Saturday, October 23, 2010

Bird Fest wrapped up

Last monday was the last festival de aves, and other then some paperwork to fill out I can officially say it is over. It took 3 months to exicute, 7 volunteers, about 300 kids and around 15 teachers to pull it off. I say it was a success!

I'll do a quick rundown of each school..(Escuela Basica de Nicaragua is in the previous post)

MonseƱor Acha: The biggest school. Had four other volunteers come in to help us and we didn't stay at the school we went to a teachers house that could handle that amount of kids and was kinda campo-ish. This included a bus ride that the directora of the school organized!! We went out twice that day, with 90 kids in the morning and 60 in the afternoon. The bus came to the school, we drove out, did our thing and got back in about 3 hours! Since there were so many kids we broke them into four groups. We would have three games and a birdwalk with two volunteers per game and me for the walk, after 20 min the group would rotate. I did many bird walks that day! We also had a bird costume that we busted out for a skit at the end about why you shouldn't use birds as target practice with your slingshot.
here are some pics from that day:

bus ride out

Tringy! a sandpiper like bird that migrates to PY for the winter
Noo!! Don't shoot tringy!!
Stop shootin me

a ball of bird masks
At this school I had them do some bird drawings to put out
so colorful!

The next school was in  Ndavaru, about 7 miles outside of the city center, and with only 30 kids it was done in one afternoon and was really nice! Lauren had been working with this school and we stared off the day with a giving out the cups, a presentation of the bird masks and a play they had been working on. Parents were invited to view this part. After we played a game with all of them that Lauren had made up about migration that involved running and tagging and was a good time. Then we split them into two groups and the teachers and I took half on a birdwalk while Lauren and Andrew played games with the other half, we had a break in the middle then we switched. Then Tringy came out for a group picture! It took us the whole afternoon and was a beautiful day outside. Another great success! This school was the best bird walk that I went on because we were out in the camp and I saw so many things, the teachers really knew the plants and birds and were able to point them out much better than I could have! I saw a monkey nest in a tree, a tarantula hole in the ground, snake skin, crazy fruits and rare birds. I was excited. The kids were as well, every time a bird flew by or was spotted they would get really into it!

Presentation of bird masks
The play
Bird walk led by Profe Will
Group Pic!

The last school was San Vincente, we did a similar model to the school in Ndavaru since it was small (30 kids) with the mask presentation and skit and all. This time though Lauren and I had 3 aspiring volunteer trainees visiting us. Our sister group has arrived driving home that fact that we've been here for more than a year! So they got to witness and experience ..and help.. on our last bird fest!

Bird beak game
Slingshot game, kids have to hit the x's not the birds

Group pic

So now that it's over I can look back and say it was a great success! Will schools continue to do this after I'm gone? I'd have to honestly answer probably not. A festival is a big thing to plan and teachers are already doing other things that they might not think they could handle it. But at least these kids have more conscientiousness about birds and that's something right there.
Things I would have done differently, just done three schools. Or even better just one. The charla's themselves should have been broken up and done at least 2 different times to really drive the points home. The kids didn't really remember anything we taught them in the charla. Good thing we left a copy with the teacher. Lets home they use it!

I thank everyone who helped me and I think all in all it was a success!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Bird Fest cont.....

Bird fest is going well...mostly. Today we should be doing a double, two schools, two bird fests, one day, but there was a huuge storm last night with mega mpr winds that knocked down my tv antenna and garlic plant and all sorts of stuff throughout the city. The supervisor of the Environmental sector and the president of the organization Guyra were supposed to come out and watch/help/bring binoculars as well today and it aaalll got cancelled. We have another school to do tomorrow so we really needed those binoculars, so what we did was have our supervisor send them encomienda. Thank goodness for this system. Pretty much someone at some location can put stuff on a bus and send it to your location. So she sent the binoculars, a bird costume that some poor soul will wear and some prizes via the bus and we picked them up on the ruta by my house. So we're all ready for tomorrow!

Now this is our day of games, we did our charla day earlier with all the schools to lead up to this day. So far we've done it with one school.

How it went: With this school it was with the 5th graders only and our plan was to get them all together (there are 2 diff 5th grade classes in the morning and afternoon, four in total) do a big game with both classes together then split them back up. One class went with Lauren and I on a bird walk and the other stayed with Andrew to play some games. Then a break and we would reconvene and play a few big group games all together. Then I would give them their stickers and all would be well. Ok so it didn't go exxaactly like that. I was able to do a big group icebreaker game with them, kinda like tag but with an extinction theme. We did one round and then they were done with that.
We then broke up into the groups so Andrew could do his thing and Lauren and I could go bird watching. We had about 14 kids in the first group, 2 binoculars and no teacher, not by choice... he was just busy making fruit salad.... We pretty much just went to the plaza for 15 mins but there were enough birds there to look at. A little population of green parrots live in the plaza and, of course, lots of pigeons. The kids would get really excited when the spotted a bird and really wanted to see them with the binoculars and would always point them out to me and Lauren. It was cute. But then they all ran to the playground to play, and there was no controlling them. We did the same for the next group until they told us they had to go to gym class and then recess. oookkkk. So much for our event, we just waited till they were done to try and have our big games. At this point we were kinda burnt out because these were the most rooouuudiest kids ever! Sooo hard to settle down and we were just yelling over their voices all the time, it was really difficult! We decided to cut our large games down to one and we only played it once, after the kids ran off before I could give them a sticker. The one teacher who was helping us seemed like he was a step away from having a heart attack from yelling at the kids which also helped in our decision to end early. I just gave the stickers to the teachers to hand out later.

We were scared for the afternoon class and decided to try not to make it long but thankfully it went much smoother! Tomorrows school is a big one, we will be working with 102 kids in the morning and 73 in the afternoon..and there will be some friend coming in to help manage it, 6 volunteers in all we will be!!
So that's what's been goin on round here, stay tuned for more...

Many pigeons in the park

bird beak game

Lika and the storm damage