Tuesday, August 11, 2009

First Days in Cajamarca

Hi DiscoverHope blog readers...I'm Brad Wright, one of the Fellows working in Cajamarca for the next two weeeks.

We arrived yesterday after spending the night in the Lima airport. Thankfully the airport runs 24/7 so plenty of restaraunts were open. However, I wasn't quite sure I'd left the States when I saw the foodcourt offering: Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts, Papa John's, and McDonalds. The airport was full of people waiting for morning flights. It appeared that most were headed to Machu Pichu. I slept a little but then gave in to Starbucks before going to board our 5:35 AM flight. Final thought on the Lima airport: the Starbucks barista played Merle Haggard on the radio...nice.

Our host, Vicky, picked us up from the airport at around 7 AM. We went to her house, had some warm tea and then crashed for a few hours. The rest was much needed. Next, we had lunch with Vicky, her sister, her daughter, her niece and Nora. Desiree and I talked a little "business" with Nora and got caught up on our schedules/projects. Once Nora left, Vicky (who is a tour guide in Cajamarca) took us for a walk through the town. We trekked to a high point above the city and were able to see the whole valley and surrounding mountains. The scene was very beautiful. The night ended with dinner and then a long, restful sleep.

Today we met Nora at Hope House in order to continue refining our projects and ask questions. We got the lay of the land and met the other people who work in the office. We ate lunch at home and then were off to work on projects. I have been at Hope House this afternoon observing a sewing class - 4 women are learning the basics of the sewing machine. It's encouraging to see the desire to learn and teamwork amongst the women (2 sewing machines for 4 women). It's also helpful to just listen because I am still knocking the rust off of my Spanish.

This week my job is to talk with women about their businesses and try to lend my "expertise." I'll be observing several classes and continuing to learn about the various businesses run by DHF entrepreneurs. I'll continue to report back throughout the next two weeks.

Thanks for reading! - Brad

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