I'm way behind here

Trip Start Sep 15, 2012
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Trip End Sep 25, 2012


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Flag of Peru  , Arequipa,
Thursday, September 20, 2012

Hanging out with a bunch of needy little girls leaves very little time for writing down what you did in a day. The days all melt together. It gets really crazy, and they are so full of life and they want every ounce that you have to give. And more. There is always someone hanging on you. If not two or three. But it is a good thing.

On Thursday, there was a presentation at the City offices for the President of the City Hall, Judges and all of the city workers. The choir sang, and the girls from Rick's orphanage sang and did some typical Peruvian dances. They stole hearts. They don't have a van or a car, so we have to take taxis everywhere, and it takes at least 5 taxis to go anywhere at all. The taxis are the tiniest little cars ever. You should actually only be able to put 3 people in them, but we manage to cram 5 or 6 in them. It costs anywhere from 3-5 soles to go across town. That is about 1 to 2 dollars. Per cab of course.

Thursday was filled with the presentation, although Rick and I took 3 of the older girls shopping and to lunch in the morning. I bought them jeans. They all were wearing rags. They were so excited to be able to pick out new pants. Then we went to KFC. In this one area, there was a KFC, Pizza Hut, Burger King, and of course, Starbucks. If any one of you thinks that America doesn't have the strongest economy in the world, go to a third world country, or any country that is, and go shopping. The stores are filled with American products. Toothpaste, electronics, food....it doesn't matter. It's all American. Chili's. TGI Fridays. It's all here. Nike's. You might as well be in the USA.

Thursday evening, I went out on the town with one of the girls who was a chaperone with the kids in the US. She is 24, and her friend is 25, so we went to a club in Arequipa where there was a band playing. It was a nice change of pace. No children. We danced with the locals, and I have no idea what time we came back to the hotel. Time isn't important in Peru. Lots of things aren't important in Peru. Like picking up piles of garbage on the sides of the street. Or worrying about the massive numbers of dogs that wander the streets. Or pollution from buses and cars. Extreme pollution. Hard to breathe. Everything is just black. It's a dirty place.

Another strange thing in Peru. THERE IS NO TOILET PAPER. OR PAPER TOWELS IN BATHROOMS. Anywhere. Seriously. Go to a bathroom anywhere, and you better have your own. They don't provide it. In hotels, you get some, but it is the cheapest stuff you have ever seen. And there is no such thing as a Kleenex in the whole country. I carry toilet paper now in my purse. Always. It is the craziest thing I've ever seen. Restaurants, anywhere you go. Nope. BYOTP. They had it at the airport. Craziest thing ever. Also, in hotels (so far, in my 1 star experience), you get 1 towel, no wash cloth, and you can actually read through it. So thin, it is unbelievable. And you don't get sheet changes, no matter how long you stay. I was at my last hotel 4 nights. I got a fresh towel after the second day, but no sheet change. But, it was $40 a night.

They did laundry there, but people do laundry by hand in Arequipa. They wash their clothes in a sink and dry on a clothes line. No washing machines. Seriously. I went back about 100 years there. That's how they do it at the Orphanage too. All those kids. Wash in 3 sinks on the roof. Then hang outside. It's rough in the rainy seas

I think it could be worse than Mexico in some ways. It is a constant worry about being robbed or pick pocketed. You have to watch your back every minute. Even more than Mexico. Even the children are constantly telling you to watch out. I had a 20 soles paper money in my hand in a mall and one of the little girls told me to put it away because someone would come by and snatch it out of my hand. Right in the mall. And that is about $7. And at night, it is really dangerous to walk around. You take a cab everywhere. And I'm never so sure about taxis. Rick won't let me in a cab by myself at all. And I'm fine with that.

Friday, I took a lot of the day to rest up. I was really tired. Later in the day, the girls put on a presentation at the house for me. They were all dressed up in typical Peruvian costumes that they borrowed from somewhere. Dresses and little pant suits and hats, and they did dances that were so amazing. I wish I had a video camera. And my actual camera sucks. It only takes decent photos at night. So, I don't know if I got anything good. I should have bought a new one. Stupid mistake. They were so awesome. And then each of them said something special for me. I was crying like a baby. It was the most beautiful gift that anyone could give me. There are just no words to describe it. Money can never buy that kind of thing. I so wish that each of you could have shared it.

I wish I could give them the world. I just don't have what they need. But they are happy wish anything. I will somehow figure out how to find some sponsors to send $100 a month. That is enough to buy food, school supplies, shoes, and basics. Somehow, I'll figure that out. If you are reading this, I am counting on you to help. And rest assured that I will absolutely hit on you. So, just go ahead now and figure out how much you are in for. Because you are going to be asked. $25, $50, $100. Just figure it out. I'll send you photos of faces that you will not be able to resist.

ME
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