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April 24th 2014
Published: April 25th 2014
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Standing in front of the fountain (der), in the courtyard for the gallery that went into three separate areas plus under the arches you can see.
I am slowly starting to see the connections between the verbs, masculine, feminine and nouns in the Spanish language, but this old dog is having a lot of trouble learning these new tricks. My teacher Luchow fortunately has a sense of humour and constantly tells me I'm improving. While I am desperate to believe him, the reality is more like it was for poor Vanessa in Melbourne - I am just driving him insane. Never mind, I will preservere and tomorrow we will attempt real conversations when we meet in the Plaza de Armas to see if I can really confuse some people. My lessons are arranged for every day this week starting at 3.30pm till 5.30pm, but Luchow was unable to be here yesterday so it was a great opportunity to go with Lauren, Ros and Kiah and look at some museums and cultural dancing. Before that, and even though we had already had some lunch, the girls felt it was necessary to have waffles. I forced myself to enjoy a short stake of pancakes. The photos provide you some glimpses of what we were seeing for the afternoon. I arrived home to Patricia enjoying a Pisco Sour (imagine vodka,
1st Gallery1st Gallery1st Gallery

The artist was present while we looked at her work and explained the reason for the overly large hands and feet depicted the hard work that the Peruvian people endure all their lives. She also explained that several pieces showed the women protesting about the starvation of their children. Her father also has a shop in San Blas which she invited us to look at.
lemon juice, sugar, egg white and ice all mixed together ) with the Brazilian boys and their friend Maggie. Of course I was offered a drink and didn't hesitate for a second! The boys had also made desert which would normally be like our rumballs but was serviced in little shot cups. Delicious regardless and Patricia's meals are always very Peruvian and great tasting.

I have worked with little ones for most of this week and poor Luis Mario is still crying incessantly until almost lunch time. I did have him fall asleep on my lap out of sheer exhaustion and the silence was golden, if not for a great deal of time. I had tried to distract him by pointing to the man working on the brick wall for the toilet area, but this simply had him begging the man to release him from the prison. It almost sounded like he was saying; "Please help me escape! I have been wrongly accused! If you can't get me back to my mammitta, please get me my lawyer! Help me!!!!!" I couldn't help but laugh even though he was so sad and pathetic. The worker was very patient and talked
2nd Gallery2nd Gallery2nd Gallery

This artist was very dark, but had an interesting interpretation on scary fairy tales such as Little red riding hood had the wolf in her basket.
softly to him as he went about his business. Unfortunately, even though the work is so needed on the toilet area, it is creating a terrible environment for the children and carers. The cement is being mixed in the same area as the children eat, play and sleep with only a wall including an open doorway between the cement dust and the children. It floats around and onto everything. They have to walk around the mess to get to the room they eat in and it is a battle to keep them from getting covered in all the dust, etc. Yesterday I mentioned this to Patricia and she was investigating if they could move the children until the work is finished. I wasn't there today, but Patricia said that there was a room they were moved to for this morning and also for tomorrow. Thank goodness, as I came home on Wednesday feeling filthy and choking on the cement dust myself.

Today I went to the older school which teaches the 3, 4 & 5 year olds. It is a much longer walk and always seems to be quite hot there when the children go out to
3rd Gallery3rd Gallery3rd Gallery

Many paintings by different artists, all of which you could purchase. Quite a few caught my eye but not sure how I would fit them in the backpack.
play. The task for us today was to help rearrange the class so that the children sat at tables for their age group. When then assisted them with decorating their names. It took all morning as there was no accounting for the length of the name or the age of the child in doing the work. They eventually went outside to play and eat on the grass slope next to the concrete playground. I had to try to clear up some of the glass and while doing this a child managed to throw a brick at another child, hitting him on the head. Try as we might (Kiah in Spanish and myself through sign language) to convey our concern that the child might be concussed, the teacher did not seem to be too concerned. I found it so frustrating not to be able to speak to her in Spanish to be able to convince her that there might be real danger for little Marco. As his mother does not pick him up, (at 4 he walks home), I doubt she will be given much information as to the injury on his head. I just hope my overprotectiveness is unnecessary and
Hey Jane!Hey Jane!Hey Jane!

