Day 17 – One last fling in Peru

September 1, 2013

We woke up, had breakfast and packed our bags then hopped on the bus to the airport. The flight to Lima was an hour long. When we arrived in Lima we took a short bus ride to our hotel. We are staying in the “Hotel Dazzler”, which opened on August 12th, so it is brand new and looks really expensive. All the girls were jumping around excited to have mirrors, hot showers,  and hard wood floors.  We heard that Lorraine, Denise and Tamara were jumping for joy at the site of their room.  After we arrived we walked a couple of blocks to the supermarket to buy lunch and snacks. After that we spent the rest of the afternoon hanging around the hotel in our rooms or at the sauna until we went for dinner. On our way to dinner we enjoyed a nice leisurely walk along the ocean walkway, everyone was so excited to see the ocean, and we were all impressed with how beautiful Lima is-  we had been told that  Lima  was not as safe as Bolivia and could be quite dangerous. However, after about 20 minutes, we soon realized what a beautiful city Lima  is as we walked along the walkway with a superb view of the ocean.  We arrived at a mall and after a couple minutes of deciding and debating, we decided we would eat at TGI Friday’s.  We all enjoyed a nice, quick American style meal. We all packed up the leftovers of our huge portions and headed back to the hotel.   On our way home we took a slightly wrong turn and spent an extra fifty  minutes walking around the neighborhood, which was actually really nice because we got to see more of the city. We saw statues, parks, people playing guitar on the sidewalk and an  outdoor painting display at one of the squares.  Eventually we returned to the hotel, excited but sad to spend our last night in South America before we begin our journey home.

Andrew 

Hanging out  in the hotel

Hanging out in the hotel

 

View from the Mira Flores walkway

View from the Mira Flores walkway

 

View from the Mira Flores walkway

View from the Mira Flores walkway

 

View from our hotel room

View from our hotel room

 

View from our hotel room

View from our hotel room

 

Time for a small group photo before heading down to explore the ocean waterfront

Time for a small group photo before heading down to explore the ocean waterfront

 

Cole having some fun in the brisk water

Cole having some fun in the brisk water

 

A great trio

A great trio

 

Day 11 – Visiting the Past.

August 26, 2013

 As usual everybody got up, got dressed and headed down for breakfast. Our breakfast was the usual, cereal and bread. After we were done eating we all split into the assigned groups to do morning chores. Soon, everybody was ready to head to work. Once we reached the worksite and we all got our gloves and hats on we had a group talk on what needed to be done. Some of the jobs included pouring and leveling concrete, leveling the ground and shoveling rocks.  We all welcomed the sun that came out today but we had to be very careful not to overheat. As always we all worked hard and quickly.

 About half an hour before our lunch break we found out that some of us would be going to the two orphanages (Amistad & Bolivian Children’s Mission) that the Interact group worked at last time they were in Bolivia. After a bit, the rest of us soon joined the others back at the Scout Hall. There we had a lunch of rice, potatoes, meatloaf, broccoli and juice.  After lunch, we had our quiet time. Everybody went off to take a nap, read, listen to music, watch a movie or play cards. When quiet time was over the Interactors who were going to the orphanages began to load bags and the Interactors who were going back to work started to get ready to leave.

                At the worksite we worked hard to get as much work done before it was time to head back. We leveled dirt, moved rocks and worked on the concrete. The people working on rocks got quite a surprise when they found a HUGE spider! Sooner than we expected, we were done and ready to leave.

                Some of us visited two past project sites of our Interact Club, here in Cochabamba.   While we were waiting for Geoff and Lorraine to run an errand,  a little boy about 3 sat outside and played games like peek-a-boo, and kept running around laughing and hiding from us. At one point the little boy looked up at Emma and said, “Te amo!” before running away.  When we arrived at Amistad, the project that the interact group worked on in 2009, everybody saw how the centre worked. The objective is to take in abandoned or orphaned children and give them a proper family life. They have 8 separate houses on the compound.  In each house there are 8-10 children and one mom (a woman who works to raise the kids). They also have a ‘Tia’ (an aunt) who helps sometimes. While we were there, we took a tour of the facility with the director. We were shown the gardens, library, offices, gym and were welcomed into 2 houses. In one house, they were having a birthday party for an American girl who had been volunteering there for three months. We were all surprised when they started to play “Chubby Bunny” and the mom offered us home-made ice cream.

