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newsletter from our sister waldorf school: http://kusikawsay.org/

 

As is often true for non-profits such as Kusi Kawsay, ongoing donations are the lifeblood of the enterprise and there is current need for another $18,000 to meet 2013 expenses and be on firm footing at the beginning of 2014. If you do not have time to read the news today but would like to help out, scroll to the bottom of this letter. Pachamama’s Path, easy to access, is our vehicle for donations to the school.

Thanks for your interest!

Barbara, Merilee, and Margaret

A Most Important Introduction!

Kusi Kawsay is very happy to introduce Shyntia Veronica who is taking on the important role of School Administrator. Previously, administrative functions have been handled by founding families and part-time employees. The advent of a full-time staff person to shoulder this job is a cause for celebration and testament to the work of many, whose steadfast efforts have “held it all together” for many years. We would especially like to thank Sandra Izquierdo for making important and appreciated progress last year as Kusi Kawsay’s first part time administrator.

The school is excited to welcome Shyntia, an anthropologist with a deep sensitivity and respect for the Andean culture, which makes her fully identify with the project that is Kusi Kawsay. Her work will focus on fortifying the school’s organizational and fundraising capacity so as to develop a long-term planning process. Her commitment to the vision of the school is deeply appreciated and we will share more of her perspective as she settles into her new role.

Exciting News about some of the first Graduates of Kusi Kawsay

Kusi Nan Organic Farm – Introducing a student started and run business

Kusi Kawsay was very moved by the graduation of the upper grade study group in December 2012. It was sad to see them go, as they held a strong presence as leaders and guides for all of the students at Kusi Kawsay. The exciting news is that several of them are starting a small micro business together, the Kusi Nan Organic Farm (path of joy), with the support and guidance of several Kusi Kawsay founding parents and other supporters.

Hector Bolivar, an agriculturist of Andean heritage, and Alejandro Trevisan, an experienced permaculturist, are assisting the group with their expertise. These new farmers have the use of a beautiful piece of agricultural land just below the school. They will sell their organic produce to local families and to gourmet restaurants that are booming in the area. These restaurants reflect the local and international Peruvian cuisine explosion. In phases two and three they will start a production center, and enter into agro-tourism. It is their intention to give a percentage of their earnings to Kusi Kawsay to help sustain their beautiful school.

Thanks to generous donations the business was able to start. We will have more information soon for those of you who would like to learn more or get directly involved with this project.

Special Recognition and Events

by Fielding Vizcarra

We are so thankful to everyone who continually supports Kusi Kawsay.

In memory of Susan Foster, who helped our organization so much, and so early in its path, we have established the Susan Foster Memorial Scholarship Fund. Currently, the fund is sponsoring two scholarships a year for the next five years. She worked with NE BIOLABS, which continues to support Kusi Kawsay.

In memory of Charles Strong who not only supported Kusi Kawsay, but also the cultural work that Kusi Kawsay was born from. Urpillay Sonqollay.

We are excited to announce our recent partnership with the Global Fund for Children!.  Kusi Kawsay is a recipient of a small grant to help fund teacher salaries, which is our most urgent need. We really appreciate GFC’s way of working with and supporting their partner projects, and are so thankful for this opportunity as a grantee partner.

Thank you Matt Dayka for the powerful and moving professional photos of Kusi Kawsay. An image conveys much more than words, and your images are priceless. Photographers including Seth de Roulet, Jim Cline, Robert Blumberg, Caroline Prietz of Aracari, and Laurent Ribémont have also helped Kusi Kawsay convey the spirit of the school to our community at large.

To our wonderful volunteers of 2013! You are an important part of Kusi Kawsay, and we thank you for sharing this vision: Cristina Fyfe, Justine Epstein, Kyle Lutz, Valery, and currently Chaska and Seth. We would like to especially thank ProHumanus for their commitment to accompanying our teachers, and also special thanks to Ursula Locher and Carron Mulligan; Kusi Kawsay is greatly fortified by these volunteer Waldorf specialists and teachers who offer their invaluable experience, guidance and expertise.

Marisol Mosquera of Aracari had a festive birthday event in Cusco this April, and included Kusi Kawsay as a project that her guests could gift to instead of giving her a birthday present. How creative, and what special recognition for Kusi Kawsay – we are honored and full of gratitude.

We send thanks and special greetings to everyone who supports the cultural work and Kusi Kawsay through Intipunku Verein from Germany, and to our dear community of friends and supporters in Nelson, British Columbia, Canada.

