Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Jill's Blog Entry 2

Sunlight reflects off a big box of oranges perched on the front basket of a trade bicycle whose rider weaves precariously through pedestrians ; little fluffy chicks, different shades of yellow, interspersed with some in grey, cheep and scratch in a carton; piglets, in nail varnish pinks and speckled , root for food in an overcrowded crate. I found myself in the market in Santo Domingo this week and rediscovered the vibrancy and color of this country town , which, combined with the heat and the noise, both invigorates and exhausts.

I visited the work in Juan Eulogio . Blanca and Rodrigo are teaching a group of women sewing skills on electric Singer sewing machines which must date from before the Second World War , but they work wonderfully.

Most days I have been giving teacher training in the school. On Thursday Luzcelli asked me if I would have a main stream teacher in as well. To my surprise six turned up, but it was good fun. We , the teachers and I, got invited to a farm high in the hills near Allurinquin, a town just outside Santo Domingo. We got shown the sugar cane press which looks as if it was manufactured during the industrial revolution. It stands at an uppermost point on the hill overlooking hundreds of miles of semi tropical forest. The family is almost self sufficient in all goods needed to sustain life. The farmer showed us snakes preserved in alcohol which apparently prevent cancer. He gets them ,well, before they get him. The eighty five year old grandmother, well able to carry 10 lb. of lemons ,seemed to be a living proof of the beneficial effects of the grog, but we declined tasting it. We returned loaded with lemons, oranges, zapallo and noni. I narrowly escaped being bitten by an enraged dog, and we laughed till our sides ached.

The Baptist church is bursting at the seams, with two services, classes for children , adolescents, married couples, singles , the elderly. No one is left out.

The water pump has broken again, so back to the cold water and bucket routine. Altogether an excellent week.

Jill Ball

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Jill's Blog Entry 1

Jill returns to Ecuador. She will be blogging during her time there.

"I arrived in Quito Ecuador on Sunday 12th April, after a good flight. My hope, as always, was that all suitcases would appear on the carousel.The first one did. Still waiting expectantly at the carousel I heard this message on the loudspeaker "can Ball Jill come to the lost baggage desk. "Sure enough one case had been left in London , but not to worry, they would collect it from the plane when it arrived and send it on to Santo Domingo. Not a big deal apparently.

To my utter delight and not to say surprise, the company were true to their word and I collected the case on Wednesday from a package sending office in Santo Domingo. This has not always been my experience with mislaid baggage, so I felt especially favored and blessed
Altogether I have had  a very good week, meeting up with dear folk I have not seen in seven months. I was asked to speak to the ladies in a barrio with Blanca and Rodrigo ,and then asked to speak at the monthly meeting for retired people. Both events were well attended and people were very kind
I was given a lovely reception party by William and some friends with an enormous bouquet in the shape of a dog.

Temperatures in the 40s, a bit different to Leigh on Sea. To complete the week the water pump broke, so washing in cold water out of a bucket, but in this climate, that is no hardship."

Jill Ball 20/04/15

Friday, 10 April 2015

Pioneering new project

In February, it was decided that we should begin a new project for school leavers & adults with learning disabilities, in Santo Domingo. At present there is very little for   children, leaving the Foundation’s school, to engage in (unless there is a family business, and they are able to help with that). There is very little available for them throughout Ecuador. A fact not lost on Jill and Sharon. Last year Sharon wrote a manual explaining how the school leavers could be trained, occupied and possibly employed, through the development of Life Skills. She ran a pilot scheme, with the older school children, so that the Directors could see what a project might look like.

A year later we are in the process of looking to employ a Leader, and Sharon will spend her final year working alongside this person, guiding and advising them. We need to advertise locally for young adults who may be interested in learning and working in a sheltered business environment, as well as developing other life skills.

We have a piece of land, which we plan to share with the Women’s Projects, being crafted to accommodate a small business. At present no decisions have been made, but the ideas include; growing ornamental plants, cacao, fruit & vegetables, making wooden craft items or clothes making. Any of these the young people would be able to assist with, until they develop the skills to be able to run a business of their own.

The programme will also include horse riding, cooking, housekeeping, hobbies, shopping and visiting useful places (like banks, markets etc).
This is an exciting time for LIAT(Ecuador), and we know that it will make a huge difference to the quality of life of the young people.

Sharon. March 2015.