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  • Writer's pictureEmily Breeden

Las Gringitas

-March 25, 2015-

Today was my first experience ever seeing a dog get hit by a car.  It was so sad 😦 but didn’t seem to phase anyone too much.  There are SO MANY dogs here.  And yes, the car just kept driving. Someone told me that there is a dog shelter here getting 80,000 signatures to start creating laws that will protect them… God, I hope that is true!!  Definitely going to look into that more…

Today was also my first experience riding in a tiny car with 10 people… 4 people squished in the back/trunk area, 4 people squished in the back seats… plus the driver, and passenger.  The same driver every morning takes us into the mountains/rural area between Cusco and Chinchero, and since taxi drivers are paid per person (no meters or anything), it’s more advantageous for them to cram a lot of people in their small cars… more people = more money!  He is a good driver, but today we somehow got the wheels stuck in some train tracks…  Luckily, we got out quickly because there was a train coming (ONLY KIDDING!!!)

At school today, my Aussie friend, El, and I totally screwed up the breakfast.  We normally make rice and milk (arroz y leche), but today there was a bag of oatmeal (harina de avena) sitting there, which was supposed to be the only thing we were making.  Long story short, we made wayyy more food than we were supposed to, by accidentally mixing the oatmeal AND the rice together in one big pot.  OOPS!!  After adding milk and a lot of sugar, it actually wasn’t that bad.  All the kids loved it and got an extra full tummy today.  The teachers thought it was hilarious and weren’t upset thankfully!!  I even ate a bowl of it 🙂 mmm!

The littlest kids kept calling us “gringita” today and we couldn’t stop laughing.  They are 4-5 years old and seriously so cute.  Also, someone got hurt today and I had a first aid kit in my purse… I’ve never seen kids get SO excited about bandaids/Neosporin.  After I helped one bloody knee, I had a line of 5 kids who had cuts they wanted me to fix.  They kept asking me if I was a doctor, and I just told them “Si, soy una doctora hoy!”

El and I are going on a field trip soon with the director at our school (Paty, who has been there for 20 years…bless her heart) to see another school, to get some ideas for improvements/decorations/etc.  Simataucca has barely anything up on their walls and it is not a good learning environment for kids.  The classrooms are dark, cold, and bare.  We want to change that during our time here, as well as help them improve the outside environment (with tables, etc.) so that the kids can study/read outside when the weather is nice.

Paty told me that La Eco-Escuela Simataucca has had volunteers, but that they haven’t had (many? or any) volunteers contribute resources before.  She and the teachers are beyond excited and grateful about the GoFundMe page I started, and wants to thank everyone MUCHISIMO for the contributions!!  We are starting to brainstorm how the money will be used to make their school a better place.  We have already started with new toothpaste, hand soap, toilet paper, volleyballs, colored pencils, and two new sets of markers.  Kids can’t be kids without hygiene, sports, or art!


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Tonight I am getting some more items for their kitchen… including a can opener (we use a huge knife to open the cans of evaporated milk… some of it gets wasted because it’s hard to get it out of the can like that, and it’s dangerous), a new pan (theirs is black, old, small, and falling apart), and some items to make them breakfast tomorrow.  I am going to teach them how to make banana chocolate chip pancakes 🙂  Also, I want to get them a new towel for their bathroom because currently, people wash their hands but don’t dry them… Being a germaphobe, I’d looove to improve their bathroom situation!!

Little by little the school will become an amazing place for the kids.  Also, I am starting to hear stories from the teachers in our morning carpool, of extremely poor orphanages and schools even further away from Cuzco, in the mountains… so depending how much is raised, we may be able to help some neighboring schools and/or orphanages too.  A little bit will go a long way here, no matter what 🙂

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