As time goes on in Jesus Maria, we grow closer to the kids, which I think everyone really likes. They’ve also warmed up to us immensely. Fun fact: the kids love Snapchat and the face filters – we discovered this during lunch break one day. This past week we dealt with moving existing adobes and we started bricking the one latrine.
Natalie and I were instructed by Andres, our maestro (like a construction leader basically), on how to cement and lay the brick in the 6-foot hole. Once in the groove, Andres came by and told us “perfecto!” We were extremely pleased with ourselves. Unfortunately, this one man from the community started watching us, and then actually came down into the hole with us because he thought we were doing a bad job. We would’ve been ok if he did do an amazing job, but our work looked the same as his if not better. Later that day, I was in the hole cementing and laying brick again, but was once again kicked out by the same man! We were very upset because his job wasn’t even in construction he drove a combi (public bus)! The next day I was very fed up, and I told Emma (our project leader) that I did not want to work in the hole again only to be kicked out by the man, but she told me, “Chloe, Andres wants you in the hole because he trusts you.” After I heard that, I felt so happy because a compliment from Andres shouldn’t be taken lightly.
On another note, one day a small group went on a hike with one of the archeologists in the mountains. We finished work early so we had to go a bit up the mountain and we were screaming their names into the abyss. Eventually they heard us and started coming back down the mountain.
The next day we all got to go on a longer hike so that was pretty cool. It was such a pretty view, but climbing up the rocks I am not a fan of.
Also, a quick weekend update: we went to Huamachuco, which is in the northern highlands of Peru. Although this trip definitely had its pitfalls, it will surely be remembered. We thought there would be more tourists, but the city was the most “true” Peruvian place we’ve been so far. We did not encounter any tourists or see really any English signs. It was cool to be truly immersed in the culture and be able to see the daily life of a lesser known town. When we went to the thermal springs this one park employee said, “bienvenidos gringos!” I thought that was so funny, and when we left he called us his ‘little gringos.’
Back to Jesus Maria though, I think we have seen a lot of progress, but it is a little sad that we won’t be able to see it all through as we leave so soon. I, along with many others, wish we could take home the kids! They are all so cute – good thing we have lots of pictures with them!