A Travellerspoint blog

February 2010

We helped build a house!

And I got sick :(

sunny 20 °C

I went back to the valley this weekend with a group of friends to help out again with the disaster relief work. This weekend we were helping out a different community to the one last weekend and we were helping to build a community kitchen. At times I wasn't sure if we were more of a hinderance than a help as the Peruvians seem to be able to do everything much faster and with much less effort than it takes us Westerners but I think they liked us being there to talk and laugh with them, provide moral support and to help out wherever needed. I got to do my fair share of sawing, thanks Dad for teaching me all I needed to know about wood work in my early years it really came in handy on Saturday! A group of 4 us were assigned the task of making a table which really is much harder than I thought it would be. I was very happy with myself when along with the help of my friend we managed to make one side of the tabll, well until it got pulled apart because it wasn't set at perfect right angles! I was more than a little miffed I mean a little perspective please these people have no homes!!! It was at that point that we were told that two young boys (about aged 7) had been watching us and laughing trying to work out what an earth we were doing, doh!! However, we did eventually come in useful as we helped sort food, hold down edges of plastic, find rocks and hold up parts of the building as they were going up. We had to leave a little before dusk as we had to walk back via the Machu Picchu train line (and it is not possible to do this after dark) so unfortunately we didn't get to see the finished masterpiece but I am currently awaiting pics. I was told that the community were very pleased with the result and they now have somewhere temporary but waterproof to store food and to cook together. There is still a lot of work to be done and a long way to go but its so great to see a start being made. In castillano they have a saying 'un poco, un poco' translates as bit by bit which I think sums up the message here.
So Saturday evening relaxing after the days hard work I took a turn for the worse. I have been lucky on my trip so far I haven't gotten ill, but I had started to feel bad the previous week and really deteriorated Saturday evening. I'm lucky that I had a guardian angel in the form of my Chilean amigo especial Alex, looking after me. I met Alex in the middle of the desert in San Pedro about a month ago. I gave him my name as it turned out we were both going to be in Cuzco at the same time. I never in a million years thought he would actually look me up but he did and pretty much the rest is history. He actually returned to Chile after the flooding as he got airlifted out by the Chilean military but returned to Cuzco less than a week later after a 60 hour bus journey because he wanted to come back to see me! And people say romance is dead, well not in Latin America it aint! Anyways he has been an absolute angel while I have been ill, he went to get a doctor to come and see me, went to get water, soup and sat by my side all day whilst I was doubled over in pain, being sick and shaking from fever. As it turned out I had a bacterial infection in my stomach and the doctor prescribed me a multitude of tablets. Usually it would have costs over $100 US because I am European but Alex managed to charm him and so the doc did us a deal and it cost a fraction of the price! I had to stay an extra night in the valley last night as I wasn't well enough to travel but we managed to make it back to Cuzco this morning and I am resting in bed. I knew there was a good chance I would get ill at least once on my trip I am just so glad I had someone amazing looking after me while it happened!

Posted by amanda_w24 11:30 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

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