Thursday, April 21, 2016

Jóvenes Juntos: Baking, Games, and "Creative Writing"

Text and photos by Amy Scheuren except as noted

On Tuesday of Semana Santa (Holy Week) we invited all of the older Family Support Center (FSC) participants as well as former FSC teenagers to Pop Wuj for a morning full of activities.  Because of program changes at the Family Support Center this year, the teenagers who are in basico and diversificado (middle and high school) no longer attend the center.

Taking advantage of the weeklong school vacation, 15 participants filled the Pop Wuj kitchen and TV room for one last activity before I return to the U.S.  I have been the Pop Wuj Coordinator for over four years and prior to that a volunteer coordinator at the Family Support Center.  During the last 10 years I have also organized Jóvenes Juntos activities for the older kids at the Family Support Center.  This older group of participants hold a special place for me and I wanted to offer one more activity just for them without the younger Family Support Center participants.

Everyone arrived promptly at 9 a.m. (or earlier!), full of energy for the activities.  We divided the group into two; half stayed with me in the kitchen while the other half went to the TV room with Ashley, another long-time volunteer and former Timmy Global Health employee.

In the kitchen we read through the recipe and quickly divided the tasks in the kitchen.  We were preparing apple crisp so some teenagers started peeling and cutting apples while others prepared the dry ingredients.  We made short work of the preparation and then washed the dishes and cleaned up the kitchen so that the second group would be able to get straight to work when it was their turn.

Preparing ingredients
Mixing sugar, butter, oats, flour, and spices
The apples were placed in a baking dish and covered with the other ingredients.
Meanwhile in the TV room at Pop Wuj Ashley was leading a creative writing activity with the other half. The teenagers wrote about Semana Santa and other topics before diving into various board games that required problem solving, strategizing, and math skills. [Editor's Note: Ashley pretended she couldn't remember details of the kids' "creative writing" activity because they weren't writing about Semana Santa—they were writing notes for a goodbye scrapbook for Amy! Kudos to Ashley and all the kids for keeping the secret, going so far as to print fake creative writing exercises and hide the notes every time Amy came into the room. Amy received the scrapbook on her last day in Xela and loves it. - Elizabeth Barnes]

Photo by Ashley Aue

Intense Uno games.  Photo by Ashley Aue
A real mastermind!  Photo by Ashley Aue
After about an hour, we enjoyed the morning snack and switched groups.  Both groups had the opportunity to bake as well as write and play games.

Waiting for the apple crisp to bake!
To finish off the morning we purchased ice cream and everyone enjoyed warm apple crisp with melting ice cream.  Afterward the participants stayed around a little while, chatting and joking with us.  This is truly a wonderful group of teenagers that I will miss so much!  I can't wait to see where they go and what they do in the future!

The future of Llanos del Pinal!

No comments:

Post a Comment