After the tour we gave out some of our suitcases filled with clothes and took a picture,  Next we headed to the project they worked on in 2007, an orphanage inside one house. When we arrived, we were greeted by smiles and hugs. That was closely followed by grabbing our cameras and running around taking pictures. After about 20 minutes of kicking around a soccer ball, we gave them some suitcases and quilts. We also met the director and two German volunteers, who were staying at the orphanage. It was hard to say goodbye after having such a short time with the kids, but it was time to head back to the Hall for dinner. On the way back, Mikey, Lorraine and Geoff talked about that orphanage and their experiences there. They told us that that is the reason they do these trips and that every time they go back, it feels like home. Many of us hope to return to those orphanages, South Africa and the centre we are working at now.

                That night, when everybody was back, we all gathered with some of the local Rotarians and Rotaractors to watch a movie. The movie was a satire about two Bolivian criminals.  It was cool to see the actual towns and cities that were shown in the movie. While we all laughed a lot, we were shocked about how honest the movie was about the state of the country. After the movie there was a short presentation by one of the Cochabamba Roteract Presidents about the projects they are currently working on. Their projects include working with children who are visually impaired and their current project involves  teaching the kids to recycle and throw away garbage. After the presentation, we were all very tired and ready for bed.

 Goodnight Cochabamba

-Alyssa, Emma and Sophie

Kids at Cereco Center

Kids at Cereco Center

 

Spider in rock pile

Spider in rock pile

 

Cement pouring

Cement pouring

 

Group with clothing donation for orphanage

Group with clothing donation for orphanage

 

Lorraine with the cook from the orphanage

Lorraine with the cook from the orphanage

 

Lorraine and Geoff with orphanage bus

Lorraine and Geoff with orphanage bus

 

Mike with orphanage bus

Mike with orphanage bus

DSCN1855 (1)

Day 7 – Work hard/Play hard

August 22, 2013

Today when we all woke up and got out of the comfy little bunk beds we sleep in at the scout hall we went to breakfast and exchanged some stories.  We found out the dogs that live on the compound had gone into two of the rooms and startled a few people. One went into girls room and tried to snuggle up to Tamara.  The other one decided to go into the boys room and sniff Mike’s face. We then went and did our morning duties. We are broken into three groups and are assigned either the kitchen, sweeping the rooms and halls, or the bathrooms. No one likes doing the bathrooms… even though there is only one toilet that works in the girl’s bathroom. That causes problems when we wake up and all have to pee.

Once our chores are complete walk for about two minutes over to the site. One of our duties today was to take all of the rocks that were stacked behind the bleachers. These rocks were fairly large and it took the Interactors half a day to move them all to a pile to the side of the park, which is very impressive. When we got our new pile of dirt delivered today the men who delivered the dirt, were responsible for taking the rocks that we piled, away in their dump truck. It took them only 30 min to throw them all into their truck and drive away. Wow!   The work we have done so far is almost finished filling in behind the bleachers and making them stable.  Some of us would like to ask if we can grout (fill in cracks and holes) and possibly paint them.   Then we have to level out all the area beside playground equipment and place new dirt, and cement the rest of the basketball court. We finished transplanting trees after a run in with the angry gardener.

 Once classes at the center start the parents of the kids like to come over and to help us because they are required to have some volunteer hours for the center, it’s really nice to have them help because it’s a little easier to take a break and sit in the shade if you need to. Work day three is always one of the hardest; it’s when you start to feel sore before you start getting used to the hard work. Some of the moms come and helped us transfer dirt.   It is amazing to see them take empty cement sacks, pile a bunch of rocks and dirt onto  the bag and  carry the bags to the pile.  Many of these women were not all that young!  There are also two little boys who came to help us. These little boys work harder than we do when they come, and that’s VERY hard.  At the end of the day we welcomed a shower, that we all knew was going to be a cold shower. There seems to be only one shower that actually gives luke warm water and I haven’t a clue which one it is.

