A Day in the Life

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. 

8:15 am: Give classroom presentation of books, story time, mini skits and fun with books!

8:45 am: Pass out the books and interact with the children as they read and look through the books. 

9:00 am: Repeat classroom visits with other grades and classrooms.

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. 

12:15 pm: Cross the river and catch a motorcycle ride up the mountain by a local village boy.

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.

2:30 pm: Board a crowded van heading to Salama, your current home away from home.

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!

Does this sound like a day you would like to have this summer?

Click HERE to apply to be a Literacy Travel Ambassador