So after a crazy weekend iv not had a chance to update this until now.
On Saturday we were invited to a wedding of one of the families we are helping in which the father has had a stroke so is unable to rebuild a collapsed wall, so we thought it's best to hire suits and dresses and go all out for the special occasion. Finding a suit big enough was quite a problem considering I am a good foot taller than your average Peruvian, but I eventually we found this suit which wouldn't look out of place on Jackie Chan to hire for the day.
The wedding began at 9am on Saturday so we thought we would go to the cathedral 10 mins before so we wouldn't be late, however when we got there a wedding was underway so we snook in and sat through the remainder of the wedding and at the end applauded as the bride and groom walked past, only to realise we were in the wrong wedding! Our wedding was Just after this one!
After attending the correct wedding we stuck around for photos (everyone wanted photos of us as well as the newlyweds!) before heading to the reception with the family. On arrival we had to wait at the bottom of the street until everyone arrived then with a brass band behind us we had to dance up to the building. The mother of the bride took an interest in me and made sure she danced with me!
It appears that it's customary for all the males to dance with the bride after the groom so the mother very kindly made me stand in the middle of the dance floor with everyone looking then made me be the first to dance with the bride! Very funny but embarrassing experience.
We were served lunch at the wedding which consisted of soup then meat and rice, all on plastic plates on your lap. The afternoon was pretty slow until it was present giving time. Apparently it's custom to dance towards to bride ad groom with the gifts so each of us armed with a different gift energetically danced around, much to the amusement of the locals. Once you hand over the gift the bride gives you a bottle of beer so we sheepishly made our way to the side of the room and began to drink. In no time piles of crates of beer appeared on the dance floor. The idea is that it's a competition between the two families as to who can bring the most beer and you dance around the beer, drinking as much as possible! It was pretty strange to see really elderly women giving it all theyve got on the dancefloor with a large bottle of beer in their hand but was amazing!
After a couple of hours we returned back to casa del voluntarios to continue drinking and playing drinking games before heading out to the club! All in all a pretty crazy day leaving us all hungover on Sunday so it was a pretty quiet day of looking round the Market. It's surprising how friendly and helpful the locals are. They are very cautious and kept reminding me to keep my bag safe and in sight.
The food on the Market is amazing, we had a chorizo with potato, a dough ball with some mysterious sauce and a churro all from 1.5 soles, around 30p!
Today I spent the morning and the building project painting and this afternoon I visited the orphanage for the first time.
I was unsure as to what to expect as I have never visited an orphanage before and with this one being for children with AIDs I didn't know how it would all work but was expecting it to be a sad place, however as soon as I got there it was so different to what I expected. It was a really calm and relaxing place with the kids being so friendly and calm and polite! The children in the orphanage range from babies up to teenagers. It was really interesting to see how the kids reacted as I am the only male volunteer on this project and there are no other males involved in the orphanage so straight away the boys came over and shook my hand. They were all so polite and had amazing manners. We worked on their homework before playing games and as soon as the games began the kids came out of their shell and had loads of fun playing pop up pirates! I was surprised at how well mannered and calm the kids were, considering how crazy the kids in the other projects are.
After a while the young kids were woken from their nap and released in to the room. One of the little ones, no more than 2 years old, was standing at the table alone so I went to sit beside him to play but seeing a pale giant sitting beside him proved too much and he began walking backwards and screaming like I was a monster! A few minutes later he got over it and kept showing me how to use a phone, mainly by hitting himself in the head with it!
One of the other little ones found a box of cars so we played races together and he had a bit of an obsession with trying to carry as many cars as possible, but he didn't realise that as he picked one up, he dropped another! Pretty funny to watch. After a while just pushing the cars wasn't enough, which lead to me nicknaming the child Godzilla. He walked to any car he could find and kept stamping and jumping on them to make them move. He didn't care where they were, he would even move furniture to get to them. He was loving the game laughing constantly so decided to let him keep going, it was entertainment for me too if nothing else!
It was really good to work with these kids and really makes you appreciate what you have growing up, considering these kids have no family, very little possessions and one of the worlds most fatal illnesses, yet they are such polite and loving kids.
When it became time to leave the kids always give you a big hug and ask when you will be back, even the boys who would only shake hands when I first got there!
This evening was pretty relaxed, we made a stirfry from whatever veg we could find in the supermerkado. It's good to actually taste fresh veg as there is a lot on offer in the shops but in restaurants everything is very unhealthy, usually fried in some way with perhaps a lettuce leaf as a token of veg on the plate!
When we were in the supermarket we discovered a brand of food named 'fanny' which made items such as 'fanny jam', 'fanny con carne' and 'fanny tuna'. Call us immature but this made it one very funny shopping trip!