Our second week at PSF got-off to a weak start but Cam managed to pull himself out of bed for work on Tuesday. Through comparing symptoms with others we treated him for Giardia and within a few days he was back to normal.
With only a three-day working week we did a mixture of jobs between us. Two days were spent back at El Molino continuing to construct a secure fence and prepare a roof for Juan. I also had my first experience of cooking dinner for everyone - with only 30 people it was a fairly easy task and went well. But after purchasing meat at the market we have decided to eat vegetarian while we are here at Pisco. The hygiene conditions are appalling and the cuts of meat so bad that we are better off not to eat it and to see if this settles the Pisco Belly that continues to plague us.
During the week many volunteers including several long-termers left PSF to return home or continue their travels. Leaving for New Year seemed to be a natural break for many and we were sad to see our friends go. Life at PSF is very condensed compared to that of the real world. We spend a huge amount of time with everyone whether its working, eating or partying and therefore friendships are formed very fast. In January the number of volunteers is expected to hugely increase so we are looking forward to the influx of new skills and energy arriving at PSF.
Friday off work we spent the day settling into our new home. We moved from the main PSF building to the School House which is a far quieter establishment where the oldies hang out! We are glad to escape and have some space. The house sleeps 30 but there are currently only around seven of us, it even includes a small patch of grass which is very rare in dusty Pisco.
New Years Eve was a fairly quiet affair as there was only 25 of us remaining at PSF. We had dinner at the house before heading to the beach for a display of pyrotechnic excellence. A team of volunteers had spent the day constructing a 3-D heart made from scrap wood. We wrote messages of our 2010 angst and put these inside the heart before it was lit with several hundred dollars worth of fireworks.
Later we returned to the house for our own countdown and to once again watch the entire city of Pisco burst into firework brilliance. We had a pretty early one and managed to sleep through the blasting street parties that continued through till the next morning. Peruvians know how to party and love their loud staticy music, a lot.
The 1st as usual was a nothing day. On the 2nd we ventured outside of Pisco, taking a boat trip to Ballestas Island which is known as ‘mini-golapagos’. On route to the Island we saw the ancient giant Candelabra etched into stone beneath the sand. We saw a range of wildlife including sea lions, dolphins, penguins and various sea birds.
The afternoon was spent exploring Paracas National Reserve which is basically one massive desert leading to a fairly impressive coast line. It was nice to get away and even better to breathe some fresh air - with the constant dust, rubbish and ineffective sewerage system here we will never again take fresh air for granted.
We arrived home from our day-trip to a backyard BBQ of fresh fish, salads, beer and later marshmallows by the fire. A great end to the weekend and a pleasant start to 2011.
Feliz ano nuevo a todos!