Spotlight on Matias Perugachi

A longtime Tandana friend and partner, Matias Perugachi manages the UCINQUI native tree nursery in Achupallas, Ecuador. Here he shows his love for plants and shares the importance of his work.

Matias and The Tandana Foundation have worked together on many projects, including collecting, transplanting, and trimming trees as well as building infrastructure, such as a greenhouse and acclimatization beds, for the nursery.  We thank Matias for setting such a good example for us.

Un gran amigo y socio de Tandana, Matias Perugachi gestiona el vivero de árboles nativos de la UCINQUI en Achupallas, Ecuador. Aquí, el muestra su amor por las plantas y comparte la importancia de su trabajo.

Matias y La Fundación Tandana han trabajado juntos en muchos proyectos, incluyendo la recolección, el trasplante y poda de los árboles, así como la construcción de infraestructura, como un invernadero y camas de aclimatación, para el vivero. Damos las gracias a Matías para establecer un buen ejemplo para nosotros.

Un ami de longue date et partenaire de Tandana, Matias Perugachi gère le pépinière d’arbres de l’UCIQUI dans Achupallas, en Equateur. Ici, il montre son amour pour les plantes et montre l’importance de son travail.

Matias et la Fondation Tandana ont travaillé ensemble sur de nombreux projets, y compris la collecte, la transplantation, et la coupe des arbres ainsi que la construction d’infrastructures, comme une serre et lits d’acclimatation, à la pépinière. Nous remercions Matias pour fixer un tel bon exemple pour nous.

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Student Gives Back to Friends in Agualongo

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Brianne makes friends in Agualongo

Sometimes people just feel like they need something new and different in their lives. This is exactly how Brianne Underwood felt, in 2012, when she left her home in Concord, North Carolina and decided to spend the second semester of her junior year in South America with The Traveling School. She described her 15-week trek through the Andes Mountains as the journey of a lifetime. Her favorite experience of this whole adventure was staying with a host family in the rural Ecuadorian community of Agualongo and participating, along with 15 other students, in a group service project organized for them by Tandana. Brianne felt at home in the community right away.

“I felt so welcomed and loved,” said Brianne.

During their stay, Brianne and her classmates helped the community members replace the roof of the community center and also helped with the reforestation efforts happening in the area. Brianne had plenty of time to really get to know people in Agualongo. She loved the simple way of life in the community and enjoyed talking with her host family for hours after dinner. The local children made quite an impression on her.

“I have always had a passion for children and we got to play with them all the time! I loved the feeling inside me while I was there,” she said

One of Brianne's teachers gets in on the fun
One of Brianne’s teachers gets in on the fun

Brianne is now back in the United States, but she definitely has not forgotten her time in Agualongo. The 18-year-old just graduated from the Cannon School. As a graduation requirement, Brianne had to complete a Capstone Project, with the requirement of doing something to help others. The question of who she would help was very easy for Brianne to answer.

“I knew exactly whose lives I wanted to touch and that was the members of Agualongo. I felt that the week I was there they gave me so much; a place to stay, food, love, the happiness of children; they showed me what a community looks like, what a loving family is; they showed me a different way of living; I could go on forever! The least I could do was give back to them in some way,” she explained.

Brianne contacted Tandana’s Executive Director Anna Taft and asked her advice on the best way to help in Agualongo. Anna then told the community members of Agualongo about Brianne’s desire and asked them what help they would like. The community members requested that Brianne raise money to help paint the community center and water tanks and purchase lights for their soccer field. Next up for Brianne was figuring out how to raise the money.

She decided to sell tickets to a spaghetti dinner held at the school. She got the word out, inviting over 1000 friends on Facebook and by putting flyers in mailboxes. The night of the dinner, Brianne decorated tables with brown paper and placed crayons on the table so that guests could draw. She also placed pictures of the kids in Agualongo all around the place for people to see. Besides buying the tickets, people also donated money at the dinner. The tickets were $20.00, but most people ended up giving a lot more. She also gave a presentation about her stay in Agualongo at the dinner.

Brianne enjoys time with a little one in Agualongo.
Brianne enjoys time with a little one in Agualongo.

The spaghetti dinner, which was held on Wednesday April 3rd, was a great success! Brianne ended up raising more than enough money for the projects. Over the summer a group of volunteers will visit Agualongo to help complete the projects. Brianne cannot wait to see the pictures and hear about the finished projects. Although, she is not sure what the future holds, Brianne would love to go back to Agualongo with Tandana someday.

Brianne's group works on the community center in Agualongo
Brianne’s group works on the community center in Agualongo

A veces uno siente simplemente que necesita algo nuevo y diferente en su vida. Así es exactamente como se s

intió Brianne Underwood, en 2012, cuando salió de su casa en Concord, Carolina del Norte y decidió pasar el segundo semestre de su penultimo año de colegio en América del Sur con The Traveling School. Ella describió su viaje de 15 semanas a través de la Cordillera de los Andes como el viaje de su vida. Su experiencia favorita de toda esta aventura era cuando se quedaba con una familia anfitriona en la comunidad rural de Agualongo en Ecuador, junto con 15 estudiantes mas, en un proyecto de servicio de grupo organizado para ellos por Tandana. Brianne sintió como en casa en la comunidad inmediatamente.

“Me sentí muy bien acogida y amada”, dijo Brianne.

Durante su estancia, Brianne y sus compañeros ayudaron a los miembros de la comunidad a reemplazar el techo de la casa comunal y también ayudaron a los esfuerzos de reforestación que suceden en la zona. Brianne tenía tiempo para conocer bien a las personas en Agualongo. Le encantaba la forma más sencilla de la vida en la comunidad y disfruto de las conversaciones con su familia durante las horas después de la cena. Los niños de la localidad hizo una gran impresión en ella.

“Siempre he tenido una pasión por los niños y llegamos a jugar con ellos todo el tiempo! Me encantó la sensación dentro de mí mientras yo estaba allí”, dijo ella.

Brianne está de vuelta en los Estados Unidos, pero sin duda no se ha olvidado de su tiempo en Agualongo. Ella acaba de graduar de la Escuela Cannon. Como un requisito de graduación, Brianne tenía que completar un proyecto final, con el requisito de hacer algo para ayudar a los demás. La cuestión de quién iba a ayudar era muy fácil para Brianne.

“Yo sabía exactamente cuyas vidas quería tocar y que fue a los miembros de Agualongo. Sentí que durnate la semana que estuve allí me dieron tanto, un lugar para quedarme, la comida, el amor, la felicidad de los niños, ellos me mostraron lo que es una comunidad, lo que es el cariño de la familia, me mostraron una forma diferente de vivir; ! P

Brianne's classmates also enjoy playing with new friends in Agualongo
Brianne’s classmates also enjoy playing with new friends in Agualongo

odría seguir explicando para siempre todo lo que me dieron.  Lo menos que podía hacer era devolver a ellos de alguna manera “, explicó Brianne.

Brianne contacto Anna Taft, directora de la Fundacion Tandana y le pidió consejo sobre la mejor manera de ayudar a la comunidad de Agualongo. Anna explico a los miembros de la comunidad de Agualongo el deseo de Brianne y les preguntó qué tipo de ayuda les gustaría. Los miembros de la comunidad pidieron que Brianne recaude dinero para ayudar a pintar la casa comunal y de los tanques de agua y para comprar luces para alumbrar su cancha de fútbol. Lo que siguio para Brianne fue encontrar la manera de conseguir el dinero.

Ella decidió vender entradas para una cena de espaguetis que celebró en la escuela. Se levantó la voz, invitando a más de 1.000 amigos en Facebook y poniendo informacion en los buzones. La noche de la cena, Brianne decoro las mesas con papel marrón y lápices de colores colocados en la mesa para que los invitados pudieran dibujar. También colocó fotos de los niños de Agualongo en  el lugar para que la gente vea. Además de comprar los boletos, la gente también donaron dinero en la cena. Los billetes eran de $ 20.00, pero la mayoría de personas terminaron dando mucho más. Ella también hizo una presentación sobre su estancia en Agualongo durante la cena.

La cena de espagueti, que se celebró el miércoles 03 de abril, fue un gran éxito! Brianne terminó recaudando más que suficiente dinero para los proyectos. Durante el verano, un grupo de voluntarios visitará Agualongo para ayudar a completar los proyectos. Brianne no puede esperar a ver las imágenes y escuchar acerca de los proyectos terminados. A pesar de que no está segura de lo que depara el futuro, a Brianne le encantaría volver a Agualongo con Tandana algún día.

Parfois, des gens se sentent comme ils ont besoin de quelque chose de nouveau et de différent dans leur vie. C’est exactement comment Brianne Underwood a estimé, en 2012, quand elle a quitté son domicile de Concord, en Caroline du Nord et a décidé de passer le second semestre de son année junior en Amérique du Sud avec l’école Voyageur. Elle a décrit ses 15 semaines de trek à travers la Cordillère des Andes comme le voyage d’une vie. Son expérience préférée de toute cette aventure était chez une famille d’accueil dans la communauté rurale équatorienne de Agualongo et de participer, avec 15 autres étudiants, dans un projet de service de groupe organisé pour eux par Tandana. Brianne se sentait à l’aise dans la communauté tout de suite.

“Je me sentais tellement bien accueilli et aimé», a déclaré Brianne.

Pendant leur séjour, Brianne et ses camarades ont aidé les membres de la communauté a remplacer le toit du centre communautaire et ont également contribué aux efforts de reboisement qui se passe dans la région. Brianne avait beaucoup de temps pour vraiment apprendre à connaître les gens dans Agualongo. Elle aimait la vie simple dans la communauté et apprécié les conversations avec sa famille d’accueil pendant des heures après le dîner. Les enfants de la région ont fait une très forte impression sur elle.

«J’ai toujours eu une passion pour les enfants et nous avons eu à jouer avec eux tout le temps! J’ai adoré le sentiment intérieur de moi pendant que j’étais là,” dit-elle

Brianne est maintenant de retour aux États-Unis, mais elle n’a certainement pas oublié son temps dans Agualongo. Elle vient juste d’etre diplômé de l’école de Cannon. Comme une exigence de l’obtention du diplôme, Brianne a dû compléter un projet de Capstone, avec l’obligation de faire quelque chose pour aider les autres. La question de savoir qui elle aiderait était très facile pour Brianne a répondre.
«Je savais exactement les vies de qui je voulais toucher et ce sont les membres de Agualongo.  J’ai senti que la semaine que J’étais là ils m’ont donné tellement: un endroit pour rester, la nourriture, l’amour, le bonheur des enfants, ils m’ont montré ce qui est une vraie communauté, ce qui est une famille avec amour, ils m’ont montré une autre façon de vivre;! Je pourrais continuer éternellement Le moins que je pouvais faire était de redonner à eux en quelque sorte “, at-elle expliqué.

Brianne a contacté Anna Taft la directrice de la fondation Tandana et lui a demandé des conseils sur la meilleure façon d’aider à Agualongo. Anna a explique alors aux membres de la communauté de Agualongo sur le désir de Brianne et leur a demandé ce qu’ils aimeraient faire. Les membres de la communauté ont demandé que Brianne amasse des fonds pour aider à peinturer le centre communautaire et des réservoirs d’eau et pour acheter des lumières pour leur terrain de football. La prochaine étape pour Brianne a été de trouver comment réunir l’argent.

Elle a décidé de vendre des billets pour un souper spaghetti qui s’est tenue à l’école. Elle a eu le mot, en invitant plus de 1000 amis sur Facebook et en mettant prospectus dans les boîtes aux lettres. La nuit du dîner, Brianne a décoré les tables avec du papier brun et crayons placés sur la table afin que les clients puissent tirer. Elle a également mis des photos des enfants d’Agualongo tout autour de la place pour que les gens voient. Outre l’achat des billets, les gens aussi ont donné de l’argent au dîner. Les billets etaient a  20,00 $, mais la plupart des gens ont fini par donner beaucoup plus. Elle a également fait une présentation sur son séjour en Agualongo au dîner.

Le souper spaghetti, qui a eu lieu le mercredi 3 Avril a été un grand succès! Brianne a fini par recueillir plus de suffisamment d’argent pour les projets. Durant l’été, un groupe de volontaires se rendra a Agualongo pour aider à achever les projets. Brianne ne peut pas attendre de voir les images et entendre parler des projets finis. Bien qu’elle ne soit pas sûr de ce que l’avenir nous réserve, Brianne aimerait revenir à Agualongo avec Tandana un jour.

Ohio State Master Gardeners Enjoy a Working Vacation in Ecuador with Tandana

ImageMy trip to share in the adventure of the vivero, tree nursery, in Ecuador with Ohio Master Gardeners will always be a favorite time in my life. I was impressed with the practical creativity of the nursery. With the support of the Tandana Foundation, indigenous people are working to find ways to improve their lives.  I just finished reading, “The Power of Half,” a book about a family who wanted to donate money to make a positive impact in the world. One of the key factors they looked for was an organization that empowered people to help themselves….Not just a handout.  The partnership between Tandana and the people of Ecuador is a perfect example of providing the support indigenous people need to utilize their natural resources to improve their lives and their environment. (The trees grown in the nursery will be used in reforestation projects in Ecuador.) While on our “working vacation,” our members were able to provide close to 200 hours of labor at the vivero, as well as experience the amazing culture of Ecuador.

Many thanks Tandana for sharing with us the opportunity to make a difference!

Nancy Kamps, Erie County Master Gardener, OH

2013-02-14 11.22.40 Mi viaje a compartir la aventura del vivero forestal en Ecuador con los Jardineros Maestros de Ohio siempre será un momento favorito en mi vida. Me quedé impresionada con la creatividad práctica del vivero. Con el apoyo de la Fundación Tandaña, los pueblos indígenas están trabajando para encontrar maneras de mejorar sus vidas. Acabo de leer, “El poder de la mitad”, un libro sobre una familia que quería donar dinero para hacer un impacto positivo en el mundo. Uno de los factores clave que buscaban era una organización que faculta la gente a ayudarse a sí mismos …. No es sólo una limosna. La asociación entre Tandaña y el pueblo de Ecuador es un ejemplo perfecto de proporcionar el apoyo que los pueblos indígenas necesitan para utilizar sus recursos naturales para mejorar sus vidas y su entorno. (Los árboles cultivados en el vivero serán utilizados en proyectos de reforestación en Ecuador.) Si bien en nuestro “vacaciones de trabajo”, nuestros miembros fueron capaces de proporcionar cerca de 200 horas de trabajo en el vivero, así como la experiencia de la increíble cultura del Ecuador .

Muchas gracias Tandaña por compartir con nosotros la oportunidad de hacer una diferencia!

Nancy Kamps,  Maestro Jardinero, Condado de Erie, OH

2013-02-14 11.21.24Mon voyage à partager l’aventure de la Vivero, pépinière, en Équateur avec les Maitre Jardiniers de l’Ohio sera toujours un temps favori dans ma vie. J’ai été impressionné par la créativité pratique de la pépinière. Avec le soutien de la Fondation Tandana, les peuples autochtones s’efforcent de trouver des moyens d’améliorer leur vie. Je viens de terminer la lecture, “The Power of Half”, un livre sur une famille qui voulait donner de l’argent pour avoir un impact positif dans le monde. Un des facteurs clés qu’ils cherchaient était une organisation qui habilitées gens à s’aider eux-mêmes …. Pas seulement une aumône. Le partenariat entre Tandana et les gens de l’Equateur est un parfait exemple de fournir l’appui dont les peuples autochtones ont besoin pour utiliser leurs ressources naturelles pour améliorer leur vie et leur environnement. (Les arbres cultivés dans la pépinière seront utilisés dans des projets de reforestation en Equateur.) Alors que sur notre «vacances de travail”, nos membres ont pu fournir près de 200 heures de travail au Vivero, ainsi qu’apprendrel’expérience de la culture formidable de l’Equateur .

Merci beaucoup a Tandana pour partager avec nous la possibilité de faire une différence!

Nancy Kamps, Maître Jardinier, Erie County, OH

Health Care Volunteer Vacation program has grown and improved!

by Jean McCabe

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Jean works with other volunteers to do vision screening

Five years ago I went on my first volunteer vacation withTandana with my oldest daughter when she was a junior in college majoring in accounting and spanish.  This spring I repeated that trip with my youngest daughter who was also a junior in college and majoring in business.  I am an RN with somewhat rusty skills and my daughters have no medical experience so we weren’t sure what to expect or if we could be useful on this type of trip.  We discovered that the trip was not only beneficial to us personally but on both trips we felt we were able to positively contribute to the mission of the week.

Patients receive their medications in Tandana's "pharmacy"
Patients receive their medications in Tandana’s “pharmacy”
Volunteers take vitals
Volunteers take vitals
Pediatricians perform checkups on schoolchildren
Pediatricians perform checkups on schoolchildren
Santos, a shaman, shares his philosophy of healing
Santos, a shaman, shares his philosophy of healing

Upon our return to the US, Lauren had to write a persuasive paper for one of her classes and chose to persuade people to consider going on a mission trip.  She summed up her experiences on this trip as being either for her personal growth and development or enhancing the life of others.  She felt she gained an appreciation of different lifestyles from observing the living conditions of the people we were serving and it made her realize how much people in the US takes for granted, like running water, a washing machine, kitchen appliances, education and medical care.  What she considered “normal” in her daily life took on a new perspective.  We both felt the people we encountered were generally happy and so appreciative of the help we were able to offer them.  Despite our language barriers we were able to communicate with them and let them know we were there to help.  We also enjoyed the extra curricular activities we were able to participate in; particularly the afternoon with the Shaman, the cooking class and the hike down the mountain to the waterfall.  It gave us a better understanding of the culture and the environment they live in.

