Here’s the latest from the Villa Maria team who are settling into their final week on the project….Big thanks to Alice & Jaiya for this one!
By our third week in VM the team has settled into a routine involving sweltering morning climbs to reach far out communities, mass amounts of colouring (standards of castles, princesses, aliens and flowers are improving) and banterous football tournaments between gringos and the local girls. We visit two communities each day, taking the children from the second community to the swimming pool with us in the afternoon… drowning comes as standard.
We have also had the privilege of venturing into unknown Quest territory. Visiting new communities, some not even on Google-maps, brings with it an entirely different experience, the families are reserved and we need to work hard to build their trust. The rewarding feeling when the children of one such community run to hug and kiss you as you pant up the hill in a Princess outfit for the Saturday Feria cannot quite be described.
The pirate and princess themed Feria was an immense success… Amongst jousting and a pirate assault course we included outfit stations for the making of necklaces & bracelets, newspaper dresses and crowns (check out the beaut photos!). A well-deserved chill-out sesh followed that evening, and as Danilo’s music lured us in, an unplanned dance on the balcony into the early hours commenced for some members! Our glamorous weekend ended on Sunday evening, when the girls cranked up the dancing standards with a performance of Vogue, not forgetting the flowery fans and little chairs of course (don´t forget to check out the video)!
On Monday we made our second trip Lima, this time a little less tired and a little more prepared to experience what the city has to offer. After cravings for good coffee were satisfied in Starbucks the team dispersed amongst the city. On our return to the hostel, 9 hours later, tat had been purchased, hair had been braided and 25,000 bodies worth of bones had been viewed in the San Francisco church (gross!)… we were looking more GAP YAA than ever.
The day ended with a meal by the beach and after a frantic search for a decent bar on a Monday night we returned to the hostel for drinks, chat and swimming (not forgetting to pop into the casino on the way back). We returned to VM fresh and ready for the week ahead. We dived right back into community work and swimming, followed by another outdoor movie night. While ENTS endured the third Chipmunk movie the cook team rustled up an EPIC three-course candlelit Valentine’s dinner on the balcony of the school. The mood was chilled as secret Valentine presents were exchanged and diners indulged in chocolate fondue with strawberries and cake. The award for most creative gift has to go to Louis for his prize of ´´one night of Louis loving´… Poor Sam!!
So apart from an Earthquake, a frenzied run to reach a Lima tourbus on time (burgers and fries flying everywhere!) and a few hill slips the team are having a great time and really looking forward to construction this week!