April 5, 2011: Teaching volunteerism through bottle cap collection


January 18, 2011 marked the inception of my local English Club. Building up to my English Club I posted announcements on the bulletin board outside the mayor's office, at the kindergarten, outside my office, at the school and even the discoteca. My announcement advertised a fun way to learn English in a less formal setting. The first class included 13 participants with an age range from 8 - 55 and professions from student and librarian to NGO director and farmer. There was definitely a distinct line between those who have no knowledge of the English language and those that are more advanced and so my English Club now meets twice a week and continues to grow. Tuesdays are for the beginners (a core group of 10 young kids) and Wednesdays for the more advanced group (includes a core group of 8 high school kids and one university student). I try to find creative ways to teach English vocabulary including games like "Red light, green light," "What time is it Mr. Fox?," dominoes, Go Fish! and even Frisbee. Today, we had a bit of a different lesson. They learned the vocabulary necessary for our project to pick up plastic bottle caps and then in Romanian we spoke about what it means to be a volunteer as well as the three goals of Peace Corps. After collecting the caps we counted them and found we had collected 778 bottle caps and doing the math (60 caps = one loaf of bread for the poor) we found that we had helped about 13 people! Click on the video and come along with my English Club and I on our adventure in bottle cap collecting for a cause!



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“Sunset at the Railroad” by PCV Nicholas Baylor Hall. Namibia, 2011.