Jun 232014

Unfortunately, when I wrote about my first week at work, last week, just as I was about to publish I lost the WiFi service and everything I had written was lost. I have decided therefore to write everything in Word and then cut and paste. That way if it is lost I will have an additional copy.
So to recap, I began working last week in the Equine Therapy Program. Ricardo is the man that runs the program and he speaks only Spanish except for “Come on baby,” so I really need to improve my language skills. Luckily there was another young girl volunteer, Margo, who had been working there for the past month who was able to show me the ropes. That’s the good news; the bad news is that Thursday was her last day so this week I will be on my own. Margo is only 18 from France, speaks fluent Spanish and English and of course French, studies international health at Duke University in North Carolina and is leaving to go to China to study Chinese. Imagine meeting that kind of competition in the workplace. I have found among the volunteers that I have met that they are mostly, young ambitious women with a drive to do what they can to help others.

In the program there are about 7 horses, but they really only use two for therapy. This is one of the horses used for therapy.

I did my best to groom about 3 last week with the limited supplies they have for grooming. If I had known how little they had I would have brought a suitcase filled with supplies and tack from people I know, including myself, that have so much, and duplicates of brushes, combs and picks. One horse had such a big knot in his tail that when I started to work on him, I was told to just forget it as it had not been combed in over a year or more. I took that as a challenge and got him looking good in only about a half hour. I will be sure to keep him looking good while I am here and work on some of the others.

We had about 12 children come for therapy and they are so excited to get on the horses. We walk with them around the facility, instruct them to look ahead and sit up straight, and to hold the reins with two hands. Some are very talkative and others not so much. One girl was so entranced by just looking at her own hands that she never held the reins or looked ahead. I was so worried that she would fall off, but I must say for as distracted as she seemed, she had incredible balance.

After the children left we had a good-bye lunch for Margo, “choripan.” Not sure if that’s the right spelling but Ricardo grilled fabulous sausage or chorizo as it is called and we ate it with bread out under a large tree next to the barn. We also had mate, which is a shared drink of a strong green herb tea that you all drink from the same cup and silver straw.  Some also had wine but of course I only indulged in the mate.

Choripan Almuerzo

On Thursday we had no children and since Friday was a holiday it was very quiet. So Margo and another rider, Thomas and I all rode for a while. It was a little tough getting used to the very hard saddle and the gate of my horse, Toribio. He had a very bouncy trot and equally bouncy canter, but I did adjust and did not fall off. I will continue to ride him when I can so that I can get used to his gate. As I said, Friday was a holiday and instead of work I went with a group from school on a tour of Jujuy a northwestern province of Argentina. More about that later.





First Name

Last Name

Your Email

Join the GVN newsletter

© 2011 Volunteer Journals Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha