Inspired Words

These are the experiences of our volunteers in Peru.

Huancayo, Peru: August 2010 – Arriving

Posted in Peru on August 23, 2010

I arrived at 11:50pm on sunday and was picked up by a man named Ronas and a driver. Ronas is the manager of the Casa Rodas hostel which I stayed at. He often helps out the Developing World Connections groups when they come to Peru. Very kind and charming... The Hostel was nice, very cold inside though!! its all tile floor and the windows are just glass on hinges, no frame, no screen. its kinda cool. In the morning i ate breakfast and took a cab to the bus station to meet the group. The buses were very nice big buses. which was very necessary because we had a 7 hour drive ahead of us... we winded up mountain roads and saw all sorts of villages... dwellings at the side of the road, women washing clothes in tubs outside, children playing, dogs, lots of dogs, stray and scavenging. Chickens, sheep, donkeys, pigs, cows, goats. Not a single llama!! Yet...

We all started to feel the altitude on the climb up the mountain. My face started to feel like I had a bad sunburn. I had not yet been in the sun at all. It was interesting. I started to have difficulty breathing but was overall okay.

We arrived in Huancayo at about 8pm and we met by the Arguedianos host partners, Violetta and Alejandro. Piled our luggage in the truck and walked to the Hotel. Checked in. Sleeeeep.

The altitude is funny. We are all huffing and puffing just to crawl into bed at night! heart racing, the whole works. Some have headaches and we all seem to be experiencing cold like symptoms, stuffy runny nose and sore throat. But coca tea is the key. And thankfully it is very available. In our hotle lobby for example, always hot coca tea ready to be drank. It is so helpful, tasty and addicting... go figure, haha. Not only is it good for altitude sickness but it is good for digestion.

Day 2: Huancayo
Today we slept in, went for breakfast at the Coqui Cafe next door to the hotel. Fresh made waffel and fresh juiced papaya! yum! Afterwards we were met by two lovely ladies, Fabiola, and Nancy who are part of the host partner group, Arguedianos. They took us in a cab around the city center and to the jobsite. I will talk more about the jobsite tomorrow. We went to a hat park... yes, a hat park.. Their were giant hats (used as umbrellas over the benches) in a beautiful park square with bidges and fountains. It was very unique... :) Afterward we walked around a mall, which, Im not going to lie, was really boring. I didn't come here to shop in a mall with fashions and prices the same as what I can find in Red Deer. Even though I get easily suckered in 'cause I do enjoy shopping... but I have to remind myself what things exactly I wanted to buy while in Peru... and it wasn't that. But it was helpful to learn were the supermarket was. And was, I admit, a good way to get used to the city.

Before dinner, we had some time to kill so Karin and I decided to take a little walk around city center. Got some great photos of the children chasing pigeons in the park as well as some beautiful photos of a colonial church. (will post later) We stumbled across a little artisan marketplace with beautiful andean crafts. Including of course, woven textiles and knitted sweaters. I bought my first ever alpaca sweater :) for 32 soles. Which is roughly about 15 buck cnd! Heck ya!
On the way back to the hotel I was taking some photos of the sunset light against the church and a woman with a child stopped me and asked, foto? pointing to the child. I thought she may have been giving me a photo op for of course a small fee. (tourists tend to get that) Of course I said ok sure.. But then she handed me the baby!! and explained again, no, we want a photo of the baby with you!! For no money of course, and we both felt bad for thinking so.. So i got to hold this sweet wide eyed pudgy cheeked little peruvian baby :) Filled my heart with joy!!
We finished the day off With a good meal at a fine Restaurante! Tomorrow morning, off to the jobsite!

Amber Lee
DWC Participant

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