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A young girl in Paraguay enjoying the book "Cayendo Hacia Arriba." I like how the flower appears to be tucked behind her ear.

Falling Uphill in Paraguay with the Peace Corps

Not Lost in Translation

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A Peace Corp instructor reads from “Cayendo Hacia Arriba” to students from the group Jóvenes por Paraguay.

Through a donation from the author himself, Cayendo Hacia Arriba (Falling Uphill), finally made its Paraguayan debut! (Update: This experience was so successful that a local philanthropist bought 35 more books so that the program could continue.)

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.

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The books always need a personal touch.

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.

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A girl holding the picture of her dream to become a dentist.

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 were 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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The youth group Jóvenes por Paraguay.

For more about Molly and her adventures visit her blog.

If you are interested in supporting another Make-A-Book Project consider making a donation by Paying it Forward.

If you’re interested in supporting another similar project, please visit the Peace Corps’ donation site.

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More stories about the making of Falling Uphill

Scott Stoll hands out pages with excerpts from his book, “Ruby the Red Worm’s Dirty Job,” to students at the Waukesha STEM Academy’s Randall Campus this week. Students are drawing illustrations for the book. Photo by Wentz-Graff, Milwaukee Journal

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article

World traveler came home to fulfillment. This is a great story about my trip around the world, coming home, and how this all evolved into working with local schools to illustrate children’s books.

Falling Uphill Next Generation Indie Book Award 2018 Memoir Personal Struggle

My Indie Book Award Arrived

My award arrived in the mail for the anniversary edition of Falling Uphill. Yay! You could call this my coming of age journey. The sequel is planned for 2037. I imagine I’ll have some interesting perspective as I do it all again. Well… maybe not the whole world via bicycle. Thank you Next Generation Indie Book Awards

A selfie before cell phones were even invented. In the background is the ironically named Volcan Agua in Antigua, Guatemala.

Writing the first draft of Falling Uphill in Guatemala

I wrote the first draft of Falling Uphill in Antigua, Guatemala. Often I took notes while atop the roof of my hotel below. Doesn’t this look like an author’s dream? I recommend all writer’s to get of their box and go somewhere inspirational.

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