Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Reflections: part 3

The catholic church is no longer very powerful nor do the majority of people worship regularly although almost all are nominally Roman Catholic. There is a increase in "evangelical" churches, but it is not a factor in government or civilization.

I don't think the Spanish May have done as much to improve the potential for the indigenous as perhaps other European colonial countries. Language and religion and European way of life were enforced without much education or government structure to go with it. Just domination. And when the Spanish left, not much remained to build on.

As a result it is only in the 1900's that anyone thought to do archeological digs around Lima and they have uncovered hosts of pre-Inca civilizations. In face the Inca were very short term, if unifying. But since they we here when there Spanish came, the got in all the history books. There is much still to learn about the "other" America!

But in a small part of one school I was able to encourage a teacher and share the fact that volunteers from the US do care. For this year, that will be enough.

And of course I will not look at the US as the only or primary "America" anymore. Or read about drug cartels and corruption as "their" problem. The roots and causes of what we see on the surface are twisted, but deserve consideration.

Of course 1000 thanks to Bob, the spousal unit, for understanding and supporting and picking me up at the airport - the best hugs ever are in Terminal 5!

Reflections:part 2

Lima is mostly a stop off to what people come to see in Peru - the jungle or the mountains. It has about 3-4 "nice" areas to live - meaning green grass, tidy parks, walled homes.

But cross one large road and the rest of Lima is sand. Miles and acres and deserts of sand. With multiple family houses and heavily gated shops and a very few parks. Streets in many areas are unpaved. There is migration within the country from the rural to the city but very little chance to any true advancement via a middle class. The private education system is restricted to those who have money and can get into the best schools. Even the ranking military is apportioned to those who have money or family tradition.

There is very little way out of the sand.

Nine months if the year a heavy cloud cover banks in Lima making it a temperate climate rather than a tropic one. But it also means lack of sunlight for months on end. Two hours south or in the mountains it is sunny. And of course the Amazon is hot and truly tropic. Interesting geography.

Reflections part 1

Re-entry into the US was harder this time. Not the airport - I have Global Entry and the longest part is waiting for luggage.

It took 2 or 3 days to stop wanting to smack people for whining about long lines at Starbucks and anything political. The US is still the greatest country with the most advantages and opportunities in the world - even the right to vote and make changes in how we are governed. And express those opinions with very little thought to repercussions and no fear.

That is a much more amazing situation than we can imagine.

Plus hot showers are a wonderful thing!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

light show park

We spent on Sunday evening at a wonderful park full of fountains wiht light shows, concerts and decorated tress for only 4/S - about  a dollar. Lots of families were taking advantage of the wonderful space.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

More Lima ruins

We made another trip to ruins today - once again reminding us that the Incas we think were all of the pre-Spanish activity were hardly a blip on the historic radar. This temple dated back to 500 BC. It as a temple and then a burial grounds and then a worship space again. The bodies are buried in year fetal position to prepare for rebirth.

Then we went it the a 600 year old Olive Garden brought over from Spain. The trees were twisted and still producing Olive oil. Are onus them were some of the most lovely homes I have seen in a Peru - built by the Europeans who came her after WWII.

Student teachers

Today was fun - we had 4 teacher wannabes come in and teach the children. We tore strips of paper to paste on a mural, but they were immediately rolled into throwing ball and made the floor look like the aftermath of a political convention.

They may be rethinking law school. After all civilized groans never act like children!

Monday, September 26, 2016

What do I miss?

Yoga!  (besides the obvious of Bob, family, and cat) I miss stretching and relaxing.

St. Mark's. The sun. Deep dish pizza. Home Saturday!

What is the best thing here? (Besides the obvious of the other terrific volunteers) The teacher I work with is one of the most creative and talented I have ever seen. We will find a way to keep in touch.