Thank you to all the Waldorf Schools who participate in Wow Day – and to the Fruende der Erziehungskunst (Friends of Waldorf Education) for your invaluable support!

Special greetings and thanks to Megan de Roulet of the Patrina Foundation, to Accenture, and to Nancy Parks of Wilder Green for your amazing support!

Thanks to the Forman School student volunteers who helped clear the land last November in preparation for the construction of the 8th grade classroom. That rocky site is now a beautiful classroom. We hope you will come visit so you can see!

Our continued participation in the UNESCO network of affiliated schools gives us the enriching opportunity to share educational experiences with other initiatives, and enables us to serve as an inspiration for other schools and the Ministry of Education, which is one of Kusi Kawsay’s principle objectives. UNESCO does not fund Kusi Kawsay, as this is not the nature of this network.

We would like to thank APIA for the tremendous ongoing support in helping build Kusi Kawsay. The 8th grade classroom is finished, and is beautiful!

We would like to honor and give special recognition to Wendy Watanabe. She has been to Peru twice with Roman and myself, the first time joining her sister Lori. They came as part of a women’s activist group organized by our dear friend and all time supporter Judy Ramsey of Ann Arbor, who made so many of the connections on Roman’s recent tour possible. Wendy came a second time with her husband, and friends who now co-ordinate this newsletter! When Wendy learned of Kusi Kawsay’s vision, and of the school’s critical economic situation, she offered her help as a consultant. She is long time community organizer in Washington State. Using her expertise with non-profits, she began guiding Kusi Kawsay through an in-depth process of restructuring, evaluating, and organizing all areas connected to fundraising. We have come a long way, and Kusi Kawsay’s current growth would not have been possible with out Wendy’s commitment. Urpillay sonqollay.

We honor all of the individuals who make Kusi Kawsay possible, especially those of you who contribute to the Ayni Scholarship Fund. This Fund helps cover our operational budget gap each year so that children who cannot pay tuition can attend Kusi Kawsay. We hold you all in our hearts and are full of gratitude for each one of you – urpillay sonqollay. We keep our individual donors anonymous unless otherwise requested; please let us know if you would like your Ayni Scholarship Fund named in honor of a special person, event or milestone.

STUDENT STORY

Victoria, Alex and Rayner are Kusi Kawsay students that come from Viacha, an indigenous community 5 km high above Pisac.

Alex and Rayner are brothers, and like Victoria they are carriers of Andean values and ancestral wisdom. The human quality and wisdom that these youths carry is only comparable to their spiritual and physical strength, qualities that allow them to walk so far to and from school; an average 5 hour round-trip walk everyday for the past four years, since they began studying at Kusi Kawsay.

Needless to say, they are entirely motivated by their experience at school where their understandings of the world and themselves are valued and they can partake in learning new tools and competencies for a full life as they encounter truths about other parts of the world.

Roman’s Promotional Tour

Last February, Roman embarked on a coast-to-coast fundraising journey, engaging old and new supporters across the U.S. This effort, along with benefits in London and New York City, managed to secure nearly half of Kusi Kawsay’s 2013 operational budget. This represents a huge success and thanks are due to the organizers, attendees and generous donors.

The tour began with a benefit held in Washington D.C. at Bus Boys & Poets. This wonderful event was organized by longtime supporters of Kusi Kawsay; Jim Epstein with great support by Sara Elbert, Garrett Graddy, Paul Lovelace and Louise Muir. Many thanks for making this event possible and successful. Familiar faces and solid support provided a base for Roman’s trip west.

His next stop was Ann Arbor, Michigan where, in the midst of a blizzard, he was met by a warm community of friends, many of whom have travelled to Peru on Roman & Fielding’s cultural journeys. Lori & Paul Saginaw were key in making this event so successful and wrote: “ We too were so thrilled by the attendance, the impact and the giving. The event was actually hosted by all the local folks who have known you from trips – us in addition to Judy Ramsey, Cindy Nicely, Pam Hoffer, Laurie White, Gary Boren and Mary Beijan. So it was a group effort.” Dick Soble & Barb Kessler graciously hosted Roman, who described his stay as “receiving such special attention.” A tireless innovator himself, Roman encountered a community of informed activists, with a consciousness and commitment to making change. He felt moved by this connection of kindred spirits who share the profound vision of transformation and wellbeing that a focused, inclusive educational institution can have on the larger community.

