Saturday, July 3, 2010

guest blogger: stacy rooney

Stacy Rooney, my dear friend and avid Carmen Pampa Fund volunteer and donor, has been visiting for the past 10 days and flies back to Minnesota today. Borrowing an idea from Hugh, Stacy agreed to do a guest blog spot to share a little about her experience.

Visiting Carmen Pampa has been an amazing experience. My only previous visit was six years ago and it is wonderful to see with my own eyes how the College and the community continue to thrive. While I keep current on all the happenings at the UAC-CP through Sarah and her blog, it is obviously a special treat to get to witness it all with my own eyes.

With a UAC-CP graduate and her children preparing for the 3-hour ride to the UAC-CP reunion.

Most of the students are gone right now on their winter break, but there are still some who continue to work during vacation. I've had the pleasure of meeting many alumni (at the reunion Sarah mentioned in her previous blog entry). It was wonderful to meet the students who have gone on to bring their creativity and talents to various communities throughout Bolivia.

I have no Spanish skills, but through their tone and facial expressions, I could instantly pick up when they were speaking about how much they value their opportunity for education at the UAC-CP. All of the graduates wanted to know the recent happenings on campus and what their classmates are accomplishing in other parts of Bolivia.

Those who were here while Sr. Damon served as director of the College always inquire about her. They have all wanted to tell me their own stories of how her vision of creating the UAC-CP has impacted their lives.

Visiting students and graduates in the rural town of Taipiplaya--transportation was in the back of a truck.

In addition to the students at the alumni of the UAC-CP, I hold the faculty in high regard. With minimal resources by U.S. standards (e.g. refilling ink cartridges for printers rather than buying new ones and sporadic access to Internet), they dedicate their lives to the work of this College and challenging the students to hold the highest standards for themselves.

The overwhelming sense of being on campus is being a part of a community. For the successes and challenges, the effort and the reward, the mistakes and the learning from mistakes, this community is journeying together. I feel honored to have been a part of the community during my short visit and I am inspired to continue my role as a volunteer, donor, and friend of Carmen Pampa Fund when I return to Minnesota.

I am immensely proud to be affiliated with the work of the UAC-CP. For any of you who haven't visited, make plans to visit. If you haven't donated in the last few months, I encourage you to do send what you are able to donate today! You will get an amazing return on your investment!

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