Hello there!! Sorry It's been a while, been busy etc... Anyway I'll see how much I can remember of the last ten days.
After writing my last blog on Tuesday I got reacquainted with my room, unpacked and got my laundry done. After getting dinner I headed over to the football pitch for our weekly game of football with the tour guides. We won again making it three in a row that I've played in. Still feeling tired from the previous week's trekkiing, I soon afterwards headed to bed.
Back To The Grind!
For my first day back I thought I'd get stuck in with a bit of palette breaking. That day it was just me and one of the many "new guys" at PSF, Phil. We headed over to the wood yard and started tearing apart the wooden palettes to be used as wooden panels for the modular house project. After a hard morning's work Phil and I parted ways for lunch. When I returned an hour later Phil was nowhere to be find, so after asking around a little I resolved to head back to the school house to catch up on a little sleep. I returned to the house later to find that Phil had done pretty much the same as me ten minutes previously, so no work really got done during the afternoon!! Later on in the day I headed back to the school house where I watched a DVD before calling it a night.
On Thursday, still feeling eager to get stuck into some proper work I headed to Angela's house to do some trench digging. This was a pretty interesting house as there was a mini-farm at the back of the house, so when you needed to go to the toilet you had to sneak past a few chickens and a fully grown pig!! The house we were building was also a bit confusing since there was no maestro to show us what to do and the floor was at different levels around the house. Because of this Jules and Will, the project leaders spent half the day measuring out levels and re-adjusting the ground level marks. After lunch I started to dig out a corner trench for a column to be poured into. After about two minutes of digging I realised that this part of the plot had clearly been used as some kind of land fill site as there were bits of plastic bag and crisp packets everywhere! To make matters worse there was also some black oily substance mixed into it that stank to high heaven. After finishing the trench it was time to pack up. There was a bit of drama at the end of the day when the pig got loose and headed over to us before being shoed back into it's "pen". On the evening we had another game of football between our group and after a couple of drinks at the school house I headed to bed.
Bringing Down The House
When Friday came around I went on another project, the school modular. This was a project where a wooden modular house was not needed by a school in a nearby neighborhood, so it was gifted to PSF, who in turn allocated it to a pre-school in Al Molino, a poorer district of Pisco. On this day of the project we had to dismantle the remains of the walls and the roof. Kate (a dreadlocked English girl) and I started unscrewing the walls, while Will and my room-mate Joe went about dismantling the roof. Disaster struck a couple of hours in when the wind blew one of the panels over, breaking it in half. We carried on for another hour until lunch at about 12.30. After getting lunch at a chinese place around the corner we got back to it. After finishing taking down the walls, Kate and I did a fair bit of standing around, intermittently carrying a few of the dismantled pieces to the pavement. An hour or so later we had finished with the roof, leaving only the base standing. We called for the truck and were soon on our way to Al Molino. After two trips we had finished and headed back to the house. After showering and eating I sat by the fire with everyone before heading out to the karaoke bar in town for some drinks and a sing song!! We partied late into the night until I called it a night at about 2am.
Teach Me A Lesson!
On Saturday, with little good hard jobs on the board, I elected to teach English at our weekly "Intercambio" English classes. This was particularly challenging as I was put in charge of the kids along with a new girl Issy and there were pretty few teaching materials at my disposal. After cobbling together a easy lesson plan consisting of body parts, feelings (happy, sad, ill, etc!!) we started the lesson. About 15 kids showed up and after burning through our material in about half an hour (it was a 2 hour lesson), we resorted to playing Simon says with the kids, with pretty low success! After doing some more cobbling together, we taught the kids basic introduction phrases (hello, how are you etc.) and animals. Aftwr a quick recap of the materials, we finished the class. In the afternoon, Anton and I started organising the quiz that was that night. I was put in charge of the questions, while Anton sorted out the punch, snacks and prizes for the quiz. After coming up with about half the questions off the top of my head, I headed to the internet cafe to put together the rest of the questions, as well as doing the dingbat and picture rounds. This took me the majority of the afternoon, so after grabbing some dinner it was time to start the quiz, not before singing happy birthday to Kevin, the Volunteer Coordinator, who turned 25 that day. About ten teams entered, which was most of PSF. The quiz started well, until I spoiled my best question (how many English-born James Bonds have there been?) by accidentally blurting out "2" when asked for clarification! Then the quiz started going south when mainly due to the presence of all-you-can-drink punch, everyone started getting louder and more disruptive. By the time we got round to giving out answers half the people had given up and one girl tried insisting on stopping the quiz so everyone could go out! After handing the papers in to be collated, I headed back to the School house to count the scores (everyone had gone out by now!) feeling exhausted from the two groups of kids I had dealt with, I went to bed after watching some TV!