Then Roman continued across the States to Seattle, where Wendy and Tim received Roman as their guest. Along with Steve and Annie, Merilee and Margaret, Wendy organized and hosted this beautiful and successful event at the home of Paul and Linda Larsen. Picture a gathering of more than 30 adults and many children, sitting in a semi-circle looking out over the water, listening to Roman play Andean flute and reflect on the beauty of his culture as the impetus for what the school aims to preserve. It was a magical moment shared by people from many communities around Puget Sound including a Quechua-speaking language professor whose children have at one time attended Kusi Kawsay.

TEACHER STORY

by Hugo

Photos of Lucia by Matt Dayka

Lucia’s beautiful smile reflects her inner beauty and peace, and radiates the profoundness of her communal heritage, which she subtly transmits to everyone she encounters. Kusi Kawsay is so fortunate and grateful to have her as our weaving teacher, which is taught as an Andean Legacy Workshop, and is a central axis to Kusi Kawsay’s curriculum. At Kusi Kawsay, weaving is not only considered as a valuable handcraft, but it is known to reinforce the memory, enhance mathematic abilities, and it also imparts ancestral values and teachings essential to Kusi Kawsay. Each color is beautiful on its own, but in order to create the intricate pallay’s (designs), all of the colors are equally important. As professor of Andean weaving and loom design, in Quechua called AWAY, Lucia’s comprehensive knowledge and management of these ancient techniques combined with her versatility as a person, make her an excellent teacher and an essential part of the school.

Lucia is native to the Indian community of Amaru, where she currently lives with her daughter Betsabe and her husband Walter. She alternates her pedagogical work at Kusi Kawsay with the production of beautiful textiles, and is an active member of the Weavers Association “Apu Runawana” of Amaru. Lucia is fluent both in Quechua and Spanish, which is essential for school requirements.

Lucia is a walking flower, beautifying the Pachamama (mother universe) with the colorful designs on her pollera (skirt) and manta, and her genuine smile, filling us with the love and respect so alive in the traditional communities of the Andes, which is the heart of Kusi Kawsay’s vision, and our inspiration and guiding force.

Fundraisers and Funding

In addition to Roman’s tour, two very important fundraisers were held in May. The fourth annual London benefit, and the first NYC benefit helped Kusi Kawsay come even closer to closing their operational budget gap. The annual London benefit was once again a great success thanks to Sophie Muir, Christopher Rothschild, Edie Meyer and Christina Wood, with presentation by Alvaro Picardo who visited the school after last year’s fundraiser.

The NYC event was possible thanks to the organizers Alison Andrus, Julie Rinaldini, Davina Wood, Maria Elena Vergara and Isaac Valentin. Special thanks go to Maria Elena and Isaac who hosted the event in their lovely apartment in the city.

Events like these help cover a large part of Kusi Kawsay’s operational budget and make the functioning of Kusi Kawsay possible, as well as cultivating valuable human relations and a sense of community. Fielding says,“ We are full of deep gratitude, and hope to continue cultivating these and more connections, so as to share insights and values that mutually enrich our lives in the common spirit of service, reciprocity and positive change for all of humanity. We hope many of you will be inspired to organize and host events in new locations, and we are full of gratitude for those of you who have already taken the lead, hoping you will continue to promote such gatherings.”

Currently the school is looking for another $18,000 to cover costs for the end of 2013 and to begin 2014 on firm footing.

Tax deductible donations for Kusi Kawsay can be made to Pachamama’s Path, a U.S. 501(c)(3). Kusi Kawsay is a program of Pachamama’s Path and your contribution can be made through our secure website via Paypal or by mail with a check made out to Pachamama’s Path at 5543 Pelican Way, St. Augustine, FL 32080. Contact Ann Beckham at (904) 461–4575 for information on stock/wire transfers.

http://www.kusikawsay.org

Michaelmas

Our children enjoyed working together as a village Thursday doing all manner of tasks to celebrate Michaelmas. They made dragon bread, helped Farmer Barry plant bulbs, gathered wood and made soup together. The whole school then had the lunch they prepared together! After lunch the children enjoyed the Saint Michael slays the dragon play performed by the 2nd and 6th grades! Wonderful work!!

One of the unexpected and wonderful treats that day was that the sand for the sandboxes was delivered! The driver of the very large truck was a wonder to watch pull the truck into the play yards, then dump the sand into the boxes! Then the real play began, see the pictures to see the pure joy that sand can bring! Many thanks to all of you that helped with the yard sale that raised the money for the sand!!!

