Thursday, June 30, 2011

Groton Peru Day 3

Rain all night last night and into the morning, and the group donned rain coats and traveled to the ruins of the Incan Sun Temple in Ollantaytambo. Adolfo led us on a tour in espanol, and Jason did his best to translate for the non Spanish speakers in the group. After finishing the tour, the sun broke through the clouds as we headed to Ancho Pancha and our first day of real work on the site.
Craig and Adela met with the municipal engineer early in the day, and a plan was laid to transform the site from muddy, uneven ground into a concrete playspace for the children of the community—the project the community asked us to work with them on during our stay. That a member of the municipality is willing to help in this project is important because this community has not yet been recognized as an entity within the region and has thus been deprived of basic services, and residents are not allowed to vote in local elections.
Once we all arrived at the worksite and after Craig explained how we were going to build the 18m x 30m playspace, the group set to the task of laying a base of stones. These stones—thousands of them—were collected by members of the community, and this base of stones will ultimately be covered by a 25 centimeter thick layer of cement we will mix and spread by hand under the direction and with the help of members of the community of Ancho Pancha.
The students have been impressively positive and have coalesced into an extremely functional, determined group in the short few days we’ve been together. We will head back to Ollantaytambo for a late lunch with host families, and then we will gather as a group to discuss the results of the Kiersey Temperment Sorter—a test all students took last night as a means of ascertaining how each functions as an individual within the context of a group. Students take this test as a means of helping them understand themselves, and such understanding is important because serving the needs of others and acting as a leader requires ample self-awareness.

Some initial observations from students:

Stephanie: I’m having fun, though manual labor is a lot harder than I would have thought. Makes me realize the importance of team work.

Naomi P.: I’m so excited to be starting this great project!

Naomi R: It warms my hear that the people appreciate our help.

Hugh: It’s hot! The scenery is incredible, and we’ve made much progress in one day!

Nick: The work’s tough; we don’t have a lot of brawn. The people are very nice.

Connor: Everything is disorganized in Peru, but it’s fun.

Byanka: The work has been excellent, and it has pushed our limits a lot.

Kyle: the work is hard but enjoyable; this is totally worth it.

Bobby: I’m having fun, though the work is hard and I’d love a shower.

Anita: We’ve done a lot, very tiring, though. My host family is fantastic.

Vicky: The work is harder that I would have thought, but the group makes it much easier. Great to see the product thus far.

Monifa: Never have I seen so many rocks! It is amazing to see the community help out.

Sinclaire: It’s tough but fun.

Mitch: who knew that lifting rocks could be so much fun.

Sam: it’s been really fun but lots of hard work

Catherine: This sure is physically taxing, but seeing the progress we have made makes it worthwhile.


Vana said...

Happy to know of your excitement, Naomi P!
-Mom and Vana ;P

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