A week ago today, a group of considerably better-smelling individuals sat in a Toronto airport, eager to embark on a great journey to the wild and wonderful country of Peru. No one knew what exactly this adventure would be like, but I have no doubt that everyone’s expectations have been exceeded ten-fold. Every member has been kept busy, whether that means working harder than they ever imagined they could, or translating more Spanish than they ever thought possible (that last one applies entirely to Alanna, as the rest of us are hopelessly lost when it comes to speaking Spanish). But as hard as we’ve worked on the project, changing a trash-strewn sandy wasteland into a safe and fun place for children to play, our biggest accomplishment has been the friends we have all made. Despite language barriers, everyone has developed friendships with the local Peruvian Scouts - Ben particularly comes to mind. In just one day of work, he managed to get three neckers, one hat, and one whole uniform shirt from the Scouts he has befriended. There isn’t a person at the worksite who doesn’t know Ben, and he has managed to make more than a few of us marvel at exactly how he gets the local scouts to give him the clothes off of their backs. We have also all grown much closer as a Contingent, rekindling friendships with our fellow Venturers from Kenya 2012 or Madagascar 2012 or quickly accepting the first-timers into our Brotherhood. Personally, it is nice to once again see my friends that I haven’t had much contact with in the last two years, but I’ve also become fast friends with the Venturers and Rovers I’ve never met before. This, of course, is the point of a Brotherhood Project – to form lasting relationships with Scouts from all across the globe.
This Monday was spent a little differently than our last day in Canada. Instead of riding a bus, we rode horses at the Club Hípico Peruano, a prestigious horse club that just happens to be where we’re staying on the University grounds. As a first time horse rider it was an exciting experience, made all the better by being in a foreign country. After taking the horses around the field for a leisurely walk, Jenn, Jess, Andrea, Shaun and one member of the horse club went out for a ride on the beach. To quote Jenn “It was better than awesome, and you could feel how much the horse was enjoying it.” After riding and caring for the horses by giving them a good brushing and wash, we all climbed aboard public transportation for a quick jaunt to the archeological dig site Pachacamac. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you anything more about it, since we arrived to a locked gate. No matter how hard we tried to sweet-talk to the security guard into letting us in, he was adamant that ‘closed’ applied to everyone. So instead we crossed the street and frolicked in some massive sand dunes. For those of you who don’t know, Lima is essentially one giant sand box. The city is built on sand, surrounded by sand, filled with sand... it’s inescapable. After our dune adventure, we all piled onto another city bus and headed to a mall in Lima. The malls here are a lot like the malls back in Canada, and so we all enjoyed the finer points of a Western mall - that is - Pizza Hut and Chinese food. We even managed to stumble upon the Peruvian version of Costco.
The only problem with the mall was that its churros were less than satisfactory. But that’s a small price to pay for another fun adventure into the crazy city of Lima.
Written by Ryan