So starting where I left off, in April Diana came to visit and I showed her the meaning of Peruvian hospitality by taking her out into the deep Amazon jungle to spend a week with no electricity, sweltering heat, and an abundance of creepy-crawlies. One highlight of the trip was zip-lining through the canopy.
May brought Camp ALMA, a leadership camp for teenage girls that the volunteers in Ancash organized and ran. After a weekend of crafts, skits, discussions, and yoga (which I taught in Spanish), I was more than ready for a vacation with the Manzos in the beautiful colonial city of Arequipa. We toured the Colca Canyon, where we soaked in hot springs and saw Andean condors soar directly overhead. The best part of the whole trip though was that while going over a pass at 5,000 m above sea level, I got to touch SNOW for the first time in over 2 years!! I made a 6-inch snowman.
June was a whole mess of travel for various work activities, but I found time to learn how to make tamales with my host family, do some prep work for an upcoming mural project, and hike up into the mountains to help my sitemate Erica build a fence and plant the first trees in her tourist-based reforestation project. We planted 25 Quenual seedlings on the first day, and left crossing our fingers that the fence would hold out against the mob of cows who hovered hungrily outside.Wrapping tamales in corn husks
The 4th of July brought the anniversary parade for Huascaran National Park, and one of the highlights of my service - I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.
This next week I'll be frantically preparing for the arrival of a group of students from Scotland, who will be spending 5 days working on projects in Tzactza, including painting a mural and building a tree nursery in the school. Hopefully 5 liters of lemon-fresh cleaning solution will be enough to tackle the school bathrooms. Now, though, it's time to forget about work for a few hours and watch the world cup.