It is 10:13 PM in Cusco. I’m sitting in the living room with Baruna enjoying my evening.
Today I ate my normal breakfast (Marianela is feeling a little better) and headed over to Huacarpay. Unfortunately, Melanie and I ran into our least favorite bus conductor who never likes to drop us off at the school. Thankfully, Melanie was able to negotiate with him and got us dropped off properly. When we arrived, the kids were in parade formation. We then met a new student, Diana, who is 7. After this, it was time to finish our paint job of the bathrooms. Today’s painting was a little tedious, for our goal was to cover up any paint smears and to finish any areas that still had a little white left. It took us two hours to do, but, when we were finished, we were very happy. A good job at Huacarpay was done. The teachers were very appreciative. The teachers, however, were frustrated with some other issues today. For example, the water stopped working. Again. Also, they’re still a little disappointed that the school uniforms have not arrived. I’m disappointed as well. I hope they come soon. We discussed this over a great snack of french fries with chicken, which Delia made for us. It was delicious.
In the latter part of the work day, the English teachers came. They are two German girls about our age who have been in Peru for almost a year in the German equivalent of the Peace Corps. I enjoyed getting to know them. Unfortunately for them, when they come, the kids tend to behave in their least proper way. Juan, Roy Abel, and Nilsa were the key troublemakers today (who would have thought). I had to pull Juan aside after he hit Doris and had to tell him that wasn’t acceptable. He apologized and re-entered the class. The girls tried to teach the class “If you’re happy and you know it,” which was pretty funny to hear the kids sing. Surprisingly, Diana, the new student who is one of the youngest, showed some of the greatest command of the song. I was impressed.
I then headed home to a delicious meal of lomo saltado, followed a Wolves pre-season win, and then went over to the SIT office for our reflection session with Alex. We finished our talk on poverty in Peru and then talked about the leaving process. I expressed my mixed feelings about leaving – how I will be excited to go home but sad to leave behind Huacarpay, my host family, and Baruna. It was a good session. Today was the last time we will see Alex for this trip. He did a lot for our group, and we appreciate him.
Melanie and I then went to the market to shop for gifts for our families. I was particularly impressed with my negotiating skills – I got my parents’ presents for a 50 sol bargain all together (about $15) and got my present, a Peruvian soccer jersey, to 25 soles, or about $6 (soccer jerseys typically cost about $80, or 260 soles) and a Peruvian flag for 5 soles. Melanie had me beat. She managed to get all of her gifts down to about half price. I was very impressed. She said her mom, who is Peruvian, taught her well. I believe her.
Tomorrow I go back to Huacarpay. Three days of work left.