The last two weeks have been a blur as they have passed without us noticing due to the busy schedules we had. Olympiadas, HIV workshops and lots of planning for the final event filled the timetables hardly leaving us anytime to take a breath. We had Olympiadas starting at 8.45 am in a different town which meant that we had to get up for 6.00 am so as to get to the local school and travel with them to the Olympiadas venue. However, I am pleased to report that we all sailed through it all successfully and welcomed a less hectic week we are having now with a smile.
Olympiadas comprise of four activities; spider’s web, sticky feet, passage to adolescence and death culture. All the stages signify different situations we encounter in life but we ought not to give up just because a situation is hard. The posts all had messages for the teenagers ranging from self-esteem to alcoholism and HIV prevention. The posts had case studies to put all the messages into context and analyse them. This was a great way to reach out to the teenagers as all of them engaged and fully participated. The Olympiadas are made possible by the collaboration between the Local government and PATSIDA. The government provides funding approximately 4500 Bs per day and PATSIDA comes up with the game ideas and the messages for each post.
passage to adolescence
HIV workshops are structured with a main focus on one of the main misconceptions and myths about HIV in Sucre, “HIV is not contagious”. This helps break down people’s stereotypes of HIV victims which ultimately lead to their discrimination and being rejected by their own communities. We also give talks about what HIV is, how it is transmitted and HIV prevention. PATSIDA has three main values that it uses for the prevention of HIV; Dignity, Fidelity and Abstinence. They developed it into a condom shaped box and introduce it as the new condom that promises 100% protection from all the 30 STIs in Sucre. They go on to say how it is sharable among friends and with anyone you wish which makes people listen thus successfully conveying the message.
At the end of the two consecutive hectic weeks, we managed to fit in a social activity at the house of Eduardo, the incredible man behind the operation of PATSIDA. At the end of Saturday’s Olympiadas, we all piled into Eduardo’s van and we went to Yamparaez for a weekend off. We, the BRITISH volunteers managed to make a Roast dinner for all the team which went successfully well apart from the huge amounts of cauliflower that were left over because we discovered Bolivians do not really fancy cauliflower.