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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Huaycan Alto, Lima, Peru

Jun 11, 2009 - "The Last Stop"

Today was one of my favorites. We spent the morning running errands on Quinze de Julien (called “quinze” for short), one of two paved roads in Huaycan. It is a ten minute walk from our house – an adventure that requires dodging street dogs and “motos” along the way. “Motos” are teeny, unregulated rickshaw taxis designed for very small people. They are my favorite form of transportation here. Many of them are personalized, and today I saw one pimped with spinners and flags – no joke! Anyway Quinze, in addition to being filled with these...

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Vida en Huaycan

Jun 10, 2009 - Oregano cures all

Well, Monday night marked my first full week here in Huaycan. I am proud to say that my stomach lasted a full week before succumbing to the diet here! I've been sick for the past few days, my stomach not agreeing with a dish called cerviche (marinated fish). Ana and Yrma made me oregano "tea" which actually really helped with the stomach sickness. I think I'm officially initiated into the culture here, or at least I hope! I don't want to repeat these last few days. While I was sick, Yrma told me that I have many mothers here, which is true....

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Vida en Huaycan

Jun 7, 2009 - We're officially open, as of today!

These past few days have been hard but good. Alejandra (or Sandy) left on Friday morning, but as expressed by Yrma’s 14 year old son Antonio, “she will always live in our hearts.” Thursday night, Yrma and the neighbors threw a surprise fiesta for Alejandra. We sent her out to run errands with Lara and Luz and decorated the classroom space downstairs with balloons and signs and a Barbie piñata (Barbie is a big deal here). I couldn’t believe the generosity of these people who don’t have much at all. Peruvians know how to party, that’s for...

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Vida en Huaycan

Jun 4, 2009 - The Sun Sets on Our Virtual Visit

Woke up to lots of dead critters after our Raid fiesta last night. Translation: I will be losing many, many friends :) Had my last 5:30 am morning chat / Babelfish with Oscar, our security guard. He is a lovely man, married with two young boys and expecting one more. His family lives in an apartment in Huaycan, but he is saving diligently to by his own home for his family. I will miss our time together. At 7:00 am, charming and elderly Delphine arrives with 8 rolls for 1 sol (33 cents). I will miss his smiling face each morning. Arnaud...

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Jun 3, 2009 - Meet Elena

Elena is our community contact in Zone Z. Yrma asked her to write down her story for us to share. It brought me to tears and will hopefully give you a better idea of the strength of the people here: My Life By Elena Quispe Vasquez A special greeting and hug to those with Light and Leadership. I hope I can tell you one day this story and talk with you in Huaycan, where poverty is everywhere. I am Elena Quispe Vasquez. I am 38 years old and I am originally from Huancavelica, Peru. I studied out there (Huancavelica) when I was 6, 7, and 8...

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Vida en Huaycan

Jun 3, 2009 - Meet Yrma, my Peruvian mother and our trip to Lima

I live in Yrma's house. She and her husband, Casie, have four children and are all incredible people (Luz, the oldest child and only daughter teared up telling me about the character of her dad. "He is SUCH a good, good man.") To use the words of Alejandra, Yrma is "just so lovely." She lives in poverty but moved her entire family (except for Luz who lives on the third floor with me) out of her house so that LLI would have a site. They now live in a house that is not nearly as nice, but Yrma and the boys are at our house all the time - in...

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Vida en Huaycan

Jun 2, 2009 - The sun rarely shines here, but the people do!

Well, I hit the ground running on my first day in Huaycan (as I arrived late last night). As there is so much work to be done here, I would have started my time here no other way. Light and Leadership tries to target areas in the community that have no schools. Huaycan is divided into zones, or zonas, which are all alphabetized. My house is in Zone D, for example, one of the better zones in Huaycan, but still extremely poor and dilapidated by our standards. We do have electricity and running water, and many of the poorest zones do not. In...

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Vida en Huaycan

Jun 2, 2009 - Sounds of Huaycan

I don't quite know how to explain the diverse noises here, but they are such a huge part of the character of Huaycan that I must at least try! Last night was my first night here in Huaycan. My room is on the third floor (I have to walk outside across a little balcony to enter it), and I share it with another volunteer named Alejandra (called Sandy in the states). First of all, as I was walked to my room last night, I heard a peculiar shrieking and soon realized that it was coming from a man walking through the streets. Lara shrugged her...

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Vida en Huaycan

Jun 2, 2009 - The One Who Stole My Heart

Yummy breakfast of bread with avocado and salt this morning. The new volunteer, Leslie from South Carolina, brings the 'Gringas' total to three. Leslie just graduated from Davidson College in North Carolina and is now studying to pass the MCATs to go to medical school. Lara and I took Leslie shopping for bottled water on one of the two paved streets in Huaycan this morning, where dodging the three-wheeled moto-taxis is always an adventure. Leslie's eyes where sooooo wide as she experienced Huaycan for the first time. At home, we prepared...

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Jun 1, 2009 - Goodbye Atlanta Hello Peru!

I'm finally here in Huaycan! I landed on Monday night, June 1st, after flying out of Atlanta. In the airport, directly before my gate, I passed a case full of Peruvian critters and animals that travelers are NOT allowed to bring back with them in their suitcases. Among the ranks were real tarantulas and crocodiles! I can just imagine a giant tarantula greeting me on my pillow one night! Where have I come to live? The flight to Lima was easy, but the airport was far less negotiable in its busyness. Another continental flight landed just...

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Vida en Huaycan

Jun 1, 2009 - Teaching Style: Less SPAN, More GLISH

I did not leave the house today. Translation: I am pretty dust-free. Lara and I spent the entire morning prepping the school room for its official opening on Saturday. Even though LLI doesn't officially 'go live' until then, the Huaycan people are still asking for English classes and showing up at our door for tutoring. People started arriving at the house at 7:30 am. What a high class problem to have...too much demand. Since my Spanglish is less Span- and more -Glish, I have an English/Spanish dictionary and Babelfish nearby. I think the...

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