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 15 – Cochabamba to Cusco

August 30, 2013

Today we had a lot of traveling to do. We woke up at six and took a bus to the airport. On the way, a car tried to squeeze between our bus and another bus. After risking getting his car squished he stopped trying to pass us. We arrived at the airport and said our last good byes to Juan Carlos.  

We flew from Cochabamba to La Paz.  From above, La Paz looked like a city of Lego covered in snow. We got off our plane and saw a snowman built just outside the building. After going through security to leave the country we headed outside and got onto the exact same plane we had just arrived in. We then flew from La Paz to Cuzco and on the way we flew over Lake Titicaca, which is huge. We landed in Cusco and took a bus to our hotel.

After settling in, we were all starving so we walked to a pizza place for lunch.  The pizza was delicious! Some of the Interactors tried a pizza with alpaca meat. Afterwards, we had five hours of free time to explore the area around our hotel and go into shops. Many students found lots of stuff in the side markets off the street.  A group of girls had a day at the spa and manicures whereas another group got offered to have their hair dreadlocked. For dinner we bought out all the empanadas in a bakery. The students returned and had hot showers. Actually, so many people were showering at the same time that some of us had cold showers! We knew we would be getting up at 3:30 a.m. so we were all in bed early.

Cathedral in Cusco

Cathedral in Cusco


Snow on the top of an airport vehicle in La Pa

Snow on the top of an airport vehicle in La Pa


Alley way on the way to lunch in Cusco

Alley way on the way to lunch in Cusco


Typical street in Cusco

Typical street in Cusco


Houses on the hillside in Cusco

Houses on the hillside in Cusco


View of La Paz from the plane

View of La Paz from the plane


Cusco here we come

Cusco here we come


Temple of the Sun about 3 blocks from our hotel

Temple of the Sun about 3 blocks from our hotel


Franciscan Monastery

Franciscan Monastery

 

 

Day 12 – Prison Play Group and an Ice Cream Date

August 27, 2013

This morning we got to wake up a whole hour later at 7:30. After breakfast and chores we had a quick meeting, explaining what we would be doing today. One of our connections with the Cochabamba  Rotary club, Pheobe,  had arranged for us to spend some time with children from a school close to the prisons. All the children in the school have a parent in the jail and most of them sleep there at night as well. Unfortunately our group was too large to all go at once, so we were split into two groups. One group would go in the morning while the other one went to finish up projects at the work site, in the afternoon the groups would switch. Once instructions were given and groups were split up the group going to work first packed up and headed out. During the morning this group worked on leveling out the ground under the playground, pulling weeds, cleaning up and pouring concrete.

The other group took taxis at 10:00 to the school and met up with Pheobe, before being introduced to the kids. All of the kids were very excited to see everyone. Unfortunately we were not aware that we were supposed to prepare songs and games. So after only a slight panic we pulled together, ‘ Itsy Bitsy Spider’,’ Hokey Pokey’ and ‘Wheels on the Bus’. After this the kids then sang songs to us with their classes, in Spanish. Before they went back to class we got a short amount of time to play with the kids. Many of the kids found older buddies which they clung to and played with. Everyone had a really good time even though Steven’s buddy nibbled his ear and Cole’s buddy slapped him across the face. After they all returned to class, some of the Interactors got to visit them there and continuing playing. Once we had left the school, Pheobe took us to go see a small store/ restaurant run by the women who have been released from prison. Many of us bought a few things and enjoyed seeing that the women have some form of rehabilitation. After we returned back to the scout hall in taxis, we met back up with the other group for lunch.

After lunch and dishes were done, one group went to the work site to finish the leveling and concrete work. The other group packed up our stuff and decided to walk the prison so we could see more of the city. We decided to walk through the market and many of us stopped to shop for a few minutes. When we arrived outside the school we still had to wait for Pheobe. So we walked around the square and looked at some woodworking projects made by the male prisoners. These were displayed and sold in the town square.  As Pheobe had still not arrived we took time to visit the store with the crafts made by the female ex-prisoners.  We sat in the square for a few more minutes until she arrived, an hour late. When we got into the school all the kids were in class so we broke up into which age groups we wanted to visit. The ones who visited older students got to hear stories about daily life, which were somewhat shocking and sad. Younger groups played, took pictures and did crafts. We left just as school was ending and as we started walking back we witnessed an anti-abortion protest.  The rest of the walk back we watched street vendors, restaurants and daily Bolivian life go by.

