Volunteering to the max

Yesterday getting the bus was so easy (!!) and when we arrived at El Jardin, our kindergarten, there was absolutely no body there, so Juliet and I sat on the grass and waited for someone, students or teachers, to turn up. Eventually los niƱos and los professoras did arrive and circle singing time began. The head teacher and another main teacher were away at a board of education conference, trying to get funding for a bigger kinder, leaving the other teacher, the teaching assistant, Juliet and I, to look after the kids. Instead of going into their classes as usual after singing in a circle, play time was declared and the children were ecstatic, running around and screaming. Juliet and I sat in the sun, which was so hot today, and eventually we’re swarmed with children. After playtime, extra playtime occurred with balls and hoops and then breakfast. On Tuesdays breakfast isn’t the normal milk and biscuits, it’s rice with a fish and vegetable curry. The children all bring it vegetables and different foods from home, I was wondering why Sandra showed me her bag and it contained an onion and two carrots…, and then the teachers make it into their special Tuesday breakfast. One little girl is only fed soup at home and so every Tuesday her stomach doesn’t know what’s hit it and today she was sick after one mouthful! After breakfast I took my class into their room and handed out their individual boxes of Lego and they started building robots and towers, just as Maria and the other teacher arrived… There was an hour left of school. Maria then sat and wrote letters to each of the children’s parents while they played some more and at half 12, lessons began on the map and animals of Peru… Until 1 when it was time to go home.

For lunch Juliet and I knew we wanted to go to a restaurant called Los Perros, we’d read about it in the Lonely Planet and it’s one of the restaurants we have on our list of things to do. It didn’t disappoint! We walked in to a modern looking lounge bar with sofa seats, red walls and dark lighting and I was so pleasantly surprised by the menu. I literally couldn’t decide between so many things I had to get the waiters advice, and Juliet and I have already decided we’re going back so that we can try more!
I ended up having Chinese style vegetable wantons, with three different sauces. A mayonnaise type one (my favourite), a honey and soy one (it had actual honey in it) and hand made guacamole (yum!) and the wantons themselves, the hundreds of them, we’re delicious.



After lunch we headed to the Spanish school as we’d been called by Horti that morning, to meet at 3.30pm for extra volunteering activities. When we arrived we were given brooms, brushes and dustpans, and huge bin bags filled with cleaning equipment and then we got on the bus for a 40 minute ride into the mountains. When we arrived we had the most beautiful view over Cusco city as we walked along the mountain edge to a beautiful white church right on the edge over looking the view.









When we entered the church we realised why we were here and saw it was filled with dust sheets, old tables and chairs and basically needed a good renovating. We went upstairs, put on some gloves and began sanding down the tables with tiny emery boards, with three other volunteers. Soon the room, and us, was completed filled and covered with brown dust and I knew we were going to spend the rest of the afternoon coughing and sneezing our way through sanding the old furniture. I managed to do three chairs and a huge table before 6.30pm arrived and it was time to go back to Cusco, and this time the beautiful view had been switched with brilliant twinkling city lights.


Unfortunately Juliet and my local dinner cafe couldn’t get the wifi working this evening and so we headed back to the house, it was far too late for us anyways, ready to collapse on our beds.