Piura!!! We´re all finally together at last. Carly and I arrived here a couple days ago after traveling most of Peruvian north coast. The funniest thing of all is that it only took about one hour after we´d arrived in Piura to run into none other than Valerie Scott. After checking into our hostal, we were on our way to our room and bang…there she was. It was the warmest greeting ever.
Since running head first into Val, we´ve been taking in Piura, buying supplies and gifts at the incredible outdoor market, and meeting with Rolando and Javier in order to go over the details of our next set of classes. Yesterday was our first get together with both Rolando and Javier and I can´t begin to say how lucky we are to be working with two such well rounded and experienced guys. It was a treat to get a chance to hear the kinds of project experience that Rolando has had over the course of the last 25 years. From disaster relief, to community organizing, to education programs; Mihras Peru has worked in so many capacities including governmental and NGO´s. As a member of MEJOR Communuties, I can say that we are incredibly grateful to have such a capable partner. Of course my opinion of Rolando and his organization wouldn´t have been at all swayed buy the incredible lunch of ceviche he treated us to yesterday.
Without question the most exciting thing that´s happened to us since getting to Piura, has been the opportunity to finally catch up with Val and hear everything she has to say about her experiences in San Francisco. From what she´s let on so far SF sounds ideal. Seems like compared to some of the problems we were expecting (ie. extreme alcoholism, malnutrition, and prevalent illness) things in SF might be slightly more copacetic. The biggest concerns we´ve discussed in relation to the classes seem to be general problems with participation. According to Val, getting the kids to open up has been slightly more difficult than we´d predicted. I think because of this we are planning on slowing down a bit and dedicating just a few extra classes to group activities.
We´re so excited to meet our new host family tomorrow. We´ve been told Carmen and her family are incredibly sweet. The three of us spent most of the day shopping for gifts for them at the market today as well as hose for our new garden which we hope to begin working on this coming week.
Tomorrow is a big day…up at 5am for our 5hr. truck ride up to SF and then time to settle into our new lives. Wish us buen suerte!!!