Buenas dias!!! That's Spanish for 'ow do! Welcome to part four of my blog about my work and times at Pisco sin Fronteras. It has been an interesting start to the week, been on four different projects in four days and was today put in charge of my second project which I will tell you all about!
Return to SFT
With my first project as leader completed and still feeling a little worse for wear after Huacachina, I set off for an easy day at Super Fun Town, which regular readers of my blog will know is a multi-sports facility (or a big slab of concrete you may say!) that we're building for the poorer district of Tupac Amaru. On the truck ride over Joe, the truck driver, thought it would be a good idea to bring Gringo, one of the two house dogs along. It wasn't a good idea as he started salivating all over everyone, then just as we were arriving he was sick all over the back of the truck! He also spent the rest of the day fighting with the other dogs in the area and generally being a nuisance! After about 15 minutes of setting up the concrete mixers we finnaly got started. The three founding volunteers of this project had left, so the concrete slabs were a bit messy and everyone was a little disorganised, but we still managed to get three slabs poured which brought the count up to 41 out of 50 total. As I write this blog they're up to 48, with them only needing to do the slabs with the goal posts in. I also tried out my carpentry skills as I was asked to build a form board to pour the concrete into. When I got back in I had a shower,then went for dinner. The usual sitting around the fire talking and drinking then ensued, followed by a quick game of cards before heading to bed.
On Tuesday I signed up for working at Pedro's house, who was an old fisherman living in the fishing community of San Andres with his even older parents. The Project was about two weeks in already, so the new house was aready starting to take shape. We started the day filling a big, long hole in the floor with concrete. Unfortunately they didn't have a cement mixer at this project, so we had to mix it by hand. This entailed dumping about 50 shovels of aggregate (sand and rock mixture) and half a bag of cement on the ground, then mixing them with a spade and finally making a volcano-like structure with the mix and pouring water on top and mixing. This was pretty brutal work, but was necessary to build the house. When Pedro arrived, he started putting up form boards for us to pour concrete into to lay the foundations for brickwork. This meant more back-breaking labour and more sweat and tears. We then headed for lunch, but not knowing any cheap restaurants in the area, we stopped by at the fisherman's centre I was working at a couple of weeks ago. They were just finishing off the roof, which was rotting and weak. Also checked in on Sarah who was putting the finishing touches on a mural out back. We then headed to a restaurant nearby and ate. After stopping off at a bakery we headed back to work. We only had about an hour or so's worth of work, so we promptly headed back to base camp. In the evening we had our weekly football game againt the tour guides. This week was even closer than last week, with us controlling the game and leading until the very end, but sadly we still lost 11-9. Afterwards we had another game of poker. Word had spread around and this game was more than twice the size as last time, so we had to split into two tables. After another good start, I got beaten to death by lady luck again, first seeing my three-of-a-kind beaten by a worse three-of-a-kind then my Ace-six beaten by an Ace-five! Annoyed and pretty fed-up of poker I sat by the fire stewing, before heading to bed.
I spent Wednesday at Aceros Arequipa, which was a gigantic multi purpose mill on the outskirts of Pisco. The place was massive and apparently employed 1,500 people. We were there to sort through the free wood that we were allocated by them. We needed to find square pieces that could be cut into thin strips to be used in modular, wooden homes. After a testosterone fuelled morning of caber tossing and wood stacking, we took a quick detour to go and see an eiree pile of exploded mortar shells and other military equiptment that AA were using for scrap metal. We then went for lunch in the cafeteria. They served a hefty three course meal, which I couldn't manage half of! The man who was showing us around was talking to Claire about Peruvian cuisine and not wanting us to think that canteen food was typical of the country, invited us to his house for lunch on Saturday! So I've got that to look forward to now! In the afternoon we headed back to HQ and sorted some space for the new wood at the wood yard. Later me and Ji, my new room-mate had a go at fixing our shelves. After a lot of effort and a broken drill bit, we finally managed to fix it! After dinner I bought some banoffee pie from the fund-raising team, then settled in to watch "tool time"; an iniciative set up by Pete the tools manager, where we were shown how to us a power saw and an angle-grinder! After some more chatting by the fire after another failed music night, I headed to bed again.
Back in Charge!
This morning (Thursday) I was planning to go back to Pedro's house, where they had got the use of a cement mixer for the day. However as I came for breakfast, Thays, the project co-ordinator asked me if I wanted to be in charge of another project, this time a house in Molino. Fortunately since I didn't know anything about the project, I didn't have to explain my project in Spanish (for those who don't know Thursday morning meetings are in Spanish!). With little knowledge of the project we took a few spades and a pick axe as well as a wheelbarrow. When we arrived there seemed to be a fair bit of work already done on it, metal columns had been erected as well as a big trench dug and half filled in. We were tasked with filling in the other half today. On this project however we were told to do one massive hand mix, about four times the size of the mixes we were doing at Pedro's house. This was a bit of a logistical nightmare, but after a mornings worth of shovelling we were nearly done. The two women there were really sweet as they kept bringing us out drinks and helping out when they could. They also served a delicious lunch, which we quickly wolfed down! We filled the remaining trench in the afternoon, which took a fraction of the tim as we had finaly got the hang of the volcano method! We then embarked on getting the wheelbarrow home which took a very squashed bus ride and an equally squashed tuk-tuk ride before eventually arriving back.
It has been another great week so far, although it has been tough and the weather has been very British!! Got another fun packed weekend ahead, with the England game tomorrow, then my meal with Michael (the Aceros Arequipa guy!) on saturday, followed by a football match against the School who's pitch we built last week! Then on Saturday night we're planning a camp-out at Paracas, a national park just north of here, where they have penguins, turtles and Flamingos!! Not put any pictures up today because I only took a few, most of which were just cute dogs I saw!! Again feel free to put up a message on my message board, if anyone has any questions please email me at [email protected]. Hasta luego (Ta-ta now)!!