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Fifth and final day of WIPCE conference : (

The last day of the conference consisted of a visit to a rural indigenous community followed by the closing ceremony in the evening.

The visit to the village was eye opening.  The people were so friendly and welcoming, very happy to have us there.  They showed us around their village and with the help of an interpreter, they shared how with financial assistance they have been able to irrigate their land and in turn produce crops for them to eat and sell.  With the money the earn, they have been able to build safer and more hygenic homes and send their children to school.  A percentage of our WIPCE conference fee went to this village as well as all the money raised from the Aotearoa evening, so it was awesome to know we had contributed in some small way.  The highlight of the visit was a wee girl who came and sat with me.  We played together on my iphone, reading childrens stories, drawing pictures and listening to nursery ryhmes, it was super special, language barriers didn't stop us laughing and playing and it made me miss my own 2 girls terribly!

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The closing ceremony was good, a little too long for me, as there were many speeches and they had to be said 3 times - in Quenchuan, then Spanish and then again in English!  Plus, we were outside, at night in high altitude so it was really cold!  The best news of the night was that the host for WIPCE 2014 is... Hawaii!  I am absolutely going to be there, this trip has been amazing, I have learned so much, been inspired by some amazing international educators and made many friends from indigenous communities around the world!  I am a WIPCE fan for life.

 

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