Last night me and 2 other volunteers wet out to explore the Huancayan nightlife, or lack of it. There are no bars as you might expect in a town, however we did go to one bar called 'inca bar' which was quite an experience. If you imagine a 1950s American diner which has been left to grow old, then remove any of the modern technologies such as music then you get a rough idea of the bar. Rather than having to go to the bar for every drink it was table service which made it a lot easier, and faster to drink. We met up with a few volunteers from another charity so spent the night drinking and being laughed at...the peruvians think it's hilarious just to watch us 'gringos' and seem fascinated by everything they do. They also have no shame when it comes to pointing and laughing, or shouting Gringo at you, or even just walking up and staring at you. This does paint peruvians in a bad light and the majority are more than friendly and hospitable, for example when leaving the bar a little drunk Peruvian guy kept trying to touch my head and wanted hugs because I was so tall!
Today we woke up nice and early as it is bernabe's birthday so had a full nutritious breakfast of toffee cake and hot chocolate, yet nobody seemed to question whether this was right, I guess like a lot of things here in Huancayo!
I visited a couple of houses where you can see what the charity means to the locals. The first house was a family in which the father had a stroke and during the rainy season the wall of the house fell down, as the father is unable to repair it and the mother needs to go harvest crops for pennies a day, there was nothing they could do so Expand Peru got involved and are helping to rebuild the wall and make improvements for the family's future. You can tell just by talking to the parents how appreciative they were of the help, so much so that they invited all the volunteers to their daughters wedding next weekend in the towns cathedral.
The second house we visited was of a family whose young daughter was very ill and needed an operation as she had fluid on the brain, however her father didn't want to go ahead with the operation, but the charity convinced the father to allow the operation to happen, and without it the girl would certainly not be alive now. The charity are continuing to work with the family to provide future support for the girl who needs a lot of extra care!
It was good to see these things as it really reminds me why I'm here and it's not just to have fun.
This afternoon we drove out into the country to a trout restaurant based on the side of a river where they catch the fish and cook it. Being a bit cautious of seafood I wasn't so sure it would be a good idea but can safely say it's one of the nicest meals ive had in Peru, they definitely have a passion for good food over here.
With it being the weekend from tomorrow we have the next few days off so tonight all the volunteers from the casa del voluntario are going to the only 'disco' in town - the taj mahal.
So far I'm lacking a lot of Spanish skills so having to study in my spare time to be able to hold a conversation with the locals, and the volunteers who I'm with have decided that the best way to learn is spend the evening only speaking in Spanish, as that's what helped them when they were at the same stage as me, looks like it may be pretty quiet tonight... QUE!!!!