Day 3

After a long, restful night of tuning out the sounds of exploding firecrackers, we awoke once again to the sounds of persistent hammering and rooster crowing at 7:45 am. Craig, the chaperone and convent handy man, set to work early on the plumbing in the boy’s bathroom. Then we headed off to breakfast: Peruvian oatmeal, coffee, tea, bread, jam and peanut butter, and plenty of tangerines, this time along with scrambled eggs with mystery meat.

After breakfast, we continued our bonding time with the adorable kindergarteners, most of whom were really excited to see us but very shy when we tried to talk to them. They were especially interested when Katherine offered to show them the pictures she’d taken of them. Unfortunately, they had to go back to class, to watch a movie in Spanish about chickens that Maddie seemed to enjoy very much, peering from the courtyard into their classroom.

Meanwhile, Craig tested out his electrician skills on a 220 volt light socket, quickly abandoning the mission for fear of electrocution.

Once we had gathered everyone together, we walked to the school to see where we would be installing the large lab. We had to walk about half a mile, up a dusty hill, which absolutely no one complained about, passing the usual street animals: some stray dogs, cats, and a very stubborn goat that seemed to have an issue with Ian.

When we got to the school, we were greeted by a crowd of curious, giggling children. Their favorite subject for conversation was Henry, who they called “gringo” and “pelirojo” (the white boy with red hair). Many of them tried to talk to us in Spanish, asking us what our names were, how old we were, and where we were from. They were eager to pose for photos with us, and start up conversations. Some even tried out some English, like “hello,” “come here,”… and “open the window.”

We checked out the space where we would be installing the lab, then went out to the courtyard to join in on the kids’ recess. The girls were really good at volleyball, especially Loa and Anna’s flailing attempts, and the guys won an intense match of Americans vs Peruvians soccer.

We headed back to the convent for a lunch of chicken, chicken noodle soup, rice, and divine mashed potatoes. We got a tour of the convent, through the library, the office, the church, and the girls’ dormitories, which had been painted Barbie colors per their request.

Then, seven of us were assigned to set up the convent lab. We spent a long time moving furniture, plugging in the computers, crimping (and recrimping, in the case of Jackie and Sally), finally getting all of the computers plugged in, networked, and connected to the internet! During this, everyone else played soccer and helped the girls with their homework. Meanwhile, Craig was busy at work sharpening the blade of the lawn mower, and then proceeding to mow the only lawn left in Peru.

We had a great dinner of squash soup with croutons and bread, and some delicious Peruvian cookies.

After dinner, we had some downtime to talk and relax. The night ended with a large guy cuddle puddle in a room covered with Disney princess stickers, watching a children’s movie. I guess the little kids must have rubbed off on them….

Now we’re headed to bed, and we look forward to a fun day tomorrow in Mira Flores!

Grace and Sonja

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