Inspired Words

These are the experiences of our volunteers in Peru.

Lima, Peru: Memories and gifts to last a lifetime

Posted in Peru on October 17, 2011

I can´t believe that two weeks have come and gone. This has been the most amazing time of my life working with such energetic and fun loving people on such a worthwhile project. I am so proud to have been part of such a hard working group.
We managed to cut rebar to specific lengths with just an ordinary hack saw. Then these were bent into shapes for the rebar column. The rebar columns were held together by twisting wire around the shapes.The rebar columns were then erected in their specific places. Next we had to haul up bricks from the floor below. The children would come and help us on their breaks passing bricks along a line. The last person on the line would then throw them up to a catcher on the second floor. Miraculously no bricks were lost this way (our foreman kept mentioning that bricks were $1 each).We had lots of fun joking with him. Then we had to haul sand up the ramp in buckets. The children would do their bit as well. They were so enthusiastic helping. It was hard for the teachers to get them back to class. It was wonderful to see them so busy and helpful.
We also mixed the cement for laying the brick walls. It had to be just the right mixture. This was very hard work. Once that was done the bricklaying began. That was fun. We managed to get 6 walls erected before our bricks ran out.
We were very lucky with the weather. I doesn't really rain here , just gets very damp when the clouds are low. It is very cool in the morning and evening but when the sun finally breaks through you definitely need sunscreen. As it is spring here in Oct we weren't bothered by any mosquitoes.
We were able to have lots of interaction with the children which was a great highlight for all of us. Every morning the children would have dancing lessons to Peruvian music outside. On occasion we were able to join in. That was great fun.
On our last day , it was a holiday for the children and it was strange being at the site with no sound of childrens voices. Later in the afternoon they showed up for more photos. Then we were called in for a debriefing while the children, teachers and parents got a room ready to give us a show. They had dancing, music, Inka Cola and cookies that the children had baked in class for us. The children presented us with a going away gift which will always be treasured.
For helping with the project IFEJANT gave us each a Peruvian manta (blanket) . These will be treasured forever as well. The schoolmaster mentioned that the children will pass through the school but our bricks and mortar will last forever as a reminder of all the work we have done. He also mentioned that inspectors would drop by and because the project has been coming along so well the school would be able to have more donations from the government. What a truly amazing project we have been able to do.

Every little bit helps!

Lorna Stephens
DWC Participant
Lima, Peru October 2011

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