Saturday, March 15, 2014

Day 9 - Peru Post Script and Compassion visit with Keysi and Fernando

Greetings to all who will be reading this blog post. 
I've heard from our Ottawa group that they arrived home safely.  Apparently Michelle and her two girls are staying an extra night in Newark due to the flight being overbooked by 3 seats.  How convenient.  : ) 
I just heard from the Cornwall group that they all arrived home safe too.  PTL!!!!  

Before I get to our Compassion Canada visit, just one  note about last night. 
At about 4 am this morning I awoke to an earthquake here in Lima.  Well, actually the epicenter was in Inca, and according to Erin this was just a tremor. A 6.1 tremor. 
Well, it was certainly scary enough for me.  The whole room was shaking and swaying for about 10 seconds. 
Then silence. 
It sure freaked me out, but all Erin did was go the bathroom and back to sleep (I got up to see what they would be doing).  Apparently this sort of Earth tremor is a good thing because it releases the pressure on the fault lines.
I don't care how good it was, that was THE worst experience of my life. Feeling totally helpless to do anything to protect yourself or your daughter.  Sarah slept right through it BTW.  

All part of living in Lima I guess. 

Well, needles to say I did not get a good nights sleep after that.  The adrenaline was really pumping. 

I woke a 7:30 am and we talked about the tremor and had breakfast.  

 We awoke to a foggy and misty day in Mira Flores.  

 Erin got oatmeal ready for us in her kitchen. 

 Here's a picture their living room. 
They have a very nice condo here in Lima.  
An oasis away from the hard work that they always do.  

 We gave Pepe Nutella (He LOVES it) and for Erin some special tea's.  

 Sarah enjoyed her breakfast, but not necessarily enjoying hearing about the tremor.  

 This is what Erin and Pepe do day in and day out.  
Working hard, and using their home as an office.  

 At 8:30 am our driver, Cesar, arrived. 
He works for YWAM, Lima and drives people around.  
A nice van to be taking for our road trip.  

 Pepe confirms our cost for the day and soon we are off. Cesar speaks no English and we no Spanish, so it was a quiet ride until we arrived at the zoo, where we were to meet Keysi, Fernando, and Natalia - our Compassion Translator.  

 Sarah relaxing in the back seat.  

 Not too much traffic yet...but just you wait.  : )

 The entrance to the zoo. 
We were 10 minutes early so we had to wait.  

 After getting through to park, Keysi was sitting about 10 metres from the van, but she recognized me instantly and starting walking to us. 
Our Compassion Translator had not yet arrived, so we did our best to communicate.  : )  Hugs go a long way.  

 This is Keysi's tutor at the Compassion site. 
He brought Keysi, on the left, and Fernando in the Middle, and their mom, by taxi.  He then left (hey, that's a moderate play on words. : ) ) 

 On the right is our Compassion translator. 
Natalia.  She was the same translator as two years ago.  How neat is that. 
We begin our walk through the zoo.  
Keysi had been here last year, but Fernando had not, and their mom had visited about 25 years ago. 
All were VERY excited to be at the zoo.  

 I bought them all a light snack, as they had not had breakfast.  

 We went to many different animal exhibits.  

 A large tire....not sure why it was there.  :  ) 

 Fernando would always be a bit ahead of us during our stay. 
We had to look for him a couple of times,  

 Keysi loved the monkeys 
So playful to her.  

 Sarah wanted me to get a picture of these flowers. 

 Lots of birds in the air.  They were NOT part of the zoo. 
We saw lots of cats too.  
Never many in Pachacutec.  Interesting.   

 In the midst of the zoo are these Inca ruins that were discovered.  All fenced off and being examined still by archaeologists.  

Another Inca ruin.  

 The animal that Keysi really wanted to see was the Lion. She loves the mane they have.  We paused for some time to watch this one.  

 A strange pose for sleeping.  
Must be dreaming.  

 It started out as a pretty cool and comfortable day...until the sun came out. 
Keysi and Fernando were getting hot and thirsty so I bought them a cold drink. 
Fernando picked a crush, and Keysi Inca Cola.  
She loves Inca Cola. 
So do I.  Nice.  

 This is a VERY large and very old turtle.  

 After seeing Lama's, monkeys, penguins (warm climate), sheep, Lions, tigers and bears and more we sat down under a gazebo type shelter and just talked. 
Keysi wanted to know about our winters, and our country and where we lived, and lots more. 
It was the best visit yet, in that she was very talkative and comfortable with Sarah and I. She even liked my jokes. 
Who couldn't love a sweet girl like that. : ) 
Fernando, on the other hand, when asked a question, would answer with a nod up or down, or side to side.  :) 

Natalia has a great sense of humour too.  She was an awesome translator once again. 

We ate lunch at this restaurant.  

 Chicken and fries and vegetables (cooked) and salad (for the family) and, of course, INCA COLA!!!!

 Natalia being goofy. 
I loved it. 

 We spent about 45 minutes eating and talking together.  

 Keysi enjoying her chicken. 

 Fernando enjoying his Inca Cola. 
All the left overs went with this family. 

