22 October 2012

Day 3: the kids are alright

It was a rather rough night for this team, with the sounds of dogs barking and train horns roaring through the city adding a bit of "atmosphere" to our otherwise quiet-as-mouse surroundings. While the juice and cocoa tea helped us get going, the energy, enthusiasm, and kindness of all 91 young ladies at Chichuchas Wasi School certainly got us moving and feeling so grateful for everything in our lives.

The Chichuchas Wasi School was started 26 years ago by a Cusco woman who saw a trend in her local community. Women were tying with their husbands despite domestic violence, cheating, and the like because they were illiterate, uneducated, and completely lacked self worth. She decided to break the cycle, starting with a generation of young girls who, from an early age, would not fall prey to the same fate. My goodness, is it working, what we saw were 91 put together, well-mannered, intelligent, dreaming young ladies who had nothing but positivity towards themselves, their fellow classmates, and their future.

We were able to stop en route to pick up some much-needed energy-inducing fun makers like bouncy balls, princess crowns, bags upon bags of candy, and a piñata, which would turn out to be both wildly exciting and slightly destructive. This on top of the unbelievable amount of school supplies that were purchased through the group's trip donation!

It all started with a few songs, lots of thank yous, and a death-defying flip from Abel (which inspired less-then-safe copycatting with hats and shoes and cardigans flying every which way)! That led into a vigorous serious of the English-speaking world's greatest children's sing-alongs, including the hokie pokie and my personal favourite, head shoulders knees and toes. Side note: we would never have been able to make it through the day without the brilliant language skills of Geraldine (G-Money), Lizzy, and Emma 1. They were on fire! Sharon rocked the duck duck goose as well!

Then it was time for lunch, where we formed a mind-bogglingly efficient assembly line to construct and deliver 91 sandwiches alongside 91 cups of Inca Cola as well as chips, cookies, chocolates, crisps, and oranges just so it didn't appear as if everything provided was aimed at inducing a full-on post lunch kid mania. It didn't work, and it all started with L.J., who managed to fumble a bottle of Inca Cola, shooting a fountain of the sticky fluoro-yellow liquid straight into the air amid raucous applause from the kids. There was so much food, some of the more innovative kids turned their hats into to-go bags, pledging to share their bounty with the family!

From there we headed back to the playing field, starting our elimination rounds to determine which team would be whacking the life out of the Disney Princesses piñata (the only one available).

Suffice to say, it was absolute pandemonium. Twice as many kids wanted to be on the yellow team and the blue team (thanks in large part to their excitable leader Emma 1 and traitor co-leader Rory) just kept doing doughnuts chanting their team name! Meanwhile, team red (led by Geraldine, Abel, and Kyle) could not have been more poised, professional, and elegant.

It didn't take long for the entire thing to derail, what with all the sugar and emotions running high. In the end Matt ripped the piñata to shreds, showering the kids in gummies, lollies, and everything inbetween. Then L.J. chimed in, projectile launching additional bags of sweets directly at the children. It was absolute pandemonium. Legs were flying in the air, eyes were watering, and there was candy carnage everywhere!

Completely and utterly exhausted, we said our farewells, dodged the rain drops, and made our way back into the city to rest and continue the acclimatisation process. Headaches are subsiding though there's still a bit of dizziness about! A low key evening has led to early to bed for not of the group, as we are doing a short "getting to know Cusco" trek tomorrow to break in of our gear. More on that soon!

Go team!!!



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