Photos of Girls Life Skills Camps on Boa Vista Island (August 2002) and Santiago Island (September 2002)
These two summer camps were each 5-7 days in length, involving 60 girls on two islands, funded with over US$3,000. from USAID.
This is a group photo of the teenage girls who participated in the Boa Vista Girls Life Skills Camp for 6 days. We went to their local beach one day to have fun, and I built the sand turtle in front of them while they played soccer and swam. These girls are not as 'poor' as those in my village on Santiago Island, hence their nice clothes and real bathing suits (vs. wearing just underwear into the water).
As the girls from the camp were walking down the beach with Amy (camp co-director and fellow PCV), these old Italian men flirted with them. The island actually has a large Italian population, although these men were merely tourists.
These are some of the camp participants in the ocean together.
The first night of the camp, we hiked over an hour to a beach where turtles nest at night. We pitched tents, watched a laptop presentation on turtle preservation, ate dinner, and then went out looking for nesting turtles by moonlight. These were two girls that were matched as tent-mates. You can see the typical island terrain of Boa Vista, sandy with sparse desert-like plants and stone walls. The most beautiful beaches I have ever seen (see 'Boa Vista Island' link in Photo Gallery for more photos).
Two days of the camp were spent measuring, drawing, and painting a world map and Boa Vista Island map to scale on the walls of the town high school. This photo was taken at the beginning of the project in front of the Boa Vista map. Although the finished products were amazing, the quantity of time and energy involved was so insane that I will never do this project again. Amy and I were the creators and co-directors of this camp -- she is all the way to the right.
For my own 7 day camp on Santiago Island, I organized a lunch panel with women leaders in the capital city at the U.S. Embassy recreational facility (yes, it looks like Tahiti!). Forty-five girls were attending the camp that day, and they enjoyed seeing the capital city for the first time, as well as visiting a family planning clinic, and hearing about possible careers.
Two days of the Santiago Island Girls Life Skills Camp were spent in my village in Ribeira Principal. This photo shows some of the younger, rural camp participants learning to play Twister at our village community center.