Interacting with the other volunteers on the trip was also a positive experience.  Our group was from a variety of geographic locations in the US, assorted ages, talents and life experiences.  It was fun to learn how we had all become connected with Tandana and see how we interacted to work toward a common goal.  Everyone was friendly, flexible and anxious to learn about our surroundings and culture.  By the time we left, we both felt like we had made new friends.

Patients and Tandana folks become friends
Patients and Tandana folks become friends

I was very impressed with the growth of the mission.  Five years ago, the program was just beginning so the resources were limited; in terms of people, supplies and services offered.  The morning clinics were short because Tandana was just beginning to build its reputation and not as many local people were willing to come to the free clinics.  This year we had to turn people away as the request for doctor visits were more than could be handled in a full day.  The support systems are greatly improved, many more supplies and services are offered and systems are in place so the operation runs smoothly.  I can’t wait to see the program continue to grow and what changes have occurred when I get the chance to do this trip again!

Certain laboratory tests are available
Certain laboratory tests are available

Jean McCabe

 

 

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Amistades entre los pacientes y los voluntarios son uno de los aspectos mas importantes
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La hija mayor de Jean trabaja de interprete para una doctora

Hace cinco años me fui a mi primera vacación de voluntariado con Tandana con mi hija mayor cuando era en tercer año de la universidad con especialización en contabilidad y español. Esta primavera repetí ese viaje con mi hija menor, que también era en tercer año de la universidad y con especialización en negocios. Soy una enfermera con habilidades poco oxidados y mis hijas no tienen experiencia médica, así que no estábamos seguros de qué esperar o si podríamos ser útiles en este tipo de viaje. Nos dimos cuenta de que el viaje no era sólo beneficioso para nosotros personalmente, pero en ambos viajes nos sentimos que estábamos en condiciones de contribuir positivamente a la misión de la semana.

A nuestro regreso a los EE.UU., Lauren tuvo que escribir un ensayo persuasivo para una de sus clases y optó por persuadir a la gente a considerar ir a un viaje misionero. Ella resumió sus experiencias en este viaje como sea para su crecimiento personal y el desarrollo o la mejora de la vida de los demás. Ella sintió que ganó el aprecio de los diferentes estilos de vida de la observación de las condiciones de vida de las personas a las que servíamos y se dio cuenta de la muchas cosas que las personas en los EE.UU. no toman en cuenta, como agua corriente, una lavadora, utensilios de cocina, la educación y la atención médica . Lo que ella considera “normal” en su vida cotidiana adquiere una nueva perspectiva. Nos sentimos que  la gente que nos encontramos era generalmente feliz y tan agradecido por la ayuda que pudimos ofrecerles. A pesar de nuestras barreras lingüísticas pudimos comunicar con ellos y hacerles saber que estábamos allí para ayudar. También disfrutamos de las actividades extra curriculares que hemos podido participar en, sobre todo por la tarde con el chamán, la clase de cocina y la caminata por la montaña hasta la catarata. Se nos dio una mejor comprensión de la cultura y el medio ambiente en que viviamos.

La interacción con los otros voluntarios en el viaje también fue una experiencia positiva. Nuestro grupo era de una variedad de lugares geográficos en los EE.UU., de edades variadas, talentos y experiencias de vida. Fue divertido para aprender todo lo que habíamos hecho relacionado con Tandaña y ver cómo nos relacionamos a trabajar hacia una meta común. Todo el mundo fue muy amable, flexible y con ganas de aprender sobre nuestro entorno y la cultura. En el momento en que nos fuimos, nos sentimos como si hubiéramos hecho nuevos amigos.

Me quedé muy impresionado con el crecimiento de la misión. Hace cinco años, el programa se acababa de empezar y por lo tanto los recursos eran limitados, en términos de personas, suministros y servicios ofrecidos. Las clínicas de la mañana fueron a corto ya que Tandaña estaba empezando a construir su reputación y no habia tantas personas locales quienes estaban dispuestos a llegar a las clínicas gratuitas. Este año hemos tenido que rechazar a la gente por que la solicitud de consultas médicas fueron más de lo que podría ser manejado en un día completo. Los sistemas de apoyo han mejorado mucho, muchos más suministros y servicios se ofrecen y los sistemas estén en su lugar para que la operación sea un éxito. No puedo esperar hasta ver como el programa siga creciendo y qué cambios se han producido cuando tengo la oportunidad de hacer este viaje de nuevo!

Jean McCabe

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La chute de Peguche atire les volontaires

Il ya cinq ans, je suis allé à mon premier vacances de bénévolat avec Tandana avec ma fille aînée quand elle était un junior à l’université avec spécialisation en comptabilité et en espagnol. Ce printemps, j’ai répété ce voyage avec ma plus jeune fille qui était aussi un junior à l’université et une spécialisation dans les affaires. Je suis une infirmiere avec des compétences un peu rouillés et mes filles n’ont aucune expérience médicale, donc nous ne savions pas à quoi nous attendre ou si nous pouvions être utiles sur ce type de voyage. Nous avons découvert que le voyage n’était pas seulement bénéfique pour nous personnellement, mais sur les deux voyages que nous sentions que nous étions en mesure de contribuer positivement à la mission de la semaine.

A notre retour aux États-Unis, Lauren a dû écrire un article convaincant pour une de ses classes et a choisi de persuader les gens à envisager d’aller sur un voyage de mission. Elle résume ses expériences sur ce voyage comme étant soit pour sa croissance personnelle et le développement ou l’amélioration de la vie des autres. Elle se sentait, elle a acquis une appréciation des différents modes de vie de l’observation des conditions de vie des personnes que nous servions et il lui a fait comprendre combien les gens aux États-Unis tient pour acquis, comme l’eau courante, une machine à laver, appareils de cuisine, l’éducation et des soins médicaux . Qu’est-ce qu’elle considérait comme «normal» dans sa vie quotidienne a pris une nouvelle perspective. Nous sentions tous les deux que les gens que nous avons rencontrés étaient généralement heureux et reconnaissants de l’aide que nous avons pu leur offrir. Malgré nos barrières de la langue, nous avons pu communiquer avec eux et leur dire que nous étions là pour les aider. Nous avons également apprécié les activités additionels, auxquels nous avons pu participer, en particulier l’après-midi avec le chaman, le cours de cuisine et la randonnée dans la montagne jusqu’à la cascade. Il nous a donné une meilleure compréhension de la culture et de l’environnement dans lequel ils vivent.

Interagir avec les autres volontaires sur le voyage était aussi une expérience positive. Notre groupe était d’une variété de lieux géographiques aux Etats-Unis, les âges variés, des talents et des expériences de vie. C’était amusant d’apprendre que nous avions tous devenus connecté avec Tandana et voir comment nous interagissons à travailler vers un but commun. Tout le monde était amical, flexible et désireux d’en apprendre davantage sur notre environnement et la culture. Au moment où nous sommes partis, nous avons tous deux eu l’impression que nous avions fait de nouveaux amis.

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Les volontaires realisent des examens de vision.

J’ai été très impressionné par la croissance de la mission. Il ya cinq ans, le programme commençait tout juste ainsi que les ressources étaient limitées, en termes de personnes, de fournitures et de services offerts. Les cliniques du matin étaient à court parce que Tandana commençait tout juste à construire sa réputation et il n’ avait pas autant de gens locaux prêts à venir dans les centres de soins gratuits. Cette année, nous avons dû refuser des gens parce que la demande de visites chez le médecin étaient plus que pourrait être traitée en une journée. Les systèmes de soutien sont grandement améliorées, beaucoup plus de fournitures et de services sont offerts et les systèmes sont en place pourque l’opération se déroule bien. Je suis pressé de voir le comment programme continuer à croître et quels changements ont eu lieu lorsque j’ai la chance de refaire ce voyage!

Jean McCabe

Students Gain When They Give


I was fortunate enough to visit Ecuador recently with my amazing teammates, all Northeastern University students participating in the alternative spring break program. We arrived in Otavalo and Gualapuro with the intention of building a playground for the school in Gualapuro, but upon reflection, I have realized that what we actually built in Gualapuro were relationships.

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These relationships are with one another, with the Tandana staff, and most importantly, with the community members in Gualapuro. The community leaders, young children, families and individuals who opened their homes and lives to us transformed what would have been an ordinary service project into a week of learning and discovery. Their generosity and sincere welcome made Ecuador feel like home, and I can completely understand how easy it would be to travel there and never return home – we felt attached and included in the community in only one week!

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Now that I have returned home, I have gained a new perspective about the value and importance of an indigenous culture I previously knew very little about. I also have a new perspective on why collaborations with organizations like Tandana can be so valuable: the relationships that we built while working together for a common goal that benefited our new friends taught us all so much that it is hard to feel like we were the ones doing service at all! While we did build a playground, I left feeling incredibly grateful to the community and to Tandana for allowing us the opportunity to do so.

