Children, Job Searching, Festivals, Spanish

22 06 2009

New Volunteer Project

Last week, I started my new volunteer project. I´m working with severely underprivileged children between the ages of two and fifteen at a daycare center about 20 minutes from Cusco. I help the teacher in the classroom, help with homework, help wash hands and faces, teach a little bit of English and play. I´m a human jungle gym, and I love it.

Most of the children come from families of at least five. They do not have access to purified water. Some have no running water, and most have no electricity. They all have vitamin deficiencies, and many have parasites. Many of their fathers are abusive and are often drunk. The average household income is less than $60 a month. They earn money through selling earth, potatoes and a few other crops.

These kids are incredibly tough and live in dire conditions. Most of them have severe sunburns and dry skin on their cheeks. They don´t cry too often when they fall. They don´t bathe regularly. Yet, these kids don´t complain and are always smiling. If I ever need a hug, I can count on them.

The kids went on a field trip to Cusco last week to a really fun playground with tons of slides, jungle gyms and swings. We all had so much fun. They really put a smile on my face.

Wearing My Sunglasses at the Park

Wearing My Sunglasses at the Park

The Daycare

The Daycare

Classroom

Classroom

Me and Some of the Kids

Me and Some of the Kids

Job Searching

I´m thinking about getting a part-time job here in Cusco to make some spending money. I decided I definitely don´t want to work at a bar, however, because the hours are terrible. I´m slowly going around various places and inquiring about work.

Funny story. I left a note with my phone number at one of the bars asking about work. They called me that day and asked if I could come in. I said yes, so I went over there at 6:30 pm thinking I had an interview. As soon as I got there, the manager informed me that I´d be working that night from 6:30 pm to 2:30 am for 25 soles (less than $9).

Considering my Spanish is not the greatest yet, I must have misunderstood him on the phone. There was no interview at all. I thanked him and basically told the bar I wasn´t interested. I´ll continue looking for a job with more flexible hours.

Inti Raymi, Festival of the Sun

Inti Raymi, Festival of the Sun, is on Wednesday in Cusco. The past couple of weeks have been hectic. Tons of street parades, fireworks, vendors everywhere. Basically, the festival is an Incan celebration to pay homage to the Sun God and plead for his return as winter begins.

Inti Raymi is the second largest festival in all of South America (Carnaval in Brazil is first). People come from all over the world to witness it. The streets are already packed with tourists and performers. I can´t even imagine what it´s going to be like tomorrow night and Wednesday. Stay tuned for another post about it later this week.

One of the Many Parade Floats

One of the Many Parade Floats

Learning Spanish

My Spanish is getting better. It definitely helps when I´m around children who speak it. I´m also translating Latin songs that I´ve been hearing into English. In fact, I recently translated my favorite reggeaton dance song (¨Llamada de Emergencia¨by Daddy Yankee).


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2 responses

24 06 2009
Karin

glad you are enjoying working at the day care center…sounds like it’s more down your alley than construction, human jungle gym and all. actually, I can relate… I am a human jungle gym for Whirlee …and she doesn’t bathe either!

25 06 2009
Eliza

We tried calling you today during dinner, but you didn’t answer…much is happening here, like the death of Michael Jackson!

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