Inspired Words

These are the experiences of our volunteers in Peru.


Peruvian Smiles, Gravel, and Pancamacha

Posted in Peru on April 20, 2009

April 16, 2009

It’s been four days since we last wrote. And boy, what a four days we’ve had! Two new members arrived and have helped immediately. We’ve been working very hard and have finished painting the upstairs classrooms. Next, we cleaned out the floor of the Administration building and then a big Dump Truck dumped a full load of what some might call gravel, but gravel with grandé rocks is what we called it! Our job was to transfer this gravel onto the very rough floor of the Admin Building. Our Contractor told us afterwards, this should take two days but we did in one hard day! The next day they brought in a tamper and we flattened the rough gravel. Pretty tough work but we got it done! At the same time, half our members finished cutting lines in the paint to truly finish the classrooms.

All this week, we have had visits from the delightful children who live next door. Both Anette and her brother Beckham (yes named after soccer hero) brighten our day each day with a visit including hugs, “Buenos Dias” and a huge smile. Certainly helps keep us going! This leads onto the very pleasant part of our week: visiting the young children in their schools! What a treat for us all to see the children and see their smiling faces! It’s amazing to us to see the conditions they are taught in and the contentment in their eyes and the gratitude they showed us! This is what these trips are all about! With money we raised at Rotary Daybreak, we are buying white boards (2 for each) markers and coloured chalk (yes, they only have white). This will be delivered on Friday before we leave!

On a very pleasant note, we took in some local culture when the Arguedianos (the local group we work with) prepared a traditional festival meal for us-called Pancamacha! This is a meal dated back to the Inca days and it involves roasting of rocks for many hours over a big campfire. After many ours, you take of the rocks, empty the ashes and then put in the pit the following: sweet potatoes, potatoes, whole chickens, pork, sheep (lamb) broad beans and corn tamales with sweet corm meal. Then the red hot rocks are put back on top followed by burlap sacks, plastic and then completely buried with earth. 45 minutes later, we were served a delicious roasted meal that we all loved, if if it was way too much food! Our hosts were so gracious and very hospitable! It really was a great cultural experience!

That’s all for now.

Regards

Jaimie and Tom

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