After an extremely cold night, Callie woke us up for our first work day. We started off with a delicious breakfast of bread, jam, and bananas, complemented by Manzanilla tea. Inka, one of the German volunteers led us to the work site where the boys would start digging up stairs where the children would read and where the girls would organize the library books.
Cortlin, Janzen, Gaby, and I began laminating books and took turns cutting, taping, stamping, and writing the titles of the books on the new logs. Though Callie originally worked outside with the boys, she soon joined us to finish the laminating faster. While organizing the books, I couldn’t help but think of the children’s excitement over the new books! Inka told us that the German volunteers buy most of the books but whenever they get donations there are more than one could ask for.
We split up into small groups to eat lunch at the different houses. Cortlin and I were fortunate enough to go to the Casa Cuatro, or House 4, where we met kids ages 7 – 10. We ate salad, potatoes, and fresh bread. Our Tia, the woman who takes care of the kids, also makes us our favorite Manzanilla tea.
Talking to the kids was definitely a new experience as some of their Spanish would mix with Avencha, making comprehension tough. Even though it was a challenge, I personally liked hearing an unfamiliar language. We said our goodbyes and went back to work.
Throughout the day a group of soccer players came to play with the kids. Some of us decided to join the soccer match while others played volleyball with the girls. Though all of us were exhausted and ready for a nap, the tias made us dinner, which consisted of an amazing soup with pasta and bread. There we told stories and shared memories of foods we miss – like tacos, milkshakes, and burgers. James and Jack even shared a story about their work day where Inka had asked them if they had seen any tarantulas yet! I guess we’ll have to see tomorrow.
We ended the day with a meeting, during which everyone shared their metaphorical rose, bud, thorn of the day as well as our goals for the future days in Peru.
I can’t wait to experience what Peru has in store for us and the project yet to come.