near Cusco (Peru)
Dear friends and family,
It´s been a while now that I entered Peru.
I have been working for 2 weeks in Curahuasi at a childrens project Oye Lena.
Stefanie Van Erps, is a girl from the region of Brussels (Belgium). In Belgium she worked for some years as a teacher for small kids. Some years ago she went to the region of Cusco for doing volunteer work like I do and met Gilder. A young peruvian guy, working in tourism.
They travelled some time around, trou Europe and married and now they are settling in Curahuasi, the town where Gilder his family lives.
Stefanie started the ONG ´Oye Lena´ one year ago. For the pourest children (3 to 6 years old) of the neighbourhood she wants to organise a program with activities in means of stimulating there school progress, sportive and creative activities. To prevent these pour children from having learning difficulties later on in their school carreer and to develop their motoric skills.
It´s very funny to arrive in Peru in a small village and to speak dutch a lot. Stefanie and the volunteers are all dutch speaking. I´m talking more dutch in Peru then in my daily live in Brussels (Belgium).
At the moment Oye Lena is taking place in a Hostel in Curahuasi. Stafanie rented the hostel entirely.
In july the new building should be ready to move the project there.
So what am I doing now, together with the other volunteerworkers?
We work in 3 shifts:
- working on the construction of the ´Oye Lena´-house, together with some local constructionworkers
- the kitchen crew, kooking for the children, they must have eat healty and a variety of things.
- doing activities with the children: educational, motoric, creative, sportive and recreational activities.
The town of Curahuasi is very small and situated on a beautiful spot in the Andes. We are enjoing incredible panoramic views, local food. The difference with the globalised and genetic manipulated and chemical studied foodmarket in Europe is that they have lot's of varieties of every kind of vegetables: corn, potatoes and advocado fruit you have in different kinds. Would this food be more healty and less genetic manipulated?
Lot's of people in the region of Cusco still speak Quechia currantly. Older people sometimes olny speak Quechua. Not sow long ago Quedhua has become an obligatory course in school again. Quechua and Aymara, where the native local languages the Peruvians spoke before the Spanish concured and colonised Peru. Now the official language is Spanish. But their Spanish is a bit different than the Spanish they spaek in Spain. It's a very old type of Spanish with lots of special words for local products and devices.
We went to a local party on mothersday on sunday the 5th of may, the town's childrens brass band (fanfare) was playing. There was a procession with children carrying colorfull lampions and after there was a openaair concert of a local band playing popular songs people dancing and drinking untill they drop. With Tito and Jessica from the poject we infiltrated in the party and danced with the local Curahuasians.
Last week-end we went with some volunteers to Cusco to visit the city, and it's surrounding ruins.
We went out to a particular Club 'The Mytology' and sow some live concerts. We ate very tasty alpaca-meat and wandered around some beautifull squares and streets. Cusco is really a beautiful and historical city. Although it is called the touristcapital city of Latin-America. It is worth while.
That's about it for the moment.
Unluckilly in 2 weeks my volunteer work is already over. I could have at least stayed some more months. But at the beginning of June I'm going to travel some more and than my buddy, Steven Vrebos, is joining me up for my last 20 days of latin-America.
Marq'ay chaxruyux (= Quechua)(= Abrazo y hasta luego = hugh and see you later)
The town where 'Oye Lena' is situated
The volunteer crew
Mieke and the kids
The Loquitas en action
Annelies with the niños
Constructing the project's house
Dries making stairs
Meeting with the locals, his name: Mr. Lama
Ruines near Cursco
View of Cusco
Gringo in Cusco