So here’s the news from the Villa Maria team’s first week on the project in their own words. Thanks to Georgia for this!
Villa Maria Construction 2012. Week 1.
So we arrived on Monday morning feeling pretty jet lagged. Charlotte and Georgia first, then Emma and Kate followed last but not least by Guy, sporting a very fetching fleece. Lea and Dan were keenos and had arrived a few days before.
We hopped on a bus to Villa Maria and started our group bonding by attempting to build a bench with the help of the incredible Pato with whom we have all fallen slightly in love after only a week (especially Lea!). We went out to lunch at a local cafe where Charlotte got talking to a local Peruvian resulting in the exchange of numbers and some photos. We returned to the school and met some of the children, quickly realising they tire us out in seconds! Later we met Alejandro, Chantelle, Lucho and Marta and discussed our plans for the next month, proving we have a pretty busy schedule ahead of us.
Day 2 – Guy, Georgia and Charlotte visited Miraflores for the first time whilst the others went on a walk through Villa Maria to the statue of Christ at the top of a hill. On the way up they were approached by the lady for whom we will be building the first house – so we went to check out her existing home. I think everyone was pretty shocked at the appallling conditions in which her and her 2 children lived. Later on we went up to a community to play with some local children resulting in a disasterous football game which we embarrassingly lost by quite a lot. Then we braved the cold shower, an interesting experience to say the least.
Day 3, – We started our construction work building 2 walls. Dan and Emma went off to the wood shop to buy some more supplies and got a little look around some more of Villa Maria. We played another game of football, losing pretty badly once again and later on tried on some fancy dress for our forthcoming dance debut on Wednesday.
Day 4 – Carried on with the construction work managing to build 4 walls. Got to say we’re all getting pretty good at DIY work.
Day 5 – We were a bit delayed getting started. We made two more walls for the next house in the morning and later managed to put the first house together and paint it. We were treated to one of our first pranks from Alejandro with an explosion of confetti when attempting to use the paint drier. We all got pretty messy, with a lot of paint fights and Georgia ending up with paint all over her head!
Day 6 – Was the hottest day so far and of course happened to be the day we had to climb the ridiculously steep hill (twice!) to demolish the lady´s existing house and put up her new one. Sadly she wasn´t there to see the result but the woman´s mum and daughter seemed extremely happy with the result and told us how grateful they were, a touching moment. Exhausted we had the afternoon to ourselves and later on Dan and Jon went to the supermarket with a huge list of requests to stock up for Dans birthday on Monday. Think we all seem more excited for it than him!
Day 7- Began excruciatingly early for most of us so we could get a good seat to watch the marching band competition in the centre of Villa Maria. On the way back we stopped at a market where guy bought a new jumper after sadly losing his fashionable fleece a few days before. After a lazy afternoon we wrote our first blog entry, leading us to now! Looking forward to Dans birthday tomorrow and building some more houses next week!
Keep up the good work guys!