 Our driver ate too. 
He was waiting for us when we were done. 
Great service.  : )

 Sooooo, that traffic.....
Still awful, especially for a Saturday. 

 It took 1.5 hours to get to the Compassion site. 
You can see that Natalia is relaxing, and Keysi is hiding form the camera, but not Fernando.  

One of the reasons the traffic was bad was because of construction of a new train that will connect Lima from North to South (I think that's what Natalia said).  
The roads have been narrowed temporarily and that has caused huge back up.  The project looks impressive though and should be up and running soon, after a 20 year construction process.  

 After passing through that construction, traffic got a bit better and we were soon at the Compassion site.  

 We are walking to the administration office.  

 This board has a picture of Keysi on it taking cooking classes.  

 Waiting for the pastor of the church to arrive.  

 He eventually did and thanked us for coming and explained to us what goes on here. 
They've been a Compassion partner for 30 years and host over 200 children in their program. All from close by in the hills. Keysi actually is an exception, I've discovered, as she lives about a 45 minute walk from the site, and that's not usually allowed. Exceptions are made for children with great need and the prospect of being hard workers in school. Keysi fits the bill for both, as does Fernando. 

 This is the kitchen.  
It was closed this time, because it is Saturday, but the other two times I visited the smell of good food wafted out of the front door.  The children meet here Monday, Wednesday and Friday, either in the morning (Keysi, from 9 - 12:30 and then school from 1 - 7 pm...really) or afternoon (Fernando, school in the morning and Compassion site from 1 pm to 5 pm).  Long days for these children.  

 This is Keysi's classroom.  She's standing in front of her desk. 

 The children learn four basic principles while in the Compassion program. 
Spiritual - relationship with God
Physical - how to treat your body. How to love yourself. 
Cognitive - cooking or backing or taking care of ones self.  
Social/Emotional - how to interact with each other.   

This is Keysi's tutor explaining about the four disciplines.  

They also have a class called "Learning for Life."
This is a class that allows students to come up with a mission of what they want to become, then a vision of how they want that mission to happen, and then follow up to see if that mission and vision are taking shape. 
So Keysi wants to become a doctor and she needs to find ways to make this happen. 
I like this approach.  

 This is Fernando's class room. 
He's pointing to his name on the door.  

 There is Fernando's place in the classroom.  

They are taught the same four principles at age appropriate levels.  They also are taught hygiene and have their own toothbrush and toothpaste.  Very clean and neat class rooms. 

 These children are also taught manners and how to behave socially.  They don't always get that from their families.  

 A final picture after the tour was done. 
My camera isn't working properly, so I had to help Natalia take the picture, but apparently it worked this time. 
That's me starting to walk towards her. 

 A better picture of us. 

 And, under Natalia's direction, a funny picture.  

 The inside of the church where Keysi receives Sunday school classes.  

 We drove to their home and met Keysi's sister's son.  She was working and so was Keysi's father, so the youngest daughter stayed home with this little guy for the whole time we were gone.  A misunderstanding with Keysi's mom and Compassion.  Not a safe way to do things, seeing as the daughter is only 9 years old.
Sadly, this happens all the time here.   

 We gave everyone some school supplies, soap, towels, and other items.  

 The family was really thankful for everything, especially the school supplies.  They didn't have any for the kids yet (school was just starting again) and these supplies would help them have the things they need.  

 Here is the small store that the mother runs out of her home.  We are not sure how much income it generates.  The father works occasionally too, so income is inconsistent.  

 The bedroom of the home. 
It's sad to see them living in such poverty, but good to know our support makes their lives better and gives Keysi and Fernando a fighting chance at a good education so they will hopefully be able to break the poverty cycle. 

 Keysi asked if she could have a piece of Sarah's red hair. 
An unusual request, but Sarah complied.  

 Keysi did the honors.  She really enjoyed doing it. 

 And for whatever reason this was a really important thing for her so she was VERY thankful to have a lock of Sarah's hair.  Way to go daughter of mine.  I am proud of you.  

 Time to end our visit. 
We did so with me praying for this family.   

 A final picture with everyone.  

 My mom supports Fernando, and she asked if Sarah would give him a hug when we met him. 
Hug delivered. : ) 

 We drove home with happy and heavy hearts. 
The traffic was much better, and these new buses seem to be helping. Dedicated bus lanes like we have in Ottawa.  

After dropping of Natalia, we headed for the Inca Market where Pepe and Erin were with another group that had been in Lima for the week.  We walked for a bit with them, and then Pepe took Sarah and I home.  
I wanted to get this blog entry finished early, so I could begin my mini vacation for the next couple of day. 
We will still meet with Pastor Sergio for a bit, but for the rest it's time to relax.  

I hope you have enjoyed this blog entry. 
Meeting Keysi again was special for me and an eye opener for Sarah.  Lots to process and ponder as we go home again.  If you get the chance, take the chance and sponsor a family in need. The cost for us is a small sacrifice and the dividends far outweigh that cost.  
I DO recommend Compassion Canada as a great avenue for sponsorship, but any organization that does this with integrity would be worthy of support.  

Blessing to you all.....and to all a good night.  : )