Monday, July 25, 2016

Peru, Lima: Wrap up post

The last survivors, Lucas and I (Kathryn), are here. Everyone else left for Machu Pichu and we are left with the responsibility of the wrap up blog post. Overall this experience was fantastic, I’ve made long lasting relationships with the team members here and I truly don’t want to leave. The experience of Peruvian construction was one to test our strength and patience. We didn’t have a clear objective, but laid the groundwork and foundation for the support wall, as the next DWC team will be arriving soon after us.

We enjoyed the outreach portion as well as the outings and adventures we went on throughout the week. Some highlights were the bike tour along the districts into the coast, the Inca market, fruit market, visiting the youth market, and simply walking the streets at night to get churros or crossing the street to get desserts at the little cafĂ©. 

One thing that will truly stick with me this trip was how energetic the kids were at the school. They wanted to always play and although the language barrier was tough, their smiles and laughter were worth the early mornings and crazy Peruvian traffic. I wouldn’t exchange this experience for anything and am very grateful for the opportunity and the people I’ve spent it with.

Kathryn Ferragina  and Lucas Ortolano
Peru, July 2016

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Peru, Lima: Day 8

The beautiful Miraflores district of Lima has thus far been eventful, as our diverse DWC team enjoyed our last “free-day” by touring the city on bikes. 

After a short ride along the city’s winding and bustling streets, the tour eventually gave way to a long beachside strip full of breathtaking views. After checking out a variety of places, the team eventually settled and stumbled upon a busy “La Lecha,” an old-fashioned Peruvian diner with delicious creamy milkshakes and guac-topped burgers.

The first workweek was definitely not easy, as the majority of the project has consisted of excavating and clearing rock with only the most basic of shovels, pikes, axes, and chisels. 

The vision is to construct a support wall for a new school library for the small Barrio de El Salvador primary school. Still a long way to go.

Lima has been amazing and the work has been very satisfying! Back to the grind tomorrow…

Aassem Abdel-Aziz
Peru, July 2016

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Peru, Lima: Bodwell High School - exploring and building

Exploring Lima

On our third day, we had a break from construction work. In the morning, we visited a local fruit market where we met people from Ato Colibri, an organization that helps teenagers like ourselves to have better working conditions for their jobs in the market. We bought various fruits including mangoes, watermelons, pineapples and oranges, which were very cheap and fresh.

After lunch, we took a 2 tour in downtown Lima. We visited two of the main churches in the city. We discovered that religion is a very important aspect of the culture in Peru. The churches also had cemeteries underneath it called the “catacombs”. Some found it exciting while others found it scary.

Building walls

After a day of relaxation, we went back to the days of construction work which lasted roughly the whole day. After we finished building a particular wall, we signed it with our names and country, as seen done by Naho.

Once the work was completed, we were warmly welcomed by one of the founders of the school on which we are working. She helped us to understand more about the causes of our work and the lifestyle of the general community.

Bianca Ferrajohn 
Assistant Principal Bodwell High School
DWC Team Member
Peru, April  2016

Peru, Lima: Bodwell High School - project starts

The adventure begins

First day of the project in San Jose Obrero

1. On the first day of the project we arrived at the elementary school that we are helping. We went into each classroom to greet these adorable children and their teachers. In the old and rough classrooms, the children were excited about the coming of new visitors and tried their best to say welcome to us in English. At the end of the greeting, they sang a song in Spanish and played a game with us, what a treat!

2. In order to give the children a better place to study, we began our first work that was building the new classroom. Although the work was pretty hard for us at first, we still enjoyed the feeling of helping others. For the children’s safety and to make room for a new addition, we moved the rocks away from the nearby of the classroom. These rocks were very heavy to move, but we still tried our best to help each other to move the rocks. At the end, we understood the importance of team work.

3. At the end of our first day, many children came to us and we sang a song, took pictures and danced together. Also, they asked for our signatures to keep the memories, and we promised that we are going to meet them again on Monday. They were really friendly and cheerful even though we could not understand their language.

Bianca Ferrajohn
Assistant Principal Bodwell High School
DWC Team Member
Peru, April 2016

Monday, November 30, 2015

Peru, Lima: U30

Here's a presentation made by Magdalena Ragiel, one of the under-30 participants on a volunteer trip to Peru in 2015, to her sponsors.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Peru, Lima - U30: Final Week

The final week was bittersweet. And cold. We got a taste of what fall feels and looks like in Peru. The heavy mist and temperature would be associated with the same weather on Vancouver Island. But we kept working through it and the mud. Throughout the period of four days we were able to finish off a cement path leading into a building that will be finished soon. On Friday we were treated to a special ceremony for the principal and for us. After dancing and celebrating, it was time for us to go home. 

There aren’t enough words that can explain this experience. Peru is one of those places you have to go to witness the culture first hand. We've learned to live by their rules for the past month and doing something different feels almost foreign. Peru is filled with the most amazing and beautiful people, a few we became lifelong friends with and hope to see them again in the near future. Their rich history and landscape is breathtaking and just magnificent. Volunteering in this country was a life changing experience and we couldn’t have chosen a better country to go to. 

Peru, Lima - U30: Week 3

It was a short week coming into the third week we were here. It started to get colder coming into the season of fall. Cloud covered our worksite most of the day, but we never stopped being positive and working through it. The parents started to help us out by moving big rocks, raking the dirt to make it level, and clearing a path to make it easier. Even though the rain (which is more like heavy mist), they kept going. The amount of effort and perseverance these people put into is incredible. And they work with a baby on their backs! At the end of the week we were able to finish the steps. We were even given one step to put each of our names in. 

The weekend cultural excursion was to Machu Picchu.