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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Huaycan Alto, Lima, Peru

Jul 12, 2009 - You must come, with me.

Sometimes the mountains look lunar. Here. The dusty gray that covers everything sits against the clean, blue sky. It looks like magic. Only real. On a clear day you can see the houses go all the way up. Please go all the way up, with me. You’ll see that the houses aren’t really houses. But the people are really people, like you and me. So maybe the women don’t know how to read Maybe their hands don’t recognize the curve of a lapiz. Yet. Maybe the children don’t go to school everyday because some days the buses are full because some days...

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Vida en Huaycan

Jul 11, 2009 - Francia and my last day in Z

The days are coming to a close for me here, as I leave on Sunday night. This past week has been one of my favorites. Last weekend we welcomed a new volunteer from France named Coraline who is so sweet. She's already started teaching (French of course). On Wednesday night two backpackers from Lille, France, friends of Coraline and now friends of ours, came and stayed with us for a few days. Lucie and Aurelion explored Lima with us on our free day on Thursday and taught with us on Friday in Zone Z. I cooked lunch on Friday for everyone, with...

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Vida en Huaycan

Jul 8, 2009 - I have some family here

I wrote a short article for Lara to include in her newsletter. Here is the article - my thoughts and feelings in this my week here: As I’m preparing to leave Huaycan, after six short weeks of living here, I realize that I am surrounded by family. We may speak different languages and come from different continents, but the relationships I have with the people here are as deep as any I know. Two days ago, I was speaking with a woman named Elena whom I have come to love. We spoke about this next week, my last in Huaycan, and she said with...

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Jul 4, 2009 - "Happi" fourth!

I felt more patriotic this fourth of July than I've felt my entire life. It must be the fact that I'm living in Peru. Peruvians know more about Michael Jackson, naturally, that about our national holiday. It's a good thing that Peruvians are fond of Americans because I was all about independence and pride and fireworks today! I taught my first American history lesson, in Spanish. I also spoke the entire week about wearing red, white and blue and was so happy when many of my students showed up wearing one, two or all three colors. We made...

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Jul 3, 2009 - A new canchita

On Fridays in zone Z we try to have community betterment projects in the zone. This Friday we took on our biggest project yet - restoring one of the canchitas. This is not the large canchita beneath the cemetary. We need help from the government to clean and restore that field, as it requires displacing many boulders. That project will take place later in the month.. Friday's project was a bit more manageable. It just required many hands, brooms and some paint. Before we touched the court, or canchita, one could hardly tell that it was a...

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Vida en Huaycan

Jun 30, 2009 - "Move the school, you say?"

Today Lara, Crystal and I went back up to Zone Z for another meeting. I feel like we have a lot of meetings in that Zone these days, which is fantastic! Getting up there was interesting, as there was as city-wide transporation strike today, although all of the buses and motos were still running - people just weren't riding them. Apparently at the entrance of Huaycan anyone who walked near a bus or combi (the name for the small buses here) was stoned, so we just stayed away from all the buses and took "motos" (rickshaw) instead. Crystal...

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Jun 29, 2009 - Tell me a story.

I had an idea last week as I was sitting at the kitchen table with Lara and Luz. We were discussing a fellowship I applied to while in college, when it dawned on me that I could work on a similar project here with the women in the community. The long and short of my proposal for the fellowship was to spend a year working in the health systems of several different countries and write the testimonies of people that I met along the way. Well, I didn’t win the fellowship in the end, which was a good thing! BUT, I would love to write the...

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Vida en Huaycan

Jun 27, 2009 - "No gracias" and Happy Birthday Marcos

My attempt to learn Spanish has been hilarious for just about everyone involved. In fact, I've coined quite a few phrases - usually in an attempt to directly translate an English expression. When Oscar (our security guard, who is incredible) helped us move several pieces of heavy furniture downstairs, for example, I thanked him and called him an "ayuda grande". I was trying to genuinely thank him for being a "huge help", but apparently that expression doesn't translate at all. He smiled politely and Lara just died laughing! Oh and this is...

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Jun 21, 2009 - Market, pizza and more

Time has finally begun to speed up for me. I expect the first few weeks in any place to feel slow, but not this slow. I feel like I’ve lived here for months already. Why? I don’t really know. I think I can attribute much of it to the rich newness of this place – the “nothing here is familiar” feeling that I have just about every moment. I think I can attribute much of it to the slower pace of life here (and yes, life is slow even if the crazy transportation system and rapid cadence of the language is not!) The mindset of a Peruvian,...

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Jun 17, 2009 - Reckless rickshaws, a new field and meetings with government

Well, my love affair with motorized rickshaws is over. We took one up to Zone Z this morning (Wedneday), and the driver ran out of gas on his way up. I knew something was wrong when the cab started bucking and smelled pungently like sulfur. After a few minutes the engine completely stopped, and we started rolling backwards. As if that wasn’t enough, when the driver finally turned us around and coasted back down towards the town we turned directly in front of a huge bus. I screamed and the driver (whom I no longer liked at this point) cut...

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Jun 16, 2009 - The Giving Tree

Yesterday Lara and I went up to Zone R to visit the little girl with the burns. I had researched some wilderness medicine techniques to clean out the wound, as the family might as well be living in the woods with all of the filth and dirt in the air and ground. We stopped by a pharmacy along the way, and I bought some antiseptic and bandages, and then we boarded the bus that runs up to Zone R. We were the only ones on the bus that morning, as most people were on their way down the mountain for work and school. Some days here are so overcast...

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Jun 12, 2009 - Chicken noodle soup and mascaras

Ana served us soup for lunch today. She has been making soup for me all week, even though I’m really able to eat other things now. It’s always the same – chicken broth with noodles and carrots and usually a piece of chicken and bone that I nibble at but feed to the cat. Today, however, I found a liver and a heart in my soup. I think I jumped in my chair when I saw those organs floating around. Luz and Anna had chicken feet in their bowls, and among all five of us we had just about all of the innards of that chicken we’ve been eating this...

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