Thursday, January 29, 2009

January Excitment

It has been a while since we’ve last talked, but i’ve been busy and a lot has happened. Work continues to move along, and now I’m beginning to translate some documents into English for the Ministry of Environment, and we have a big clean up campaign that we’re promoting on February 15. I’m also beginning to plant tree seeds with a group of youth. So all is going well.

Last weekend was our monthly regional meeting, so I got to warm up on the coast for a few days. I also went to Lima to gather travel information of how to come to the protected area that I live in, the Reserva Paisajistica Nor Yauyos Cochas. It was energizing to talk to some other volunteers and share some ideas. Then while I was in Lima my friend Heather Brook, who I know from Camp, and her mother Terri arrived.

We spent one day in downtown Lima, which was when I was able to gather travel information, and that evening we headed up into the Andes Mountains (on the rustic overnight bus) to visit my site of Tomas and the region of Yauyos. The overnight bus somehow arrived in the town nearest to Tomas about 5 hours early, around 1:30 at night, but fortunately the local doctor was also on the bus and he offered us 2 beds in the medical post, so there our Yauyos adventure began.

Around mid day on the 26th we arrived in Tomas and we saw all the sites, including the “Angel Falls”. We met many people, toured the health post (as Heather will soon be a nurse), and had a dinner with my family. My family was a little timid to eat with the foreigners, but with a little persuasion they warmed up and we had a fun, local, dinner. Tuesday (Terri’s birthday) started with us waiting for the van that goes to Vitis, a town about 40 minutes from Tomas (where another volunteer, Brad, lives). After the van passed through Tomas without stopping (even though I chased it), we asked my brother to take us with my families car, which is an adventure in itself on mountain roads.

By chance we met up with Enrique and Suni, the security officer and doctor of Peace Corps Peru, who happened to be doing site visits that day. We were able to ride with them and we had a blast visiting Brad’s site and seeing some of the gorgous waterfallls and lakes of the region of Yauyos.

Wednesday morning all 4, Heather, Terri, Enrique and Suni, all left and life is getting back to normal. It was wonderful to have all of them here in Yauyos and I learned a lot about what we need to do in Tomas to improve our tourism services (a goal of my town). I’m feeling recharged and ready to work, and this February we have many things planned within our region. Garbage management is getting moving, along with some tree planting activities. And I only have one month left to plan my Environmental Education for the next school year. Things are busy and life is good, even though it is still raining and cold.

From the left: Terri, Heather, Me, Brad, Suni
This is on the road to Vilca, a tiny little town that is surrounded by some of the most beautiful lakes and waterfalls i've ever seen.

Terri and Heather at the best spot to see all of Tomas

Heather and Terri at the enterance to Tomas. There are boots because people wear them while working in their fields and they've become sort of a symbol of my town.

Peace and Love,

No comments: