Our guest house in Cusco is near the Globalteer office and walking distance into the centre of town, Plaza Del Armes. The Plaza is beautiful! Jillian from Globalteer came to meet us the day after we arrived to show us round and take us to the office to fill out some paperwork etc. The churches are all Spanish which were built on Inca ruins. The San Blas area is really cool also; lots of narrow cobbled streets with cafes, restaurants, shops etc.
We’ve been here over a week now, and started teaching a week ago. Jack is joining in a Year 4/5 class and Richard is teaching English and Leanne is teaching PE and kindergarten.
Our first trip to Picaflor House was last Thursday. We walked to the office for our Spanish lesson with Nelida, which we will do for a week. Then we walked with Laura (in charge of Picaflor House) and Kara, another volunteer to get the public bus to Oropesa, the town where the school is. It takes about 25 minutes to walk to the bus terminal, where you pay 2/s per person. The journey takes about 35 minutes (25km east of Cusco). We pass through villages, where they only sell pig fat dripping, guinea pig and in Oropessa, the bread capital of Peru!
We get off when we pass the massive statue of the lady holding the guinea pig and 3 garages, then we cross the road, and the school is just up the road a little bit.
Lunch is generally rice with some vegetables and sometime either chicken or alpaca or beef. Lessons are 40 minutes each. We rotate lessons between English, maths, reading and writing, history, PE. Every student cleans their teeth after lunch. There are only 2 handbasin they can use; the small one by the (tiny toilet) or the bigger one as you come in the door. They keep their toothbrushes at school and use the school’s toothpaste. After that, we start lessons.
The classrooms are quite sparse, with stools to sit on and some decoration on the walls. In the maths room, there are timetables painted on the wall and flags of all the South American countries. The English room has books, a big drawing of a man with body parts labelled and a whiteboard. The area for PE is a small fenced off pitch, about the size of a 5-a-side football pitch. We looked for some sports equipment and found: 1 x football, 2 x tennis balls, some marker cones, and some tag football belts. When Leanne is teaching PE, we did a simple bench ball style game with 1 ball and marker cones. The students liked it and it was clear they had rarely done any sort of passing game. But they were good by the end of the lesson.
It was a very wet day yesterday, so not to cancel PE, we did dance inside. Although there was no electricity for light or music, we went ahead and taught them Scottish Country Dancing.
We took bits of some dances and joined them together to make it easy. It was fun! The students got it after a while and we taught them 3 dances all together. Even the older kids, got into it after warming up! For the Year 1 and 2’s we did games like Musical Statues, bumps and the hokey cokey as the electricity had come on by then.