This one's for you as I immediately thought about the piece you have hanging in your unit and thought it would make a lovely addition. Again, packing could be an issue.
we see him sitting in class tomorrow. The teacher did wipe the blood from his head (it was only a flesh wound), made the rock thrower apologise, kept little Marco with her as they all played circle games (which he had to be involved in) and informed the rock thrower's mother that there had been a bit of rough play. It is so different from the environment in which our children are protected, sometimes to the point of ridiculousness.

The girls are wanting to go out for Tapas & Salsa lessons and invited me to tag along. Couldn't say no as I do love to salsa! Tomorrow night Patricia has invited me to a concert that includes the lead singer of the band from Toto for those of you old enough to remember the group. Will let you all know in a few days how it all went but hopefully I will also be able to tell you about the Colca Valley in the same blog. Currently waiting on confirmation that I can do this on Saturday and Sunday.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend! Cheers.

PS. Hey Megan, not sure which
Cultural Show 1Cultural Show 1Cultural Show 1

This was our orchestra and while the music had a similar beat and tone for the entire hour, you couldn't help but enjoy the dances as they were all a little different in composition and the costumes were so colourful. The costumes each depict a different region in Peru.
University you were referring me to, to find the excellent restaurant for ceviche. If you read this blog would love you to message me so I can find it! Thanks heaps.

PSS. Went out for dinner with girls to a lovely restaurant where I tried ceviche and lama! Both were quite nice. Afterwards we went for salsa lessons which was great fun but tiring so home by 11.30. Off to the school but little Macro was not there 😞 Hoping he is ok.

Additional photos below
Photos: 19, Displayed: 19


Some of our groupSome of our group
Some of our group

Richardo, Maggie, me & Maurisita
The pre-school or kinderThe pre-school or kinder
The pre-school or kinder

This is a view from the front of the classroom
Looking out the front door.Looking out the front door.
Looking out the front door.

You can see in the background the concrete area which not only had glass on it today, but regularly has dog business everywhere as hundreds of dogs roam the streets of Cusco
The kidsThe kids
The kids

Getting ready to burn off some of that energy. It is very warm in the sun and it never ceases to amaze me the amount of clothing the people wear.
The mountain view....The mountain view....
The mountain view....

Every angle you look there are mountains to take your breath away.
Where we walkWhere we walk
Where we walk

We have about a 10 min walk after a 15 min bus ride before we reach the school. This is to give you and idea of the streetscape.
Just one of the hundreds of dogs.Just one of the hundreds of dogs.
Just one of the hundreds of dogs.

Most of the dogs are owned by people who let them out during the day to fend for themselves. They return at night to be guard dogs for the family. They are mostly uninterested in people however today in the school yard, one dog did grab a child's jacket. Patricia is trying to get a group together to deal with this issue of the roaming dogs.

3rd May 2014

Karen, Have just read your blog. Most interesting. Gorgeous children. You certainly appear to be enjoying the experience. What's the accommodation like? I have been home for two weeks after four weeks in hospital and am feeling stronger every day. Look after yourself. Love from John and Joan
6th May 2014

Great to hear you are home!
Accommodation in Cusco is great! Very spoilt by Patricia who owns the unit we live in. She can have up to 18 people stay at the one time and she does all the cooking for us. Tottie has been working with Patricia for 35 years and comes and cleans the rooms. We can also have our washing done for a very small cost of 10 Soles, which is about $5 for a weeks worth of clothes for me anyway. We are located outside of Cusco and it is about a 15 min taxi ride (5 soles) to get into the Plaza de Armas where all things touristy exist. I catch the bus for 20 mins (0.70 soles) out to the other side of the house. I then walk for about 10 mins to the school. I think I will take a video of the journey to show you when I get home as words don't truly explain the environment. Keep growing stronger and give my love to everyone. xxxxx

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