Inspired Words

These are the experiences of our volunteers in Peru.

Huancayo, Peru: August 2010 – Torre Torre

Posted in Peru on August 23, 2010

At 12:30 today Cristian, Jessie and Lizbeth met us in the lobby to take us to go see Torre Torre, beautiful rock formations on the outskirts of town. So we hopped into three cabs and drove up to a very high point at the edge of Huancayo. We started our hike up a dirt road and passed by many people and farm houses. about a minute into the hike we stopped to talk to three little girls sitting outside their home. we asked there mother if we could take photos, so we took a few photos and then kept on our hike. I'm trailing behind the group (as usual) taking pictures and I hear a little voice calling from behind me. "senora, senora!" I turned around and one of the little girls was following me trying to catch me attention. She asked me if they could come with us to Torre Torre (in Spanish of course) And I said yes (in Spanish of course :p) Her face lit up as she jumped down to the road and ran to grab my hand. The older girl came running up and grabbed hold of her sisters hand and we started walking. Then I hear little footsteps running up behind me and I turn around and I see the youngest running to catch up. She grabbed a hold of my other hand. Together we walked down the road to catch up with the group. The three girls spoke very good English and the demonstrated to Nicole and I what they knew. they counted all the way to 30 and sang a color song, amarillo, yellow, azul, blue, verde, green, etc. They asked me if I had sisters, brothers, mother and father. they said they had a mother and father too :) once we got up high enough we stopped to take a few photos. The view was incredible, you could see all of Huancayo. Torre Torre was beautiful too, much like hoodoos but a darker color like terra cotta. So the group, me and my three little friends in hand carried on up higher. When we stopped again to collect some rocks I asked the their names. Nayeli, 8, Kathy, 5, and Diana, 3, (looked closer to 4 though) I was picking up some pieces of the Andes for my roomie, Mel, who collects rocks and once the girls saw what I was doing they all started to pick up rocks for me, I wanted only three or four but ended up with two handfuls! lol! Sorry Mel, but I had to leave some behind lol. They also picked a few tiny berries off some low laying shrubs and said, fruta, fruta, and ate them. and then shared one with me. I woulda pegged them as poisonous but.. whatever.. lol. Everytime I took a photo of one of the girls they insisted on seeing it. I offered to let them try to take a picture all by themselves. I showed Nayeli how to take the picture and after one shot passed it to her sister, Kathy. And with a little coaching from Nayeli, Kathy took a few shots. Loved it, and didn't want to give the camera Her face lit up everytime she pushed the button. And then I showed her each photo she took. On our way back down the mountain I saw many green leafy branches laying about. All three girls started to collect them and drag them along behind them. I asked Jessie what these leaves were used for. She said they are used for medicine, you boil the leaves and breathe it in, and its good for your lungs. I said what is it called, and she said, eucalyptus! I was so excited!! I leaned down to pick up one of the leaves to smell it but then she added that the old dry ones are no good. It the fresh ones the use for medicine. So Lizbeth found a near by tree and picked me a small branch. It smelled wonderful! I don't think I will ever again get a chance to smell fresh eucalyptus! I brought the leaves to one of the team members who has been stuffed up since she got here. She shoved the leaves up her nose. So then I wondered, if the dry ones are no good, then why are they collecting them? I asked and Jessie said they use the old branches for fire wood, since most of the houses outside of town use fire to cook and for warmth. I also asked about sugar cane. No they don't grow it here ( I didn't think so) but in the jungle they did. here they grow corn and harvest the stalks which are sweet, much like sugar cane. Some people eat the inside like sugar cane but mostly is it used in baking and cooking.

Jessie also told us about how they build their houses. Using a mixture of dirt, water, and wheat pieces the build up there walls using a wood frame to shape and let it dry in the sun. There are two ways to make it. One is that way, the other is making bricks the same way but it smaller molds. this way is called Adobe. I can't remember what the other style is called, but I will ask tomorrow.

On the way down the hill I spotted a young boy sitting on the grass with a tipped over wheel barrow. Looking a little closer I saw that the wheel got stuck in a crevice and the poor boy was stuck there. Andrew ran up to help the boy get the wheel barrow out of the crevice and helped him off the hill. The poor little boy looked so sad and we noticed he hurt his finger. Shay cleaned it and bandaged it up for him and he was on his way. His wheel barrow was full of dried eucalyptus branches :)

I said adios to my little friends and we hopped on the bus to go back down into town. We stopped at a park with a church and a red area with a pool. Shay, Laura, Drew and I got to dress up in traditional Peruvian dancing outfits for three soles a person! And we had some fun taking pictures. Went to the pool for a bit and then cabbed it back to Los Balcones. It was a really beautiful day :)

Amber Lee
DWC Participant

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