The week seems to be flying by here! We have had stunningly hot weather, as usual. I am even getting a tan… and by tan, I mean I’m a little pink.. Which I’m hoping will turn into a tan. We have a patio roof on my house where all the clothes are hung after washing. It’s a great spot for some quiet time away from the babies, and it is also good for catching a bit of sunshine. It looks out to the rice fields on two sides, but also to the dusty little town on the others. This is my town from the roof:
I got to take the combi into Chiclayo yesterday with Katie and Hannah, the two other volunteers here. It took me back to being in Africa. But there were no goats on this combi, and nobody asked us to marry them. The 20 minute ride into Chiclayo cost 1.80 soles, which is less than fifty cents. You can’t go wrong.
Chiclayo is a pretty large city with a population about 700,000. It is also a fascinating city, with the richest of the rich and the poorest of the poor. We stopped first at the market – which is similar to our community’s (Ferrenafe), only bigger! It reminds me of Sidewalk Days in Moose Jaw, just on a whole new level. So many tables on the sidewalks and streets, with everything from shoes to shish kabobs! The place is crowded, the pace is fast, and the smells are varied! I am so thankful for Katie and Hannah – without their Spanish skills, I would not have accomplished anything!
After the market, we went to the mall in the other part of the city. I cannot even explain how stark the contrast is between the two. It is like two different worlds. There’s a movie theatre, a Payless Shoes, and even a Starbucks (it looks and smells and tastes the same!) We got a few groceries and headed back to Ferrenafe for the night.
I was really excited today to get a Spanish textbook from somebody on the compound! I went through some of it today, I think it will be a huge help! When I first arrived I wasn’t too concerned about becoming fluent in Spanish, I think because everything else was so new and overwhelming – it seemed like too much to take on. Now that I am settling in, I am realizing not only how useful it would be, but also what an incredible opportunity this is to learn a language while being immersed in it.
We had a special dinner on the compound tonight for Jenny. Jenny is 12 years old and lives in the house below me. She just got adopted by a couple in Chiclayo, and she will be leaving the compound tomorrow. It is exciting, but also sad. She will be missed. Before eating, everyone had an opportunity to tell Jenny what she means to them and wish her well. As everybody took a turn, many tears were shed, even from the younger children in the home. It was such a powerful, moving moment. I cried, and I have no idea what anyone was saying! But it was so incredible to see how dearly this little girl has been loved. A little girl, whose fate could have been so different. I feel so blessed to have witnessed what happened tonight. I am so excited for her as she moves on from here, with people that love her not far down the road.
XO – kb