i have these friends, and if you've read the blog at all and click on links, you've probably made their way to their blog at some point. they're pretty amazing. and my kids think their kids are awesome.
rebecca and i met shortly after she and her husband, josh, arrived in santiago. we worked together for one semester at the university. and now it's like, friends forever.
we like people who come to the island to do things. and who are invested in changing the face of the world. because, really, who doesn't love people like that? we and the rousculps have tons in common, josh and i love chocolate chip cookies and rebecca makes the best (even amalio who doesn't do cookies loves them... but pretend like i didn't tell you that, because he denies eating them when they're in the house). i like to do crafty things and rebecca supports my addiction (and is the co-founder of poderosa mujer).
this summer, josh and rebecca (along with their offspring, max and zora) moved to san francisco de macoris. it was sad for us. but, santiago is inundated with human resources and... san francisco? not so much. now, after a few months of checking the place out, the rousculps are ready to launch a program that is near to my and amalio's hearts' as well.
in the dominican republic, libraries are basically non-existent. those that exist are geared toward college students, for research purposes. if you ask a child what is their favorite thing to read, they'll likely respond with some sort of school subject - history, civics - because they have been so infrequently exposed to books that they haven't discovered the joy of reading for fun. quality learning toys are scarce as well. education, in general, is dismal. the act of reading to enhance your life is unknown.
it's cultural. it's economic. it's social.
my home-city has been losing public libraries left and right. because somehow, even though there are resources and knowledge that books are important, some big important people have decided that books are no longer that important. and most people don't even care.
meanwhile. people are fighting for libraries. begging for libraries throughout the world.
and because books are really important. and reading can change lives. and those words printed on a page can open up a world that we never knew existed, the rousculps are opening a library. in a community that wouldn't otherwise be exposed to the joys of imagination.
check out their indiegogo campaign, follow them on facebook. the biblioteca comunitario doctor william house is going to do amazing things!