Peru 2.0 (Day 3)
We want to share our recent trip to Peru with you… but since we felt like we might have bored the living breath out of some of you with stories from our previous adventure(!!), the next few posts on our blog will be photos from this latest trip with minimal commentary.
We hope you enjoy the journey…
[For more context surrounding this trip, check out
this brief explanation.]
There was another couple there with us – longstanding friends of Tom – who have been going down to Pucallpa for years, helping out with all the various electrical needs at the Indian Center (amongst other things!!). This is Tom… sharing in the rare out-of-his-cage appearance of the macaw that lives at Casa Shea.
Peet loves birds, so this was a treat for him!!
I realize Peet has his eyes closed here (a regular occurrence in photos)… but I just love the blur on the bird’s wings!!
The beautiful (and mean) Abuelo.
Abuelo was claiming ownership over the pool at Casa Shea… keeping both the macaw and Robyn at bay!!
This is one of the cute little guys who actually liked me.
Back at the Indian Center… teaching the class about clean water. This is Gloria and Julio. They’re long-time residents at the Indian Center and help run the place.
It was all very serious. Until someone started laughing. They all have incredibly contagious laughs!!
Back to basics: cutting out shapes for the day’s lesson.
Everybody’s doing it!!
The ever-present kids. : )
So much concentration.
I needed a break from the classroom, so I went for a wander to see what was happening outside.
Look at this sweet girl who couldn’t see her family from her place on the step…
… or maybe she was upset because her naked bum was so uncomfortable on the bare concrete?!!
The Indian Center is a vast place… multiple buildings that have rows of rooms on two levels. It’s hard to imagine, but the place often gets full. When that happens, additional guests are never turned away. They’re shown to a concrete shelter where they can make themselves at home with any other visitors who arrived too late to get their own space. As heartbreaking and uncomfortable as it sounds, it’s still a safe place for them… with the same access to firewood, showers, community and (now) clean water. This mama was watching over her little girl as she took a nap on the cool concrete floor.
After my wanderings, I found that our class had transitioned to the bathrooms!! Robyn was teaching them how to wash their hands… making them sing “Jesus Loves Me” while they did so to ensure they didn’t rush the process. They all thought it was hilarious!! Robyn threw in other nuggets of wisdom, too… like turning the tap off with your elbow to prevent getting germs on your clean hands, and waving your hands in the air like a crazy person to dry them, rather than wiping them on your dirty clothes or on a communal hand towel. Ugh!!
Everyone was crammed in such a teeny tiny space… and then there was Peet making a video!!
Back to the classroom… and Robyn took a little break from the grown-ups to give the kids some more activities.
Just look at this little guy!!
Meanwhile, up on the roof, John was making great progress on the filtering system.
Peet and Miguel were making sure everything looked above board!!
There’s always laundry hanging out. Always. And it’s all been washed by hand, down in that little tiled area you can see in the photos from Day 1. See those big hammocks hanging on the line? Even they get washed by hand!!
Speaking of the laundry area!! It doubles up as a bath and hair-washing station for the littlies.
Robyn’s like the Pied Piper of Peru!!
I can’t breathe just looking at this!! #claustrophobia
Back up on the roof, John found a little helper (no, I’m not talking about Peet!!).
Isn’t she adorable?!!
She played with these plastic tubes for hours.
I was expecting her bare feet to be black… but not so much.
In case anyone needed proof, this isn’t glamorous work. It’s insanely hot, more humid than I remember, and you’re surrounded by people’s laundry. But it’s worth every bit of inconvenience.
These were pictures from the class, instructing them how to wash their hands. We’d printed a bunch of them out, so Robyn had the kids do some coloring. They’re so proud of their work when they complete something like this… every time a child finished coloring their picture, they’d bring it to me or Robyn for praise and affirmation in our pigeon Spanish. Robyn put all their work on the wall and they loved it!!
Our students had a couple of hours to digest the morning’s lesson and to round up a bunch of willing guinea pigs, and then they taught them the same things. Part of our job was to make sure they were able to teach the material to others once we leave in order to ensure proper usage of the clean water, and long-term cleanliness of the system. They did great!!
Benji took a turn at occupying the kids. Benji’s sister is Laura – one of our translators.
This is Gloria, teaching her fellow Indians how to wash their hands. She was brilliant… and she had all the tips and arm actions that she’d learned from Robyn in the morning. She even had them sing “Jesus Loves Me”, but not in Spanish… in Shipibo… one of the tribal languages!! Robyn was blown away by their retention skills… but also by the fact that we were seeing immediate results from our morning’s activities that have the potential to dramatically reduce disease and, consequently, save lives. Such an honor!!
They made everything so fun!!
I guess I ran up to the roof before we headed home for the day in an attempt to show the progress of the filtration system!! It’s getting there…