Yat's Big Trip travel blog

Nestor helps open the white paint

Nestor and Juvenil help clean the walls

Yasmin gives Maribel (aged 6) a helping hand...

...now look! She can managed by herself!

Yasmin stands proudly by Flor's writing of our names in Hebrew!

Little Maribel after her hard efforts

Flor and I painting a little more seriously...

See how great this cheap white paint is!

Later joined by Sarah and David (taking picture)

And the first coat of paint at the end of the day!



Day 2... work interrupted by the sound of happy children playing

Nestor helps fill up holes with plaster...

...and also new volunteer Philip (USA)...

Results of filled up gaps

Nestor enjoying it so, fills up holes outside the room too!

Monday was great day. Despite a mix up with the meeting place in the morning with Flor and Yasmin, and arriving late due to the consumption of breakfast, we made great progress.

Moved the furniture onto one side of the room, and begun stripping all the existing pictures, sellotape etc. With rollers, we started to paint over the pastel greens and blue with white. Some of the kids jumped in, eager to help, and were happy to be splattering paint on the walls, the floor protected by a large piece of plastic covering. Our youngest helper with Maribel, only ten years old. Yasmin was very attentive to her and assisted her with the higher spots.

At about half eleven, David and Sarah kept their words and turned up to help for the day. With their help, we finished painting the first coat on the walls and ceilings by 2:30pm. To celebrate, we taxied to Sacsaywamen for a nice scenic picnic. Unfortunately we didn't have the required tourist ticket to enter the sight, but we had a nice lunch sitting on the slope of a hill, with a view of telegraph poles and the sun on our faces.

Well, didn't end up painting on Tuesday (see moan on previous entry)- I wonder whether Doly and Flor worried it was all a scam! Someone coming with friends, moving all the furniture, and painting over their walls in white, then buggered off never to come back??

Fortunately Wednesday was also great. Flor and Yasmin couldn't help any more with the painting, as they were preparing to leave Cusco shortly for Bolivia. Luckily Nestor, who first took me to Zarzuela, helped me filling up the holes in the wall (plaster ironically obtained from the builder in my house), and then painting the second coat. Two new volunteers arrived that day, one of which, Philip (near LA, California) was delighted with the project, as he wanted to do some renovating work. He thanked me for "bringing light to his tunnel", as he had a bad week teaching English at an orphanage. Well, he didn't realise how happy I was too, with the turn of events, considering Tuesday!

We worked quickly, and finished by 3pm - and even had a nice long lunch break in the sunny courtyard, sharing biscuit and jam. On my walk back into town, made more enquiries into price of colour paints, and felt very happy.

Also have a new idea for the painting. Instead of illustrating how Paddington left Peru for England, and his new life in London, it will now show his passage back to his homeland - hence Paddington IS coming back to Peru! Will start in England, taking a boat across the Atlantic, and stopping in New York. The partition in the room will now serve as the Panama Canal, and the rest of the room would be scenes of Peru. It would obviously include the famous Machu Pichhu, but also more humble activities, to include children of Inti Huahuacuna.

Today, there is a transport strike over the price of gas. Many places are closed, including Zarzuela, hence not able to work on the sketches today. Tomorrow, will be off at noon for an annual festival in a town three hours away from Cusco. Sketching will start on Monday morning, and the afternoon will welcome the help of my two Dutch friends Jani and Suzan, who not only offered to help with the painting, but also with the sale of postcards at various Spanish schools.

Hence the next few days will be concentrating on the sale of the postcards, beginning with a restuarant, and what appears to be the beginning of a vigil at an Irish Pub "Paddy's" every evening. The barmaid Nicole said it should no problem for me to sell postcards there during happy hour.

Was very disappointed with an English Pub called "Cross Keys", who I thought would be supportive of the project, as they held weekly pub quiz in aid of charity, and that Paddington is a symbol for England. When finally tracked down the manager Helen, she turned out to be Peruvian, and said didn't believe it was possible for me to sell my postcards there. So, if you are looking for me, don't try the Cross Keys pub!

A special THANKS to David and Sarah, whom I ran into this morning. Very lucky, as they would have left for Nasca today, had there not been a strike. They bought two postcards, offering to pay the inflated price of 20 soles per card, instead of 1 sol. Thank you for your generosity, hard work on Monday, and great listeners to my waffling on about the project ideas, ups and downs, and most of all, for believing in the project, and trusting their 40 soles would not reincarnate in the form of pints of guiness tonight at Paddy's (well, maybe on Monday...!)!

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