Monday, July 11, 2011

Rainy Season???

July 1-2, 2011

The rain continued all day Friday. It just poured and poured. Many people in Peru are blaming Global Warming. Winter (April through September) here means the dry season, and summer is the rainy season. Rain during July is unheard of so people associate higher global temperatures as a cause of the crazy amounts of rain that has fallen over the past two days.

Friday afternoon we had a photo scavenger hunt and the $2-a-day project. The $2-a-day project was started by Elyse last year even though I got credit for it in the staff manual. One-half of the world’s population lives on $2 each day or less. So we broke the kids into groups of two and gave them $4 worth of Soles (12). I got a list of items the girls needed at the dorm from Elena and broke up the items amongst the groups. Their job was to buy as much as they could with the money they had. They had to bargain and search around town for the items. When they all came back we had a reflection. We had each group tell the story about how they found the items (sometimes these get pretty crazy) and line them up according to how important they would be for the family they worked with over the two weeks. Each group could change the order if they wanted.

The order was simple, food items first, hygiene in the middle, and school supplies last. We talked about the order and then I explained how the families would never make it past hygiene because then the food would run out and they would have to replace it. The families never made it down to the end of the table where the school supplies were. That is the point of the galpones. The guinea pigs were not going to make anyone rich, but allow families to move further down the line and be able to buy things for their children that they otherwise would not have been able to. It was a good lesson and many of the students took pictures of the items on the table. I can’t wait to give them to the girls on Sunday night.

Donations: Right to Left

Friday night is a special meal called pachamanka. It is basically an Earth oven where several types of potatoes, chicken, lamb, beans, and bananas are cooked. This meal is amazing!! But the students didn’t get to see it made because it was raining so hard. We did eat it at Allen’s house though, and they loved meeting his family. It was a good night.

Saturday morning several artisans came in to teach the students how to sew the souvenir dolls they see for sale around town. Haha!! It was pretty difficult but they took their best shot and they didn’t turn out too bad. I used the time to sew up my old tattered Chaco sandals. Then we boarded the train to Aguas Calientes, the city below Machu Picchu. Tomorrow is the big day where they get to see one of the Wonders of the World. Aguas is a strange city created solely for tourists. It is covered with souvenir stands and restaurants.

Sewing dolls: Alex was an expert

After arriving in Aguas, I took the group to the other side of the river where the local people live. We got to watch a soccer match on the new soccer field. We all bought the standard food, anti-cucho de Corazon (cow heart). I then got my usual haircut at the place right next to the field. Dinner then followed with a good buffet and a pretty cool pan flute band. We danced a little but kind of embarrassed ourselves. The whole time I couldn’t wait for my favorite all time Aguas activity, Peruvian Butt Sliding. Last summer we saw little kids who took empty 2-liter bottles and slid on them down the steep sidewalk. So we started doing it and of course the students had a blast. Many people stopped to watch and take pictures. We finished the night doing Karaoke. Once again, I don’t think we impressed anyone, but Barbie Girl was definitely a highlight.

Now, we are ready to get up tomorrow and see the famous ruins.

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