Learn & Serve: Spring 2013 Around the World Field Trips

Happy 2013! Learn & Serve is excited to begin celebrating another year and looks forward to hosting many groups this coming spring! Spring is a great time to bring a group to SIFAT to engage in the multiple programs Learn & Serve has to offer.  While Learn & Serve offers overnight retreats, an interactive day trip called Around the World is also offered that is especially appropriate for public, private, and home-school groups, as well as families and scout troops.

A participant crosses a model Andean rope bridge in our Global Village during an Around the World rotation.

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Learn & Serve: Summer 2012 Worship, from Abstract to Concrete

Learn & Serve Summer 2013 Worship Leader Becca Griffin tells her perspective on how worship at Learn & Serve this past summer provided a bridge for students between concrete and abstract expressions of faith:

Many of the words that are used in singing/teaching/talking about faith tend to be abstract and make it difficult for youth to connect. There is no more lack of desire or devotion for them than anyone else, but a lack of concrete example when it comes to living out the faith that they sing about/learn about/profess. Perhaps connecting the ideas of faith with reality is not a struggle for youth alone, but abstract concepts like love, justice, and following Christ, when only spoken about and not experienced or lived out, make it hard for youth to really learn, practice, or live out those things that they affirm, or have been taught in word to do as Christians.

Learn & Serve students singing in worship at SIFAT’s Quonset Hut.

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Bolivia: Video from AU EWB Team

The Auburn University Engineers Without Borders (EWB) chapter served in Bolivia August 2-12 as part of a long-term commitment to Quesimpuco. Since this is the EWB team’s third trip, the AU Office of Communication & Marketing (OCM) sent a media team to capture video and photos of the service learning experience in which these college students, faculty and alumni participate. The EWB team works throughout the year to design simple technologies that can be used in this remote village in the Andes. While in Quesimpuco, team members work with the community to teach the concept of the technology and discuss different ways it can be implemented with the available resources.

You can read more about what the team did and see photos from their trip by clicking here. Watch the video AU OCM produced of the partnership among SIFAT, EWB and the people of Quesimpuco below!

To learn more about our international projects and trips, click here.

Our current intern in Ixiamas, Bolivia, is 2008 Practicum graduate Becky Forrest. Becky served on short-term mission trips in 2007 and 2008 in Ixiamas. She is now in her second year as an intern.

The last two months have been very busy with visitors at the Internado. On June 14, Rachel’s parents, Marcia and David Parsons, along with interns Olivia Singleton and Troy Wetherholt arrived in Ixiamas. Each of them worked on many projects around the internado. Troy was here to assist Bolivar Sanga with the water projects in many of the surrounding communities. Bolivar has trained with Water for All, International (WFA) to learn this appropriate technology that uses manual power instead of machinery to dig wells.

The first water project was in Puerto Ruso, where with the help of the Tshimane Indians that live there, two clean water wells were drilled with man power and no mechanical systems. You may read more of the water projects in Troy’s previous blog posts (click here and here).

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We have two YouTube videos to share with you. The first video shows some of the well drilling that Bolivar Sanga is leading in communities near Ixiamas. Troy, our summer intern, shared about the drilling in his previous posts. SIFAT learned how to use this manual drilling system from Water for All International. If you have been reading our blog for a few years, you may remember in Spring 2008 when Ixiamas intern Addison traveled to Santa Cruz to learn how to drill from Terry Waller of WFA. Since then, SIFAT has been teaching this technology in the Practicum and Field Study trainings.

The second video was made by internado director Rachel Parsons Tenorio, Mateo (Rachel’s husband) and her mother, Marcia Parsons. It will give you an overview of a short-term trip to Ixiamas – from traveling to seeing the town to current projects around the internado (boarding home). If you are interested in taking a team to Ixiamas, please contact Peggy (perdidopeg@aol.com) or Ivan (romani@sifat.org).