Thursday, May 26, 2011

Day 2 - Rocking the Communities

My second day in Lima began with a visit to the Food for the Hungry offices. I met the staff, saw the layout, and got a good idea for the organizational structure of FH. The offices are really two departments. One for the country of Peru, and one for the programs in Lima. The building (like many in Lima) is an intriguing mix of Spanish and modern stylings. It was a former residence, and sits in the middle of a residential street, but not far from a busy intersection with a delicious lunch spot :).

Next, we met up with the larger group consisting of Leeland, their friends, and other FH staff to head off to the Santa Barbara region of Lima. It was about a 30 minute drive from the offices. We arrived at the FH office in Santa Barbara and then headed way up on a hill where a dirt playfield was hewn into the rocky hill side. FH had organized this event for the children of the area to interact with Leeland.

They played fĂștbol and volleyball for about an hour (the youngsters of Leeland and the kids, not this middle aged man), before heading up even farther to a spot above the playfield. It was an amazing view and moment punctuated by a setting sun over the valley of Santa Barbara. I began and ended a short but distinguished career as a "sound guy" by holding the recording device for the band as they sang a few versions of a song in Spanish they had just learned earlier that day. It was quite a remarkable setting.

I'll post some more photos in another entry. Today I spent the morning exploring the neighborhood of my hosts, and realizing the incredible value of my $5 Spanish-English translation app on my iphone. The phone doesn't have a network connection, but still functions quite well as a pocket computer and video camera.

This afternoon we're heading back to the same neighborhood for more of the same. While these events are incredibly fun and festive, I think I'll get a better sense for the day to day work of FH when the band depart and things return to normal. I really like the people in and around Leeland, but I also look forward to learning more about FH in a lower profile mode.


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