Just a short summary of what we were up to our first two weeks in Peru. As you might know we helped out at a school in the northern outskirts of Lima. We were able to stay at the school’s owners’ house who were really welcoming and took great care of us.
While breakfast and lunch was always eaten at home, we went out for dinner a lot and had a chance of getting to know some places around and try different kinds of Peruvian foods. (Even though it is kind of monotonous with basically potatoes AND rice in every meal, haha) The area was a little dangerous and I wouldn’t have felt safe walking around there alone, even during the day. Thank god, most of the times we were accompanied by our “host family”.
In terms of work, I helped out with the kids three times a week. The rest of the working time which was supposed to be around 5 hours a day we spent painting walls, doors, etc. However, there wasn’t really a plan and often they didn’t have an idea about what we should do next.
On the good side I loved spending time with the kids, play with them and talk to them. Being responsible for 3 to 5- year-olds it was not much of a teaching job but more makin sure nobody gets into trouble. We did some painting, playing in the front yard with balls and every time there was one special thing we crafted and they could take home to show their parents.
The school is trying to support children from families who cannot or barely can afford education. It is a private school but as the public education system is developed poorly, a lot of people try to get the most out of it by attending private schools. I am not a big supporter of this privatized system but I think that this school is doing a good job in setting the tuition fees depending on the parents’ abilities. I was glad I could help with this project and get to know what hardships people suffer of. But I was happy to see all the happy children faces and I hope they also liked playing with me. :-)
Staying at the school and with the family was definitely a good way to start our trip. We got to know the people’s mentality and customs. We were integrated to the family and got to experience every day life. We just got an understanding of how people are and why they are this way, at least a little bit. All this knowledge will definitely help us throughout our further travels in terms of how to deal with the South Americans. ;-)