Follow me as I join "an extraordinary group of Americans who have sought the challenges that are unique to Peace Corps service: the opportunity to live in a different culture, to learn a new language, and to forge lasting relationships with the people of Peru and fellow Volunteers" (taken from the Peace Corps Volunteer Handbook)
Saturday, October 1, 2011
March of Peace
I know, it sounds pretty "hippie", and way too stereo typical of a person in Peace Corps, but it was to celebrate the day of Paz (peace), and Peruvians love thier "days of...".
Basically, what it was all the schools around Caraz, coming together with signs and a marching a big loop around the town, stopping at one point to hear speeches from various gente que pesa (big wigs). It really was nice. All the kids wore white t-shirts and carried signs, and traffic was haulted as we walked through the center of town, and up through the market area of Caraz.
Since I work with two schools, one in Yurocoto and the Special Education school in Caraz, I tried to combine both groups of kids, and have them march together. However, since it was the aniversary week for Yurocoto, most of the Yurocoto kids opted out of the march, and didn't get to meet the kids from the CEBE (Special Education School). The one exception was Rose Mari. Rose Mari is one of my health promoters, and really won my heart that day* as she willingly gave up her morning to come help out with the kids with special needs. She was super patient with them, held thier hands nicely, even as they pulled her to the any attraction that they found slightly interesting.
Here are a few pictures of us making signs for the march and marching. However, I regretably have to share that I missed a "picture of a lifetime" (you know, one of those pictures where you think it could be a cover for National Geographic). Here's the story: The march organizers were handing out paper doves to observers, the business owners in town were generally nice enough to stop what they where doing and sit in chairs and watch the kids march, we were walking through an older part of town where the streets were narrow, and the there was an elderly gentleman who was sitting in front of his shoe repair shop smiling an hoding his paper dove. I know the words don't do it justice, but the picture I have in mind of this nice looking man, multiple decades older, smiling, holding the dove and sitting in front of his kobbler shop, watchin these innocent looking kids march by will always be in my memory. I just wish I could have caught it on film. Next time.
The kids getting ready to march.
The march in action.
The students enthralled by the various peace related speeches.
* For the spoils of winning my heart this day, I had no problem saying yes to Rose Mari when she timidly asked me to be her "Padrino" (Godfather) for the Spring Queen Contest. (Little did she know that I've seen the "Godfather" at least 6 times and was jacked to finally be a real Don. She was now bound to win... and no horses were to suffer).