First Field Trip With Santoni

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Almost everyday we come home from work, covered in dirt, sheep poop, sticky yogurt, and about one hundred kisses and say to one another:

“I love our job!”

Don’t get us wrong, we aren’t living the easy life all of the time. Living and working in South America is full of challenges and miscommunications. Despite strikes and holidays that cancel class unannounced to us gringas, misbehaving kids in English, and oh if we had a Sol for every time we had to yell out in exhaustion, “Chicas! Escuchen!” (girls! listen!), there isn’t a day that the cup full of joy doesn’t put out the fire of the challenges of our job.

This past week we got to take the Chicas Dinamicas of Santoni on our first field trip of the year! Field Trips to us are an opportunity to expose the girls to new opportunities and push them out of their comfort zone. And, yes, they are a time to have A LOT OF FUN!

On Tuesday we met the girls at the cancha al lado del comisario where we normally hold class, at 2:00pm. After waiting 30 minutes for our taxis to arrive (and yes, of course a few stragglers), we squeezed into the cars in a way that wouldn’t fly in the U.S., but down here is costumbre(costume).

We drove the winding roads to the closest Incan Ruins to Cusco, called Sacsayhuaman. The ruins are a short 15 minute drive from Santoni, but they are a place many of the girls had never visited before.

With the help of our friend and guide Daniel and his faithful perro guia Yaku we learned all about the Temple of the Moon and Temple of the Monkey. The girls swore they saw the remains of llama blood on the ancient alters used for sacrifices in the times of the incas.

Perro Guia - Yaku

After our exploring we ate a typical Peruvian snack of pan, queso, and palta (avocado) and then it was time for a new sport!

Slack-lining!

Que es eso? (what is that?) many of the girls asked about the slack-line strung up between two trees. Kids can be equally filled with excitement as they are with fear, and most of the girls approached the slack-line afraid to step onto the tight rope, but eager to try.

By the end of the day we sat back in amazement and simply observed with so much orgullo(pride) we wanted to burst. The girls worked in teams of 2-3 helping guide one another safely across the slack-line, exemplifying several of the core values we constantly teach them in the hopes they will stick such as communication and teamwork.

We couldn’t have been more excited for the girls. Where once there was fear and timidity about trying something new, empowered, radiant chicas stood, walking the tight rope of “no I can’t” and “yes I can” and they were DOING IT!

Group photo!

Group photo!

We can’t thank our friends, family and supporters all over the world enough for helping make this field trip possible. Your support made a difference. Watch the video to get a taste of the empowerment you helped provide to the Santoni chicas!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vfz6DjCzlnQ