I oNe 7we a huge thank you to the community members who welcomed us, because what they taught us about their culture, history, values, and way of life is more valuable than any work we could have possibly done to repay their kindness. Opportunities like this are once in a lifetime, and we could not have had a better week in Ecuador than the one we had; meeting people, talking with them, and understanding their lives is the way to really learn about and appreciate a place, and I can speak for all of us with certainty saying that we now appreciate Ecuador and the communities we got to know more than we ever thought possible.

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Reflections from

Mallory McCoy

Northeastern University student

 

Yo tuve la suerte de visitar Ecuador recientemente con mis increíbles compañeros de equipo, todos los estudiantes de la Universidad del Noreste que participan en el programa alternativo de las vacaciones de primavera. Llegamos a Otavalo y Gualapuro con la intención de construir un parque infantil para la escuela en Gualapuro, pero después de reflexionar, me he dado cuenta de que lo que en realidad hemos construida en Gualapuro eran relaciones.

Estas relaciones son uno con el otro, con el personal de Tandaña, y lo más importante, con los miembros de la comunidad en Gualapuro. Los líderes de la comunidad, los niños pequeños, las familias y los individuos que abrieron sus hogares y sus vidas nos transforman lo que hubiera sido un proyecto de servicio normal en una semana de aprendizaje y descubrimiento. Su generosidad y sincera bienvenida nos hicieron sentir como en casa, y puedo entender por completo lo fácil que sería viajar allí y nunca volver a casa – nos sentimos apegados y nos incluyeron en la comunidad en sólo una semana!

Ahora que he vuelto a casa, he adquirido una nueva perspectiva sobre el valor y la importancia de una cultura indígena que antes sabía muy poco. También tengo una nueva perspectiva sobre por qué la colaboración con organizaciones como Tandaña pueden ser tan valiosos: las relaciones que hemos construido al trabajar juntos por un objetivo común que benefician a nuestros nuevos amigos nos enseñan mucho que es difícil sentir como si fuéramos nosotros los que hacian un labor social! Mientras construimos unos juegos infantiesl, me siento mas agradecidas a la comunidad y a Tandaña por darnos la oportunidad de hacerlo.2013-03-08 11.52.51

Debo un gran agradecimiento a los miembros de la comunidad que nos recibió, porque lo que nos enseñaron acerca de su cultura, la historia, los valores y forma de vida es más valiosa que cualquier trabajo que podríamos haber hecho para pagar su bondad. Oportunidades como esta son una vez en la vida, y no podríamos haber tenido una mejor semana en Ecuador que la que teníamos, conocer gente, hablar con ellos, y la comprensión de la vida es la manera de aprender realmente y apreciar un lugar, y yo puedo hablar por todos nosotros con certeza decir que ahora apreciamos Ecuador y las comunidades y conocimos más de lo que nunca creiamos posible.

Reflexiones desde Mallory McCoy
Estudiante de la Universidad del Noreste2013-03-03 16.34.46

J’ai eu la chance de visiter l’Équateur récemment avec mes coéquipiers incroyables, tous les étudiants de l’Université du Nord-Est qui participent au programme de la semaine de relâche alternatif. Nous sommes arrivés à Otavalo et Gualapuro avec l’intention de construire une aire de jeux pour l’école de Gualapuro, mais après réflexion, j’ai réalisé que ce que nous avons effectivement construit en Gualapuro étaient des relations.

Ces relations sont un avec l’autre, avec le personnel de Tandana, et surtout, avec les membres de la communauté Gualapuro. Les dirigeants de la communauté, les jeunes enfants, les familles et les individus qui ont ouvert leurs maisons et leurs vies pour nous transformer ce qui aurait été un projet de service ordinaire en une semaine de l’apprentissage et de la découverte. Leur générosité et leur accueil sincère ont fait qu’etre en Equateur nous semblait comme etre à la maison, et je peux complètement comprendre comment il serait facile de s’y rendre et de ne jamais rentrer chez nous – nous étions attachés et inclus dans la communauté en seulement une semaine!

Maintenant que je suis de retour à la maison, j’ai acquis une nouvelle perspective sur la valeur et l’importance d’une culture indigène dont je savais auparavant très peu. J’ai aussi une nouvelle perspective sur les raisons pour lesquelles les collaborations avec des organisations comme Tandana peuvent être si précieux: les relations que nous avons construit tout en travaillant ensemble pour un objectif commun qui ont bénéficié de nos nouveaux amis nous a tous appris beaucoup de choses qu’il est difficile de se sentir comme si nous étions ceux qui faisaient de service du tout! Alors que nous avons fait construire une aire de jeux, j’ai fini par sentir extrêmement reconnaissante à la communauté et à Tandana pour nous donner l’occasion de le faire.

2013-03-06 11.38.09Je dois un grand merci aux membres de la communauté qui nous ont accueillis, parce que ce qu’ils nous ont appris sur leur culture, leur histoire, les valeurs et le mode de vie est plus précieuse que n’importe quel travail que nous aurions pu faire pour rembourser leur gentillesse. Des occasions comme ca sont une fois dans une vie, et nous n’aurions pas pu avoir une meilleure semaine en Equateur que celle que nous avions, rencontrer des gens, parler avec eux et comprendre leur vie est la façon de vraiment apprendre et apprécier un lieu. Je  peux parler pour nous tous avec certitude en disant que les connaissances que nous avons adquis sur l’Équateur et les communautés sont plus que nous n’aurions jamais cru possible.

Réflexions à partir Mallory McCoy
Étudiant de l’Université NortheasternImage

Volunteer Vacations in Mali and Ecuador: different Tandana experiences

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAby Susan Koller

Mali’s Dogon country and the highlands of Ecuador are approximately 5225 miles apart. However, these two regions share a common bond. Since 2009, The Tandana Foundation has been organizing Volunteer Vacations to both regions.

Some volunteers have been fortunate to visit both countries. While some aspects of volunteering in Ecuador and Mali are quite different, some are remarkably similar. For Hope Taft, who has gone on three Health Care Volunteer Vacations to Ecuador and three Volunteer Vacations to Mali, the similarities are apparent.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“These trips made me realize again that poverty can take many forms. Although the people we work with in these countries have varying degrees of economic poverty like you would not see in the USA, they are much richer in social and spiritual matters and have a higher happiness quotient than most people in the United States,” said Hope.

Volunteers have seen other similarities as well. Jack Krueger, who has traveled once to Ecuador and once to Mali alongside his wife Marilyn, loved seeing the villagers’ excitement when the volunteers arrived. Also, whether they are providing health care to community members in rural villages in Ecuador or helping villagers in Mali build a grain bank, they always returned home with the satisfaction of knowing that they have helped people achieve their goals.SONY DSC

“That people in both places from different parts of the world, with totally different projects were all excited with what the Foundation had come to do for them,” said Jack.

Julie Lundquist, who was part of Tandana’s first volunteer vacation in Ecuador and its first in Mali, shares the joy Hope, Jack, and Marilyn felt while lending a helping hand in the communities they visit. The four of them also found that whichever country or community they visited, the people they meet are kindhearted and appreciative.

DSC_0517_1Julie commented on other similarities. Volunteers are excited to meet new people in a foreign land. Marilyn noticed how nicely the people of both countries were dressed in their country’s traditional style.
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The differences of volunteering in both countries also stick out. The cultural differences are probably the most striking. Julie found the Ecuadorian culture somewhat familiar, but she found everything in Mali including the culture, language, and religion — radically different from anything she had ever experienced before. Marilyn was also shocked, when she visited the villages of Kansongho and Sal-Dimi, by just how different everything was. “I found it hard to wrap my head around,” she said.

They all agree that the volunteers’ accommodations in Mali are not as grand. When they visit Ecuador volunteers stay in a luxurious inn, while in Mali they stay in the guest houses of the villages.

“I so appreciated the experience of staying in the village [in Mali] as a family guest instead of staying in beautiful resort style accommodations in Ecuador. I feel as if we had more of a chance to experience life in Kansongho,” said Julie.soap

Marilyn also felt that she got to know the villagers in Mali better than she did the villagers in Ecuador, because organization of the trips is different. When the volunteers travel to Ecuador, they visit a different village each day. When they travel to Mali however, the volunteers usually visit few villages and stay in those villages for a longer time. Marilyn was surprised to find that while the families in Mali live in a tightly-clustered village, families in Ecuador were more dispersed throughout the countryside.

