Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Day Eight - Tools Down

April 10th

After a delayed start this morning due to much needed paint buying, we eventually reached the school, and discovered we would be planting with the children. All of the plants were blessed by the children, and then our amigos showed us how to prepare the ground and plant - with some of the children being more particular than others! Having furrowed the ground to the children's satisfaction spring onions and lettuce were carefully planted and watered, in some cases slightly drowned!

Having completed the gardening, it was time to finish painting. The remainder of the tyres and playground games were spruced up, whilst Becca and Laura attempted to paint a straight (slightly wonky) halfway line. Penalty spots and headApril 9th

We awoke to the sun shining on yet another glorious day in Peru with most of us still in awe from dinner the previous night at the newly discovered Irish bar, Paddy's Pub. Serving up delights such as steak sandwiches, shepherds pie and even chocolate brownies for decent prices, there is no doubt that this popular tavern will be visited multiple times in the coming days before we head off on the Inca Trail.

With the coach leaving at 9am we had an early start of hydration testing, breakfast eating and making our sandwiches for lunch. Breakfast saw the welcome return of scrambled eggs along with the jam rolls, basic yet still delicious and enough to last us until lunch time.

Upon arriving at the school, the group seemed motivated, refreshed from a good nights sleep and you sensed the enthusiasm within the team. Once there, the same steps followed before beginning the work; carrying tools and equipment from the coach, applying sun cream and organising ourselves into groups to focus on a particular job.

Once split into small groups, work could begin!

The jobs included removing small rocks from a huge pile of various sizes; this was carried out by Ben P, Harry and Neil before wheelbarrowing them over to the coliseum for Luke H and Kane to start constructing the path.

A larger group helped clear the grass by the tyres in the playground and then advanced into painting them, giving the playground a pristine new look yet still keeping its original character. Painting the apparatus was carried out by Sophie P and Lottie, among others, using bright colours to revive the dull appearance of the play area. The strimmers were once again used to full effect by Luke N, Alan and Dom. Alan also assisted mark in attaching doors to the greenhouse.

One area that needed particular attention was the guinea pig enclosure. Security was enforced through the addition of wire netting by lee and Oli, with Ben D and James working from the inside. Hopefully the rodents will appreciate their new and improved home!

Approaching the final hour of the day a game invented by the group to use the remains of 3or 4 tyres was created (allowing the children to bounce on them like a bouncy castle of some kind). This involved digging and then placing the tyres into the right positions so it was a safe and friendly game to the Peruvian children. A few laughs were shared at the end of the day when a comedic duo of Kane and Ben P encountered some issues when attempting to paint the top of a slide. Alex and his photography work was used throughout the day to capture photos of the group working 'in the moment'. I'm sure all of you reading this will get to see them in the near future!

As the day ended Paddy's Pub was on the agenda again...

A terrific trip and experience so far to help others around us and have the satisfaction of making a difference to the children's and the school's future.

The time of our lives yet we've only reached the half way mark, with so much more to come!

Thanks for reading

Kane, Ben and Alex 😊s and volley lines were also painted to give the children some new games to play. Kane and Ben finally finished the slide after 2 days of painting, and needing to climb on each others shoulders to reach the more difficult parts. The ecological teaching table and benches were also given a new lease of life today with a British stamp of red, white, and blue.

Whilst the painting was finished, a group was working hard on the guinea pig house. A convection heating system was constructed using rocks and tarpaulin, to ensure when the guinea pigs move in they will be kept nice and warm.

The final task, and possibly the largest, was cementing the path of rocks made in the children's coliseum. The cement was carefully mixed using only shovels on the playground, and poured across the rocks. A few of the children tried to help, but to little avail. After a whole day of hard graft the cement was laid and smoothed, making the coliseum look like a completely different place from the tall grassy area that was there before we began.

Due to heavy traffic on the return journey, the driver took a detour which turned out to be shorter! That, topped with some interesting driving from both our driver and the oncoming cars - risqué overtaking - made for an...alternative trip back!

After a hard final days grafting, the majority of the renovation crew piled into Paddy's pub for some well earned grub (should we move in?!), with the chocolate brownie tasting even more delightful than the first taste!!

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