Monday, May 05, 2008

Traveling to Peru

Peru Projects: April 2008
by Lon Haldeman

I just returned from scouting our various projects in Peru. It was a quick trip with just me and one gear bag. I made the rounds to check on the progress in several areas where we have been helping during the past few years.

I arrived in Lima Monday morning after an all night flight. I found a hotel which had an empty room from the night before. I was able to get a few hours sleep before noon. Then I went to the book store to buy 110 notebooks and classroom supplies to take to Iquitos. The whole load fit into five boxes of 40 pounds each. The prices were much cheaper than buying them in the jungle but transporting the items on the airplane and to the school would be a problem.

That night I went to the town of Chosica located 40 miles from Lima. Chosica is in the foothills of the Andes Mountains and the last major town before heading into the remote 16,000 foot climbs of the mountains. Chosica is also the location of the “Girl’s Foster Home” we have helped support for the past two years. There are typically 16 or 20 girls living at the home between the ages of 7 and 15 years old.

I arrived at the home and was greeted by the Director Ricardo and his wife. They live on the premises in a separate apartment. We went on a tour of the facilities and Ricardo showed me the new layout of bedrooms, kitchen and classroom. I was impressed with how much cleaner the home looked from past years. The bedrooms and closets were more tidy and the library bookshelves were neatly arranged.

Ricardo said the building is now being used for class rooms for a sewing and weaving school. Five of the rooms are now filled with electric sewing machines and looms where the girls and local women come to learn industrial sewing techniques. A church from Germany had donated $5,000 for the sewing machines and a bunch of other equipment. The Girl’s Home had some other needs and I gave them $200 for food and paid some past due electric bills of $375. It looks like the sewing school could be a good business for the Girl’s Home in future years and they will become self sufficient to pay for their daily needs. We will keep in touch with the Girl’s Home about future needs but it was nice to see their conditions have improved.


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