Wednesday, August 14 (Edie Weaver)
This was our first day at Promesa Mennonite School. We sat in on the 7:45 a.m. morning devotions for the teachers and also a devotional for the students. We then split up and went to various classrooms and observed and helped where we could. Lily, Joelyn, and Micah are enjoying interacting with students at Promesa. We were then served a delicious meal by Valeria and Francisca. We had some down time in the afternoon and then went to downtown Cusco for the evening. We were hoping to see a traditional dance show but arrived too late so went to a pizza shop and did some shopping instead.
Wednesday, August 14 (Rosemary Blessing)
Promesa School was founded 14 years ago as a joint effort, joining the personnel of Eastern Mennonite Missions to the vision of the Peruvian Mennonite church. We have heard a lot about the school from pastor Steve/Beth and Bethany Weaver, who served long-term in Cusco, and through special offerings at church for the school’s building project. It is a gift to be here! Our first day we were present for teacher and then student chapel services, I attended a middle school English and math class, I helped teach recorders to a small student group in music class, and I was present in kindergarten (with my son). Although our time here is short, and our understanding of the Peruvian education system is very limited, I value seeing the surface similarities and differences to my children’s school experiences. Concrete floors, small classroom space, uniforms for students of all ages, secondary grade teachers moving from room to room to teach their subjects, and no toilet paper provided in the bathrooms contrast to what my children experience in their school setting. However, enormous amounts of student energy, peer friendships, laughter, occasional distractions in class, and the importance for students to learn remain exactly the same! This experience of broadening one’s understanding of global education, and recognizing differences are not right or wrong, is something I am thankful for my children to see and experience. Promesa leadership has a deep passion and vision for this faith-based school! As with any school (private or public), there are challenges. However, this experience is a reminder of the importance for children of any nationality, socioeconomic level, and learning level to have access to quality education which benefits themselves and all of society. When we are able to work together and advocate for each other, locally and globally, everyone benefits! As is often the case with short term church trips, it is the participants whose hearts become bigger, eyes are opened, faith is deepened, and world view becomes more compassionate. One by one, this contributes to making the world a better place.