a day in the life of a books for a better world ambassador
Thursday August 11, 2016
by Lisa Schuring
4:45 am: Wake up to alarm and roosters (Although the roosters actually did their job at 4:15).
4:50 am: Shower quickly because the water is cold.
5:00 am: Dress and spray insect repellent on every inch of your body.
5:30 am: Grab a yogurt, granola bars, water, backpack, books and head for the city center bus stop.
5:40 am: Board a 14 passenger van and squeeze into a seat along with 29 other people.
6:40 am: Cram four adults and a big box of books into a tiny tuk-tuk (3 wheeled automotive rickshaw). Ride for an hour along a bumpy dirt road to the indigenous mountain village of Santa Barbara.
7:40 am: Cross a large river and walk 20 minutes to a brightly colored 3 room schoolhouse nestled in the fields of Milpa.
8:00 am: Greet the teachers and children as they arrive at school. Visit with the director about the purpose of your visit and the mission of Books for a Better World.
8:45 am: Pass out the books and interact with the children as they read and look through the books.
11:45 am: Eat lunch of homemade corn tortillas, beans and egg yolk cilantro soup.
12:00 pm: Take photos with the cute kids and wave goodbye, choking down the tears.
12:45 pm: Wait in the shade of a tree for the one and only truck that will be passing by and which is your only way back to the main road other than hiking for the next 4 hours.
1:30 pm: Wait longer for the truck to pass by and cross your fingers that you didn’t miss it!
1:45 pm: Climb into the back of THE truck and hold onto the cattle guard for dear life as you bounce your way back to the main road.
3:30 pm: Get off at the town’s central park and buy an ice cream cone before walking home.
4:00 pm: Take a cold shower & wash away the dirt and sweat.
4:15 pm: Hand wash your clothes and hang them to dry.
5:00 pm: Review teacher questionnaires and make notes about school visits.
5:30 pm: Help prepare dinner of eggs, black beans, fried plantains and corn tortillas.
7:00 pm: Play games, sing, dance and enjoy every minute of your new friendship with your generous host family.
9:00 pm: Map out tomorrow’s school visits, prepare books, school supplies and teacher questionnaires.
10:00 pm: Lights out- Fall asleep to the sounds of salsa music in the streets and the dogs barking next door. Don’t forget your bug spray!