Day 5

5 Jun

Another long day at the office! This morning we toured one of the public preschools in Lima. The kids were ADORABLE! We walked into a classroom of 5 year olds and they all said in unison, “Buenos dias!” then 2 of them came running up and gave me a hug — try and NOT smile at that! My group will be going back to their school on Friday to take their measurements and conduct our study on which Chicha they prefer (see previous post).
Also this morning, we traveled to Manchay, a small shanty town on the outskirts of Lima. It was sad to see how these people were living, how they had to work so hard just to get by, but as our professora explained to us they had better lives than those in slums. The slums within Lima were where people had kind of fallen down, and they lived pretty depressing lives. But in the shanty towns, things were hard and they had to work very hard for a living, but things for the most part were on an upward swing. They were establishing communities, growing to support water, sewage, and electricity upgrades, and had established a kind of local government. Seeing the town from that point of view was pretty humbling.

The academic center we toured there was AMAZING. It was a beautiful building with all kinds of books, magazines, computers, a kitchen, classrooms, toys, playgrounds, and more… all fenced in and protected so that the children there are completely safe. The program was basically like a daycare service, but there wasn´t much structure in terms of rules and certain things the kids had to learn while they were there. The motto was “freedom with responsibility” so the kids could use or read whatever they wanted while they were there as long as they put it back where they found it. Kids from ages 0-17 could come, and could stay as long as they wanted between the hours of 8am-8pm. Buses came and went to take them between home, the center, and school. Best part? The entire thing was funded by a wealthy family, along with some donations. It was absolutely amazing to see these wonderful people sponsoring something for a community that was really in need of help!

On a different note, our spanish is getting better and better! Being really immersed in it makes you have to learn it faster! Last night we made idiots of ourselves going out to eat though… we went to a nice restaurant near the hotel and our waitress didn´t know any English. Like, at all. So we were trying to figure out what to order, and trying to figure out what the hell she was saying, and we finally decided to order some arroz y pato (rice and duck). We gave our order and not even 10 minutes later our food comes and it looks amazing! The meat was a really dark brown and we all agreed that it tasted a lot like roast beef. We were confused why the meal was served with noodles instead of rice, but it was so good that we just went with it. Well, about 15 minutes later another waitress comes out with a plate of meat and rice and says, “Arroz y pato!” Umm…. wait, what?! Apparently we had said “si” to something before our order and accidentally ordered something. We were right, it was roast beef! Very expensive roast beef…

Chicha and bread

Chicha and bread

The Struggle: These long days are kicking my ass! I almost fell asleep in lecture this afternoon.

The Silver Lining: I can sleep when I´m dead. I would so much rather experience all the things Peru has to offer rather than sleep!


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