Monday, 19 March 2012

Eliza's Experience: The Baby Talks

Even though it took me over a month to attempt skateboarding, it took me two minutes to laugh with Christian or want to hug Walter. When a day arrived when the helping out at the restaurant may have caused some hair loss, all I needed to do was lose at some games of ping pong or chess in Cerrito to feel at peace. The lives of those children can be far from peaceful, but when they are having so much fun at the ramp, I forget about the tourist who wanted salt, pepper, aji, lemon, honey AND olive oil with her meal. I forget about the stray cat peeing on my laundry and the stain on my shirt. All I can do is breathe, smile, and be thankful to be with these kids.

        It is hard not to stick your head out of the TukTuk down the dusty road on the way to the ramp. Even if the kids would hide the keys at you, throw water balloons and cause a ruckus, you can´t help but laugh. For the first month you wonder how the kids live life barefoot, doing turns on the skate ramp or playing football (soccer) at the losita. The more creativity the better when it comes to this project! My brother decided to spend 70 usd to send me a package. Half of its contents were socks. He loves me. They went to a good cause- sock puppets! Even if the glue soaked into the sock and the felt fell off 80% of the time, they still found a way to make it work, as they tend to do! Half the socks disappeared in the end, but the result was some red heads, button noses, and some that looked a bit afraid, but they all are from the same thread, so we don´t discriminate.

        Volunteers come and go, and they also made my experience one to remember. There were always people there to make you laugh when you need to, make you think when you need to, or hug you when you need to be hugged.

        Huanchaco itself is a calm surf town full of tourists by day, with a lively night scene with many opportunities to chat with the locals. Don´t be afraid if they take you by the hand for a moment of salsa (or perhaps longer if you have the moves)! I never lasted that long, but Peruvians are very understanding and will always give you a smile.

        I won´t forget the friends that I made nor the lessons that the kids in Cerrito taught me. The first I learned: Never take yourself too seriously! Safe travels, and hope that you can make it to Huanchaco!