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I live right by the Amazon!

Iquitos, Peru

Now that I have been here for a few days, I have been learning a lot more about the program. Yestarday I went to a workshop with Jenny, one of the psychlogists. It was a skills for life workshop, and we were working with girls from the only home for girls in the city. Most of the girls there had a past of some sort of sexual exploiation, or they had been working since they were little and had no family. I think the oldest one was 16.

The workshop I attended was one of 12 (we actually do two per session, for lack of time and funds) where we teach them about self esteem, leadership, being assertive, etc. At first they were pretty wary of me, sine they have already established relationships with the two teachers, but by the end of the almost four hours, they warmed up to me and were sharing with me as well. By the time it was time to leave they all asked if I would be coming bak next week. Of course I will.

That would be me showing them how to do one of the activities...

The thing with these girls is that most of them don´t actually wanna be there. One of them, for example, had left an abusive home when she was 11, and had been alone ever since. The lady she considered her best friend, the person that had "helped" her out the most, was a lady that would feed her in her restaurant in exhange for sexual favors with her customers. Because they have lived such different lives, most of them are not used to, at least at first, to the routine and duties associated with living in a home, so they someimes try running away.

In the afternoon I sat in on one of the classes we offer, a computer class, and I met some of the older kids. They were all very nice, but the class was very long and kind of tiring, despite the lively dynamic, because the students had to write down everything the teacher said (the manuals that some of the teahers made have not arrived yet). One thing I really like is that we also work with homosexual boys that don´t have many other opportunities open to them in a place that is not very accepting of their reality.

Last night I went around town, seeing the sights, and I found out that "the river" that runs like a block from the plaza I walk to every day is actually the Amazon. The Amazon! I did not even know it was so close! And it is beautiful. I also found out that the birthplace of the Amazon is acutually about two hours from here, and I was promised a visit for my birthday, which is coming up!

At first, being here by myself was pretty hard, but it gets easier every day. I just have to focus on the work, right?

permalink written by  poweroflove on May 18, 2008 from Iquitos, Peru
from the travel blog: PERU
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Hey dear,

I am doing well...the weather is Lima has gotten pretty crappy and it's drizzling all the time now. I heard in the jungle that it is still hot and sunny which must be really nice. This is the last week for my project and I just realized how much I have left to do!!!! And am kind of freaking out about it so I think I might have to hole myself up in the office all this week.

Otherwise, things are okay. After you guys left, another volunteer came and we went to one of the museums and walked around Miraflores. Esteban came back on Sunday so I spent the day with him but I am starting to feel pretty torn inside with all of these new beginnings but the impending end coming up.

I like reading your blog though! Keep up the entries!! It sounds like you're having such an amazing experience over there...u petted a monkey?? heheh. that's so cool!!!

Ah ya, how's everything else going with you?


permalink written by  Catherine Shen on May 19, 2008

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