Thursday, October 6, 2011

A New Family & the Beauty of Peru...

After intense lesson planning and couch-bonding with the volunteers while we watched laugh-out-loud children's movies such as Rio, as well as inspiring independent films like Even The Rain, we truly had the chance to become a family during our stay in Peru. From corner store runs to stock up on sweet treats for the night, to 3-5 hour combi/mini-van bus hopping, it was definitely an experience getting to know each other: where we come from as well as where we're going in life.

Fortunately, we had amazing day and overnight trips to nearby locations around Lima and other provinces. During these trips is where we really established friendships and lifelong connections.
First weekend day trip to the city of Lima

Convent of Santo Domingo, in Lima

Parque del Amor (Love Park) in Miraflores, Lima

Enjoying a brisk morning in Miraflores with some of my favorite ladies!

Right by the coast of Peru (Ruins of Pachacamac)

Walking the tiny streets through Matucana, craving some trout for dinner.

Matucana looks like the midwestern US... (even though I've never been)

A short rest, about halfway through our hike towards the Antankallo waterfall in Matucana.

Arriving at the waterfall for some deserved ice cold popsicles
(Volunteer Jesse P. photo credit)

The girls in Huacachina, a desert oasis, in Ica, Peru

First-time sand boarder!

This picture was definitely worth the numerous takes.

We missed the sunset, but there's the moon!

The oasis.
Huacachina from above. Volunteer Christopher T. braved it for the rest of us and hiked up some steep sand dunes for some exploring and this amazing shot.
In front of the Trujillo Bridge in Central Lima
as I say goodbye to my dear friend Holli S.
Last day in Lima, view of the city from the high cerro (hill) San Cristobal.

- - - - -

Enjoying even more sights and spending time with my HUGE extended family was also a PLUS from this trip. It had been 5 years since I last visited Lima, so it was such a joy to be so close to them and see more of the beauty that is Peru, as well as enjoy the deliciousness of Peru's authentic cuisine...

First day out of Huaycan and my cousin treated me out to this amazing seafood restaurant where I tried Tiraditos for the first time, an appetizer of raw fish in four different sauces: red and yellow spicy peppers, olive sauce, and traditional ceviche sauce (leche de tigre) with sweet potatoes and Peruvian white corn in the center.

My cousin William and I at the Museo De La Nacion, Peru's National Museum.
Pottery and ceramic storehouse in the Museum of Larco Herrera

Piqueo Criollo, basically a little bit of many different traditional Peruvian appetizers: Stuffed Rocoto (spicier version of a stuffed pepper), Anticuchos (cow heart or chicken on skewers), Papa a La Huancaina (potatoes with a spicy yellow pepper creamy milk and cheese sauce), Chicharron (fried pork meat), Yuca Frita (fried cassava), and more...

With my godmother, cousin, and nephew in La Plaza de Armas, the main square of Central Lima.

On Peruvian Independance Day, decided to go hiking. We figured we'd get some strength for the trail and looked up and down the tiny streets for an open restaurant. But even better, we found a woman cooking up some yumminess and selling it on the sidewalk. Traditional portion of a Parillada (Grilled food/BBQ) It was SOOO tasty.

And when we asked for forks, she told us it's tastier with your fingers. And she was RIGHT!

I became the tour guide taking my cousins, the locals, hiking through Matucana.

Our ritual Huaycan fruit salads, yogurt and ice cream for a $1.oo US dollar. (2.50-3 Peruvian Soles)

Traditional Pollo a la Brasa (Peruvian style roasted chicken) with fries
Of course I got to see a Llama, named Nuubi, as it said on it's ID card.

La Punta del Callao, The Point of Callao,
a strip of coastal land jutting out into the Pacific Ocean.

With my aunt Elena on the beach at La Punta.
Absolutely no sand, just soft eroded stones.

La Punta, Lima

Cemetery in Lima

Visiting my grandmother's grave before heading back to the states.

The most difficult goodbye was to my grandfather. He was proud of the work I was doing with the kids in Huaycan, and became very excited when I would bring other volunteers to meet him. His memory is poor, but he remembered me evertime he heard my voice...Singing tangos from his time and coming up with rhymes to everything I told him, helped turn the goodbye into a "see you next year"...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Winter Wonderland...

Reminder: Summer in the states = Winter in Peru. So after a couple of chilly, cloudy, foggy, sunless weeks... The SUN decided to warm us up. I hadn't packed summer clothes but my dear friend and volunteer Lauren lent me a top perfect for the wonderful weather. We were co-teaching on this lovely Saturday, so how could we not take advantage and have a full day outdoors. Art class was taken to the canchita(sports field) and we did some life size chalk drawings and body tracing. The kids really got into it, but it wasn't long before they turned it into hopscotch and the boxes with numbers just kept rising... I eventually hopscotched my way through 100!

A Clay-ful Mess!

The last lesson, and it was a test lesson since I've never taught clay before. Using common sense and a few things I remembered from elementary school art class, I had the students practice basic clay building techniques: pinch pots and coil building. Successful except for the fact that the clay was not self -hardening, needed to be fired, and became dry and fragile too quickly. Solution: use more water! But of course, more water meant more mess and "a little goes a long way" was NOT a concept they grasped easily. It was still fun and we enjoyed getting their hands mushy!

Yarumi happily holding her coil pot.

Helping student Nicol balance and even out the symmetry in her coils.

Aracelli unsuccessfully hiding her beautiful face.

Alvaro showing off his messy clay covered hands.

First-time Printmakers!

This was the first time teaching up in Zone Z: Alamos, another one of the highest zones in Huaycan, sometimes sadly nicknamed "los olvidados de Dios" (the ones God forgot). Introducing these kids to simple printmaking by engraving different line types with a pencil on flat foam pieces, inking up the foam, and printing it on paper. They enjoyed it! A few kids went above and beyond to add some designs around the borders of their artwork.

The kids of Zone S also did this printmaking project but used animal templates instead of line designs. They came out great! and a few were able to successfully draw animals from a photograph reference.

Rooster drawing (not traced) by student Gabriel.

Darwyn amazed at the results of his print.