Global Grade 3 and Pennies for Peru

For the original Global Grade 3 post…

Pennies for Peru … walking a “mile” in someone else’s shoes!

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Hello Global Grade 3,

“To walk a mile in someone’s shoes”… what an interesting saying. There are many variations around and I don’t know of any specific origin but they all have the meaning, understanding.

As you’ve pointed out, such sayings can’t be taken literally. Although, it might be possible to spend time in Peru and wear the recycled tyre sandals and walk to school this might be an adventure for us. For Q’enqo children, it’s as every day as perhaps you riding in a car or dropping into a shopping mall.

I’m sure all of you, if it was necessary, could walk four kilometres to school and four kilometres home. Your shoes would undoubtedly be warmer and more protective than the sandals. I have seen sandals made from recycled tyres sold in Australia at times and know they may protect the bottom of your feet but they wouldn't keep out the cold.

Consider one problem you might face if you were to visit Q’enqo and walk with the children. Did you know the higher you are, the lower the air density and air pressure? What might seem normal to Q’enqo children might have you struggling to breathe if you tried to run or walk far.

I don’t know what altitude you’d find Q’enqo but, as an example, I once took a group of parents and children to New Zealand. We visited Coronet Peak on New Zealand’s South Island. Its altitude was only 1649 metres above sea level. While most people found breathing easy, one person had said they were finding breathing a little hard.

From what I have found, Peru’s highest peak is Hiascaran Sur at 6746 metres. Q’enqo wouldn’t be anywhere near that altitude but I suspect it’s much higher than Coronet Peak.

Now back to your walk in someone’s shoes…

What would happen if you were to carry out the same walk but only breathed in about half the amount of air you might normally take in?

Would you tire more quickly?

Would you find it harder to walk?

Now think again, if you were to wear sandals during winter, took only half breaths and had to walk four kilometres…

We are all very lucky to live where we do in countries where we have greater ease. What is so important about your walk is you are trying to share an experience with distant children and, in the process, raising money to help them.

Your school is a school of change makers.

This little girl is from a local alpaca farm. These cute little guys from South America have even made it to Australia.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

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Mya – When we have a need, we often find ourselves much stronger than we think. You’ve experienced the walk but, if you had to do it twice each day, you would find yourself growing stronger.

Rijul – Distances can sometimes be hard to judge. On some of my longer walks, people have asked if I get bored walking for hours but I always said I don’t think about the walking. I just keep going and perhaps think of a story to write or watch for interesting animals and plants.

Tormod – Long walks can make you feel tired and, if it’s a warm day, sweaty. It might feel different in the thinner, cooler air of Q’enqo.

Ava – 6.9kg of money sounds impressive. That’s around the weight of a six month old baby. Something great was born in your walk and the children of Q’enqo will benefit.

Max - 7km is quite a walk. It’s almost the distance some Q’enqo children have to walk each day. How sad would it be to walk the 4km only to find the teachers aren’t there? It wouldn’t be possible to warn children ahead of time without the internet or phones.

Larissa – It is wonderful you have learned so much from your walk. For the children of Q’enqo, the walk is a normal part of the day. I think you would find strength if you lived in Q’enqo and had to do that as part of your day. We all learn to do what is needed to make our days successful.

Galen – Running may make the distance quicker but you can end up more tired. I think the Q’enqo children would walk. I once timed my distance walking speed and it came out as 4.8 kph so the 4km walk in your school would take me about 50 minutes but, in Q’enqo where the air is thinner and the walking is uphill, it would take me much longer.

Zahra – Q’enqo children do have a much harder life than children in your school and my area. Only the closest students walk to school here. Four school buses pass my house each morning. One travels 2km, a second 10km, another 20km and a fourth travels 35km depending on the school the children attend. Many children do walk to the nearby school but more than half take the bus or are driven.

Julia – Even though you were tired, I know you would have felt great because of the good cause the walk was supporting. Sweaty and tired in a good cause is worth the effort.

Alexia – I can see by the first photo on the post, some of you had the Peruvian flag to carry. I found a You Tube link of the Peruvian National Anthem. Check to make sure it’s okay for you to view…

Thalia – I can understand the Peruvian children’s liking for school. They are able to learn and be with others before they return home.

Brenden – I think you had a great attitude in the walk. When getting tired, you need only remember the reason for the walk and it can help you find new strength.

Natasha – “They think they are lucky. We know WE’RE lucky.” How good a world it would be if those with more were willing to share with those who have less.

Damian – Achieving 7km in an hour is quite a feat. I‘ve already mentioned my distance walking speed is an average of 4.8km per hour but, over shorter distances of only a couple kilometres, I reach 5.8km per hour. This means you would have out walked me by a little more than a kilometre. J

Jun – I know the feeling asthma can give you. I have what’s called exercise-induced asthma. Most of the time it’s no problem for me but I think it would be at Q’enqo’s altitude. One of the times I was on top of Mt Tarawera in New Zealand, I had some problems with asthma meaning I couldn’t do the walk into the volcanic crater. It was only 1111 metres above sea level. Here’s a link to a post I wrote for a class last year. It shows you Mt Tarawera…

Martin – Your achievement for the children of Peru is something worthy of being proud. More than that, it helps fill your invisible bucket.

