Thursday, February 24, 2011

Régis vous raconte

Peru has a very different climate than Manitoba. The group has had the
opportunity to experience this first hand. Temperatures during our
stay in Cañete have ranged between +19-36 degrees Celsius (at times as
much as 60 degrees higher than the recent lows in Manitoba). The day
starts off cloudy and humid but as the day progresses, the temperature
rises rapidly and the humidity disappears. It is very hot during the
day and because we are close to the equator, the sun is nearly
directly overhead and there is little shade to be had if you are not
in a building or under a tree. Of course, this means that we have to
work under difficult conditions. However, by drinking lots of water,
taking frequent small breaks etc,, it becomes quite manageable. It is
surprising how quickly one´s body adapts. The volunteers became very
productive very quickly.

Because the climate is so much warmer than back home, nearly
everything grows much better. Because the area is so dry, water is
needed. It is supplied by a vast irrigation system that was apparently
first developed by the Incas. Flowers, fruits, vegetables grow
abundantly and are readily available. The flowers are particularly
beautiful and grow taller and much bigger in this hot house.

The water has lots of silt in it....think of the colour of the Red
River .....only more so. This water does a great job of
supporting life in an area that would otherwise be a desert.

One of the great things about this experience is how close we are to
the nature that surrounds us. Because we are living in tents, we
experience it first hand. For example, there are lots of birds that
are singing and chattering constantly (even during the night). There
are lots of animals around. A herd of goats regularly visits our
campsite. There are many ducks living near a house near the site.
There are dogs everywhere and you meet many when visiting Cañete. One
challenge for the volunteers is sleeping through the rooster calls that
are especially loud during the night. Dogs also bark at various
intervals when we are sleeping. Of course this climate means that
there are insects (lots of very small harmless ants but NO
mosquitoes); however, the insects are not a huge probelm for us.

We eat outside at all times and it is surprisingly comfortable in the
shade under the patio; there is often a good breeze blowing.

Going to bed early, eating well, lots of exercise on the work site,
always being in the fresh air, being close to nature....all these
things are the ingredients for a great experience.

Living in tents also

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