Thursday, April 9, 2015

Welcoming Cohort 12

Welcome to Cohort 12, the final cohort of the Ciudadanos del Mundo project! I am Elo, the new team leader of the project along with Euge, and our cooperantes Judith and Dani.

I arrived in La Paz a month ago now, and I feel as though I have adjusted to my new way of life here. The city is an exciting place to be. From my commute in the teleferico (cable-car) you get a fantastic view of the tooth-like mountains punctuating the residential areas, the streets packed with minibuses and market stalls, and the cluster of high rise buildings at the city centre. In fact, it is not just from the teleferico that it’s possible to see beautiful views; due to the bowl-like shape of La Paz you can see a panorama of the city from various points, and you can also hike out into the surrounding mountains for a different perspective and to experience the stunning landscapes. Coming from Europe, the markets are also something to marvel at, with enormous specimens of fruits and vegetables, amongst other products, all for a very reasonable price! Aside from the sights of the city, everyone at International Service has been incredibly welcoming and those who have been working on the project for a while have helped me get my head around its objectives and construct a plan for the final ten weeks.

The 25 new volunteers arrived on the 30th March, all slightly dazed from the long journey and the altitude. Apart from a slight hiccup locating various suitcases, their arrival ran smoothly and they were introduced to their host families and taken to their new homes to relax and recover. The following day they were treated to an exposition of Bolivian culture, a lunchtime picnic at a lovely viewpoint, and then a leisurely tour around the city.  The rest of induction week was taken up with an introduction to the program and projects, and time to get to know their teams.

Our new team: Jack, Kate, Rowan, Me, Dani, Danni, Hannah, Euge, Kyran, Madlen, Judith

Volunteers conducting our first zebra workshop
On the Ciudadanos del Mundo team we are welcoming Kate, Madlen, Kyran, Rowan, Jack, Daniela and Hannah. We have a fantastic mixture of interests and talents, in what seems to me to be a particularly creative group so we hope to put these skills to good use! We have already conducted our first workshop with the group of zebras that we will be working with this cohort, in which we delivered an introduction to ICS and the Ciudadanos del Mundo project, and began to get to know each other.

Zebras workshop

I feel lucky to have arrived in time to supervise the last cohort of a project that has been in action for a year and a half. With the resources, information and contacts that we have available to us from previous groups, and with our strong team of volunteers, I have high hopes for cohort 12. A big (but silent) wave for the zebras, let’s see what this cohort can do!

Zebra Superhero design created by a previous cohort

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