Not Lost in Translation
Through a donation from the author himself, Cayendo Hacia Arriba (Falling Uphill), finally made its Paraguayan debut!
Scott Stoll is an author from my hometown who served as the U.S. Embassy’s cultural ambassador in Argentina during the 2011-2012 school year. His time in Argentina and collaboration with Argentine schools resulted in a Spanish language version of his book, Falling Uphill: The Secret of Life, about his 4 year journey around the world on his bicycle.
Thanks to a generous book donation from Scott a group of Paraguayan youth at a national leadership camp called Jóvenes por Paraguay were able to plan a short reading workshop for kids at a nearby orphanage.
The teenage youth and younger kids seemed to love the story equally– always receiving big laughs at the part of the story where Scott says he got stuck in mud in the desert until a family rescued him. The family told him he was in luck that they came, because anacondas, tarantulas and piranhas love the taste of people from the United States.
It was great to watch the teenagers work together to plan how they were going to present the books to the youth and what activities and games they were going to play with the kids. The book donation was one of six projects that was used to introduce Paraguayan youth at the camp to volunteer projects and community service. You can read a bit more about that camp in this post.
Cayendo Hacia Arriba inspired a group of Paraguayan youth to try out literacy service projects in their own communities and surely inspired new dreams in the children, youth and volunteers who read the book– nudging us all forward in our own process of falling uphill. Thank you, Scott!
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For more about Molly and her adventures, : visit her blog
If you’re interested in supporting another similar project, please visit the Peace Corps’ donation site.
I had another great interview on WPR’s Larry Meiller program. We talked a little about my trip around the world on a bicycle, and a lot about working with Poplar Creek Elementary school to illustrate the new book Falling Uphill: The Secret of Life.
Listen to the interview. Please note: teacher Kate Krzysik’s interview in the beginning of the show, and Associate Principal Larry Lueck’s interview minute 20:52.
Also Listen to my favorite interview the first time I was on Larry’s show, which is all about the trip.
Thanks to WPR for helping to sow the seeds of the school book project at many more schools.
I had no idea it was going to be this cool. From the ground it looked like organized chaos. ~ Principal Gennerman.
This is quite probably the best photograph that I ever took, which after taking pictures of world wonders, like the sphinx and the Parthenon, means a lot.
Pictured here are the 507 illustrators of Falling Uphill at Poplar Creek Elementary School plus the staff. It took me an hour (plus planning) to illustrate the chalk outline of the bicycle (see below). I used a string and two bricks to help guide me. Luckily arranging the kids was no problem thanks to the principal and teachers. However, I still had to overcome some challenges like the partly cloudy sun and shadows. The kids constantly jumping up and down. Not falling off the roof while I took the picture, not too mention the change in perspective. Once on the roof I realized I had to move the seat up 8 feet. I found that funny, because when I was riding my real bike, I could tell if my seat was off by only 5 millimeters. And, surprisingly the image was too big for my camera, so not only did I have to tile the picture, but now I had to deal with the lens distortion and vignetting. Lastly, in the final composite, besides normal retouching, such as color correction and erasing the odd marks, I also deleted the cars in the parking lot. If only I could erase the cars in real life :)
I’m still surprised this turned out so well. Thanks again to the students, staff and parents of Poplar Creek Elementary for helping to arrange this, especially Associate Principal Larry Lueck for the brilliant idea for this photo, Principal Jane Gennerman for her support and arranging the kids from small to big (falling uphill) along with Kate Krzysik and for her idea of having the kids illustrate the book.
At the printers now! I’m proud to announce Falling Uphill: The Secret of Life the children’s edition is arriving in time for the holidays and has been illustrated by Poplar Creek Elementary School. Pre-order your copy for the holidays.