July 15, 2019
Hola Families and Friends!
We have just completed our first section of the trip, service in the scenic village of Rocoto! The whole group has been enjoying the views, culture, and cuisine of Peru while working hard at the local primary school here. Our day on Friday consisted mostly of travel from Lima to Cusco (with a tour of the main plaza and a chance to sample some delicious traditional food), and finally to our home for service in Rocoto! We arrived here as the gorgeous sunset spread out across the rocky mountains to our West. After settling in and enjoying a delicious meal of local trout, vegetables, and mashed potatoes, we began our first Moonup of the session under the bright stars of the Milky Way, visible due to the absence of harsh light pollution. Moonup is a daily circle to reflect on the day, share quotes, and debrief on our activities. Our first Leaders of the Day (LODs), Myles and Layton, took on the role with the confidence of seasoned veterans and the excitement of the beginning of a new trip!
The next morning we began our service ready to work after a delicious breakfast of oatmeal, French toast, eggs, and bacon! At the village’s elementary school, a cheerful yellow and red compound with a soccer field flanked by classrooms, we went about our first project of clearing out an old classroom that had been piled with storage for desks, chairs, tables, and books. Under the lead of Rhetta, we took all of the furniture out and cleaned the room before beginning to build three large bookshelves to hold all of the books which had previously been stacked along the floor. With Catherine’s new found expertise with a power drill and everyone’s hard work we finished the construction work in no time and feasted on a lunch of veggies, chicken, and avocado. In the evening, we played a great soccer game with the local school children, each player laughing, grinning, and having a blast. Abby and McWilliams’ skills on the field and with the soccer ball made them quite the celebrities with the students! We closed the evening with a dinner of soup, beef, rice, and vegetables before a meaningful Moonup on the topic of the importance of service.
We awoke in the morning to the sun peaking over the surrounding mountains and excited for the new day. After enjoying some pancakes, toast, and plantains we set about working on our next project! The goal of the day was to clear patches of overgrown dirt and weeds and to plant a new garden, helping the school become more self-sufficient and sustainable by having their own vegetables growing. With the help of the local students, we all cleared the weeds, put down fertile soil, raked, and planted all kinds of good stuff, from tomatoes and squash to oregano and zucchini! As the LOD, Charlotte helped lead us in sprinkling the seeds throughout the garden. With these sustainable and engaging projects, worked on side by side with Moondance and the Peruvian elementary school students, the sense of accomplishment and enjoyment knew no nationality as all involved were able to see the tangible progress which they had all worked so hard on. After some delicious sandwiches and fresh guacamole, we had the afternoon to play games with the local children and each other, where Sara used her Spanish skills over card games and soccer matches. Before dinner we packed for our next big adventure: rafting on the beautiful and famous Apurimac River! We all lay down to sleep, excited for our next adventure on the river and ready for the gorgeous scenery Peru offers us every day!
Til next time,
Jed and Brooks
July 12, 2019
Hello Machu Picchu Families!
We heard from our Leaders that the group arrived safely in Lima last night, and enjoyed a night of well deserved rest at their hotel. They are off to Cusco this morning, and we cannot wait to hear more stories from their adventures. Stay tuned!