Buses in Peru are nothing like buses in America. The only reason I got to sit down is because I was carrying a litle baby girl. Otherwise, I would have been among the crowd of people basically suffocating eachother. It was funny to me though. I got a kick out of watching the guy jump on and off the bus every few blocks to get people on the bus. Although its chaos, everyone is really nice and when Andrea(the baby I took into the Lima hospital) started crying and wouldn´t stop, a woman gave me a lollipop that made Andrea stop crying for the rest of the trip. It was ¨brilliant¨as my Irish friend Darrah would say. I went into Lima with Graciela, a woman who helps out at the Hogar, and that woman speaks so fast that even locals can´t understand her Spanish. She was sweet to me for the most part despite my confusion in the hospital, which is nothing like any hospital I have been to before. It reminded me of a really busy train station in America, with people everywhere, lots of noise, and little food stands. We stayed there most of the day while the children got treated. We had three boys with us too- Alfredo (he´s gorgeous and the ladies man of the house), Jefferson, and Jose. Jefferson is burnt really badly all over his face, but he has more energy than any kid and wants to talk to everybody. Baby Andrea has no fingers or toes and some deformities on her face, but she is still precious and really calm. The air in Lima is very foggy in the Winter (which is now over here) and the streets are lined with vendors and little markets. The kids and I all slept on the bus ride home. A day in Lima will do you in. After dinner and helping the kids with their homework, I unwinded a bit with the other volunteers and tried my first Peruvian beer.
Being here just for a few days has already made me so desperate to learn more Spanish. My dictionary helps me a little, but I like to interact with the locals and the kids here more to help me learn. A group of people from the Peace Corps rented out this BEAUTIFUL house just around the corner from the Hogar. The woman showed me around and told me I could come lay out by the pool during my time off on the weekend. I should probably take her up on that. She asked if Jarred, Darrah, and I would be willing to help them out and tested our Spanish levels. They told me I was intermediate and that I needed to expand my vocabulary. The younger kids just started reaizing that the volunteers don´t speek Spanish all that well and they get quite a kick out of it. The older kids in their teens ask for help with their English work and always want to have a conversation in English. The thing I know that I won´t be able to do is send the kids into ¨Casta gerde¨ or time out. I have just started to use some discipline, because most of the time it´s hard not to laugh at milk coming out of their nose or to let them have a piece of gum. A huge difference from American kids that I have noticed is these kids ability to laugh things off. Although the little ones naturally cry sometimes, the majority of them can bash their face on cement and get up and scream in laughter. In my opinion, these kids are just less dramatic than American ones and tend to let things roll off their back a lot more. One of the girls, Flor, is a bit chubby and has to drop some lbs before she gets operated on. They have her on a strict diet and she is not allowed to eat dessert. They caught her with a stash of candy in her pants and banned her from school for eating the other kid´s lunches! She´s quite the character.
I was so happy when two new girls came to stay in the Hogar. Suzannah and Avery are both 20 and are from Wyoming. They just came from Cuzco and are traveling all over South America after they leave Chaclacayo. They all make me want to travel more, especially Darrah´s endless list of destinations. I have a new desire to go to Columbia. Darrah claims that it´s beautiful and most travelers have the misconception that it´s dangerous there.
¨Mami Terri¨ showed us where the supermarket was this morning and I bought 2 kilos of avacados (¨paltas¨) ! Son muy deliciosas. Things are pretty laid back at the Hogar today and I am on my way to meet the kids and other volunteers at the park.