worth our while by donating more than 1,000 new (not used) books. Hugo was absolutely astounded. Making a purchase of that size probably would have cost the library somewhere between Q30,000 and Q50,000. Books do not come cheaply in Guatemala. Included were math texts, literature texts, and a montage of children’s literature for all ages.

Peace Corps helped out by sending a driver to collect the books, as there was no way Hugo and I would have been able to manage them all on the camionetas. Gonzalo, my APCD, will be hauling the majority of them up next week when he comes to assess my site for a replacement volunteer.

I even got a ride home in a car from Xela as Oscar, my friend who works in the forestry office in Xela, was heading up to my site for work. Above are pictures of Volcanoes Tajumulco and Tacana at sunset on the way home.

As a reminder, please donate to the library’s mini-library project for outlying primary schools! Click on the link below for more information, the children will greatly appreciate your effort! Thanks so much to all of you who have already made donations! Unfortunately, I do not receive the names of individual donors until after the full amount has been raised. But have no fear, thank you notes will be coming eventually!

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