It is 10:01 PM in Cusco. I’ve been watching some Kitchen Nightmares in bed. Baruna is in the room, cowering under my desk because of the fireworks. What a chicken.
Today started off as normal. Marianela made me a fried egg and fried bananas while I ate my usual 2 pieces of bread with strawberry jam and orange juice. I left for Huacarpay with Melanie and arrived to see some of the volunteers there. They were from all over the world; a nice kid from England (a Southend United fan), a funny girl from the Netherlands, and a sweet girl from China. I gave them a quick tour of the school, and I think they then understood not only the need but also how special the place is. The other volunteers arrived shortly after, led by Dan, an Irish gentleman, and John, a man from Peru. One of the volunteers, Christine, goes to Wesleyan, where my cousin, Connor, went, and so we made conversation there. We then got to work on removing trash from the school. There was a ton of it, but we got it done. Melanie actually unwittingly got into a confrontation with the neighbors over the location of the trash, but Norma and Delia sorted the neighbor out for us. After removing the trash, Delia and Norma sent me and Melanie out to town to buy the volunteers water. We bought it and then returned to the school to find out that the volunteers already had water and soda anyway.
After this quick break, we started painting. The volunteers painted the back of the school while Melanie and I painted the entryway. I had actually never painted anything before, but I did it with energy and enthusiasm, so much so that I got paint all over me. It looked like I came out of a war zone, only with paint. We painted the front of the entryway blue with red stripe at the bottom. The volunteers had to stay until 5, but we were supposed to stay until 1 per SIT rules. We left at 2 so as to finish our job. The volunteers seemed jealous that we could leave before they did, but my friend from England reminded them that we work there every day, so we needed the break. I was grateful for his support. The nice thing is that we will not have to go to work tomorrow. Since the teachers had to stay overtime, and since they had to report on Wednesday, which was a holiday, classes are cancelled tomorrow. I need a break. I’ll use it well.
When I got home, I watched the end of Portugal beating Poland in penalty kicks and decided I was too tired to run today. I went to the supermarket to buy a Gatorade, a peach drinkable yogurt, and more strawberry sorbet for the family. Then, I relaxed for the night, watching a few Kitchen Nightmares episodes and having a dinner of spaghetti with Marianela, Daniela, and one of her friends. It was a low-key evening. Tomorrow I’m looking to enjoy my day off by sleeping, watching Wales vs. Belgium, and maybe seeing a movie. It’ll be a good day to relax. Now to kick Baruna out of my room…