Trip to Huancayo

We departed Mira Flores by taxi to the bus station. We were expecting a crowded, tight, and uncomfortable bus similar to the ones we had ridden for hours in Costa Rica. Our transport to Huancayo was arranged through our volunteer organization, Expand Peru, so we did not quite no what to expect.

 

We were greeted with a very friendly and well-dressed staff and luggage tickets for our bags. We also ended up in the ´´Preferred Seating¨ area with large comfortable, reclining seats, a fold-down leg rest and tv screens! This was needless to say way over our expectations. We almost felt a little out of place in such a nice class of travel. Soon after our departure, the staff brought around meal service and hot tea. Later they brought lemon candies, which helped with the drier air as we were headed into the desert. The movies for our trip were ´´Duece Biggalow, Male Giggalow´´  and ´´Anacondas of the Amozonias´´… it was awesome.

 

The ride into the Andes was full of very twisty roads, which did not sit well with either of our stomachs. The views were a mix of beautiful snow capped peaks, small ponds/lakes, and brilliant stars, once it got dark. During the six and a half hour ride, we were brought back to reality every once in awhile with views of small slum housing on hillsides. Just a few facts… over 50% of Peru is below poverty line with around 25% being below extreme poverty. Imagine one out of two people you went to school with not being able to feed themselves or their families. Pretty overwhelming.

 

We finally arrived at the Huancayo bus station just before 7pm. It was dark and we were quite unsure of what to expect once we arrived. After a few minutes of waiting, Bernabe, the Expand Peru Director showed up to greet us. We took a short walk down the sidewalk and coincidentally the other volunteers from the program were eating dinner just a block away. We were greeted with an excited roar from accross the street. The other volunteers who have been here for various lengths of time love it and were extremely welcoming. We were soon in a taxi and on our way to our house for the next month. We are staying with a Peruvian family just outside Huancayo in El Tambo. The language barrier is definitely more pronounced here than it was in Costa Rica, so we are learning quickly! Luckily, two of our house mother´s chidren speak English quite well and are helping us translate. There is also an exchange student of sorts from Germany who speaks fluent spanish (his parents are from Spain and Chile) as well as English, so he is also helping us out.

 

We will go to our school for the first time today to meet the children and help with an afterschool program. Our stint at the Special Education Center will not start until Monday. We are looking foward to it though! The town of Huancayo is a mix of older buildings and nicer colonial type architecture with several parks and a larger town center.

2 Responses to “Trip to Huancayo”

  1. Jtracyanice says:

    I think its really cool that Kevin can do this website for you. Its really neat to follow your travels. Oh so cool ! Mom

  2. stubbemand says:

    Hi Sounds like you’ve experienced tons already. SO did you accomplish your first mission at an airport? You know you earn things, I’m keeping notes oh mighty travelers.
    I am a HE-SHE-MAN, I took down the pool. Well almost. Next I’m redoing the deck and pool part of the yard. I now have a swamp in my back yard. Jes and I leave for camp next Sun. then New York June 28. I’m heading over to Mamaw’s for the night. Jes is in KY w/ the church youth group for Icthus, a Christian concert that lasts 4 days. Cod went to Chicago to see Brittany.
    Have fun and stay safe! Miss you!
    Love, Deb

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