Letter from Zapallal: May 2011
As always, there are plenty of events going on in Peru. Zapallal - Sharing the Struggle is a charity set up by Delia and Michael in the 1990s. They are always hugely grateful for donations: if you can spare anything, please do (details of how to donate are at the bottom of this page).
Brother Mark writes:
Elections were held on 10 April (always on a Sunday) for president, congress and the Andes parliament. They are a lengthy process with huge queues outside polling stations. Identity documents have to be checked. There are signatures, a fingerprint and a dyed finger as proof of having voted. They have to vote where their identity document was issued and this can mean long, expensive journeys. Some prefer to pay the fine as it’s cheaper. There was no clear-cut winner in the first round so the second election will be 5th June when it will be decided on a simple majority. Alcohol may not be sold from Friday evening to Monday
at the time of the elections. They want people to be fit to vote.
Our Easter holidays consisted of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday but there wasn’t much time for a rest, because besides the religious services we had a group of sixty 4th and 5th years from our three schools in Lima and here for Pascua Juvenil (above left). It was a time for reflection, sharing and enjoying the company of new friends. I was impressed by their commitment and enthusiasm – and they love to sing!
There have been various activities connected with Day of the Earth. All the secondary pupils have responsibility for the care of a tree or bush and so wooden notices were made and brightly painted giving the scientific and common name, the usual habitat and when planted. Then we had celebrations. For the primary pupils they consisted of each form producing a panel – 6’ x 3’ – on an environmental theme (right). They were very colourful and imaginative. The secondary pupils celebrated more elaborately. There was a singing competition in which popular songs could be used but the words had to be changed to fit the environmental theme. The 5th year winners produced a very powerful performance in which the girl sang beautifully a traditional tune while the boy interjected with rap.
Then there was a competition of ‘jigsaw puzzles’, that is, sentences or quotations had been split up and teams from each year had to put them in the correct order. Interspersed there were environmental questions with prizes. There had been a crossword competition and the winner was chosen by throwing all the correct answers in the air and catching the winner. The secondary pupils also had a panels competition with a fairly high level of production. A group of 5th years performed a dance, excellent but a bit short. They looked as if they were just getting into their stride when it was over.
The next celebrations will be on the Friday before Mother’s Day (second Sunday of May). Then there will Founder’s Day and running through all of this long-term preparations for the 20th anniversary celebrations in October. More of all this next time.
We are still having warm, sunny days though mornings and evenings are a bit chillier. I gather spring has been kind to you. May it continue so. All blessings to you and yours during this lovely season of Eastertide.
God bless. Mark
If you'd like to make a donation, please send a cheque, payable to Zapallal Sharing the Struggle Ltd, to NC Internet Ltd, PO Box 1124, Knaphill GU21 9AA; there is no minimum amount. Alternatively, if you'd like more information, or if you want to set up a standing order, please contact one of our team, Lynda, on email@example.com - Lynda has visited the school and knows that every penny you donate will help to make a real difference.
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