In October, a group of twenty-four Year 7 students travelled to the Colegio Agrotécnico Salesiano Don Bosco, located in the rural town of Uribelarrea, 100 kms away from Olivos. The school was founded in 1895 and its 400 hectares are oriented to the production of a wide variety of farm products. During a day and a half, St. Andrew’s students shared activities with local students, and divided into mixed groups, rotated in the different hands-on farm activities: working with pigs, cows, chickens, planting trees in the orchard and doing different tasks in the vegetable garden.
The main objective of this experience was to instill in our students a more local perspective of their reality, showing them a way of living nearer to Argentine culture and in contact with nature. It was very clear to us that the opportunity to experience life through the eyes of a fellow teenager with a completely different background would be far more memorable for our students than simply watching a video or a presentation.
We see this project as a great opportunity for both institutions, our weaknesses are their strengths and vice versa: on the one hand St. Andrew´s cherishing its global perspective of life, and on the other hand, Don Bosco its more local one.
Groups of about four to six students were arranged beforehand with an equal amount of students from each school to maximize the interaction between them. It was all about getting to know each other, so the experience included joint working shifts as well as meals, country walks and sharing ghost stories and songs around a big bonfire at nighttime.
The outcome was fantastic, the trip exceeded all of our expectations, our kids not only got to experience a very different way and of life and school routine but, above all, made new friends in the process. They are all very keen to see their new friends next year, when the Don Bosco students will be visiting us in a similar format.
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