Inspired Words

These are the experiences of our volunteers in Peru.

Huancayo Peru: August 2010 – Last day on the project and saying goodbye

Posted in Peru on November 25, 2010

Last day of working in Huancayo today and it has proven to be a rewarding experience. although we will not see the completion of the school, we feel good knowing that we helped to get it one step closer. One day it will be full of children and will hopefully be the beginning of a new way of schooling in Huancayo. Be able to working side by side with the foreman, Maestro Augusto, was a rewarding experience in itself. He is an easy going guy with a sense of humor. Communicating was easy, he spoke zero English but with the help of our "pocito espanol" and a lot of hand signals we managed to get quite a bit of work done in the admin building. Its nice to be able to visualize what the entire place will look like when it is completed. The classrooms are already done, they have tiled floors and large windows and big fancy doors... the walkway that we worked on looked something like a labrynth, twisting and turning around what will be gardens and a meditations and chess area. There is a large grassy area for the kids to play if they like. The brick and cement keep the buildings cool in the day time. I am unsure whether or not Lizette and her family will be a permanent residence on the property after the completion of the school. But for the meantime it is necessary and quite a privilege for us to be able to see the daily life of this woman and her child while working at the jobsite. It was a little sad knowing we would not be back the following Monday to keep working with the group, Yessie, Augusto... and have Nancy bring lunch at 1pm. Its so funny how easily one can fall into a routine. But mostly it will be sad that we wont get to see any of them again.

I never thought saying goodbye would be so hard. Its amazing in such a short time the kind of bond you can create with a person. The kindness that our friends in Huancayo showed us is more then I can explain. Each and every one of them made it so comfortable to be there and it felt like home in no time at all. Nancy and Yessie arranged a tour for us on our last day, to see some of the country side we hadn't seen yet. We drove out of Huancayo, through a few small towns and into the country to the beautiful farmlands of the Andes. We stopped to hike up a beautiful cobblestone trail to the top of a mountain to see some ancient Wankan ruins. The Wankas were a civilization that lived in the area in the same time as the Incas (but nowhere near the Incas). They were a much stronger civilization and extremely strategic in the building of there city. It overlooks the mountain in all directions. They were wiped out by the Spanish however, same as the Incas. It was very warm and sunny, and although we were exhausted by the time we reached the top, it was worth it to experience the ruins. As well as the incredible view of Huancayo and surrounding area. The countryside was some of the most beautiful I had ever seen, old tapia and adobe style houses, ruins, freshly plowed fields ready to be planted, some already being harvested by old women wearing traditional layered skirts with aprons vests and hats. Towering over everything were beautiful eucalyptus trees, the air was fresh and clean with the slight scent of eucalyptus. It was quiet and peaceful, not like the city. There were donkeys, sheep and cows grazing on the land.. Its the kind of peaceful and simple life that I dream of. Cristian says its only about 10 soles/meter for land out there. That is less then 5 dollars Canadian!

Driving back down the mountain side, we stopped in a little village to see the oldest church in Huancayo. It is 450 years old. Beautiful, like something you would see in the movies. it was so... incredible. And cobblestone walkway leading over a bridge and all the way up to the front door.

On the ride there and back, I got to sit beside Cristian. It was nice having him near so I could ask questions about things. He and Yessie are so helpful anytime we have questions about the culture or anything. So we chatted a bit and he shared with me some photos of himself when he was younger and his family. It was so nice getting to spend a little extra time getting to know him. Wish I had even a few more days to get to know him better. And Yessie too...

Our farewell was rushed and chaotic. But we hugged and said our thank yous and goodbyes. I cried when I got on the bus. Some people asked what the best part of the trip was, and by far, it was making friends with the locals. I left a piece of my heart in Huancayo today. And one day soon I will be back for it.

Amber Lee
DWC Participant

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