Tashirat Newsletter – September 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

This summer flew by and was full of activity! In the last couple months we celebrated a bunch of birthdays:  Sherise, Josh and Mikael turned 13, Misha turned 15, and Ani turned 8 years old. Dance parties are the “in” thing right now with our kids.  It is really cute to see all the kids, even those who are a little embarrassed at first, dancing together (sorry, no photo – photo taking was prohibited!) The older kids help throw their own parties, so they often get really into the planning of them way in advance. Sometimes they even throw two parties: a mini party for the little kids, and one for kids their own age.  Below is a picture of a race from Josh’s birthday party at nearby Jardin del Sol.  Alexan and Ani are in the lead…

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This month also celebrates the 2 year anniversary of the avocado orchard! As you can see, our young trees are really taking off now, and despite occasional cow or ant invasions (which can be surprisingly destructive), the trees have been doing incredibly well.

 

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Good news is that we have welcomed many new neighbors into our rental bungalows over the last couple months. We have just one house and one bungalow left to rent now! This is a great way for us to supplement our income to cover all the orphange expenses that sponsorships don´t cover.  A few of our residents have also become involved in Tashirat by giving workshops to the kids and helping to maintain the greenhouses and eco projects. This has become such a positive experience and we have attracted such wonderful people! The residents all get along really well and have formed their own little community. You will often find them dining together or helping each other with one anothers garden.

Our official volunteer program is up and running too. We still have space for more great volunteers so please keep spreading the word, especially to those who have an interest in helping with cultivation and/or maintenance projects!

Due to the influx of residents and volunteers in Tashirat, our morning yoga classes have been packed to capacity. Most days there have been more than 20 students in the class. Tashirat is booming with activity, new faces and enthusiasm and we have definitely entered a new and more public phase!

Here is an animation project the kids made under the guidance of one of our volunteers.  Thanks Bird!!

Lastly, we just had an wonderful week long visit from Charlene and Alice, two lovely volunteers from London who came down with our long time friend and volunteer Jamal (who is with us for another month), his sister Shelpe and their friend Lee. Charlene and Alice spent the week doing singing and performance workshops with the kids and ended their stay with a little show of the songs and games the more outgoing children were willing to perform. The night before the performance, many of the kids were quietly, adorably, rehearsing together in their homes and we are all still singing and humming their tunes. The kids were really inspired by these ladies’ lovely voices and infectious enthusiasm. Thank you so very, very much Charlene and Alice, we’re gong to miss you!

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Our Ixaya School Update – As we enter the new school year, our Ixaya School is in a big trasition from the SEP (traditional) academic accreditation system, to the new INEA (open) schooling system. Our children under ten years old are still required to be registered in the SEP program but all children over ten will be INEA registered students now. The need to keep the cost of running the school within its budget is at the bottom of this decision since the SEP requirements are very expensive, although we are also quite excited about the freedoms this new system allows us in the education of our students.

Our school is smaller than in past years but within our current budget and we sincerely hope that those of you sponsoring our school will continue so we can stay open for years to come, and even grow in size as we receive more support. We have downsized to match the income we currently receive from recurring monthly sponsors. We count on ALL the current sponsorships to keep our school going. In other words, we need your support as much as we ever did! : ) We so appreciate all of you who have helped us keep Ixaya open through your sponsorships and donations, it has made a big difference in all the lives of the student we have taught over the last five years!

This year we have initiated an afternoon program, open to all children from the greater community, with the help of volunteers dedicated to the enrichment of the Ixaya School project.  Both literature and dance classes are on the go so far! The potential for this new program is so exciting because it is entirely volunteer based, meaning it is low cost and therefore easy for us to maintain and expand!  If anyone would like to volunteer with us and offer classes, workshops and activities please apply here: http://www.tashirat.com/volunteer

Here, our kids are enjoying a most unique Ixaya workshop, given by a local reflexology practitioner.

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Thank you all for all your support always.  We hope you have a wonderful autumn season!

With lots of love,

Tashirat kids and staff

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