This month's blog was written by Vania, a volunteer who spent time with us at the Casa Hogar Torre Fuerte in February. Here are a few of her thoughts, experiences, and pictures from her time in Arequipa:
The Plaza de Yanahuara
Sao Paulo to Arequipa
I took two flights to get from Sao Paulo to Arequipa
. I took one flight from Sao Paulo to Lima where I stayed two hours, and then another flight from Lima to Arequipa. In total, I spent seven hours flying, and both trips went very well and passed without any trouble. When I got to Arequipa, Mr. Eduardo was waiting for me, holding a paper with my name on it which I thought was cute. He picked me up and took me to the hostel.
Arequipa is the second largest city in Peru and Eduardo showed me several things about the city on my way to the hostel—like churches, markets and squares. I was fascinated because Arequipa is three times larger than my city in Brasil and there are a lot of differences between Brasil and Arequipa, like the fast traffic, the number of cars, the narrow streets, and the large number of people spending time in the squares, enjoying the day outside. From my point of view, Arequipa is very different from Brasil .
After I left my things in the hostel, I decided to walk around and see the city on my own. One thing that I really like here is that the people are very friendly. They talked to us, they tried to understand when we didn’t know how to say something, and they always gave us a smile. I felt like I was at home even though I sometimes had to point to things so they could understand me. But that is normal and luckily I have two more weeks to improve my Spanish...
Perusing the Mercado San Camilo
My first day at Casa Hogar Torre Fuerte
When I decided to have this experience, I had an idea of what it would be like but my first day visiting the girls at Casa Hogar Torre Fuerte was much more than I thought it would be. For starters, even the bus ride was very different than the Brazilians buses.
When I got to the Casa Hogar and met the girls, they came to hug me, to talk to me, to ask me things, to ask me to play with them. They were so loving, it is difficult to describe how it felt in the first few minutes. There was a little one who started to play with a bottle and smile at the noise that it made. Her smile was so beautiful that I kept playing with her for a long time.
After, I went to push the girls on the swing which is a simple activity, but for them it was so much fun—I started laughing with them. The time passed so fast that, when we had to leave the house, it seemed to me that I had only spent a few minutes there. At the end of my first day, I just knew that I had made the right decision to come to Peru to meet these girls.
Finding new friends in the park