Volunteers

San Francisco, Part Two

Tomorrow morning Curtis, Carly and I will be bouncing our way back to San Francisco in the little camioneta that is our only means of transport. It will be a long trip, but I’m looking forward to seeing Zoila, Isaac and especially Meli and sharing all the veggies we bought here in the city. They give us fruit and coffee for free, and we bring back veggies and small necessities from Piura – people in San Francisco know how to share and I like being a part of that.

The two weeks that Curtis and Carly have been in SF have been an entirely different way of village life for me. And in a good way. Their new host family, Carmen and Leoncio, threw a huge fiesta their first day in the village. Life seems to have sped up with all of us there and we are really happy to be making so much progress. The classes with the youth are going so well. They are getting more and more relaxed and I feel like we have gained their trust. We’ve been incorporating lots of fun games and activities and that’s been great for building relationships with them. Curtis and Carly are naturally great teachers and it’s wonderful to have a team to work with.

The garden has also been an amazing project for the youth. We have already turned a very rundown, overgrown piece of land into a beautiful space. We have perfect rows of tilled land and a plan for the layout. We should be seeding in the next week. Carly is also coming up with creative activities for the kids to help us make the garden beautiful and organized.

In the coming weeks, we will be organizing a community clean-up day with the youth as they do their Medio Ambiente (Environment) class. Beautiful San Francisco is marred by scattered trash and a contaminated creek and we are hoping to make a positive and short-term impact on that, while also following the progress of the municipal government in considering landfill construction in the long-term. In just a few weeks, we should be wrapping up the general health knowledge classes and moving on to community project planning.

On a sadder note, a teenage boy from our town named Idel died unexpectedly last week. We think the cause was appendicitis, although no one is sure because the boy never managed to see a doctor. He died while walking for help in the night with his mother. It’s a sad reminder that preventable deaths are so common here in the remote areas of developing countries where access to health care is limited. We’ll keep his family in our thoughts.

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