Another factor that can influence a volunteer’s experience is the dynamic of the group of travelers. Julie loved traveling to Mali with a multigenerational group, with the volunteers ranging in age from early teens to mid-60s. She also thoroughly enjoyed traveling to Mali with her then 13-year-old son Mick.plastering

“Since I traveled with my son in Mali, his child presence opened more doors to me with the people of the villages. His youthfulness broke down barriers and drew more people in. We were able to play more, listen more and have better discussion because of his presence,” said Julie.
No matter what country they visit, Tandana’s volunteers are left with many memories. In Mali, Hope realized — much to her surprise- that she could carry water and rocks on her head without falling. Jack, Julie, and Marilyn all picked out a similar moment as their most memorable experiences in Mali. They loved sleeping outdoors and seeing the vast abundance of stars overhead.

“I’ll never forget lying on my cot and watching the stars at night and falling asleep,” said Marilyn.

Hope’s most memorable moment in Ecuador was when she realized that most of the people receiving medical care from Tandana had never had their feet on scales or had their temperature or blood pressure taken.toothbrushing Julie will always remember hiking in the surrounding mountains and seeing the condors fly overhead. The beautiful countryside will always stick out to Jack.
No matter what similarities, differences or surprises volunteers encounter on their travels, one fact will always remain the same. These trips have a strong impact on their lives.

A Report from Yarou Plateau, Mali

ImageTechnique de mise en germination de la Pomme de terre au jardin scolaire de Yarou 3 Technique de mise en germination de la Pomme de terre au jardin scolaire de Yarou 11 Technique de mise en germination de la Pomme de terre au jardin scolaire de Yarou1

Moussa Tembine

Ce rapport est la synthèse des 2 sessions de formations  réalisées dans le village Yarou Plateau respectivement sur les activités du jardin scolaire  et économiques des femmes autours d’Epargner Pour le Changement (EPC).

Les différents modules développés au cours de ces ateliers sont :

–       L’Identification des semences en maraîchage ;

–       Les techniques de production en maraîchage.

–       Les techniques d’entretien des arbres.

–       Les techniques d’animations des groupes EPC (réunions de promotion et séance d’animation des groupes).

Ces formations ont  eu lieu grâce à l’appui financier de Fondation Tandana.

 La modération a  été exécutée par deux techniciens supérieurs d’agriculture et de génie rural en consultation.

La formation a démarré le 20/11/2012 sous la présence  de la présidente des femmes  exploitantes de Yarou.

Etaient présents :

–       Le représentant du propriétaire terrain ;

–       Les 52 femmes exploitantes du jardin Yarou ;

–       Les 17 élèves et 2 enseignantes de l’école de Yarou,

–       L’équipe de formation : Moussa TEMBINE et Abdoulaye Fofana, tous responsables du Sous Secteur d’Agriculture de Ouo.

 

Contenu de la formation et résultats obtenus :

La formation a porté sur les points suivants :

    Généralités sur les cultures maraîchères

    Etapes à suivre  pour la production des cultures maraîchères

    Pépinière.

    La confection des planches.

    Technique culturales, entretiens, récolte, conservation, transformation et ennemies des cultures de :

–         La laitue

–         Le chou

–         La tomate

–         Le piment

–         Le gombo

–         L’aubergine

–         L’échalote

–         La pomme de terre. 

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     Evaluations

Chaque session de formation a été évaluée par le représentant de la Fondation Tandana au Mali.

La tendance générale est bonne et les femmes souhaitent étendre la formation aux autres femmes du groupe qui comptent 20 membres du village environnant.

    Pratique

Les formateurs ont effectué des démonstrations pratiques sur le terrain suivant la formation pratique.

    Observations

En plus de la phase pratique, les groupes de femmes ont participé à l’installation et au semis des parcelles de démonstration (Confection des planches, de compost et mise en germination sur l’échalote, la laitue, carotte, la tomate, Choux pomme et de la pomme de terre).

 

Pour le programme EPC les cours théoriques ont permis à l’animatrice de maitriser le guide d’animation. Pour la phase pratique une réunion de promotion a été tenue dans le quartier de mossi.  Cette réunion a  permis d’enregistrer 23 femmes mossies pour former un groupe.

La séance d’animation a été pratiquée par le groupe EPC  des femmes MERABARA qui compose 25 femmes. Après les femmes étaient complantes pour se rappeler du nom de la coordinatrice de la Fondation Tandana elles la donne un autre nom dans leur dialecte.   Désormais à Yarou Plateau Anna s’appelle YERIYE, ce nom signifie la 1ère fille. Dans le milieu Dogon c’est la 1ère fille qui fait reposé et qui soutien  sa maman quand elle sera grande. Les femmes de Yarou trouve que les actions de Fondation Tandana est venu les ouvrir les yeux et continu à leur donner des opportunités pour leur développement et la coordinatrice est considérée comme leur première fille sur laquelle elles peuvent s’appuyer. 

Assata Minta, la directrice de l’ecole a Yarou Plateau a déclarée que c’est à cause des activités de la Fondation Tandana qu’elle est resté à l’école de Yarou.  « Si non j’allais demander de quitter Yarou pour une autre école. Car l’école est loin et il y’a assez d’élèves et pas d’autres enseignants, mais avec les activités de la Fondation je me sens utile pour cette population qui est en retard dans le développement à tous les niveaux. » Dit elle.

Vive la Fondation Tandana au Mali, partout dans le monde.

 

Moussa TEMBINE

Représentant Fondation Tandana au Mali.

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This report is a synthesis of two training sessions conducted in the village of Yarou Plateau respectively on the school garden activities and economic promotion of women through the Saving for Change program (EPC).
The modules developed during these workshops are:
– The identification of seeds for gardening;
– Production techniques in gardening.
– The techniques of tree care.
– The animation techniques for EPC groups (meetings and group facilitation session).
These trainings were held with the financial support of The Tandana Foundation.
The training was carried out by two technicians for agriculture and rural engineering consulting.
The training started on 11.20.2012 in the presence of the president of the women gardeners of Yarou.
Present:
– The representative of the field’s ownder;
– The 52 women gardeners of Yarou Plateau;
– The 17 students and 2 teachers from the school of Yarou Plateau,
– The training team: Moussa Tembine, Abdoulaye Fofana, both fficials of the Sub Sector of Agriculture of Ouo.

Training content and results:
The training focused on the following points:
General konwledge of vegetable crops
Steps for the production of vegetable crops
Creating a nursery.
Making beds.
Technical cultivation, maintenance, harvesting, storage, and processing of:
– Lettuce
– Cabbage
– Tomato
– Pepper
– Okra
– Eggplant
– Shallots
– Potato.

Evaluation:
Each training session was evaluated by the representative of the Tandana Foundation in Mali.
The general trend is good and the women want to extend the training to other women including 20 members of the surrounding villages.

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Practice
Trainers made practical demonstrations on the ground following the training.
In addition to the practical phase, groups of women participated in the installation and planting of demonstration plots (making beds, compost and planting sprouting shallots, lettuce, carrot, tomato, cabbage, and potato).

For the EPC program, lectures helped Assata Minta, the director of the Yarou school, learn to master the EPC trainer’s guide. For the practical phase of promoting EPC, a meeting was held in the district of Mossi. This meeting led to 23 Mossi women forming a group.  The leading of a savings meeting was performed with the EPC group MERABARA of Yarou Plateau, consisting of 25 women.  After the women realized they had a hard time remembering the name of the coordinator of the Tandana Foundation, they gave her another name in their dialect.  In Yarou now called Anna YERIYE.  The name means the first daughter.  In Dogon culture, it is the first daughter who supports and helps her mom when she grows up.  The women of Yarou said that the actions of the Tandana Foundation came to open their eyes and give them continuous opportunities for development, so the coordinator is considered their first daughter on whom they can rely.

Assata Minta, the director of the school of Yarou Plateau, said that is because of the activities of the Tandana Foundation that she remained at the school in Yarou. “Otherwise, I would have asked to move to another school, because the school is far away and there are a lot of students and no other teachers.  But with the activities of the Foundation I feel useful for this population, which lags behind in development,” she said.

Long live the Tandana Foundation in Mali, and around the world.

Moussa TEMBINE
Tandana Foundation representative in Mali.

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Este informe es una síntesis de las dos sesiones de entrenamiento realizadas en el pueblo Yarou Plateau, respectivamente sobre las actividades de huertos escolares y los derechos económicos de las mujeres alrededor del Ahorro para el Cambio (EPC).

Los módulos desarrollados durante estos talleres son:
– La identificación de las semillas de jardinería;
– Técnicas de producción en jardinería.
– Las técnicas de cuidado de los árboles.
– Las técnicas de animación EPC grupos (reuniones y sesiones de facilitación de grupos).
Estos cursos de capacitación se llevaron a cabo con el apoyo financiero de la Fundación Tandaña.
 La moderación estuvo a cargo de dos técnicos para la agricultura y la consultoría de ingeniería rural.
La capacitación se inició el 11.20.2012 en presencia del presidente de las agricultoras de yarou.
Presente:
– Representante del dueño de la chagra;
– Las 52 mujeres agricultoras del huerto de yarou;
– Los 17 alumnos y 2 profesores de la escuela de yarou,
– El equipo de capacitación: Moussa Tembine y Abdoulaye Fofana, los dos son funcionarios de la Sub Sector Agricultura de Ouo.

