Tuesday, March 14, 2006

My first day at the new volunteer placement, it was excellent. I am working in a district on the outer region of Lima called Villa El Salvador, it has quite an interesting history. In the mid seventies a group of about 200 families squatted on the eastern region of Lima to escape the political unrest and terrorism within the city and literally built this district from scratch. It is incredibly unique in the way the entire district is organized and how they have managed to build this self sustaining society from sand dunes. Though i have to say that it is very much a shanty town and one of the poorest in Lima. I wasn´t quite prepared to see this level of poverty, even in the poorest areas of Costa Rica could not compare to where i am placed. I am working in the Escuela Especial (Special Ed. School) and i have a class of about 4 to 7 students, all with developmental disabilities. They are great, the youngest, Michael, cannot walk so he rides on my lap all day and I try to contain the others to the classroom. Again, the school is public so it is incredibly underfunded and the classroom looks as if it is a renovated barn house. I have to say my one fear of going to the bathroom in a hole in the ground came to pass today. Had to go so bad that i couldnt wait, so with newly learned manuvears and a balancing act I actually went without falling in. Quite impressive i must say. Peru is like a huge polluted fire hole. Sorry for the description but i am sitting in the cafe without air conditioning and its 95 degrees F. The heat is somthing i really have to get used to. there is no air cond. in the school so I am wearing as little clothing as possible.
The people here are wonderful though still homesick for Costa Rica. In Peru it seems a lot more dangerous and hostile. Politically there is still very violent groups, and with the military very prevelant everywhere it´s a little disconcerting. Especially when you walk into a market and there is military with huge rifles walking about. Supposedly it is illegal to take photos of them so if i get arrested you´ll know why. Or actually if i drink the local cocoa tea i could test positive for cocaine. Fun times, always up for an adventure.
My housemates are great, very very different from Costa Rica. I think i´m going up to Maccu Piccu on the 1st so we´ll see.
Love you all.


Blogger Emma Smith said...

Guten tag meine schwester,
Ich bin gut aber ich mag deine Spanisch sprechen nicht! He He, getting back at you for writing in Spanish, I don't speak spanish!!! I am assuming Ticos is boys but who the hell knows? Oh, and don't worry about the whole only writing about yourself thing, I do the same. Besides if you don't who is? I am in serious doubt anybody over there gives a shit enough to write lengthy letters to your family about your personal feelings about the political situations of disadvantaged and special needs children living in dependency and extreme poverty. Right, back to me. I am having a good day, no school because of a snow day. Bet your so jealous in your 500degree weather. I think I would probaly combust. I am again getting near to shooting myself, last night we watched Mr. Darcy and now I am being subjected to Dr. Phil. Its all right we have some movies on the way. One you would have absolutely loved had you been here, its called rory o'shea, the main guy rory has muscular dystrophy and the other kid has CP.Looks really funny. I think I should go and eat, you'll get back and i will be 300 pounds. :) talk to you lattore. Emma

4:23 PM  
Blogger Kater-pa-tater said...

Meg! Can you post your Peru address? Pretty please??

1:17 PM  
Blogger meg smith said...

Hey Em,
Love it, I in fact watched Pride and Predujice in spanish a couple of days ago. Really lost the whole Regency era feel though. Glad you still love to take the piss out of me, Means you havn{t gone totally insane!
Love ya

2:16 PM  
Blogger meg smith said...

Kate, I{ll post it soon.
I dont have it on me so next post!!

2:17 PM  

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