Pisco

Pisco Travel Blog

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Hands-On headquarters

DAY 1

So I arrived safe and sound. By the time I got here work for the day was finished so just a couple beers around the fire and then it was bed as up early... or so I thought! Turned out there was a hamburger eating contest just about to start and with my love of humburgers I couldnt resist joining in. There were 2 rounds: the first for speed and the second and all out asault to see how many you could stuff down you. I won the speed round; come on! but gave up after 3 burgers in the ´stamina´round as I was pretty damn full. Lucas, a crazy Australian lad, won the stamina round after 8 burgers and 2 mouthfulls! Pretty impressive, but even more so as he is only like 5 foot tall!

 

DAY 2

Was working clearing a house today and my group was all pretty cool.

The last group I worked with

Guys come aound constantly with ice-cream carts and I think everyone at Hands-On is addicted to them.

We basically cleared the whole site today. It was pretty tough, switch the mind off kinda work, but it has to be done. Hands-On found out I can do basic brick laying and it looks like they want me to stay and help build a school! Pretty daunting stuff!

After work and the usual fantastic meal which is prepared for us it was another night around the camp fire. Met tons of really cool people and just had a general laugh.

Another night outide and this time I came prepared with bug repellant...it didnt work!

DAY 3

Was really tired today after 2 nights of very little sleep! Finally got given a bed for tonight which I am extremely pleased about.

Me destroying a wall...fun!

We finished the sight we were working on yesterday and then it was on to another one. A BBQ with all the money from tickets going to help build new housing was arranged for 4:30 pm so we had an early finish.

Whilst working today I heard about a ´temporary´classroom being built out of a converted shipping storage container. Now I highlighted temporary as when the School asked the Government how long this classroom would need to last before they were given a proper one they were told 10 years!! Absolutley ridiculous, I cant believe what a joke their politicians are.

The BBQ was really good and all of the locals were showing their support.

I actually nearly started crying at one point; a local told me, through a friend translating, that he had lost his Mother, his Father and his Son in the earthquake and that he was so happy there were people willing to help.

A typical street in Pisco. This is just up the road from Hands-On headquarters

Whilst working you realise you are helping but it kind of gets pushed to the back of your mind. When someone comes up and tells you something like that it is basically a wake up slap in the face as to the devastation 2 minutes of the earth shaking caused.

During this period I also realised there are a few people at Hands-On who are just there so they can tell other people that they volunteered. No names but I couldnt help but spot a couple of patronising twats amongst the group.

We went to the Pisco-Disco afterwards and I wasnt really up for it, still a bit down after hearing the locals story to be honest, but it was well worth it in the end.

Now anyone who knows me will tell you that when I am out I make friends with tons of random folk, even if I speak a completely different language! After being thrown off of a podium for dancing(which is what they are for!) by some black guy who I am sure was just some sort of jealous customer(jealous girls were getting up to dance with me), and almost swinging for him when he started pushing me, I was rescued by 5 local guys who basically told him to piss off.

Our luxurios showers

Spent tons of time with the 5 guys dancing and drinking and they forced me onto a table whilst surrounding me, daring anyone to try and throw me off, haha.

Went with a girl called Karoline (My Pisco Disco amiga!) and I showed her how the Scots party, haha.

Also met a girl called Anna. The first words she said to me were ´move you Scottish basta##´in her English accent, haha. Any girl who can introduce herself like that is on top form in my book. We had a class night, doing way too many shots and staggering home in the wee small hours!

Class night and met tons of people.

DAY 4

Day off and boy was I glad! Woke up late feeling ample rough.

After a quick shower I headed to the Internet place but was grabbed by Lucas as I was walking down the street.

The fire pit where everyone gathers at night
He was adamant I needed to join in with the Vino(wine) club for at leats a while.

They were at a locals house and we were given some food which was great and obviously, being the Vino club, some wine. I struggled my wine down and some ample strong Pisco before making my excuses as more bottles were opened.

Just gonna chill the rest of the day I think, maybe read a book or something.

Well reading a book didnt bloody happen, haha. Ended up around a campfire until like 2 am when the group finally dwindled so it was just me and Anna...party animals! I can tell you hair of the dog actually works because Anna convinced me to try some rum and it cured me...temporarily!

Was a class night anyways even although I had to get up at 7am for work!!

DAY 5

All of my Amigas and Amigos are leaving me!!!!

