Monday, March 2, 2009

On The Road Again

Wow. And double wow. I have just left Cusco after finishing my 2 months with Bruce Peru, and I have to say that, despite the stress and mental and physical exhaustion, it has been one of the best times I have ever had. A bit emotional towards the end, when we had to say goodbye to the kids, but seeing as most of them didn't really seem to register that we (4 of the volunteers, and all of the kids, as they are of to big school in a week) will never see each other again. Probably. If I've learned anyting on this trip its to never say never, so maybe I'll be back some time. I certanly can't imagine never returning, and could well sign up for a month of voluntary work down the line. Todo es posible en Peru, as they say.

So anyway, the last few weeks were tiring, I got in a power strop just because I was finding it hard to live in a tiny shack with 10 people, and spent part of the time trying to keep myself to myself, but I should make it clear (in case any of them ever read this) that it was entirely me that was having issues, and nothing any of the volunteers had done. They were just far too energetic all of the time for an old fudder like me, who every now and then needs to have a bit of peace and quiet to watch crap on the telly and unwind. Being completely honest, we (Rich and I, temporary Co-Directors) could not have asked for a better, more motivated, friendly bunch of volunteers, and we got so much done in such a short space of time exactly because they were young and energtic. Long may it continue, and I hope the long-stayers enjoy the rest of their time. I'll be back to pick up some stuff in early April, so will see how they're doing then.

The last week was made even more interesting as Bruce himself and Ana Tere his wife, came to town for a visit and a chat. Its not often that you meet truly inspirational people in life (OK, apart from you. And you...and you...), but Bruce would have to up there near the top. The sacrifices he has made in his life to provide funds for his projects; the amount of work he has to do now, at the age of 67 (sorry Bruce, I'm making a point), is truly astounding. He pretty much works with his laptop in bed until he falls asleep in front of it, and when he wakes up later he carries straight on, just to earn enough money through his internet streamlining job (too complicated for a dimble-brain like me to fully understand what he does) that he can keep his centres and schools open. And he's been doing it for abut 40 years. It was a privilege to meet himw, and I hope to pop in to the headquarters in Trujillo on my way north to see how them both again. I imagine I will have my work cut out in NZ trying to raise money to send over, once I get back.

But what for the daring duo now? Well, Rich is hanging out in Cusco for another month, while I am heading back to Bolivia to do a month of voluntary work for an animal rescue centre deep in the jungle. If I score the jack pot for jobs going, I could be spending the month walking a jaguar through the jungle as it recooperates from whatever mistreatment it has suffered. Alternatively, I could be working with monkeys, parrots or any number of other critters, so I am pretty excited about the whole thing. On the down side, there is no internet access at the sanctuary, so I'll be struggling to find opportunities to keep you up to date as things happen. Rest assured, however, that as soon as I get a chance to fill people in, you'll be the first to know.

Anyow, that's just a quick update for you. I rode my bike for about 10 hours door to door today, covering about 520km at 3500-4000m about sea level, so I'm pretty weary and need my bed. And you're looking pretty tired yourself, so how's about we all go and get some shut eye? See you in the morning. Sleep tight. Unfortunately for me, the bedbugs have already bitten. Probably won't be the last time over the next month, either. And don't forget to brush your teeth.

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