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Published: September 22nd 2011
Monday (Sep. 19th)
My first morning without spanish classes! I was supposed to start my morning volunteering at Casa Acogida (with the trafficked girls) but I was still recovering from my sickness, so I slept in a bit and took the morning easy for once. Then I went like usual to San Judas in the afternoon, although this time I went all alone since Vivi is working somewhere else this week, it was very sad. I had been helping out in the older girl's room but since Vivi isn't there anymore to help with the younger girls I will be working there for the next three weeks instead. At first I was a little sad I won't be working with the girls I had gotten to know in the other room, but the little girls are tons of fun and I have more to do in that room so it will be good. I started working today with two of the youngest girls, Analy and Rosa, on their pre-math book (they are probably about preschool age) helping them learn their shapes and then of course coloring and making it fun as well. We didn't work for too long because of their short attention spans so then we just played some games and did some puzzles before it was time to go.
Tuesday (Sep 20th)
My first morning at Casa Acogida. It started out a little bit disappointing because my volunteer coordinator hadn't called to let them know I was coming so I only had an hour with the girls and one of the women in charge didn't seem very happy that I had just kind of arrived unannounced. But then it was fun with the girls. There were only 5 today, I am not sure where the rest were, so we just stretched a bit and then played volleyball. I am not very good at volleyball at all but the girls loved it and it was a lot of fun playing with them. For the last 10 minutes I tried to teach them a bit of English but I didn't have much time to we just did the alphabet, some numbers, and some greetings. Maybe I'll have more time tomorrow. I had arrived at about 9:15 today and was there to 10 but then before I left I talked to the psychologist (a very nice and helpful woman) and arranged that the best time for me to go is from 8-9 every morning, incredibly early but oh well.
I met up with Maria Elena (my host mom) at a travel agency she is connected with before lunch to arrange a trip to Arequipa for this weekend with a trek in the Colca Canyon. A new girl arrived Sunday night (her name is Brittany and she is from Maine and also 18 and taking a gap year) so I got to know her a little bit and invited her to go with me. It will be great to have a travel buddy again! At San Judas today I helped Analy and Rosa again for a while and then also another little girl in first grade who was the only one left finishing her homework after all the other girls had left to play. I think she has a harder time learning than the other girls so she is always last to finish and so of course she never wants to do her work and that cycle is never broken. I left a bit early today to meet up with Maria Elena and Brittany first at the bus terminal to buy our tickets for this weekend, and then we went to El Molina (the huge mall I had gone to before with Joao) to buy movies, CDs, and whatever else we wanted. The movies were SUPER cheap so I bought 4 and I'll probably go back before I leave Cusco to buy more.
Wednesday (Sep 21st)
I thought I was a bit late to Casa Acogida today (at fricking 8 am) but the girls were still just finishing breakfast. All 10 of the girls were there this morning (2 more had arrived since we had last visited 2 weeks ago) and they were so happy to see me, it was very heartwarming. They invited me to sit with them for breakfast and then before I could refuse, they served me bread with guacamole in it and tea. I will have to go a bit later from now on because I would feel terrible refusing the food but I also feel bad eating it and then my stomach hurt later today so I don't think the guacamole was good. All the girls joined me again for stretching and then they all started out playing volleyball again but by the time I left (we only had about 30 min. today because of breakfast) there were only 5 playing. I want to actually teach the girls something too but the women in charge want me to do exercise with them and since I only have an hour it is hard to do any more than that.
Time went by so fast today at Casa Acogida, I didn't realize it was almost time to go until the teacher asked me what time it was and it was 10 till 6. I was working again with Analy and Rosa and we got so much done in their books today, it was great. I was also trying to help 2 other girls with their English workbooks at the same time, which was difficult, but they kept bugging me so I would just help every once in a while. Tonight at home we had a goodbye party for Vivi. She doesn't leave until Friday but today was a better time for the party so we bought pizza, cake, and Inca Kola (which tastes like bubblegum and I really don't like, but everyone else loves) and took lots of pictures and it was a lot of fun.
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