Sunday, July 17, 2011

Project Phase and Cuzco!

Hola a todos! This is Collin from the World Challenge group giving an update of the last week! As of now, we are in a very nice hostel in Cuzco with hot showers 24/7! The school we worked on is surrounded by an adobe brick wall and has a metal front door. It sits on a mountainside overlooking the deep valley below. Within this valley are the train tracks that lead to Ollantaytambo (then Machu Picchu). Anyways, the ride up the mountainside was a little scary but we were all in one piece!
                  We started our project phase(day 1) by sanding and plastering the outside walls of the small, three room school. Sanding is done to remove chipping paint and imperfections. Plastering is to fill in deep holes and cracks in the school wall.  
                  On day 2 of the project phase, we painted both coats of this baby blue color on the outside of the school. Also, the principal had 100´s of adobe bricks that sat in the front yard. Our duty was to move all of them into an organized pile out of the way of the front yard. We challenged ourselves by moving 50 of them in 10 minutes because Olga promised to buy us all Twix bars (which is still pending, I´m waiting for my Twix bar!). Lifting wasn´t easy because each brick weighed as much as a small child (40lbs). I personally cut up my arms a bit lifting these bricks because they weren´t soft poofy marshmallows. We were successful in moving all the bricks which was a big accomplishment!
                 We began sanding one room within the school (there are 3 rooms, the big one that we slept in the first 4 nights, and two smaller classrooms), and then plastering that room on day 3. We painted that room a lime green color if I´m remembering correctly. We sanded and plastered the second small room after painting the first small room. That afternoon, 4 of us, Olga, Laura, Stickles and I, went into the main town at the base of the mountain to get school supplies and snacks for the kids while others painted. Each kid got a pencil case, a box of crayons, a box of colored pencils, a notebook, and two different colored pens. They also got 2 massive bags of animal crackers and juice. Each student was between the age of 3 and 6, and there were 25 students. 
                 On day 4 we put a second coat on both small rooms.
                 Day 5 consisted in lots of sanding and sweeping paint dust in the large classroom. That night, we slept in tents in the schoolyard.
                Day 6 was just painting in the large room and finishing up with roasting marshmallows after dinner! We then took the van back down the mountain after the locals showered us in flowers and confetti for helping them! we went into the small town where we got food and took part in the local patron saint festival. They had exploding fireworks so powerful that you could feel the wind from each one as it went off. There was lots of good food and we enjoyed ourselves for lunch! We then took the van back to Cuzco to our new hostel with hot water and poofy beds! Yesterday night we went to a really nice restaurant called Cafe Cafe and then went dancing at a fun little place in the Plaza de Armas. Today we got up and tried spending the rest of our money on souvenirs, chocolate bars and ice cream! Tonight were going to have a game night with twister and connect four and other fun games! Tomorrow were going to get up early to catch our flight to Lima! We will spend a day there, and then go back to the states the next day! We all miss you and are hoping to see you at the airport in Boston to greet us!

Love, The World Challenge Team!

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