After five months together starting up this project, the guys took of with tickets to Cuba, Italia, Sweden and maybe, maybe a return ticket to Mompiche. A big and wam thanks to Debbi and Alberto for all their time and love they put into the project.
We got a visit from the swedish board who happend to also be arquitects and our friends. Hours spent at talking about rooms sizes, house shapes and watersystems.
Trying to re-capturate the last two months of doing in Mompiche, isn´t to easy. We worked a great lot and for two months the five of us (Deborah, Alberto, me, Caro and her son Tadeo) lived sharing a small apartment with another family, which was the so far most extreme living situation. Unfortinatly the living situation hasn’t been easy since we started in November. Mompiche is a village greatly affected by the tourist seasons and the last months (December-March) has been high season. Because of this, the possible options for a good place to live for a longer while, haven’t been to many and we’ve haved to take what we found. On top of that, renting a place here is far, far away from what it means to rent a place in for example Stockholm. All of suddenly the owner regrets it’s mind and take back the house, or maybe you’ll be out of water for six days and they refuse to do something about it, or maybe they just decide to higher the rent from one day to another. Fortinatly this group been coping very well with this kind of challenges for most of this time, amazingly considering that we didn’t know each other at all a couple of months ago. In the end of February, after living cramped up in one room for two months, it got a bit too much for all of us and paired up with way to much work we all got a bit exhausted. Luckily by that time, a swiss friend going a way for a couple of months offered us to live and take care about his beautiful house and that’s where we are now.
The problem of the living situation all along made me come to the conclusion in January that the organization needs it’s own place to live and work. This was from the beginning the idea, but then it got discarted since we didn’t want to come to the village and build a place before the project actually was working. Because of the difficulties finding a house, we now had to revaluate this and even if we are still on an early stage, it’s necessary to be able to at all continue working here. The decision finally was that I will take a loan and buy a lot where we will construct a place to live and another one to work at, a small escuelita. As soon as the organization has that money, it will buy the part of the lot where the school is at and stand as the owner.
So, since that we’ve been looking and in the end of February I found the lot we need. It’s places in the back of the village, close to the river and to the kids and enough big and about a month later I finally bought it. Now it’s a matter of finding the building team and get the plans ready and then -start to build!
The last week been hectic and too intense for all four of us here in Mompiche. For carneval, one of the biggest long-weekends in Ecuador, we decided to work hard instead of taking vacations as everybody else. With tons and tons of people coming to Mompiche for the 4 day long vacation, we started to bake and cook to make money for the project and the days went by selling cupcakes in the street and making bananapancake breakfasts in the mornings. Unfortinatly some virus came to Mompiche as the same time as the tourist because at the same time as we had all that work to do, one by one of us came down with a really tuff cold and we are still really sick. The worst one have been Tadeo, Carolinas little son, that got his lugns filled with puss and had to go to the hospital 2 hours away, three days a row. Little by little he´s getting better, hopefully we’ll all be back on our feet soon.
In the end, between me, Deborah and Alberto, we decided to donate the money we did working, to pay for Tadeos medicalcare. Since all of us work voluntary here, an unexpected cost like that can sometimes be very difficult so it was very luckily that we this time could help Carolina out.
Yesterday we recived our first workshop-holders. Due to the two month vacation the kids have, we’ve been inviting people to come and give workshops in areas they know and yesterday we welcomed Erica and Marcell together with their small kids. They are here to do a workshop in Murga and circo, teaching the kids drums and to dance. To present themself to the village, they made a clown-performance tonight at the mainstreet and it was highly appreciated. Not only the kids but also the adults gathered in the dawn and it was really nice being amongst all the people, laughing together. Today Pablo arrived to do a workshop of reading stimulation and held his first workshop, presenting the kids to books, making shadowtheater and finding ways to make them curious and stimulate an interest for books.
Other updates: our bottle-recycler that we constructed are overly popular and constantly filled up with bottles so now we need to organize a small lot somewhere where there could be a recycling station!
In Mompiche January passed by fast. We moved house, again, and came really close to the sea.
We spent a lot of time preparing for the kids vacations in February and March and put together a whole schedule of workhops. Luckily we know a lot of cool people that will come here and give workshops in circus, birds, turtles, reading, video, guitar.
Since the kids went on their vacations they don´t need help with homework, which means that we are more free in how we work and the last weeks been really nice. We spend the time doing artprojects, reading, doing puzzels and playing memory and have a lot of new kids coming.
The whole month of January we’ve been working with recycling and after an incident with a small turtle that one of the children had found, we decided to do a rescue mision to the beach, picking up plastics that’s a deaththreat to the turtles.
With bottles that we recyled, we built a ”botellera” a bin for just bottles to put in the village. Alberto trying to manuever it on it’s walk to the center!
The last week past as always, fast with a lot of work. We have a lot of new kids that we been taking on this month, since we are trying to give the opportunity to all the ones that wanna come. This week we also started working with recycling and today we will go out looking for plastic bottles that we are going to use to construct a container next week.
For a while we been wanting to do something in the friday evening, so tonight we gonna show the movie Kirikou for the kids on a big screen in the house of a friend, the movie about an amazing little child who since the birth already knows how to walk and speak and goes out find water for his village.
So, the month of december we worked with painting and Mompiche, doing a lot of paintings of the village, the favourite places, the Mompiche in their dreams and so on. We finished the month with doing a big wall painting in the center of the village and it came out great. Phtotos by Deborah Aldana Shelton and Alberto Lannutti.