K-9 Friends on Campus

Please be sure to leash your 4 legged friends when on TWS campus, this is per the parent handbook. Also, dogs do doo, so please scoop it to help us keep our campus clean and healthy for our children! Many thanks!

Taos Waldorf School’s Harvest Festival

Come one, come all to celebrate Taos Waldorf School’s Harvest Festival

Thursday, October 17th from 5-7 pm

Bring a yummy dish to share, also bring a plate, bowl, fork and spoon and your dancing shoes! The faculty and Festival Committee invite you and your family to enjoy this age old celebration with us this Thursday at TWS. There will be fun activities, such as a scavenger hunt in the garden, baking potatoes on an open fire, solving riddles with the scarecrow riddler and dancing to bring us all together! This is not a potluck to be missed, as it is full of fun, food and festivities! Sign up sheets are at your child’s classroom entries.

If you are interested in helping with the planning of the festivals, then come join the Festival Committee this Tuesday the 15th from 3:15-4:45 in the ECE play yard, all are welcome!

See you all on Thursday afternoon!!

Taos Waldorf School Store

Our wonderful school store is open for business Monday-Thursday 8:15-3:45, Fridays 9:00-11:00 and like all fine shops, by appointment! We have student made work, pencils, leather bags and other, wonderful items. With the holidays fast approaching this is the place to come for all of your gift giving needs! All proceeds go directly to TWS, so come on in!!

The wellhouse is going up and we need your help!

The wellhouse is going up and we need your help!

TWS needs a well house before winter to protect our system from freezing. The design will incorporate many sustainable building ideas such as rammed earth tires and straw bale walls.

The building project began September the 28th with a tire pounding party and will continue October the 5th. If you are interested in sustainable building and wish to contribute to the betterment of our school, please come and join Ted Elsasser, Waldorf parent, licensed contractor and owner of Taos Off Grid, a building and design business, to help construct our well house.

well house

Back Porch Farm

Back Porch Farm tailgate sales will be on Thurs afternoons only, from 2:30 – 3:30 in the parking lot. I still need to take jar deposits if customers do not bring a jar to exchange, but there will be no “delivery fee”. Instead the Farm will donate 10% of all sales to TWS which means more for the school, less for the customer, and it is easier for me!

I (MacLaren) will be at the truck (currently a light gray Tacoma) selling and answering questions. You are welcome to reserve your items ahead of time by emailing me at maclscott@gmail.com or texting or calling at 575-770-3437. Reservations are first come first serve based on availability. I ask that you please pick up reserved items early in the time slot as I don’t want to go home with items that were forgotten when there are others who would love to have them! I will usually have fresh organic goat milk, goat butter, goat chevre, sometimes goat feta, and water kefir. Thank you for supporting local, organic family farms and our Waldorf school!

Much love and healthful eating! MacLaren, Randy and Isla

Open House at Taos Waldorf School to Play & Learn!

We are opening our doors and welcoming the greater Taos community! Parents, if you know anyone who is interested in learning more about Waldorf education or if you are curious about what happens in Waldorf early childhood or grades classes, visit us on Saturday, October the 12th between 10 and 12 for an open-school. We will have curriculum demonstrations in all classes and story telling and star apples in the Early Childhood rooms.  All are welcome to come to our beautiful grounds to play and learn.

Pick up reminder!

Now that school is in full swing we are finding that the pick up of students needs a reminder. Early childhood pick up is from 2:45-3:00 and the grades is from 3:00-3:15. Please be respectful to your child’s teacher and BE ON TIME!!!

Also be mindful that pick up means that you sign them out, then have them within your eyesight and under your care (not your teachers). It is always wonderful to see parents visiting, making play dates and engaging with one another after school, but please remember that our wonderful teachers have things to do after their class time and we need to honor their precious time. Additionally, please make arrangements for you child’s pick up before school so he or she knows the plan. Many thanks!!

Taos Waldorf School Festivals

 

We are also in need of some supplies for festivals, these include:
~ Jars!!! Please bring your wide mouth jars to the office and put them in the box marked Jars!
~ Straw bales, as many as you can wrangle!
~ Small toys and trinkets! If you are cleaning out your child’s treasures please consider bringing these small items to donate. Again, there is a box in the office marked Trinkets.

Many thanks~
The Festival Committee: Silke, NIkkie Cain and Jenn Foley (and hopefully You!)