We arrived at NPH in the early hours of the morning on Wednesday, after a few delays getting all the volunteers to Lima. Thankfully, the under five’s had been able to move into their new house and we are able to stay in their old one, meaning we did not have to camp nor set up tents at 2am.
In the morning NPH Volunteer Co-ordinator Claudia gave us a tour around the premises. The quality of the home and the facilities it provides for the children really exceeded our expectations.
Our first project was to deconstruct the old dining room, as the Canadians had just built a new one that had real walls and was a much safer environment than the plastic roofed one we removed. OSH would have had a fit having seen a construction which housed 100 children for dinner each night in New Zealand.
Our biggest concern were the nails, most of which were so rusty the heads would fall off as we tried to remove them. Pulling down the roof and the poles was quite dramatic, much to the delight of four little ones watching from the sandpit.
We have also been painting the outsides of the brick buildings with oil to stop the concrete drying out and cracking.
The volunteers who have godchildren/sponsors were able to meet their godchildren. It was really special and exciting to finally be able to put a name to their face, despite some of the difficulties communicating with limited Spanish they have still been able to connect and build friendships.
We joined the children in the dining room for their dinner on our first night and they gave us the most overwhelming welcome. They made a path for us to walk through and clapped, cheered and high-fived us as we walked in – a real celebrity welcome! We did a presentation for them about ourselves, often using some questionable Spanish… We showed them photos of New Zealand and sung Titiro Mai.
Aidee and Kristina held a theatre workshop that was pretty hilarious. They played the animal kingdom game and each kid had to choose an animal and show how it moves, how it sounds and what it would contribute to the kingdom. They came up with some very interesting reasons why they should be allowed in, such as a duck that wanted to eat all the corn and the monkey who wanted to protect everyone.
We were lucky enough to be able to take the kids to the movies to see Rio 2 especially as it was the first time they had ever been to the cinema. Some of the younger ones were so scared even walking up the stairs to the cinema, which was very adorable.