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02

Oct 2013

Book Bus Ecuador a Volunteer’s Story

Posted by / in Blog, Traveller's Tales /

Book Bus Ecuador a Volunteer’s Story

I’ve recently returned from a ten week trip to Ecuador, working with the Book Bus foundation in Puerto Lopez. We ran reading lessons and book-related activities in five schools in and around the town, helping to tackle the high rates of illiteracy in the area. The trip was extremely worthwhile, as although you cannot expect to change the world, in ten weeks there was a noticeable improvement among the students. In particular, some of the furthest behind blossomed with the one-to-one teaching, and started to catch up with their peers. The children are full of enthusiasm – they love the books we bring, and in a few weeks were greeting me excitedly on the streets to ask when we were next visiting their school.

Book Bus Puerto Lopez Ecuador 2

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12

Sep 2013

A Cow in the Playground

Posted by / in Blog, Traveller's Tales /

Sitting in a dusty classroom reading my favourite stories to Hindi-speaking children … teaching was never better than this for Jean Ashbury.

White cranes lined up on the school wall and eyed their insect breakfasts in the cow manure below. In the field beyond, camels the colour of dark chocolate foraged in the tops of acacia trees. Beside them, I could see the corkscrew horns of endangered black bucks and skittish chinkara deer (Indian gazelles) as they grazed in the scrub beside nilgai antelopes. In the playground a cow headed towards a classroom. And in the rafters above my head swifts flitted back and forth nest-building with twigs and scrap.

I sat on the steps outside a classroom with Haseena tucked in the crook of my arm. “Baloo,” she said in Hindi and pointed to the cover of the story book in my hand.
“Yes. A bear,” I replied.
“Yesyes,” she said dismissively. “B-e-a-r … bear.”

 

Haseena’s portrait VentureCo Tailor made travel

Haseena’s portrait of me!

I was at Haseena’s school in a small village in Mandore near Jodhpur in Rajasthan. Four Book Bus volunteers and I were working on a pilot project to support learning English as a foreign language, and we were using favourite stories that British children read. Our aim was to teach with stories children enjoy instead of setting dry vocabulary and grammar exercises.

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08

Aug 2013

A Book Bus volunteer’s story…Crocodile attack!

Posted by / in Africa, Blog, Featured Posts, Traveller's Tales /

Joseph Dax, an A Level student at Tavistock College was so inspired by our article in the last Winter Issue of Moor Links about local charity Book Bus, that he duly volunteered and headed off for two weeks this summer to Zambia to play his part in encouraging local children to get reading. On his return he kindly put this article together to tell us of his memorable experience.

Have you ever been attacked by a crocodile? My trip to Livingstone, Zambia as a Book Bus volunteer left me with a very lasting impression!  Camping in the grounds of ‘Grubby’s Grotto’, an old colonial residence, myself and the other volunteers set off early each morning, trundling down winding dusty roads and tracks in the trusty (but rather bumpy) Book Bus.

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