Contenidos de aprendizaje y los resultados:
La capacitación se centró en los siguientes puntos:
 Nociones generales sobre el cultivo de hortalizas
 Pasos para la producción de cultivos de hortalizas
 Produccion de vivero.
 Hacer camas.
 Técnico cultivo, mantenimiento, cosecha, almacenamiento, procesamiento de:
– Lechuga
– Repollo
– Tomate
– El pimiento
– Okra
– Berenjena
– Chalotes
– El papa.

Comentarios
Cada sesión de entrenamiento se evaluó por el representante de la Fundación Tandaña Malí.
La tendencia general es buena y las mujeres quieren ampliar la formación a otras mujeres, incluidas 20 miembros del pueblo de los alrededores.

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Práctica
Entrenadores hizo demostraciones prácticas sobre el terreno después de la capacitación.
Además de la fase práctica, los grupos de mujeres participaron en la instalación y la plantación de parcelas demostrativas (tableros de Confección, compost y poner en germinación chalotas, lechuga, zanahoria, tomate, col y patata).

Para las conferencias del programa EPC, Assata Minta, la directora de la escuela de Yarou, aprendió a utilizar la guía del facilitador del programa EPC. Para la fase práctica, una reunión de promoción del programa EPC se realizó en el distrito de Mossi. Esta reunión llevó a interesar 23 mujeres mossis a formar un grupo de EPC.
La sesión de animación de un grupo se llevó a cabo con el grupo de EPC MERABARA que consiste en 25 mujeres de Yarou. Después de que las mujeres se plantaron para recordar el nombre de la coordinadora de la Fundación Tandaña les dieron otro nombre en su dialecto. En Yarou ahora Anita se llama YERIYE. El nombre significa la primera hija.  En la cultura Dogon, es la primera hija que ayuda y apoya a su madre cuando ella crezca. Las mujeres de yarou dicen que las acciones de la Fundación Tandaña les abrió los ojos y les da oportunidades continuas para el desarrollo, entonces la coordinadora esta considerada como su primera hija en la que pueden confiar.

Assata Minta, la directora de la escuela de Yarou ha declarado que se debe a las actividades de la Fundación Tandaña que ella permaneció en la escuela de yarou. “Si no yo hubiera pedido cambiar a otra escuela, debido a que la escuela está muy lejos y hay muchos estudiantes y no hay suficientes maestros.  Pero con las actividades de la Fundación, me siento útil para esta población que esta atrasada en el desarrollo,” dijo ella.

Viva La Fundación Tandaña en el Mali, y en todo el mundo.

Moussa TEMBINE
Representante de la Fundación Tandaña en Malí.Image

A Message from Sal-Dimi

by Housseyni Pamateck

Construction of the grain bank in Sal-Dimi

Je suis très content de vous donner les nouvelles du village de Sal-Dimi, et le bilan de la récolte.
J’ai échangé par téléphone avec l’adjoint du chef de village pour le bilan de la récolte, la Banque de céréale et autres.
D’abord la population de Sal-Dimi a beaucoup remercier pour le bilan de la Fondation Tandana, pour son aide alimentaire et Dieu merci ils sont pu faire les mois de soudures AMBA BIRE PO, AMBA TANDANA BIRE PO.
Certes, cette année la récolte est favorable par rapport aux autres années. Ainsi d’autre ont terminé et d’autre ont vers la fin de la récolte.
Par rapport à la banque de céréale de Sal-Dimi, non seulement la population mais aussi les villages environnant ont remercié la Fondation Tandana pour sa construction de banque de céréale à Sal-Dimi ca les a permis beaucoup pour eviter les transports dans l’achat du mil

Farming millet

Aujourd’hui, leurs idées est de montrer aux autres que la fondation Tandana joue un rôle fondamental dans le développement rurale des villages dans la commune rurale de Wadouba.
Leurs souhaits est d’organiser une fête comme l’anniversaire de Tandana.

Sacks of millet in the grain bank, essential to survival during the dry season, and especially the difficult farming season.

I am very happy to give you news from Sal-Dimi and an assessment of the harvest.  I spoke on the telephone with the adjunct to the chief of Sal-Dimi for an update on the harvest, the grain bank, and other things. First of all, the people of Sal-Dimi thanked The Tandana Foundation very much for the food assistance, and thanks to God, they were able to make it through the difficult months of hard work in the fields.  Thank God and may God thank Tandana.  This year the harvest is better than in other years.  Some have already finished bringing in their harvest, and others are near the end of harvesting.

As to the grain bank, not only the people of Sal-Dimi, but also those of the neighboring villages thank The Tandana Foundation for building the grain bank.  It helped them a lot by letting them avoid transportation difficulties and making it possible for them to buy millet.  Now, their idea is to show others that The Tandana Foundation plays a fundamental role in the rural development of the villages of the Commune of Wadouba.  Their desire is to organize a party as the birthday of Tandana.

A village meeting in Sal-Dimi

–Housseyni Pamateck

Villagers and Tandana volunteers work together to build the grain bank

Reflections from a Mother-Daughter Team

Julie shares a smile with a patient.

Julie Anderson is a member of The Tandana Foundation’s Medical Direction Team and has participated in many Healthcare Volunteer Vacations in Ecuador. She convinced Marcella Bernethy, her mother and Tandana’s oldest volunteer, to go with her on one of the trips. Below are their reflections from the trip.

From Marcella:
When my daughter, Julie Anderson, invited and encouraged me to join the medical missionary trip to Ecuador, I thought it an impossibility due to my 83 years. However, as her companion and with her support, I joined the team.

It was a long journey to Quito and then another two hour drive to Quichinche. but well worth the trip as we were welcomed as guests at Las Palmeras Inn for a much needed rest.

Following breakfast each morning, our van and driver took us to our assigned village where we took any supplies we had brought with us and set up clinics. Setting up clinics was a real challenge, anything from an empty potato storage room to planks supported by cement blocks. But it worked and patients came from mountain side walking barefoot on cobblestone roads averaging 50 a day. Animals roaming everywhere and such poverty but accepted as their way of life. It was a very humbling but gratifying experience. As the “greeter” I tried to welcome each patient with a smile or hug helping them to their designated provider. Since clinic hours ended at noon, we sometimes lunched with the community members learning more of their local culture. Also, we lunched in a beautiful hacienda owned by an American living in Ecuador.

Marcella makes friends with a patient.

Our afternoons were spent on activities such as boat rides, hikes, visits to a Shaman and a Master Weaver and just exploring the culture of the area. I especially enjoyed our afternoon at the Otavalo Market Place and our visit to the sacred tree, El Lechero with all of the history being narrated for us by a student. Spanish classes each day and intermingling with the team followed by a delicious dinner at the Inn- what a wonderful ending of a perfect day. I will always be grateful for the opportunity given to me to be a member of that team. My book of memories is a treasure.

Marcella Bernethy

From Julie:

I have been fortunate to travel to a number of countries as a medical provider over the past few decades and each time my mother would contribute in some meaningful way, be it monetarily ,”treats for the children” or shoes for an elder. Each trip she would anxiously await news of our work, the people, the culture, and their needs! At some point I suggested she join me and from that moment she was mentally packing and planning!
I had a little concern about elevation affecting her energy but that was quickly put to rest as she eagerly joined the group in almost all activities including a climb to a picnic site on our last day of the trip. She made friends with an elderly woman in the market and they still stay connected sending their best wishes for each other and each year I’m given “a little gift for your mother” to bring home. My mother still speaks of the people and the culture with admiration and awe for their survival in the midst of poverty beyond our

comprehension. I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to share this with my mother…it’s not out of the question that we would do it again:)
Tandana’s involvement provides the venue for a rich human experience..cross culturally and without borders…and at any age if you’re willing to open your heart and mind.
Julie Anderson

Marcella, Julie, and their group enjoy Cuicocha Lake.

Cursos Vacacionales 2012

Many thanks to Lizzie, Na, Courtney, Emily, Karen, Ramiro, Trini, and Vicente for heading up our best Cursos Vacacionales ever. Can’t wait until next year!

Na teaches English verbs.
Cursos students in art class.

Lizzie Falconer

It’s Summer in Panecillo, and the dust blooms up in great clouds with every step down the narrow road that leads to the Quichinche school.

That has been my second home for the past five weeks, as we ran a summer school for high school students from communities all around Panecillo: La Banda, Agualongo, San Juan, Andaviejo and of course Quichinche. During the school year the big concrete building- with a large black gate that opens to an spacious courtyard where the kids play- holds classes for ages five to about twelve, but during these hot dry summer months, they let the Tandana Foundation take over.

