Two muy bueno things happened:
- Supplies: Some other volunteers & I were able to load up on cleaning supplies and other necessary items for the orphanage. In Arequipa, it is quite pricey to buy this stuff at the grocery store. You have to go to the market and barter. The market is a prime place for gringos to get pick-pocketed. So we had a local friend help us out.
With the help of generous donations from friends and family, we were able to get the following supplies for the orphanage: mops, brooms, dustpans, detergent, antibacterial cleaning solution, tons of Clorox, gloves, masks, baby wipes & diapers. I’m also hoping to sponsor an outing for the kids as well, but that is still in the works!
- Re-entry: Volunteers are allowed back in the orphanage as of tomorrow! Woohoo!! The four children with Hepatitis are currently being quarantined (poor little guys). Luckily, none of the other children have shown signs of contracting the virus. We’ve been told that we can re-enter the house and we have all the new supplies to swap out the old, possibly infected stuff. I’m super pumped to get back in there!
Other than that, the past week has been pretty uneventful. I’ve taken daily Spanish lessons with a tutor. I can now order something at a restaurant without pointing at the menu. I’ve also been exploring Arequipa a bit more. Fun fact from an elderly local: this city was founded by the Spanish, not the Incas. How can you tell this? The Spanish are the only ones dumb enough to build a city at the base of a volcano. Clearly there’s still some resentment towards the conquistadors, and rightfully so.