Kaylee – Running 11 laps in 50 minutes is very impressive. I might walk quickly but I hardly ever run. The amount raised might be important but what is more important is the effort you all put into making the walk-a-thon a success.

Jesse – From the photos, I can see you are very lucky to have a very large grassy area around you school. This would have made it easier to walk around rather than the stony paths used by Q’enqo children. I can tell the Q’enqo children inspired many to try harder even when tired.

Sophie H. – I have also taken part in walk-a-thons in some schools. They can be good fun and raise money for great causes.

Eric – Exercise, whether it’s walking a long way to a school or out hiking, can build strength. If you were to walk four kilometres each day, in time it would become easy and you would find your feet getting tough just like the Q’enqo kids.

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When you think of the hardships of the Peruvian children compared to you and how hard it was to walk the distances you should also think of the last photo in your post. The smiling girl says it all. You are filling your invisible buckets and in the process helping the children like the girl in the photo.

One last point, you didn’t want to walk another 4km in the afternoon to simulate the walk home?

I see your teach has the same type of sense of humour as I do. 🙂


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NOW, BEFORE you click the link at the bottom. Read through what I’ve written and answer the question in your own mind as to what you would do. Once you are ready, click the link to see what I had written as an entry…

Here is something a little different. One of my blogs is dedicated to my story writing. As well as some longer stories, there are many short stories. Two regular challenges I enter ask us to write one hundred words on a given prompt. One I wrote in March this year was entitled, “ARK”. Perhaps it might interest you.

The prompt in the Saturday Centus Challenge starts the fictional story as its first paragraph. Here is the prompt…

My untied shoelace changed my life. As I leaned down to re-tie it, I kicked away a few leaves. When I turned my head slightly to look where the leaves had been, I was astonished to see a rubber-banded wad of hundred dollar bills nestled in a little indentation in the muddy ground.

What would you do if you had found the money?

Now click to see my fictional story then see the comment I added in the comments section of this post…

3 thoughts on “Global Grade 3 and Pennies for Peru

  1. rossmannell

    Post author

    Hello Global Grade 3,

    When looking at entries from other adults, I found most thought of ways to spend the money on themselves or their families but I wondered what you might have thought. With your help for Q’enqo, I am wondering how many of you thought to use the money to help others. I suspect a number of you did. Perhaps some of you might share your ideas. 🙂


  2. The Grade Three Bloggers

    Hola, Ross!

    Thank you for your extended comment – you always put so much work and thought into the comments you write for us! We agree – each of us really believes that we COULD walk that distance each and every day … but … it would be tiring … and you couldn’t even REST because you would be coming home to chores on TOP of all that. It took us one WHOLE hour just to do half the walking some of those kids do in ONE day … and NONE of the chores they have to help with. We feel lucky to be children in Canada … we get to play and be kids when we are done school each and every day!

    Some of us got tired on our walk … because we were running AND walking. We know it’s not the same thing as altitude sickness, though. One of our guest speakers talked to us about this Altitude Sickness – it sounds AWFUL! We can’t imagine only breathing HALF the air we are USED to breathing in … it would make you even MORE tired. We think WE would be bothered by the altitude in Q’enqo, but the kids living there WOULDN’T be!

    You challenged us to think about what WE would do if WE found a “rubber-banded” wad of hundred dollar bills … here is what SOME of us would do:

    • Find the owner and return it, and if I couldn’t find the owner … I would use it to help someone ELSE!
    • Give it ALL to Q’enqo.
    • Give it to Q’enqo or another developing country.
    • I would buy some more books for the Q’enqo Library.
    • I would give it to some homeless people.
    • I would give it to a charity.
    • I would help some less fortunate people.
    • I would try to find the owner … if I found them I would ask what they are going to use it for … and then ask them if they would use it for the Q’enqo Library if they were looking for a place to donate it.
    • I would use half of it on Q’enqo … and keep the other half.
    • I would go to the store, get a pack of envelopes, put one bill in each one, then go out and put it in someone’s shopping cart … over and over again!
    • I would give half of the money to Q’enqo and start an organization that helps people to RECOGNIZE OTHER forgotten countries.

    Ross – thank you for stretching our learning and our understanding of the world. We ALWAYS look forward to your comments! We hope YOUR bucket is ALWAYS full … it SHOULD be because you go out of your WAY to fill the buckets of OTHERS!

    The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

  3. rossmannell

    Post author

    Hola Grade Three,

    One thing you can notice when you start to look at the world through the eyes of a change maker, you have started yourself on a lifelong journey. Your decisions in life will be influenced by what you have experienced in this school year.

    Looking over some of the things you would do if you had found the money, I am not surprised to see so many would make choices to help others. When we keep our eyes and minds wide open we can often find ways of helping others. Help doesn’t need to be big but it does make a difference.

    With around thirty years as a teacher, the non-profit video/DVD/CD/photography I do, blogging and blog commenting, volunteer childcare, caring for my neighbour’s children when she is away on courses, and the small unknown things I do, there is no financial reward yet I feel enriched by the doing. I know I am making a difference.

    You have started your journey and I know you are all change makers.

    The future will show what changes you make.



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