Inspired Words

These are the experiences of our volunteers in Peru.

Huancayo, Peru: Visiting with the school children was Wednesday’s Highlight.

Posted in Peru on April 21, 2011

We can see clearly now, the first thing we did was to clean the windows on the ground floor of the administration building. What a difference it made to have clean windows and have that extra bit of sparkle. As the windows were being cleaned Jesse showed up with a surprise for the team. She had brought supplies for Pachemanca, an amazing Peruvian dinner baked traditionally in the ground. Instead of painting the team was set to digging a hole, and washing rocks and then potatoes in preparation of building the oven and supplies still in transit. All the team knew was that they were in for a real treat.

Pachemanca is a traditional Inca dinner, the first step after building the oven is to build a fire and let it burn until the rocks lining the ground oven are white hot. All the rocks are then taken out of the oven and potatoes are lined along the bottom they are then covered with hot rocks. The next layer was a shocking amount of meat, a rack of pork chops, a side of sheep and four chickens, all had been marinated the day before in herbs and spices. Next Lima beans were added and corn husks. Large sacs, plastic and finally dirt was used to create a seal and keep the heat in. We left it for an hour, uncovered it to discover a veritable feast. What a great way to create a lasting bond between the Groupe de Huancayco and the Canadian/ German team!

The highlight of the day was to visit a school of grade one and twos. The kids were shy at first but soon had lots of questions for us about Canada - questions about “squares” (playgrounds), Canadian children and animals; particularly the type of fish. We brought handmade wooden toys, chocolate, and hair pretties for the girls. Every child said gracias for their gift as their eyes lit up with excitement. Seeing the joy on the faces of some of these kids brought tears to our eyes. One of the teachers thanked the team for coming and for sharing with the school and welcomed us to future visits. As a bonus, the teachers brought out the rest of the students, and as luck would have it, we had enough toys and chocolate to give them all a gift, too. In total the school has 32 students. Just before the team left some of the children gave the team members giant hugs before rushing back to class. It was a moving experience and one the team will never forget.

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