There are so many stories from Peru I’m not really sure where to start, so I guess I’ll start at the beginning. It was such a special treat to be able to travel this time with others from my church.
Thursday, October 21st, we started our trip by heading to south Lima to spend the day at a Compassion project. When we arrived, we were greeted by the children who were attending the center in the morning. In Peru, kids attend school either in the morning from 8am to 1pm or in the afternoon from 1pm to 6pm. So then they attend the center three days a week either in the morning or afternoon. They performed several dances for us, including the Marinara, a traditional Peruvian dance showing the courtship between a guy and girl. After this, we split up and visited different classrooms to see what the students are learning. Some team members visited classes teaching bracelet making, key chain making, and t-shirt embellishment. My group visited a baking class and a reading class. That day, the baking class was making strawberry rolls and a cake. It was fun to see some of the things the tutors teach the kids to give them life-skills.
We also went to visit the home of Alacelie, a six year old Compassion-sponsored child. While some team members learned that visiting homes in the squatter communities on the hills of Lima is a lot like hiking the Incline (a mile’s worth of steep stairs in the Springs), we had it easier and didn’t have to climb any stairs. We walked for a while and entered a carpentry shop. We continued to walk through the shop till we arrived at the “house” in the back. Alacelie lives in a two room house with her parents, Cecil and Jenny, and two siblings. Joseph, the three year old was there with us. Cecil works in the carpentry shop in the front of the house and mom stays home with the kids. Unlike most of the Compassion homes I’ve visited, the main room of this house was very light. During the visit, we learned that a storm had blown part of the corrugated tin roof off the home. They proudly showed us the jacket and blanket that Compassion had bought for Alacelie. In the midst of this poverty, there was hope. We finally let Alacelie and Joseph open the gift of food we brought as a thank you for them welcoming us into their home. Joseph had been playing with it the entire time we had been there.
We returned for lunch and then spent the afternoon playing volleyball, soccer, and a variety of other games. During this time, I pulled out my strings and soon became very popular. Thanks to Cecila, one of our translators, she helped the kids learn the cup and saucer. It’s fun to watch as one person gets the steps and helps teach the others. It was a great day to start our time in Peru.
Up next – the LDP graduation and Tamara, a CSP child (You’ll have to check back later to find out what those acronyms mean.)