Tuesday, June 8, 2010

6 weeks of Lima

It was strange because after so much traveling that I had been involved in during the first 3 months of 2010, I finally had time to settle down and live a my limanian life.  I started that with lots of blogs to catch you all up on my life, but haven´t been so good about it since then, mostly because I was just doing my daily life and I was actually busy.

I truly did enjoy my time just being in my life.  It was a great time where I really felt more and more a part of my family.  I got to play soccer with Germ├ín and his coworkers a few times.  We intently followed Alianza Lima during their short tenure in the Copa de Libertadores (the South American Club championships) and together delt with their crushing elimination and the controversy over whether their elimination goal should have been annuled because of 2 players in an offside position. See the video and read the rules (specifically the passive offside part) and decide for yourself.

Aside from that, it was good just to be in one place for a while.  That is something that I forgot about and really enjoyed.  I think my sleep schedule, Spanish, and sanity all benefited from it.

I did make a few pilgrimages out of the city limits of Lima to La Oroya.  I am proud to say that the project there is getting stronger by the day.  The kids now have flip video cameras and are getting having lots of fun practicing using them and getting more and more confident.  We have had a great conversations with our partner class in NYC (EcoTech School out of Brooklyn web site, blog).  I am so proud of these kids to see how they have embraced this technology, friends, and most importantly their futures.  They are fighting for their city, but also developing skills and confidence that would have been hard to teach otherwise.  One of the projects that we worked on was giving them a name.  After a long process, they settled on CAMBIALO which is an acronym for "Construyendo un AMBIente Adecuado en La Oroya" which comes to mean "Constructing an adequate environment in La Oroya" or "change it."  We still have a long way to go, but these kids give me hope about where this is all going.  So as we are moving forward with this project, we want people to be involved.  What do you think?  Send me an email if you want to be involved, and if not, I´ll probably send you one.

I also attended an earth day celebration organized by CENCA.  I summed it up in the lastest edition of La Retama, the newsletter from the Red Uniendo Manos as this:

For 40 years now, Earth Day has been celebrated all around the world to commemorate the different ways that we as humans interact and can hurt or help our planet. This year I got to see how that was celebrated in San Juan de Lurigancho, the largest district of Lima. San Juan de Lurigancho is a very dusty place. There is very little water and many dusty roads, so I was very surprised to walk around the corner and find green and white cloth surrounding the futbolito court (basketball court, but with soccer goals). Inside it was completely different.
The organizers, from the NGO CENCA, had filled the square with tables of artisans, property rights booths, food from local cafeterias and a sense of global health. Over the course of the day, I shared with many people the ecological sanitation systems that CENCA promotes while local school children performed folkloric dances from all through the country. Local communities also performed skits that emphasized the importance of unifying to promote the rights that they have as citizens and the day ended with local rock bands showing their skills. The best were awarded “the best of the zone” and went home with smiles on their faces. When the sun set and the tables began to be torn down, it was very apparent that though this day had not changed the world and was far from being a true answer to the grave environmental problems that plague this world, something had happened that day which hopefully will lead to a cleaner future for everyone.

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