Otra forma de vivir
Aldea Yanapay is the volunteer organisation that I am working with for a month here in Cusco. Yanapay have a hostel (where I am currently living) and a restaurant who's profits go towards funding the school project. The Yanapay school is an after school club for the children of Cusco where they do a variety of different activites. For the first hour and a half the kids either do their homework, making use of the library and the materials. They also receive another type of education based on the arts (theatre, music, painting, etc). After the first hour and a half they have the 'Human Circle' where everyone sits around and the directors Yuri and Juan talk to the children about issues central to the Yanapay ideology. The Yanapay ideology is based on values, principles and love and fundamental to the project is the idea of responsible love. Many of the children come from difficult backgrounds and Yanapay is a place where they can come to learn new skills that will help them in the future but also to learn important social skills and to teach them about things such as respect, morals and values. The second hour and a half is more geered towards this and the children are divided into classes to learn about other topics that are important in today's world: world cultures and religions, ecology and reading.
Nothing could have prepared me for the shock I recieved on the first day. Things at Yanapay are very disorganised and basically you just have to throw yourself in at the deep end. This week I have been helping out in the art classes for the first half of school and helping in English class the second part. At the end of the week on Friday they do a show where they do some sort of short performance to show the rest of the school what they have done that week. It was a good week and I felt a lot better by the end but it was really tough. The children are draining, and not being able to communicate properlly with them is difficult. The other difficulty at the moment is it is the rainy season and I have never seen anything like it. Being cold and wet and living in a hostel that doesn't always have proper running water is kinda misserable. But it isn't all bad and working with the children is rewarding and I do feel like I am doing something worthwhilel.