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Pisco Xmas Volunteering

Pisco Sin Fronteras 2011

sunny 30 °F

After being on the road for 3 months I felt that I needed something to keep me occupied or get involved so I decided to volunteer. In Quito I had met Kate who had told me about a volunteering group based in Pisco called ‘Pisco Sin Fronteras’ where she spent 2weeks and loved it.
Eighty percent of Pisco was destroyed in an earthquake reaching 8.0 back in 2007 leaving many buildings destroyed or still left unattended!
I did get a tour of Pisco when I joined and I was shocked to see that the town still looked untouched from the wreckage 4years ago! Some of the roads you could still see where the roads had split, reconstruction has been very slow as the government has not put enough money back in to the town.

Two weeks was certainly not enough time to get my teeth in a ‘start to finish’ project but I was grateful to be back at working mode! There were several projects from rebuilding communal areas ie parks etc, working alongside children’s and the most common and hard to get involved was rebuilding houses for the families who had lost their homes. I spent most of my time in FMB (Frames of Modular Boards) which was the heart station for constructing the frames for a completed home. So we would go and collect wooden pallets as loads of them once back in the workshop there would be 4 diff station; 1. Carefully breaking up the frames in to singular planks. 2. De-nailing the planks and cutting to specific size. 3. Constructing the frames. It all sounds kind of easy of but when you have 35deg of blazing sun with no cover it will hit you! In my second week nearer to the end I did help out a couple who were rebuilding a communal area for a local community – it was amazing we had built a gazebo and benches from bamboo sticks. (I didn’t get to see the finishing result but I did see the plans and they looked great!) The community got involved and it was so much fun even the little kids were helping out! For lunch time we were invited to have lunch with a family and the gran – amazing food and heaps of it!

Apart from the volunteering itself, the living conditions were not all that seriously – not good! By the 2nd week a majority were diagnosed with typhoid and other sickness thank god that I did not get anything. There were about 70 volunteers at the beginning by the second week (closer to xmas) we were about 45. We all had to participate in 4 diff house chores including preparing dinner. I enjoyed a few nights out but they turned out to be messy (as most of the volunteers were very young!) and love to get shit faced and make out in the toilets!
Anyways celebrating xmas for the 1st time away from home was weird! It was hot at first, like really hot but we all participated in secret santa which was nice and I helped prepare xmas dinner – which was not ur typical meat and veg! Overall I had a great time just being around with loads of people!

Nearer to the end of my journey I was lucky to actually see what working at FMB had created! There was a project called ‘Macedonia House’, it was a home that was built using the panels that I had made in FMB for a family of 8 children! We were invited for a dinner with the family – there way of saying thanks and as it was xmas we brought along some present for the girls and boys! Just the look on their faces it was unforgettable and I was at this point that I got all chicken skin!

Posted by jasdeep_virdee 11:49 Archived in Peru

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