Sunday was particularly quiet, with no Huacachina or anything planned, I spent the majority of the day lounging around the school house watching DVDs, playing cards and generally wasting the day! I got dinner at "The Fat Chicken" before retiring to my room to watch some more TV before heading to bed.
A Familiar Sight...
On Monday I went over to Guillermo's house, which is a new project where we needed to jackhammer some foundations and dig some trenches to start work on building a house. However, when we got there it turned out that they were not ready for us, so, for about the tenth time during the 3 months I'd been at PSF, we got sent back. I spent the rest of the day at the house, making a divide for the box of gloves, then seperating the gloves into good and bad, then into left and right gloves. Monday evening was a special one as it was our head chef and kitchen manager, Simon's last meal at PSF. For this he had invited a bunch of Peruvians from the market where he buys his ingredients, to attend a special meal that was served at the restaurant across the road from the house. I was seated with a few volunteers as well as a nice Peruvian family that ran a dairy stall at the market. We ate some curry with grilled chicken, rice and naan bread. After a few drinks (that the Peruvian Father insisted on buying for us) I headed back to the school house for bed.
On Tuesday I volunteered to be the leader of a demolition project at Yolanda's house. This involved jack-hammering a two-layered floor as well as the foundations surrounding the floor area. This looked like quite a task, but with a big team of seven, we quickly smashed through the floors, doing the top layer and bits of the second layer before lunch. After lunch half of us set about doing the second layer, while the other half started sledge-hammering the foundations. The foundations were pretty as they were full of big rocks that needed pick axing, breaker barring then sledge hammering (taking some awesome teamwork!). At 4pm, what I thought was a two-day job had been done in a day! After dinner we had our weekly game of football with the tour guides.... only for the tour guides not to show up, so we had a game against ourselves. With Wednesday being a day off because of "Pisco Day" we had a bit of a party at the house, before a bunch of the School-house folk and I headed to the School house roof with a bottle of rum and coke.
Wednesday was Pisco day, so there was no work!! After overcoming my hangover i killed some time at the internet cafe before watching another DVD at the school house. On the evening we hit the fair, that was in town for a few days, where I dined on candy floss, churros and popcorn!! After riding a few rides I headed back.
Another Familiar Sight...
On Thursday I headed back to Yolanda's house to do a little extra demo work, this time knocking down a wall between the woman's house and a neighbour's, however the neighbour wasn't around to oversee the whole thing, so we couldn't knock through the wall, so once again we were sent back. I took this opportunity to go back to Guillermo's house, where the project had finally gotten underway. When I got there they were doing the demolition work without a jack hammer, (which is kind of like washing a car with a toothbrush!!) so I took the initiative and went back to the house to chase up the tool. After ringing around trying to find which project had taken the jack, it turned out it had been left in the toolshed!! After returning we hammered through four foundations before calling it a day. It turned out Anton and Yani, who were on my failed project, had spent the day making a ping pong table, so we spent the evening playing with that.
On Friday I headed back to Guillermo's house where we did some more jack-hammering and I dug out a couple of corner trenches.
So that was my week (and a bit) sorry it was rushed a bit at the end but I gotta go get dinner!! Ciao for now!!!