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miércoles, 20 de noviembre de 2013

Party Time for Chickens!

One of the main aims of Para la Tierra is to support the communities closest to Reserva Natural Laguna Blanca. The biggest community outreach project that we run is the Female Empowerment Project. Funded by the Rolex Award for Enterprise, this project provided three communities surrounding the reserve with chicken houses (gallineros) and incubators. The purpose of this project is to give the women of the communities a chance to financially contribute to their families through raising and selling chickens. To raise money to push the project forward PLT and the communities of San Jorge and San Fransisco threw a party in San Jorge. After two weeks of careful planning Saturday the 16th of November finally arrived – and it was pouring with rain. We patiently waited out the morning, fingers and toes crossed that the rain would stop. By 1pm the rain seemed to be beginning to fizzle out and Karina, JP, Jorge and myself headed out to San Jorge to begin to set up for the football tournament. After dropping off Karina and JP, Jorge and I began the first of several runs to collect everything necessary for the party. The first stop was San Fransisco to collect the women and lots of ice! Then it was back to the reserve for the cool boxes for the beer. While waiting for the guards to load the boxes I received a phone call for Karina. Due to the rain no one had turned up for the football and it was time to call up the troops! Mike, Greg and Nathan were loaded into the back of the car with the cool boxes and we raced back to San Jorge. Teaming up with JP the boys began the football tournament. Slowly but surely people began to show up. Karina and myself headed back to the reserve to bring the girls and by the time we returned there was a small game going on. Karina and I set up the bar while Jorge and Antonio began the beer sales at the side of the football game. After an hour of playing in the heat and humidity the boys had attracted a crowd of 20-30 people and when the game was over they returned to the bar extremely red-faced, dirty and sweaty but having had a great time! The boys left to shower and we were hit by hurdle number 2 – the man we had hired to bring a giant speaker system and run the music for the party refused to come because of the rain. With the party teetering on the edge of cancellation Karina came to the rescue and negotiated that a man from the neighboring house bring his small speaker system and we use that. When this wasn’t loud enough Griselda and I raced back to her house to bring her sound system. Everything was set. The rain had stopped. We held our breath and waited for people to arrive. As we waited we noticed motorbikes pulling up, and then leaving again. Now the volunteers really stepped up and saved the day. With no-one else on the dance floor the group got up and started the party! Anna, Kath and Vicki stood at the door selling beer to attract people inside, Johanna, Nathan, Greg, Christina and Mike danced with the local children and by 10pm the party was bouncing. The volunteers and JP danced the night away while Karina, Jorge and myself ran the bar and Conce DJ’ed. Bingo and a raffle broke up the party and gave everyone a much-needed chance to sit down and cool off. Just when we thought the party was starting to wind down around 2am Mike made the night of the Paraguayans by doing “the worm”. Not to be outdone this quickly escalated into a dance off. Girls vs boys. Karina and me against Mike and one of the Paraguayan guys. The boys went first and as we watched we knew we had no chance but we went for it anyway! As we hit the floor, the music stopped! A rather embarrassing but hilarious end to what had been an amazing night. Though the final figures aren’t in yet it is looking like the party was not only a great success in that everyone had a fantastic time but each community has also raised enough money to push the project forward. Thanks again to all our amazing volunteers who made the night. If you want to come out and join in the fun and make a difference while doing it check out www.paralatierra.org. Becca

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