Monday, 16 September 2013

My incredible first day of school in Peru

PROJECT: Teaching & Building
WRITTEN BY: Hayley Yellowlees + Melanie Power

The first day of school was incredible. We were welcomed with a chorus of "¡Bienvenidos!" and the kids' many gorgeous smiles. They sang and danced for us, showered us with flowers and confetti and the Mums made us a feast of corn, cheese and of course... potato! The kids were evidently so excited for us to come and it made us really eager to start teaching. For the few weeks at the school we did heaps and heaps of sandpapering because one of our first priorities is to re-paint the school.

We came home every afternoon COVERED in blue paint powder and always got very funny looks catching the buses home. But construction isn't the only thing, we've also started teaching. I volunteered to teach English along with Phoebe, Georgie and Alli. We started with the alphabet which was a huge challenge given the age of the kids (between 3 and 6) and the fact that for some, this is their third language (they already speak Quechan and Spanish).

Those teaching sport were exhausted by the limitless energy of the kids playing 'perro perro gato' (the Peruvian equivalent of duck duck goose), bullrush, and by their constant demands of "¡gargame!" (carry me!), which actually involves more exercise for the teachers. The hygiene girls were busy cleaning teeth, washing hands and feeding the kids fruit while the art teachers had a ball decorating name cards and making huge paper chains.

On our third weekend we saw the amazing Lake Titicaca and visited the Uros floating islands, which are constructed completely out of totora reeds. We stayed the night with a local family on Amantani Island, where we dressed up in tradition clothing and went to a fiesta. All in all it was a great weekend, the views were absolutely beautiful and our guide Ruben was a top bloke.

More of our adventures next week!

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