Day 1: Chorrillos
21 students and 5 teachers from 11 different countries and 18 different schools arrived in Lima on Tuesday July 17th. On the following morning we all headed off to the Chorrillos day care centre in Lima to paint the playground wall. It was a good activity to help us get to know each other, as well as provide a service to the centre.
Chincha is a large town about 200 km south of Lima in the Ica region. It was greatly affected by the 2007 earthquake and the devastation is still very much visible today. Many families are still living in the temporary US Aid shelters and the town is still littered with destroyed, half-standing buildings. I visited the Sunampe region, where students from Markham College of Lima have been building houses since soon after the earthquake. After the earthquake Markham College initially organised donations and collections of food and making survival packs, which were sent down to Chincha by the truckload.
Pachacamac is an archaeological site near Lima, built between c.200-1450 CE, before the arrival and conquest by the Inca Empire. 17 pyramids have been identified, mostly temples. The site has layers of buildings with the earliest being c. 200-600 CE, then later the Huari built their administrative centre on this site (600-800 CE). After the collapse of the Huari empire, Pachacamac grew as a religious centre with many temples being built (c. 800-1450 CE).
The Incas invaded the area and used Pachacamac as an administrative centre but also allowed the Pachacamac priests to continue their priesthood. The Incas added 5 more buildings plus a temple to the sun.
After exploring Pachacamac we went to an interesting restaurant in Lurin. It was if we had been transported to Bali! It was built with bamboo. The kitchen was outside with clay ovens. The food was amazing!
This week I spent some time at a day care centre for needy kids. It was difficult, but also a great experience. I went every afternoon for 2 hours. The centre is for 1 – 5 year olds and they are there all day from 7:45 to 5pm. I was first introduced to the centre by Mr Alan Tin-Win of Markham College and a group of girls on their service work. This particular day they were painting one of the classrooms.
The centre is divided into 4 sections: one section for 1-2 year olds, and a classroom each for 3, 4 & 5 year olds. The centre has its own kitchen and the children are given morning tea, lunch and an afternoon yoghurt type drink. Social workers determine whether families need this support. Health care workers visit regularly to monitor children’s health and growth. There is also a psychologist who visits to meet work with some of the children with behavioural issues, plus gives support to the teachers. A dance teacher who has his own classroom, takes the classes on rotation, teaching them traditional Peruvian dances. After lunch all the children have a half hour nap and this you will see in the photos. They are very cute when they are asleep, but when awake, they are a handful. Several of the boys are quite aggressive – certainly more aggressive than I have ever experienced in children this age. I was pretty shocked at some of the behaviour and one boy I had to keep a hold of all the time during activities as he would lash out at other kids, completely unprovoked. In one of my sessions, two 4 year old boys had a full on fight and had to be pried apart.
Due to my limited Spanish, I took short sessions in English: numbers, colours, greetings and simple songs plus I did some music activities. I only worked with the 4 & 5 year olds. On the whole the kids were very sweet and loved affection. On my last afternoon they had a “fiesta” which involved all ages dancing and a visit from Barney. I really enjoyed my time there and will go back when I return from the project in Cusco.
5 hour tour through Miraflores, Chirrillos, Barenco
Music: Peruvian composer Chabuco Granada
This was done with iMovie (importing photos from iPhoto) and the quality is quite disappointing.
Today was a great day!
I finally managed to put in contact lenses for the first time, by myself!
I bought lenses thinking they would be handy for traveling. Well I almost gave up ever being able to wear them, having wasted 7 right ones and 4 left ones without getting a single one in!
I woke up today and thought it was time for a run. Being a public holiday (no Español classes), I was determined not to leave the bathroom until they were in! I succeeded! It was great running without glasses – plus it was beautiful weather!
(The fact that I look like I’ve been swimming in pure chlorine for 6 hours doesn’t matter.)
*Note to self – if intending to wear contacts in public, get up 3 hours earlier. ————————————————————————————————————————————–
My first walk around town, I came across a flash mob……. check out the little Peruvian – he totally steals the show with his little solo near the end !
The local police were non to happy about this……… and neither was I when I found out that they were actually from a church in Florida, here on a “mission”. When I asked what their “mission” entailed (expecting perhaps something like working with street kids or the elderly) I was proudly informed that they were doing street ministering (????)
Well at least the little fella is definitely Peruvian and not part of the “mob”….. it was worth stopping to see him.
Filed under Lima, My Videos