This was last Sunday, the11th May. It’s taken very seriously here, which I find slightly bizarre, given that the usual treatment of women leaves a lot to be desired in most aspects of life, especially at home. There are laws supporting women’s rights, compulsory financial aid for children when the father leaves and so on. The reality is often a long way away from this. I read this week that approx 80% of “marriages” in Peru are informal, that is to say, with no form of legal documentation at all. However, on this day, a big fuss is made, the shop windows are full of things to buy for mothers, including adverts exhorting fathers and sons to take their mothers out for the day and choose a new piece of kitchen equipment, eg microwave, for a present………no, I can’t imagine that sort of campaign catching on in England either!
After school finished at 1pm on Friday last (normally it’s 2pm, since we start at 7.45) we had a lovely afternoon outside, entertaining the mothers with games, dances, bits of poetry, singing, the 8yr olds miming to a song “I’ve never seen a giraffe that can knit”!!! Honestly this was the title and the tubby little girl who was the giraffe, was brilliant. She told me afterwards that she loves knitting…..she took her role very seriously and had been practising. To finish it all off, a little plate of chicken in a chilli sauce and rice at 6pm which was very welcome as it was dark and chilly by then. The organisation by the Head was impressive and it was her first experience too, so she did really well….except that we must have borrowed the loudest loudspeaker system in Pachacutec. My ears were still buzzing the next day! But what fun and laughter – and again, I felt proud and humbled that these people, in the face of all their adversities, can so manifestly enjoy themselves in such conditions. Everything you see in the photos was borrowed or hand-made by the parents.
I am now translating the information for each of the 25 children proposed so far for the godparenting scheme. If you have not yet received any information and would like to know more about being a godparent, please contact me by email . It will be one of the best uses of £10 a month you are ever likely to make. We have visited every household to verify that they are indeed the poorest of the poor that we have there………and believe me, you don’t want to think about it when the wet sea mist is rolling in, it’s getting dark and all you can see is a plastic-sheeting house, bare boards for a bed and cartons for a mattress. The good news is that the MP for South Norfolk has extricated a promise of “fast-lane” treatment for the 34 pages of paperwork to register Educateperu with the Charity Commissioners. Since they have been much less than helpful, losing the paperwork the first time and then changing its format so that it all had to be done again- twice! – we are very grateful to him.