All of the members of the Water Systems Team have arrived in Brazil. We are staying at Nazaré, the boys' school and orphanage just outside of Poconé where we built filters last year. We are finishing up translating our lesson plans, making a list of the materials we will need for the filter, and making a plan for the schools we will be working at over the coming weeks.
Cangas and Chumbo are the schools we will be working at first. Each school has about 200 students, both boys and girls, split into a morning group and afternoon group. Our plan is to lead hour long workshops, 4 in the morning and 4 in the afternoon. Then we will return to the schools the following week and have the older students help teach the younger students what we taught them the previous week.
In addition to having the students help build the filter the workshops will focus on the importance of clean water to public health and the prevention of waterborne illnesses.
The students and teachers at the schools have expressed interest in learning more English so we plan to include English in the filter and health lesson plans.
At each of the schools there are some students that travel up to several hours each morning from more rural areas. These students are who we are most trying to target with our lessons as they are less likely to have easy access to clean water at home. It is our hope that we will be able to visit some of these student’s homes next weekend to either help them actually install filters for their families to use or at least get a better idea of what sort of water systems are in place in the more rural areas of the Poconé municipality.
At the end of the two weeks working with the students of Cangas and Chumbo, we will be packing up and heading deep into the Pantanal to a small school called São Bento. We will stop by and visit PCER on our way and then set up camp in Porto Jofre. We will travel down river by boat each morning to get to the school and then deliver more concentrated versions of the lessons to the nine students there.
After São Bento, we will be taking a couple days off to visit Graziela and her family on their ranch in Nobres, a shining oasis of warmth, relaxation, excitement and fun!
The last week will be spent following up with Cangas and Chumbo, helping the kids test with filters that we previously installed and reiterating the public health lessons.