CLawrence's Travel Journals

CLawrence Caitlin Lawrence

 
What is your traveling philosophy?

Let go of what is "normal" or "well where I am from.." you must forget all that you know- and become a child again. Reset your brain.

  • 28 years old
  • From New York, United States
  • Currently in Urubamba, Peru

One who needs help

Interacting with those who need it most

A long day

Peru Urubamba, Peru  |  Jul 05, 2011
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So today was quite a day-

Today we worked on stoves with our new ProPeru volunteers. Who are just great. Anxious to start working and get there hands dirty. We set off at our usual town and spiced up the transportation today. All 15 of us jumped into the back of a pickup truck, with our materials and tools used for making our clean burning stoves. The ride was short, we worked in the quite, very impoverished town of Kodawinchu. First we had to visit the Casa triste to move materials. "Tubos" hollow bricks that we use for constructing the stoves chimmneys. Carrying them back and forth up and down the hill, within the first hour we were already fatigued. We heard hamies que to "vamos" and we were off to road filled with dirt-handed some shovels and sacks- and started to fill them up. For 2 to 3 hours. Break up the chunks, shovel a good amount- fill up the berlack sacks, which sounds simple but is actually complicated because you have to make sure that they arent too heavy to carry over to the pickup truck. And then empty the sack. And repeat the process. The dirt is going to be used eventually to distribute to the families for them to make burrogh- for the stove contrustion process. It is days like this that you feel like- did I really help? Did I really make a difference? For when you can not see direct results- your hard phsyical labor becomes emotionally frustrating. However then you have a quick moment of validation. I have one everyday, everyone does. You just have to recogonize them. For me, I introduced myself, giving high fives to the local children, The universal "I like you kid" covered in dirt, looking hungry, and very thirsty.  As they sat on the curb and started giggling I shared my bottled water, and the loafs of bread that we were given from a woman in the community to thank us for our help. Unsure whether or not it was okay to take my food and water they conversed with each other for a minute. I said "Por Favor, esta bien" (Please, it is good) Feeling my good vibes the oldest boy stood up smiled, and gave me a hug. I watched them scarf down the food, so fast, that i realized how long it really had been since they last ate and drank water. I wish I had more to give. But it was all I had. I saod goodbye, and I was on my way. Because today was the last day the duke student volunteers were going to be here working in Peru- my project director Hamie decided it would be fun to organize a fun event. "¿Juega Futbol?" (Play soccer?) we jumped up wuth excitement and headed to the local court. We met the local boys of the community and made groups of six. I really wanted to play, so I did. It was a blast, and I was shocked with the level of skill these local teens had! They were practically proffesionals. I started to get tired after a few minutes, the sun was up high in the sky, and I was feeling the rays beating at my back. The Altitude certainly was not making things easier. For Urubambas altitude is a lot lower then the communities we work in. I took a time out, and enjoyed the rest of the boys playing hard. We walked back to Urubamba and I sprinted home for a quick shower before my spanish class. It felt great to be clean! Well, I have to get ready to go back home for dinner, only god knows what my homestay mom Sonya will be prepairing for us. I thought I heard her mummble the words "Spaghetti" Oh my goodness! That would make my night for sure. Until I get another chance to update.. Hasta Lluego!

 There brand new views of the country are refreshing. How they are fascinated with little things. Things that by now have become normal sights and sounds for me. It is a nice reminder of how interesting this place I live really is. I see so much of myself in them. How in the begining I was timid and shy, wanting to get to know everyone better, find my niche, and learn all about the great work that we do here in Peru. Trying to take some of them under my wing, and help them as much as I can. Showing them the simple necesities of living here in Urubamba- changing U.S. currency into Soles- that going to the bank is not the best place to do so- for you will stand in line for always approximately an hour for a 5 minute transaction. Making sure that they knew how to get back to there house from the Plaza. Simple things that I wish I had assistance doing. Of course we had the ProPeru staff to help us with all of the important needs- but having someone actually walk you to the store to change your money is much different. For when you are new here you want to act like you know what to do. How you should handle situations- out of fear of appearing weak, or unprepared- it can be difficult to ask for help when you really need it. I know, because for at least the first two weeks I would get lost in the town of Urubamba, constantly. Which now seems funny after knowing all the streets, and how small it really is. But when every house has the same color door, and all the cobblestone streets appear to look just like the one that you walked down five minutes prior- it is confusing.

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