About Me

My name is Molly Clesen and I currently work as a teacher of students with visual impairments in Springfield Public Schools. I interned for 5 weeks this summer with the Manuela Gandarillas Center for the Blind in Cochabamba, Bolivia. This was an opportunity to empower and contribute to an amazing program in this local community by working with the clients to help them complete tasks independently, teaching lessons on writing, Braille, and other techniques, and participating in games and exercises to stimulate other senses. My goal has been to keep all supporters informed with up to date information about my fundraising efforts and experiences abroad. Even though I have returned, the center for the blind continues to need support. If you would like to donate to a very worthwhile cause, please click on the "Donate" button below. Thank you and any support you can provide is very appreciated. --Molly

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

We Can Dance If We Want To...


To catch you all up on the AMAZING last few days we´ve had:

Sunday--I relaxed with my host family during the day and went to visit a man from Uruguay who makes ceramics and ask him to join us for lunch at our house.  Jhovana, my host sister, usually purchases ceramic pots, vases, etc. and paints them and then sells them at the shop she owns with her fiancé.  Again, in a time of emergency, I had to use the restroom outside.  This time, however, I had ants crawling all over me and boy was I glad that I stocked my luggage full of antibacterial hand sanitizer and tissues.  In the evening, I acted like a grown-up and went to see the 10:30pm show of Transformers with Sarah before she left on Monday.  For those of you who have not seen the movie, it may be long, but it´s GREAT!  Lots of action and great special effects.

Monday--I had the hardest time getting out of bed, as happens each and every morning, as we´re roaring into the winter in the southern hemisphere.  We arrived at work and I had the pleasure of working with the little ones, assisting the professor in calming a 3.5 year old with low vision and cerebral palsy who had a cold and who was really upset.  We ran around outside and played games with the remainder of the students in her class (4 in total).  In the latter part of the morning, we practiced singing a song that we will be recording with students and staff at a professional recording studio this Saturday.  After work, Katrina and I met Luxembourger Sarah at the archeological museum near downtown and checked out some of the excellent indigenous history Bolivia has to offer.  Next, the three amigas walked to the shop of Jhovana to look at and purchase jewelry that she makes as a hobby.  It´s amazing how inexpensive her hand-made jewelry is!  One thing that Katrina and have really tried to do while being here is support local artists, which includes the students and staff at MG (they make purses and bracelets).  In the evening, we returned home to find Pablo, Ruben, Lenny, and Linda making dinner.  We ate and had great conversations and decided to turn their living room into Discoteca Morató.  Ruben and Pablo taught Katrina and I how to do some dances and we attempted to teach them the Cha Cha Slide, haha.  I think we had more fun in the living room than we have had so far in a club.  It was free, and we didn´t have to worry about people putting ruffies in our Coke!

Tuesday (Today)--Katrina and I arrived at MG and everyone was called to practice the song that Nico wrote.  During practice, Katrina asked me to sing with her during her solo to help her with the words and tempo.  It was during that time that Nico decided that he wanted me to practice harmonizing with Cristian (the music teacher) so that Katrina and I might do a duet during two verses of the song.  The awesome thing is that I´ve never done anything like this before and am really humbled by this experience.  Not only that, we´ll be going to the best recording studio in Cochabamba to record the song and as it turns out, the boyfriend of the director of Sustainable Bolivia is the sound engineer who will be working with us!

This trip has been filled with divine appointments and the building of lasting relationships.  It is hoped that we can make a music video for the song we´ll be recording with photos that we take of the students, teachers, and additional staff who make MG the fantastic place it is.  Thanks for reading and for the continued support. You are all very near and dear to my heart and would not be here without your help.  Thanks again and thanks for watching, San Diego.


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