We have held summer classes here for the past few years, always with English and Math classes as our primary focus.  It’s free for the students, a little extra support for their studies. Many of our students have scholarships through the foundation. Summer school…

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My Tandana Experience

Drs. Hugh and Ash use a portable fetal doppler to check the health of a baby.
Na takes vitals to prepare patients for seeing the doctors.

by Hugh Chapin

After confirming and re-confirming the critically high blood pressure measurement, I realized that the calm, smiling woman sitting in front of me in her traditional indigenous clothing was not aware of the severity of her situation. She only knew that she had run out of money for her medications and she might as well come see the visiting doctors since they’re here. After all, she didn’t even mention the pesky vision problems, and intense, intermittent headaches and falls until I inquired after accepting the blood pressure measurements. It harkened back to all the literature on hypertensive emergency I had studied in medical school and it was instantaneously clear that I was currently the only one cognizant of the hypertensive time bomb in front of me that could go off at any moment.

This was the beginning to one of my most memorable patient encounters during my first humanitarian medical aid mission. While living several years as an expatriate, I followed the world of humanitarian medical aid organizations with great intrigue, admiration and a feeling of purpose and was resolved to some day explore a niche for myself within that sphere when the time was right. Through a bit of serendipity I discovered the Tandana Foundation in 2011 and became intent on volunteering on one of their Health Care Volunteer Vacation (HCVV) trips and the day I had often imagined finally arrived during the HCVV of March, 2012.

Before leaving my home in New York City for a country I knew little about, I was filled with excitement and forced myself to buffer any images or expectations of what would be, with the inevitability that the reality will be vastly different from any image my mind could conjure. In essence, try not to get excited about the fast-approaching unknown. What a tall order that was!! And how wonderful the unknown turned out to be, as I continue to learn from my experience as I reflect and savor each memory.

My ‘HCVV experience’ with Tandana Foundation was just that….an experience: Personally encountering or undergoing something. A shared experience yet each person takes away their unique perspective. Here are some thoughts from my perspective on my ‘Tandana experience’.

As a young physician, the medical aspect of HCVV: providing medical care to rural, under-served communities, was my driving force to take part. Leading up to the trip I focused on what interesting cases might present, what diseases, parasites and pathologies were unique to that region, and how patient encounters would compare to what I knew from home. During the trip; however, I discovered other aspects and intricacies of the ‘HCVV experience’ apart from the medical. They were just as memorable and not quite as foreseeable. It was often unexpected moments interacting with the group that were most euphoric: a coming together….a sharing of stories…a discovery of common interests…..singing songs…a realization that someone used to work at the same hospital back home.

There was also the learning: Learning from the life experiences of others in the group and especially learning from the people of Ecuador. I suspect that each participant learned something unique from being a guest within the indigenous communities and within Ecuador itself. The cultural beliefs and customs were fascinating and educational for me from beginning to end. I could write a thesis on what I learned and experienced from their rich culture but what impressed on me most personally was the way the people in the isolated communities experienced everyday life and their attitude about it. It was certainly a life without the luxuries taken for granted in modern society which impressed me the greatest. A sort of simple living and content self-sufficiency apart from modern conveniences reminiscent of Thoreau as he took to a Life in the Woods.

Then there was the nature. I frequently think back on the sight of mountain peaks lining up as far as the eye can see as if all standing in an eternal line, the lakes hiding amongst the volcanic peaks, and my favorite by far: looking down at the world below from above the clouds. These pictures show you what it looked like, but neither photos nor words can sufficiently convey the view, the feel of the wind and clouds, and the smell and sound in the air simultaneously stimulating the senses.

Lastly, an over-arching sense from my ‘Tandana experience’ was one of coming together. Indeed, the Tandana Foundation points out the name means “to unite” in the local indigenous language of Kichua. If I had to reluctantly pick only one descriptor of my HCVV experience, it would be “unity”. The sense of unity began with the formation of one medical team out of 14 strangers with very diverse backgrounds on day one. This sense of unity continued throughout the trip as we were guests and ambassadors among many different indigenous communities.

Through no choice of my own, I was born in a country of opportunity and am fortunate to have the opportunities in medicine that I have had. During the HCVV, I enjoyed sharing some fruits of my good fortune with those that, through no choice of their own, were born into a community literally on the edge of the world; far, far away from any level one trauma center, ivy league school, or family medicine clinic.

The case of the woman with hypertensive emergency had an optimum outcome, due in large part to the donations we had received for that mission. A large part of my time with her was dedicated to drawing pictures and using help of interpreters to explain her medical condition and discuss plans for after our departure (She had up until that moment absolutely no understanding of her condition. She had thought of it like a bug bite, that goes away after a few days and a few pills). We gave her a relatively new, hypertensive medication which was donated from Direct Relief International. It enabled us to quickly remove the immediate threat to her health. Experiencing the smile on her face from being free of symptoms, and her joy of understanding her condition is hard to describe. It was a moment that reminded me why I love medicine so much and why we were there. But it was just one little moment amongst so many that together gave me my ‘Tandana experience’
Dr. Hugh

Vision screening
Hugh draws blood for an H. Pylori test.

Healthy

By Anna Taft (Some names have been changed to protect patients’ privacy.)

A barefoot woman in traditional Otavaleña dress wandered up to the schoolyard in Larcacunga, grey hair trailing from under her head wrap.  “What are you doing?” she asked.

“We’re offering free medical consultations,” I replied.  “Would you like to see a doctor?”

“Well, okay.  I’m healthy, but I have pain here,” she said, placing her hand on her back.  “Where are you from?”

“Very far away,” I answered in Kichwa.

“All the way from Otavalo?” she asked, eyes wide at the thought of us traveling ten kilometers from the market city.

“Even farther than Otavalo.”

“Even farther?” she asked, incredulous now.  “How is it that you came all this way to my community?”

How is it, indeed?  It’s a winding story that began ten years ago when I first came to Ecuador as a volunteer for a neighboring village.  But even given the incremental, mostly-explicable growth in that story, the question’s underlying surprise merits remembering.  It is a bizarre thing we are doing, though we often forget that in the enthusiasm and instrumental focus to our energies.  We collect volunteers, including doctors, nurses, and willing assistants with no medical experience, from the United States, bring them to the Andean highlands, and each day take them and our boxes of supplies to a different village’s school or community center to provide basic health care.  A bizarre thing, but a beautiful one.

Beginning my usual set of questions for arriving patients, I learned that her name was Maria Juana Perugachi Torres and that she could correctly state her age at 90.  Many elderly patients weren’t sure of their age, or guessed something different than the birth date on their identity card suggested, but Maria Juana was right on.  I couldn’t help grinning at her, and she responded with the most beautiful smile I could imagine.

“Open your mouth,” Katie instructed my new friend, holding out a thermometer and demonstrating with her own mouth, “under your tongue.”   She gently nudged the thermometer into Maria Juana’s mouth.  Maria Juana sat there, mouth gaping wide, waiting for Katie to finish whatever odd thing this was she was doing.  Katie motioned for her to close her mouth, using hand gestures, forcefully closing her own mouth, saying in her brand-new Spanish, “close your mouth.”  But Maria Juana didn’t understand.  Finally, a middle-aged woman who had already been through this process and was waiting her turn to see a doctor came over and taught Maria Juana how it worked.

As Katie helped her roll up a sleeve to make room for a blood pressure cuff, Maria Juana repeated, “I’m healthy!”

Guessing she might fear her sleeve was being raised for an injection, I reassured her that it was only to take her blood pressure, as if that meant anything in her world.  Next, she was asked to climb up onto a scale.  She stepped squarely up from the side, her left foot entirely covering the plastic window where her weight would be read.  Katie and the middle-aged patient managed to convince her to turn 90 degrees and then inch backwards so that her weight could be recorded, then instructed her to dismount.  What an odd set of tests, Maria Juana must have thought; she would have a story to tell when she got home. Speaking of home, her breakfast was there, waiting to be cooked and eaten.

“What time is it?” she asked, as if she were late for an important meeting.  Receiving her answer, she waited patiently for a few minutes and then asked again.  “I haven’t eaten yet,” she offered, as if to appease our quizzical looks.  Unsure of how to respond, we gave her more blank stares, and then I remembered the boiled eggs in my pocket.  I pulled them out, offered one to her, and began to peel the other one for myself.

Why was she so pleasing to me, this 90-year-old I had just met?  Was it the sly, toothless smile, the high voice blending Kichwa and Spanish, or her self-confident air, asserting quite indisputably that she was healthy?  Perhaps it was her approach toward difference.  Walking through the center of her community, she discovered strangers from a distant land there, doing inexplicable things in the name of “medical consultations.”  She wasn’t afraid or angry and neither was she clamoring for a panacea or a handout.  She was curious enough to try it out, and trusting enough to have her vitals taken, but not so enthralled that she forgot about her breakfast.  In a sense, that attitude shouldn’t be surprising; you don’t get to be 90 in her circumstances without developing a certain self-assurance in addition to an impeccable cardiovascular system.  But she had none of the complaints of loneliness or aches and pains, laments about lost joys that are the staple of some of her contemporaries.  If only all of us could approach new experiences and others with that sort of calm curiosity and confident equanimity.

