Got my project details for Peru today in the post!! I'll be working at an orphanage in Arequipa which holds around 60 cihldren, each split up into 'family units' of about 8. I'll have my own apartment on the orphanage to share with my partner. Also, I'll be in the same city as Lauren, who's travelling with a company called GVI and doing a 9 month teaching course!! What are the chances that we'd be put in the same city!? I'm so excited!! Also, when I went to Peru in '09 Arequipa was by far my favourite city, it's just so beautiful!
(The rest might be a bit boring, it's just the information wich was written on my placement letter)
Arequipa is the second largest town in Peru. It has a quiet colonial feel, as you wander round, never losing sight of El Misti, an awesome snow-capped volcano that towers above. Life in the town revolves around the central plaza, a large square surrounded by the cathedral and grand balconied buildings. There are lots of cafes and restaurants around here where you find tourists and locals alike taking time out to sit and watch the world go by.
Your project is located about 15 minutes by bus from the town centre. You will be working in a children's home for around 60 orphans and abandoned children. The home is split up into 8 different 'family units' with about 8 kids in each. Each group of children lives and eats in a small house with a 'house mother' to look after them. Your main role in the children's home will be helping with the day to day running of the centre, looking after the cihldren, and their general welfare. You will also be involved in organising activities for the children such as arts, crafts and music. An important role is encouraging the children to read and do their homework. As they will be studying English at school you will also be expected to help out with informal lessons and support.
You will live in a small self-contained apartment within the orphanage. The apartment comprises of a lounge area, kitchen, a bathroom and two bedrooms. The orphanage will provide all your food.
Life in Peru
Arequipa is a very lively town. It is located in the desert coastal belt about 15 hours south of the capital, Lima. From Areqipa it is easy to head up into the amazing Andes mountains or explore some of the wonder of the costal belt, such as the incredible Nazca lines and the town of Pisco, famous for producing the much loved Peruvian drink Pisco.
Beyond the Andes in the Amazon jungle with spectacular bird and animal life including the jaguar, caiman and anaconda.
The majority of Peruvians are Catholic, but you will still see evidence of people observing ancient Inca traditions and festivals, the most spectacular being Into Raymi in Cuzco, a celebration and worship of the sun. The two national languages are Spanish and Quechua, which is spoken in the Andes by about 45% of the population. Many people live a very basic subsistence lifestyle, farming corn and potatoes and herding llamas on the antiplano, or harvestinv Brazil nuts and growing papayas and yams in the jungle. This contrasts sharply with the proliferation of internet cafes and cashpoints in most main towns. The troubles with the Sendero Luminoso guerrrilas ended with the imprisonment of their leader in 1992, making Peru a safe and infinitely fascinating place to spend a year.
Moffy :) xxx