 Tonight the District Governor of Bolivia came along with all the Cochabamba Interact, Rotaract, and other Rotarians. After a nice ceremony where Geoff got a Rotary banner from the Rotary club of Cochabamba and all the Interactors were given buttons that said, “Yo Rotoract Tunari”, which means “We love Rotaract Tunari”. The night was fun and we played multiple games with all of the Rotaract and Interact clubs. We played a game that helped us introduce ourselves.  When a ball of yarn was thrown to you in the circle, you took hold of the string, said your first and last name, hobbie, and nickname. It created a spider web that linked our countries, and ourselves together. . Then we had a barbeque and the meat was definitely something that most Interactors from Canada were not used to, it was cow heart. To be honest it tasted just like normal meat and lots of the boys went back for more. Then we played another game called ‘werewolf’ which was kind of  like that murder mystery game where someone is it and they shake another person’s hand and squeeze it so they “die”, except it had witches,  werewolves and hunters and was really interesting. Once the night ended it was much later than when we usually go to bed. We all said our goodbyes and went to sleep.

– Ashlee

Geoff and the District Govenor

Geoff and the District Govenor

 

A group of students at Ceirco Center

A group of students at Ceirco Center

 

Raissa and Sophie

Raissa and Sophie cut 76 holes in this pipe because perforated pipe is too expensive

 

Steven working with the cement maker

Steven working with the cement maker

 

 A mom working with her baby on her back

A mom working with her baby on her back

 

Barbeque preparation

Barbeque preparation

 

Game with yarn making a web

Game with yarn making a web

 

Wren and Natasha making new friends

Wren and Natasha making new friends

 

Day 5 – The work begins!

August 20, 2013

Today we went to Cereco Center for the first time to meet the children and the workers. They greeted us with cards, flags, hugs and lots of excitement. Mike and Geoff briefed us on the project and what we would be doing for the next few days. We started work this morning on pulling out tires, transporting rubble from the broken cement, making molds for the retaining wall, and transplanting various trees and shrubs. It’s a very big project for us but everyone is working so hard to get the job done that it is still possible. The scout hall where we are staying is a block away from our worksite; it’s so close that we can see the project from our windows! We have been divided into groups to do work around the scout hall during the day. We do things such as dishes, sweeping bedrooms, and cleaning the bathrooms and showers. Even though it’s winter in Bolivia it’s still very hot outside which makes the work we are doing tiring. Some people already feel the effects of the elevation and are losing their breath quickly, having headaches, and becoming tired easily. We may become tired quickly also because we are working so hard, we’ve actually broken a large portion of the shovels and pick axes within the first few hours!

Around 12:30 we walked back to the scout hall to have lunch, wash dishes, and have our quiet time. At 2pm we all went back to Cereco to finish up the day’s work. We dug up all of the tires that were in the ground, transplanted all of the trees and shrubs, and we finished moving all of the concrete rubble, which we thought was going to take 2 weeks! At 3:30pm a few Interactors from the Cochabamba club came to the worksite to get to know us better and help out with finishing our tasks. Near the end of the day we started mixing the concrete for the jungle gyms and plan on continuing the concrete work tomorrow.

Once we finished up at the job site we returned to the scout hall and had showers which felt oh so good! After the long, hot day of working hard we were covered in dirt and very grateful for the showers, even though there was no hot water. Later on, we had our dinner which was cooked by people from a local restaurant. We finished up dinner, cleaned up the dishes and had some time to relax a little bit. Then we went to bed.

– Noah and Israel

Some of the  adults at the center working on some crafts

Some of the adults at the center working on some crafts

 

students and adults at the Center presented each of us with a lei type necklace, a Bolivian flag and a picture

students and adults at the Center presented each of us with a lei type necklace, a Bolivian flag and a picture

 

Kids from the Center greeting us upon  our  arrival

Kids from the Center greeting us upon our arrival

 

The work site-we will help pour a new concrete slab for games, but we need to move all the dirt and old broken concrete first-there  are about 4 more large piles of dirt behind the other piles

The work site-we will help pour a new concrete slab for games, but we need to move all the dirt and old broken concrete first-there are about 4 more large piles of dirt behind the other piles

 

Natasha gathering up pieces  concrete

Natasha gathering up pieces concrete

 

Wren sweeping up pieces of concrete

Wren sweeping up pieces of concrete