Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Blog: Update

25th July 2010, Friday

It has been an extremely busy week for me and the Casa Hogar del Sol
team. The Loki volunteers have now increased their visits to twice a
week (Tuesday and Thursday) to help us to move the bricks to Cuylandia
as quickly as possible. We have worked hard to move more than 1100
bricks this week to the new land and the wall is gradually going up.

This week Loki have donated sugar and rice to one of our partner
schools in Pachar and a further 250 soles towards the truck hire. A
big thank you once again to everyone at Loki for their continued
The children at Paucarbamba enjoyed their first English class on
Thursday with me. They each received an exercise book and wrote down
their names and the teachers name together with the word English and
they remembered the numbers and the way to say “What is your name?”
which was taught to them last week. They loved playing word games
outside with their new ball and were sad when the class had to end.

Paul and I took Lourdes to Cusco for her first trip to look for ways
of improving her life, including possibilities for wheel chairs, work
and education opportunities and a possible new home.
We have been to visit the directors of schools in Pachar, Chilca,
Patacancha, Phiry and Ollantaytambo who have all signed contracts to
confirm that we can use their schools as locations for the upcoming
dental campaign. Watch this space!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The adobe brick moving mission continues

The wall around Cuylandia has nearly finished but the Paucarbamba
workers are still short of 3000 bricks to complete their job. This
Thursday an additional 6 families from the Paucarbamba community had
their 260 bricks ready to move. The Casa Hogar del Sol team put up
posters all around Ollantaytambo and Kim put up posters around the
Loki hostel for additional volunteers to help with moving these 1310.
Unfortunately only 5 volubteers turned up from Loki and 7 people from
Casa Hogar del Sol. As 2 trucks had been hired we had our work cut
out. After finding 2 additional (drunken) men in Ollantaytambo willing
to do some hard labour we managed to get the bricks moved in 3 runs
between the 2 locations working from 10am until 6pm. A long hard day
and lots of aching muscles!

A big thank you once again to Loki for their continued to support and
for their donation of 250 soles (approximately £55) towards the cost
of moving the bricks.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

My Small Help Volunteer

July 8, 2010
by: Marlo Grabner

Today was a busy one for us volunteers in Ollantaytambo. The Loki
Hostel once again brought about a dozen hard working volunteers from
Cusco, that were eager to help us make some much needed headway on the
Cuylandia project. Not only did they assist with the transportation of
hundreds of heavy adobe bricks, but they put their pick axes and
shovels to work as they dug out about 40 yards of much needed trench
for water retention around the Cuylandia perimeter. This will be a
huge help for the workers that have been finding creative ways of
storing the water they need to mix with the earth and help create the
many more bricks that are needed to complete the construction of
cuylandia. In other news, we had a very fruitful meeting with many of
the cuylandia community members this morning where they committed to
helping us make the last ____ adobe bricks needed.

While Leander and the Loki volunteers labored away at the cuylandia
site, Dan, Marlo, and Cecily (3 of the current in-house volunteers)
kicked off the very first English Class for the students of La
Escuelita de Paucarbamba. Today, we covered the basics of English
language like the alphabet and numbers 1-10. Highlights included
singing the alphabet song together as a class and ending the day with
a lively game of “Gringo” Bingo! It was a great day of learning for
students and teachers alike, and we´re all looking forward to next
week´s class when we´ll learn some basic English phrases and, of
course, some new games and songs.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

English Lessons for the Children of Paucarbamba

By Marlo Grabner

Today Leander and the 4 in-house volunteers (Dan, Marlo, Xian, and Cecily) visited the community school in Paucarbamba, where future volunteers will now be giving weekly English lessons to some very enthusiastic 3rd and 4th graders. We met with the teacher in charge, Sr. Carlos, to discuss lesson plans and goals and he was very appreciative of our eagerness to work with the children.

It looks like the new English program is going to be a wonderful way to connect with the community while helping students gain the critical language skills needed to succeed in the modern world. During a rousing game of “Vaca, Vaca, Torro” (“Cow, Cow, Bull” in English), it was easy to see and hear how excited the children were about the new program and their new guest teachers. Though today we had our fair share of fun and games, all of us were very impressed by how attentive and eager to learn the kids were when it came to going over some basic English words and phrases. Working at this school is bound to be a great experience for both the volunteers and the students, and we´re all looking forward to next week´s first lesson!

Adobes galore! Cuylandia (aka Guinea Pig Land) is taking shape.

By Dan Henry

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Some said it couldn´t be done. Moving thousands of 20 kilo (44 lb approximately) adobe bricks from the inicial Cuylandia site at Paucarbamba to the new and final site at Ankapachar appeared daunting until Casa Hogar del Sol´s volunteers got on the job. The task at hand culminated today thanks to eleven international volunteers from Loki hostel, long term American volunteers Dan and Marlo, Cusqueño Hubert and his baby blue ´Kia de Korea´ truck, and local volunteers Sandro, Christian, Nerida, and others. All left the worksite smiling despite being covered in dust. Of course, Leander and Carlos served as our trusted captains for the project as well.

The crew transported and stacked over 750 bricks today which will be laid by volunteers and workers in the upcoming days to create the outer wall of Cuylandia. The 2 meter (6 foot) wall will protect the beloved Cuys from the elements, predators, potential bandits, and the nearby road. Christian, Marlo, and Dan have been spending extra time at the site this week relocating bricks via wheelbarrows and their rapidly growing biceps. Water to form additional adobes on site is proving to be elusive thanks to a pesky neighbor turning off the pipes during the day time but the crew is sharp and finding other sources of the resource.

Stay posted for updates on the wall.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Knightsbridge Tea-Towels delivered to Marybert Orphanage

by Januka Rai

Volunteer from UK, Johnny Sparshatt went to Marybert Orphanage to distribute the Tea Towels which the students of Knightsbridge School,UK had sent to the children there. Around 24 tea towels were distributed to all the children. All the children were so excited and happy when we distributed the tea towels to them. When they opened to see the tea towel which have the pictures of them, they were to glad to see their own picture and their drawings there.

They also saw the tea towel of Knightsbridge school students and the pictures of their teachers. Most of them were asking about their friends whom they had talked to once on skype and they searched for their name in the tea towel. The Marybert school children were very happy when they found the name and the picture of their friends that they had spoken to online.

The children really liked the tea towel, some said that they were going to use it everyday while some said that the tea towel was too nice, that they can't bring themselves to use it and dirty it so they just want to hang it up. The children of Marybert school have sent their heartiest thank you and warm regards to the students of Knightsbridge School and really appreciate everything they have done for them.