We had an early dinner so that we could meet up with the Cochabamba Interactors and go out for ice cream. They picked us up at 6:00 and brought us to a restaurant about 20 minutes away. As there were not really enough vehicles to take all of us for ice cream, several Interactors sat in the open back of a truck while all 5 leaders shared the back seat.  Drivers in Bolivia are crazy!  One of the leaders complimented their 17 year old driver on how well maneuvered through the streets.  He then informed us that he did not even have a driver’s license!!  We were very lucky that the Interact group bought each of us a cheese empanada and cinnamon/milk flavoured ice cream. Afterwards we all walked to a nearby grocery store to buy lots of snacks including plenty of coca tea to bring back home. We all piled into taxis and headed back to the hall for a few quick card games and hopefully lots of sleep.

– Sophie and Emma

Market vendors

Market vendors


Girls at the Amistad De Le Casa practicing a dance for a talent show

Girls at the Amistad De Le Casa practicing a dance for a talent show


Alyssa

Alyssa


Svetlana

Svetlana


Wren

Wren


Steven

Steven


Cole

Cole


Men’s  Prison-note the housing added on the top of the building

Men’s Prison-note the housing added on the top of the building


Little guy at the Amistad

Little guy at the Amistad

 

Day 9 – A Visit to the Market

August 23, 2013

When we got up we were served a selection of Fruit Loops, Cocoa Puffs and Frosted Flakes. As well as bread with either jam or caramel spread. Of course we had coca tea or coffee or hot chocolate to drink. After we finished we did our chores and got ready for the day.

Once everyone was ready we walked to the project.  It had rained over night so everything was wet and cold. When we arrived everyone split into their groups and started working. The jobs being done were; making a cobblestone path for the drain, breaking concrete to remove the flag pole from the soon to be basketball court and shoveling and leveling dirt on the playground. After a few hours some of the Bolivian Interactors came and planted some trees and bushes in front of Cereco Center. It was slightly depressing to do all the work in the rain so we stopped for lunch half an hour early.

For lunch we had potatoes with a yellow peanut sauce, fried balls of vegetables, lettuce, tomatoes and hard boiled eggs. For dessert we were served a pineapple fruit cup flavored with cinnamon. After lunch we had quiet time, it was a nice break.

When quiet time was over we walked down to the market.  What was supposed to be a 20 minute walk turned out to be over one hour, before we found the right market. We saw all sorts of interesting things. including a full butchered horse head with the nose and whiskers still intact, puppies, kitties, bunnies and tons of Bolivian souvenirs and trinkets. Everyone was incredibly happy with their purchases. The market was a very interesting cultural experience. It is a huge market.  It is four blocks long and two full block wide. Everything in it is very tightly packed and all of the booths are super full of merchandise. It was also interesting to see how they sell their fresh produce. Every vendor has a few items that they grow and they sell only those items in heaping piles on the ground. How they sell the meat is also quite different than in Canada. There are loads of little butcher shops and they have all their cuts of meat on a counter in front of them. After everyone was finished shopping we walked back to the hall in a rush because we were running late for dinner with the Interactors and Roteractors of Cochabamba.

On the way to dinner our taxi had to pull over and ask someone who was walking along the road for directions to our restaurant. When we finally arrived at “Restaurant Canata” we went in and sat with other Interactors and Roteractors to encourage conversation. We listened to their meeting where they discussed upcoming fundraisers and events.   Israel made a small speech and announced that we will be donating five hundred dollars to their fundraiser where they build houses for families in need.  At the end of the meeting and speech we made the friendship of our two interact clubs official by both Presidents signing an agreement to continue our partnership. Everyone was happy  because they hope to visit us in Castlegar next summer. Soon after the meeting finished we were served our meal of fried plantain, mashed potatoes, broccoli, carrots, corn and a piece of meat topped with gravy, red peppers and mushrooms. Everything was very delicious and we all enjoyed our conversations.

After dinner we took some group pictures and started dancing! We danced to all sorts of music . From what we are used to dancing to like Electronic music, Taylor Swift, Justin Beiber and lots of other artists to lots of genres, artists and songs from Bolivia that most of us had never heard. It was very fun, and a really great team building event.

Everyone was very impressed with how well they could dance, especially the Bolivian girls with really high heels.   After quite a while we all headed back to the hall, in taxis or in the back of the Interactors parent’s cars. It was past our bed time so we all went to bed fairly quickly.

It was a very fun, long and interesting day. The people I talked to were all very happy because not only did we get lots of cool Bolivian stuff and snacks, but we got to see more of Cochabamba and experience more of the Bolivian culture.

-Wren

 

Victor our cement worker enjoying the new rain jacket we gave him

Victor our cement worker enjoying the new rain jacket we gave him


Flag pole removal

Flag pole removal


Do you know what this is?

Do you know what this is?


Market

Market


Israel signing Friendship document with Cochabamba Interact President`

Israel signing Friendship document with Cochabamba Interact President