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Volunteer Abroad Lima, Peru

January 13th, 2011

PERU | Thursday, 13 January 2011 | Views [330]

Today was filled with work. The volunteers and I went to Pachacutec to take some of the children to the beach. Man, the walk to the beach was insane! It took nearly forever to get there walking on mountains of sand and rocks. I just love how the children talk to me like I am a natural Peruvian when, in actuality, I have no idea what they are saying. Usually, I pick up a couple of words they say and hope that I understand.

Once we got to the beach, the view was amazing. All the volunteers and I made sure that none of the children were out of our sight. Many of the children remained close to the volunteers and I. Some of the children found dead crabs (I have no idea where these kids found them) and explored them. It was really relaxing. The water was freezing!

The walk back to the bus stop to the orphanage was extraordinarily… terrible. Everyone was just so tired. Fortunately, police officers offered all the children a ride in their truck. Some volunteers and I could not fit so we ended up walking most of the way. Lucky for us, a little motor buggy-like-thing came along and everyone got on. I was able to enjoy a very ticklish experience on the motor buggy thing.

The bus back to the orphanage was very scary. I was almost caught in the middle of a fight. There were no more seats on the bus so I was one of the few people who were standing. I let Allie take my seat since her feet were in so much pain. I stood by the doorway while Juan and one of the staff members of the orphanage stood by me. Juan was talking to the guy who collected the bus money and, slowly, I could see something was beginning to form. Voices began to escalate and I heard Juan saying “no” and that he would call the police. The staff member, an old man, began to shout “abajo” (“let us down”). The driver refused to let us down while the bus money collector stood by the doorway. Juan and the elderly man both began saying “abajo.” I was starting to get really scared because I was right in the middle of everything. All of sudden, the elderly man grabbed the bus money collector by the neck. I moved away into Allie’s lap and she held me. Thankfully, the driver halted the bus to a stop and everyone got off. I could hear the bus money collector apologizing to me and calling Juan and the elderly man “bad people.”

It turns out that what happened all stemmed from the fact that the bus money collector went back on his words. Before everyone got on the bus, he agreed with Juan that for everyone it would only be 5 soles. Once on the bus and in motion though, the bus money collector decided that it was going to be 8 soles because he didn’t know the adults would be going as well.

I don’t know. I thought that was unnecessary. I mean, the volunteers and I would have been more than happy to pitch in another 3 soles. It was not a big deal. For things to get so out of hand like that, I think it is utterly ridiculous. So many children were on the bus. It would have been unfair to them if something more extreme were to happen. Seriously, I was so close to everyone involved in that incident. It was really scary. I could have been majorly hurt if things got more intense. I am just grateful that nothing happened.

Back at the orphanage, the volunteers and I had lunch before we started repairing the two classrooms that were in need of some new renovations. Lunch was delicious! We had this soup-like thing with rice, pork, chicken, and onions.

After lunch, the volunteers and I had to take off all the wall paper inside the classrooms (the classrooms are essentially 4x4 slabs of wood). It makes me sad to see and compare the differences between the classrooms in Pachacutec and the classrooms back in California. They literally have nothing here. They have a table and some chairs. That’s pretty much it. No books, no individual desks, no pens and pencils, and, definitely, no paper.

It was a long process getting all the wall paper off since most of it did not come off. Water was used to soak the remaining patches of wall paper and a scraper was used to scrape the wall paper off. Blue was the preferred color for the classroom. Everyone had so much fun. We all listened to music on my Ipod while we worked. I left the place with paint on my clothes, arms, and face. Fun! :)

On a completely different note, I gotta talk about my cool volunteer t-shirt. On it, the name Tarpuy Sonqo (the Quechan word for “spreading love) is written on it. On the back, it says “I am a volunteer in Peru” in Spanish. It’s grey and even though it’s a size small, it looks like a dress on me. It has a little globe on it too! It's great!

Tonight my roommate, Lan, left for home. I feel so sad and lonely in my room :(. I got along so well with her. We would always stay up and talk to each other. We’d have so much fun together. I really dislike goodbyes so I always tell people, “It’s not a goodbye, it’s a see you later.” :) I said that to Lan and made her promise me that we would see each other sometime in the future.

I am really feeling happy and content about so many things. I feel really fortunate for everything that I have witnessed and experienced. I’m also looking forward to so many things as well.  I believe that I am the most fortunate person in the whole entire world because I am continually surrounded by love. It’s the greatest feeling that can ever be felt.

I love you, bye! :D

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