I was hungry too, so I gobbled up my egg and a protein bar, taking advantage of a lull in arrivals.  José Manuel, the current president of Larcacunga, approached me with his bag of pills.  “When do I take these?” he asked.

Reading the simple instruction sheet in the bag with the medication, I replied, “one with breakfast and one with dinner.”  Many patients liked to double and triple check their instructions, so I was not surprised.  I noticed his pills were for stomach problems.

“With which water?” he asked.

“Oregano,” I suggested, knowing that oregano tea was considered the best remedy for an upset stomach, “if you have it, or if not then with toronjil or cedrón or anise, any water is okay.”

“Anita!” called Joaquin, an interpreter we had hired to work with one of our doctors.  “Jim has a patient with women’s problems.”  Joaquin, indigenous himself and fluent in Kichwa as well as Spanish, cared about the patients and was sensitive to women’s modesty and reluctance to discuss female issues with him in the room.  I bounded up the steep bank to the principal’s office, which Jim was using as an examining room.  I translated for Jim as he asked a few questions, and then Molly brought in the patient’s pregnancy test results: positive, not at all what she was hoping for.  Elena was nineteen and already had one child.  Apparently, things weren’t going well with her husband and she was not excited to bear a second child.  She hadn’t even mentioned the possibility of being pregnant, until Jim asked to make sure a prescription he had in mind would be okay.

After Elena left, eyes downcast and red, I reemerged on the sunny soccer field to the sight of the kids, out to recess, running madly up and down, kicking a tiny ball.  Maria Juana was heading home with a bag of ibuprofen (she was healthy!  Just had some pain in her back).  She stopped to shake my hand, saying “yusul pagui.”  God pay you.            As we rode down in the van that afternoon, Jim related the story of one of his patients.  The diagnosis was situational depression; what she needed was someone to talk to.  She had talked to Joaquin for half an hour about her pain; her teenage adopted son had disappeared, perhaps to Colombia, and she wanted to make sure her younger daughter, also adopted, was healthy.  Joaquin had related only the basics of the story to Jim, but both had watched her attentively as she spoke.  Jim had examined the daughter, found her perfectly healthy, and told the mother she was doing a great job of caring for her.  The mother spoke to Joaquin some more, reiterating her worries, and he noted her name and her son’s to see if he could help her by contacting immigration authorities about her son.  She thanked Jim and Joaquin profusely, saying she hadn’t been able to tell anyone about her troubles before, and departed, her burdens at least a little bit lighter.

Sinking back in my seat, I felt a warmth in my eyes.  This was the kind of medicine that touched me.  I had sometimes wondered how it came to be that I, who had always been rather suspicious of medicine, was coordinating groups of volunteers and taking them out to Ecuadorian villages to practice it.  My motives, I must confess, were more about intercultural interaction and education for the volunteers than medicine, when I began the program.  I realized, though, that what bothered me was less about medicine itself and more about the power relations that are typically set up in the clinic and the bureaucratic structures that reinforce them.  Here we were, listening to patients, sharing laughs with them, trying to respond to their needs, and asking only a 50-cents-per-family contribution for the medications we provided.  Our volunteers were doing their best to learn the villagers’ languages, welcome them, play with the young ones, smile with the old ones.  And many of the patients walked away with the means to improve their health.

That night, exhausted from the responsibilities of organizing the group’s work and activities, I closed my eyes.  Maria Juana walking away from the school, trailing her wisp of grey hair, was the first vision that appeared.

 

Report on the Distribution of Millet

Le Rapport de Distribution de Mil

Ce rapport est le résumé de la mission de distribution du mil offert par via Tandana Foundation effectué par Housseini  dans les de Kansongho et Sal-Dimi du 27 juin  au 2 juillet 2012 .

Dans le cadre du partenariat avec les communautés de la commune Wadouba, Cercle de Bandiagara, la Fondation Tandana a apporté une aide alimentaire suite à la crise que traverse le Mali.

En assemblée il a été rentré avec les notables, les jeunes et les femmes du village pour expliquer comment faire  la distribution de mil  sur la base la liste de recencement du village.Distribution mil Houssini 048 Distribution mil Houssini 078 Distribution mil Houssini 079    Distribution mil Houssini 093

Les débats ont commencé  par la bénédiction du mali, Amérique et la fondation tandana on a aussi rappeler la criser au nord du Mali qui est la main des rebelles.

Quand j’ai parlé que je suis là au nom dela Fondation et de votre Yalièma pour la ditribution de mIL, l’Assemblée ma repondue avec des beaux sourirs et des applaudissements jusqu’à une minute. Apres la joie de la population, la fondation demande aussi de manger le mil durant les deux mois de soudires avec la joie et avoir le courage de cultiver.

Apès la distribution de mil chacun à exprimer que si c’était pas la fondation ils n’allaient pas cultiver parce que ils n’ont pas le mil dans le grenier ni l’argent pour acheter le mil, la population à beaucoup rémercié la fondation tandana

D’autre disaient que la fondation est leur deixième dieu , ils sont sur le point de donner auvoir de la vie

les femmes ont beaucoup chanter sur le bien fait de la fondation,elles disaient que la fondation aillent de très loin ,et donne beaucoup de relation comme elle veux,comme elle a sauvé la vie des milliers de personnes.

En fin j’ai quitté au village avec la joie de la popûlation et des bénédictions.

Report on the Distribution of Millet

This report is the summary of the mission of distribution of millet offered by The Tandana Foundation, made by Houseyni in Kansongho and Sal-Dimi from June 27 – Jul 2, 2012.

In its partnership with the communities of the commune of Wadouba, Circle of Bandiagara, the Tandana Foundation provided a food relief following the crisis which has traversed Mali.Distribution mil Houssini 092

In the assembly, he entered with the nobles, the young men, and the women to explain how to distribute the millet based on the census taken of each village.

The discussion began with blessings for Mali, America, and the Tandana Foundation, and the crisis in the north of Mali, which is in the hands of rebels, was remembered.

When I told them that I was there in the name of the Foundation and of your Yalema for the distribution of the millet, the Assembly responded with big smiles and applause that lasted a full minute.  After the joy of the people, I told them the Foundation also asked them to eat the millet during the two most difficult months and to have the joy and courage to cultivate their fields.

Distribution mil Houssini 087After the distribution of the millet, each person expressed that if it were not for the Foundation, they wouldn’t have cultivated their fields, because they don’t have any millet in their granaries nor money to buy millet.  The people greatly thanked The Tandana Foundation.

Others said that the foundation is their second god, that they were on the part of saying goodbye to life.  The women sung a lot about this good deed of the foundation.  They said, may the foundation go very far and give many relations as it wishes, as it has saved the lives of thousands of people.

Finally, I left the village with the joy of the people and their blessings.

Housseyni PamateckDistribution mil Houssini 081

Tandana’s New Blog

So we are just getting this blog off the ground.  We hope that this will be a place for volunteer alumni, community members, staff, and donors to share stories of their experiences working and traveling with the Tandana Foundation.  There will be more to come as we learn to navigate this vast blogging world!

We hope for this blog to become a conversation of many voices and perspectives, and when possible, several languages.  As we are encouraging dialogue and reflection by many people, the views expressed here will not all necessarily represent the views of The Tandana Foundation.  But the existence of this kind of conversation itself embodies our principles, and we hope you will enjoy it.

Donc, nous ne faisons que commencer ce blog. Nous espérons que ce sera un lieu pour les anciens volontaires, les villageois, les travailleurs, et les donateurs pour partager des histoires de leurs expériences de travail et de voyager avec la Fondation Tandana. Il y aura plus à venir aussitot que nous apprenons à naviguer dans ce vaste monde des blogs!

Nous espérons que ce blog devienne une conversation à plusieurs voix et des points de vue, et si possible, quelques langues. Comme nous encourageons le dialogue et la réflexion par de nombreuses personnes, les points de vue exprimés ici ne représentent pas tous nécessairement les vues de la Fondation Tandana. Mais l’existence de ce genre de conversation elle-même incarne nos principes, et nous espérons que vous l’apprécierez.

Así que se acaba de empezar este blog. Esperamos que este sea un lugar para antiguos voluntarios, miembros de las comunidades, trabajadores, y donadores para compartir historias de sus experiencias de trabajo y viajes con la Fundación Tandaña. Habrá más en el futuro a medida que aprendemos a navegar por este gran mundo de los blogs!

Esperamos que este blog sea una conversación de muchas voces y perspectivas, y cuando sea posible, varios idiomas. Como estamos fomentando el diálogo y la reflexión por parte de muchas personas, los puntos de vista expresados ​​aquí no representan necesariamente todos los puntos de vista de la Fundación Tandaña. Pero la existencia de este tipo de conversación en sí encarna nuestros principios, y esperamos que sea de su agrado.