Inspired Words

These are the experiences of our volunteers in Peru.

The first six day in Peru!

Posted in Peru on May 26, 2009

On May 18th, ten of the twelve group members met up in Lima. Michiah, our Developing World Connections Team Leader, met most of us at the airport and took us back to the hostel we were staying at for the night. There, we met the other members for the first time over a traditional Peruvian supper of Domino's pizza and water. After much talk and laughter, we all branched off to our rooms to shower and go to bed. At 6 in the morning the next day, we hopped into some taxis for a short ride through Lima to the bus station, where we would embark on an 8 hour trip through the Andes to Huancayo. The trip was amazing. We ascended up to 15,000 feet at the highest point, and were able to look out at some incredible scenery.

When we finally arrived in Huancayo, we were met by three very gracious, very excited members of our host organization. They took us to the house where we are staying for the duration of our project. It is a very neat house, and was fully stocked and prepared for us by our wonderful hosts (including new beds, blankets, and pillows). However, there was one small problem being a lack of running water for the majority of the day, and cold water if it was flowing. While our wonderful hosts have taken care of that at this point, it did add a certain exclamation point to the fact that we are in Peru. It helped to put us at ease in a way, to prepare ourselves for the suspension of some of the comforts we are used to. After getting our things organized, our guide Eric showed us how to get to the supermarket so that we could make use of our fridge.

Our first full day in Huancayo, Wednesday the 20th, Eric took us on a stroll through downtown Huancayo, and pointed out some of the more interesting facets of the city. Very cool. It ended up being a lengthly walk, and by the time we got home, were were all very hungry and tired, some of us feeling the altitude more than others. Dinner was followed by some quality group bonding, and an early to bed; Thursday would be our first day on the job site.

Thursday the 21st was started with much excitement. We were all very anxious to see what we would be working on, and to get started. At 8:30am we left our nice little home and headed out. When we arrived at the site we were put to work sanding and plastering the 2 buildings at the site in order to get them ready to paint. We were a very industrious group, and by 2:00pm, we had completed our day's work. With an hour to kill, we decided to explore the neighbourhood surrounding the job site.

Friday the 22nd: painting day. Our group was ready to get truly dirty with some serious painting. The day flew by, and everyone was in high spirits. Nevertheless, by the end of the day everyone was a little weary (in a good way), and we all needed a shower and a nice meal. Both were delivered.

On Saturday we all had a nice slow morning, and sat out on our rooftop patio to catch some sunlight. Some girls went into town to do some laundry, and the rest of us puttered around the house. At 3:00 pm, a guide came to pick 7 of us up to take us to Torre Torre (the Towers), natural geological formations minutes from our house. They were amazing, and we spent a few hours hiking and enjoying the beautiful view of the city of Huancayo and the the rest of the river valley. Our guide then took us through the local neighbourhood, a more impoverished part of town, and we got to enjoy some of the sights. The children were particularly amusing, yelling "Gringos! Gringos!" when they saw us, smiling, laughing, and running around. The adults were also pleased to greet us as we passed by. The whole excursion was extremely rewarding. When we arrived home at 6:30, we found our remaining housemates to be very relaxed and pleased with their own afternoon, where they caught up on some sleep. It was a really good day for everyone, topped with a delicious supper and lots of laughs.

Until next time!

-Developing World Connections Student Volunteer 2009
Alix Stupich

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