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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Working with the Zebras

Since starting our project we have, among other things, been creating ideas for workshops. We presented an introductory workshop where we got to know the Zebras: this included icebreakers and conversations. By the end of the session we had got to know our partners!
Travelling around the city we see the Zebras in action engaging with pedestrians and drivers. They seem to have a real presence in the city and it is clear that many admire them for their efforts.
Our goal is reducing noise pollution and to do this we wanted to understand how mini-bus drivers feel. We divided into pairs and interviewed individual drivers. This was a great success as we received insights into the world of mini-bus drivers. We asked how he felt about the difference in attitudes between older and younger generations mini-bus drivers. The response was positive, noting that there is respect between all drivers; although he did note that younger drivers might be slightly more reckless.
We have used our time in the office effectively creating designs and activities for the 'No Honk' event at the end of the month. ICS has had meetings with the DCC to negotiate what ideas are relevant to the event. We are going ahead with a meditation tent whereby people can use the space to experience quietness, and an interactive banner that will encourage people to write their thoughts about noise pollution.
During this time we also had guided learning. Our subject was 'The Decolonisation of Latin America' and this encouraged us to consider issues facing Bolivia past, present and future. The presentation was successful and moreover the activity and guest speaker made a great impact on the session.
Now that our focus is on a 'cultural exchange' with the Zebras we are planning an activity on citizenship in the UK. Basically we are focusing on a short presentation, a role-play exercise and a citizenship "test."
Outside of the project it has been interesting to live with a host family. Immediately I felt welcomed into the family (Anita, Carlos and Nico) and I am at ease living there. I feel like I learn a lot there too as I am free to ask questions. We travelled to the markets in El Alto where we ate traditional Bolivian food and also visited the Witches Market, where I intend to revisit at a later date.

La Paz is an incredible city in itself and there is a great deal for me to explore. I am very fond of the atmosphere here especially in the busy areas. There are always people walking down the streets or eating in the restaurants. I particularly like the plazas where people of all ages gather to chat, sit, read or do any activity that they choose.

The team with our partner in the offices of the DCC

Workshop being taught about what the zebras do

The team and the zebras we work with

Rowan presenting our activity for guided learning

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