Friday, June 19th, 2009
by Angie Simon

Today, we worked in Marco & Ginniny’s barrio – the newest barrio that Project New Hope is developing. In a couple of the small schools, we started the day doing crafts with the kindergarten kids. Mas bandanas para the ninos! One of the directors commented that they love it when the gringos come because the kids are so happy – it brings happiness into their homes. We split into teams of kids and construction. Liza, Jenna and Lindsey helped the kids color the bandanas in the morning while DJ, Tom, Mark, Sam, Phil and Angie helped with construction. The construction team continued to build chimineas for families that have been consistently serving in their barrios. So often, we will find families that cook with charcoal in their plastic tarp or reed houses causing so much smoke making it difficult to breathe when you walk in their house. Living there under those conditions in just unimaginable….but thousands do it everyday in the barrios around Trujllo, Peru.

We created tabletops for the chimineas in a few homes and built several chimineas in the afternoon. In order for us to build their chiminea, each family must provide the supplies: mud bricks, barro (mud & sand mixture) rebar, chicken wire, metal sheets and a long pipe. Some families have improvised on the materials, so you just have to learn to use what you have!

During the afternoon, we had so much fun playing games with many of the kids in the barrio! They LOVED Pero, Pero, Gato (Duck, Duck, Goose!) It was fun to see them do the hard boil egg race on the spoons. When they got to the end, they got to eat them, of course! We played musical chairs, tangerine balancing, tag, volleyball, soccer, you name it – we played it! It was so encouraging to see these children laugh and play in spite of how little they have or the surroundings they live in. Today, was a great day.

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