Liz and I have arrived in Lima...with no problems! We left Miami bright and early on Sunday morning, thanks to Jackie we arrived right on time. We checked in for our flight, but unfortunately we were informed that we must claim our luggage in Bogota and recheck in for our flight from Bogota to Lima. Im pretty sure that I did not agree to that when booking the tickets. Fortunately we made it...off the plane, thru customs, claimed our luggage, got back in line to recheck in and thru security and customs AGAIN to finally arrive at our gate just before boarding time. Then, for whatever reason they stamped "standby" on our tickets...so we waited with our fingers crossed hoping that we could get on the plane. luckily...we got on...all our luggage was in Lima and our contact Javier was awaiting us with a smile and a sign!
As soon as we met Javier English was to become our second language...Spanish is the only option here! Liz and I did wish that we would become fluent in Spanish in our first two weeks here...little did we know that we would actually have the opportunity to make that come true! Javier (our chauffer, contact, go to man, etc) has introduced us to so many people it is ridiculous! After arriving at the airport we packed our stuff into Javiers car and headed for the chalet (a convent overlooking the beach). When we arrived at the convent we met the head nun (Graciella) who showed us our room, which is a room with 4 smaller rooms each with a bed and dresser and a bathroom (with a shower with hot water!).
Every morning and night we have food prepared for us by the nuns, they even pack us a lunch for the road! Javier left us here at the chalet and told us to rest cause we have a full two weeks! Monday morning Javier arrived around 9 and so did is daughter Mayra who is our translator. She is 17, super cute and nice and speaks English pretty well. She is studying at the university but spends every day, all day with us teaching us Spanish and helping us to understand the more difficult Spanish words!
Monday was a day of introductions...we met teachers at the school where we will be doing lice removal on 900 kids next week, the director of an orphanage/daycare where we did exams today, and alot of other people! After a long day of introductions we worked on handouts to use on things such as handwashing and teethbrushing and their importance for the remainder of the evening. This morning we were more than ready to begin our work here, so we got up early, had breakfast, dressed in scrubs, and prepared for the day!
We arrived at the orphanage/daycare...Im calling it this because 12 of the children live there full time and the rest come during the day while their parents work. There are about 30 kids in total, with a few coming from the community to be checked added on top of that. Liz and i checked all of these kids for skin rashes or infections, lice, flat feet, or anything else that we noticed that we could do something about. We are sure of the significants of the flat feet either, so dont worry! but apparently it is important here in Peru! After checking all of these kids...we started shampooing and combing all of the lice and nits from the kids hair. This took us ALL day! These kids have lots of hair...lots of thick hair..with lots of nits and bugs! We will return to this place in the morning to say hi and play with the kids some and also return next week to make sure that the lice are gone. I think we counted one million and one louse removed! haha!
After the louse removal session we had a quick lunch of Chifa (what the Peruvians call their take on Chinese food) and then off the English classes. There are about 10 classes of English that are take at a school a few blocks from where we are staying, Mayra also teaches there. We got to introduce ourselves to the classes and speak in English (funny how easy it is to forget something that you use every single day when you stop using it for only a short time) with the students. Most of them are beginners so they ask simple questions, but we got to interact with a classroom of teachers who teach English and we got to actually speak and interact with them. Overall it was a great day...Tomorrow we will get to play with the kids and see some of central Lima...