Inspired Words

These are the experiences of our volunteers in Peru.


Lima, Peru: Connections

Posted in Peru on October 11, 2011

World Connections is a great way to describe my experiences in the first week of this adventure. All of our work group are somehow connected to our Team Leader Jen Baillie. Everyone brings their own talents to our team but enthusiasm, energy and a determination to learn is common to all. Our new friends in Peru from Luze, our DWC/IFEJANT host, through to the children of San Jose Obrero school all bring the same common qualities. The construction is bricks and mortar with rebar reinforced concrete columns. When the Engineer came to the site there was an animated discussion with the site foreman, Abdias, then a few minor adjustments. Seems Inspectors have an impact on quality control all over the world!!

There is a fantastic connection being made between our new friends and ourselves. Personalities are world wide and shy, mischievous, outgoing but we are all working towards a common goal which quickly transcends any language and cultural differences.

During the mixing of the mortar all of the 10-12 year olds of one class enthusiastically carried buckets of water, sand and stone to the top floor. Then they came around and talked to us. They taught me to say `fabricarde esquella`` and I taught them to say build the school. We would point to each other and repeat the phrase laughing at each others pronunciation. One of the 11 year old girls (likely a future teacher) explained to Amelia and I how to place the bricks without wasting any mortar. When we didn't quite get it she wagged her finger at us and said no, no, no, until we got it right!! Marjorie also taught Amelia many more Spanish words to add to her expanding vocabulary.

Friday afternoon became the highlight for everyone when we were organized into teams for games which began with an impromptu soccer match where everyone joined in including a dog and a boy on a scooter. No one knew who was on whose team but a laughing good time was had by all. My highlight was when our Amarillo (yellow) group sat after the games eagerly anticipating the next event, three 4-6 year olds came up to me and were intrigued by my blue eyes. They jumped on my back and we rough housed until our 11 year old Captain brought our group to order. A hearty thank you was given along with gift presentations to Amelia, Jen and Duncan who are departing Sunday.

The evening connected a whole other cultural norm as Peru scored twice and defeated Paraguay in a sold out soccer match in Lima. As we watched on TV at our Hostal, host Ronal leaped up and down and cheered outside along with hundreds of others within ear shot.
Go teamwork go eh!!

Russ Carmichael
DWC Participant
Lima, Peru October 2011

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