Karoline and Kaat both went to a different town until saturday to help sort out running water(I couldnt go as Im leaving on thu/fri), so I wont catch up with them again.

The makeshift office
Its all good though as Karoline is gonna come visit me in sunny old Scotland!

Dennis and Anna also left today so I am truly at a loss now, haha. Supposed to be meeting up with Anna in La Paz as it is her birthday on the 2nd of December.

Felt a little rough today but not as bad as I should have been. I was leading a group working at a site not far from headquarters. We managed a fair whack of work and I could constantly feel my sunburn rubbing against my T-shirt! Why did I work with my top off again?!

No booze for me tonight, my Pisco Disco buddies are gone anyways so I will def get a rest.

DAY 6

We worked on the same site again today and after finishing that moved onto another one. I was working with 2 English folk who have been travelling for a year(lucky twats!) and a cool Austrian girl as well as 2 Californians who were pretty lazy, haha.

Me, Anna and a local builder

After work I was chatting to James(another James, I dont make a regular thing of talking to myself) and he asked me if working at Hands-On had changed my outlook in any way. Thinking about it it actually has. Working in Pisco amongst so much destruction and with the locals living in little more than a wooden frame covered in plastic is a horrible sight; but they are all happy. The kids never stop laughing, they dont need a computer or dvds, they are perfectly content, no, more than content, with just playing with each other and things they find.

It got me thinking that the western world, the place I thought had it right and should be teaching everyone else, has its priorities all wrong.

Now dont get me wrong, money is necessary and being comfortable is good but being out here I just cant understand the need to work your ass off, god knows how many hours a week, for a bigger house(do you need those extra rooms?) and for materialistic things.

Me, Anna and another local builder
My head now kinda tells me just to enjoy life, to hell with what everyone else thinks of me! I want to see the world, the whole world! And I want my priority to be experiencing things.

One day I will be lying on my death bed and I dont want to be thinking about all I missed out on, I want tons of great memories.

At Hands-On I met such a variety of people and everyone of them was extremely happy. I met an Irish family who had basically sold up and taken their 2 kids around the world, now how bloody cool is that?!

So people, christmas is coming up!! If you are looking to get me something(you better be;-p) then please either just give me some money so I can book another ticket somewhere or even band together for a ticket so I wont know where Im going, haha.

Me and the two local builders
I dont really want anything else as it just needs replaced in a year or so anyways.

Spent the night around the fire with James and Luigi just chilling with a couple of beers. I realised I was gonna have to leave tomorrow which sucked. I think if I hadnt already arranged to meet Bend then I would have just stayed at Hands-On(maybe changing to a different job as my whole body is killing me!).

DAY 7

I worked in the morning and we were clearing a street as the dust was constantly blowing in to local homes.

An old lady came out and bought us Coca-Cola and gave us some home made cake. If that wasnt enough, she also made us a delicious Tuna dish!

The people here are so nice and as I was sitting eating my lunch I was actually getting really sad realising I was going to have to leave.

A Hands-On dude partying on a podium in the awesome Pisco-Disco

Anyways, met a few people who I will hopefully meet back up with and 4 different folk are coming to Scotland so I will hook back up with them for sure.

So now onto Copacabana for a day of rest(my body needs it) and then La Paz.

yadilitta says:
I'm proud of being your friend :)
You make the world a better place!
Posted on: Nov 22, 2007
Mishel23 says:
And the lad turns into a man. Very proud to know you.x
Posted on: Nov 22, 2007
CharmaineX says:
Oh yes now u have finished the post i understand now LOL =p
Charmaine x
Posted on: Nov 21, 2007
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Hands-On headquarters
Hands-On headquarters
The last group I worked with
The last group I worked with
Me destroying a wall...fun!
Me destroying a wall...fun!
A typical street in Pisco. This is…
A typical street in Pisco. This i…
Our luxurios showers
Our luxurios showers
The fire pit where everyone gather…
The fire pit where everyone gathe…
The makeshift office
The makeshift office
Me, Anna and a local builder
Me, Anna and a local builder
Me, Anna and another local builder
Me, Anna and another local builder
Me and the two local builders
Me and the two local builders
A Hands-On dude partying on a podi…
A Hands-On dude partying on a pod…
My group the day I left
My group the day I left
A work site
A work site
Site
Site
Pisco
photo by: eefab