Inspired Words

These are the experiences of our volunteers in Peru.

Lima, Peru: Our first day on the project

Posted in Peru on October 28, 2011

We were taken from our hotel to the headquarters of the partner operation for our project. Each day our rep, Señora Luz, from IFEJANT, comes to the hotel and travels with us to the site. We stop off at the Lima Walmart every morning where Team Leader, Tony buys our big jugs of water for the day. We travel, for an hour each way, in a 1980's 12 passenger van that is expertly driven in the beyond chaotic traffic of Lima by our driver and his wife who navigates out the side window. At the headquarters we were introduced to our young and accomplished interpreter, D'Angelo, who will be with us a few days. We were thanked by one of the board members and provided an orientation of the schedule before we drove to the school. The school is on the outskirts of Lima in a place named Neuevo Esperanza. The school is on the side of a hill/rock and presently has about 6 classrooms full of the most happy and darling children. We were taken through 3 of the classrooms to be introduced to the children. Their interests were what our names are and how old we are. Sara lies about her age at home and keeps it up in Lima! They smile when they hear that Phil is Dana's father and when Graham tells them, in Spanish, that Mike is his 'padre'. Graham is very helpful with the translation from his Spanish classes and travels. We learned in a grade 1 class that Peru has a RAT that takes your teeth instead of the toothfairy. His name is Rocotta! After the tour it was down to work. Michael is the fashionista on the site in his black, denim man pries and stylin' t-shirts. Days into the job the quips keep coming!

Our work entails construction of the second floor of the San Jose Obrero School. Doug's construction expertise has been appreciated by our foreman Abdios and when in doubt we qll defer to Doug. Classes operate in our full on construction site with the children running about the danger zone; the sounds of their singing, voices and smiles is definitely motivating. The upper floor has no safety barriers, rebar poking out every where and we are fully exposed to the sun all day. When you pause from your work on the top of this building and look out you see the children's homes terraced up many hundreds of feet. A larger home is about 20x40; most are smaller. The work on this day was preparing for and pouring concrete slab and stairs. We worked an hour longer to 6pm to try to get it finished while the concrete machine was on site. The process was primitive and exhausting but luckily aided by a team of 7 locals that carried tins of concrete on their shoulders, along side our guys, up and down a steep ramp to the top floor. Other team members mixed the concrete, rock and Anita, Dana and Sara carried 100 buckets of water across the street for the mix. They were not dry at the end of the day. We felt very satisfied at the end of this work day to see all the concrete poured and the stairs to the floor done!!! We headed home at 6pm sunburnt, tired and dirty!

Evenings are fun. We feel good to be clean again and begin the hunt for a place to eat and 2 for 1 pisco sours!

Haste luego!

Tony, Mike, Graham, Kathleen, Rob, Sara, Anita, Phil, Dana, Doug and Vic
DWC Team Leader and Participants
Lima, Peru October 2011

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