Munaychay, Peru – The first week

Hard physical work is even harder in three and a half thousand metres elevation. My post-Inca carries rocks and shovels for all one is worth, but sleeps at six. Our first project is a workshop for the fleet of the children’s village. Walls and roof are there, but floor and walls are wet from water running in. Initially we excavate the floor to find the water drain. We built a form from wood to make a new drainage, mix concrete by hand in a wheelbarrow and carry it in buckles down a stairs, and pour the channel.

On the next day we mix more concrete, lay a water pipe, and pour more concrete to get the entrance area waterproof and to form a lid for the drainage. This takes some days with a two man/woman-team, consisting of Joerg and me. Furthermore if we have to run around looking for tools or the responsible person who might know where they are, and mostly they aren’t where they are expected to be; like the bricklayer’s trowel that is in the hen coop’s window because it’s used for scraping off the chickens’ faeces.

Meanwhile the children can’t get enough of our cabin. But we have to admit that they usually don’t stay too long, especially the bigger girls take responsibility and order the younger “Let’s go now!” Generally, they have a lot of responsibilities. They help cooking, cleaning, and wash their clothes themselves; by hand and with cold water of course. That has nothing to do with child labour. There’s still enough time for school, learning, and playing. It’s just preparation for real life. Something’s partially lost in our societies.

We apologize if there are fewer photos from the children’s village than expected. Taking photos is limited here because there are some victims of violence among the children whose identity shall be protected.

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