Lemar't after eating chocolate!

Alonso eagerly showed me his work.

Alonso with his notebook.

Lemar't was ready to show me his work!

Joanca also tried to show me her work.

When we were in the van on the way back to the home from school, Jhonatan too out his notebook and showed me his homework. While I praised that he did a really good job and commented on what were on the pages, the otheres took out theirs too and tried to show me their works. At the time it was a bit chaotic because they all wanted my attention and screamed, but at the same time it was super sweet. I praised each one of them about the wonderful jobs they had done. At this point, I truly feel that we are family, and they are just like my kids!



Jhonatan proposed a toast to his twin brother, José Luis, with the coke.

The kids enjoyed the chocolates.

Franklin loved the crisps.

Today was a special days for some of the kids, because it's family visit day. All of them anticipated so much, as they don't see their families very often, that is if they have any. But it's not as exciting as it sounds, because a lot of them don't have any families or their folks couldn't come. It's really heartbreaking to see them waiting and waiting and no one came to see them. Fortunately for some, they got to enjoy a day with their families, talking with them while enjoying some snacks that they brought for the kids.

The unfortunate lot, though dressed neatly, just spent the day waiting. Some of the teenagers were really bothered and in silence all day, while the little ones kept asking for mama. It's a brutal scene, and i deeply felt for them. I thought I must do something to make them feel at least a little better, so I went out and bought loads of treats like crisps, chocolate and coke. I went to their room, and pretended that I visited them! I told them Tio Ryan came and visited them, and they were all excited. They ran to me and gave me hugs, and we shared all the snacks together. Although they seemed happier, I felt so afflicted when they came and gave me the hugs, and all I could do was to hug them tightly, give them kisses and the love they deserve.

In the evening when I was all ready to sleep, Tia Sonia knocked on my door and told me that there's a gathering of the tios serving an indigenous dish called tamal. I've heard it many times but never tried it. It's exactly like the sticky rice dumplings that are served principally during the Dragon Boat Festival of China, as it's made of rice, pork and its fat, and wrapped in some kind of leaves. So I told them the story behind the Chinese sticky rice dumplings while we ate the tamales. And they asked me some Chinese words as well. It was a good time for cultural exchange, as well as a good time for all of us to chill out and chat, as all the time we spend together involves dealing with children, and sometimes it's not exactly relaxing.


Lemar't and I made a playdoh glasses together during therapy. He LOVED it!

Carlos Abel and Jefferson cutting a tee shirt for cleaning.

Finally Jefferson was willing to share the chores.

Today as usual I helped the kids clean their room in the morning. Jefferson was still unwilling to share the chores since he moved from kinder to primary a couple months ago, and the tias have been very frustrated. So I stepped in and did a bit of 'therapy' with him. At first, he kept saying that he didn't want to do it, so I tried to explain to him the importance of cleaning and show him that everyone was doing it together. He had shown some understanding and became less fussed, but still very reluctant to do them. Subsequently, I forced him to do so, and naturally he cried and tried to avoid forcefully. Well, little did he know that I am expert in dealing with these kinds of issues, and after a while he was willing to do it on his own. While it was a good lesson for him, I was exhausted after that! But it was well worth it, because he needed to realize his responsibility. Also, the tias and some elder kids saw that, which I didn't even realize as I was concentrated with it, and they all praised the work that I did. It made me feel really good that they appreciated the work that I do, but it's just a matter of extensive experience I have with troubled children, as well as teaching from the Bible (read Proverbs 19:18) which helps me a lot not just teaching kids but dealing with life issues as well. Another aspect which is very important is to reinforce them when they do something good and to give them love when they need it. With that, the kids will behave well while love and respect you. Science couldn't be more accurate: Just before lunch, the niños including Jefferson invited me to play hide and seek with them, and they LOVED being tickled!
There is some progress with Alonso's affection issue, as in various occasions this week he seemed more cheerful, at least with me, and loved me hugging and tickling him. Even one time he cried because it hurt a bit when a tia cut his nails, he hid between the cabinets. So I took his hand and took him out, telling him that it's not so serious and there's no wound, and then comfort him. Then I told him, ¨And also now there's a beautiful face¨ by pointing his lips to the smiley direction, and he smiled again. It's a huge step for him as he used to shut down and refuse contact with others when he's bothered. He's a lovely boy, and I enjoy spending time with him so much. Whenever he plays now, he would say, ¨Tio Ryan, look! This is a train (or other things)!¨

On the other hand, there's one thing I'm enjoying so much right now is that everyday the little ones would run to me, screamed my name and give me hugs! This really is a priceless gift I have ever received!


Trujillo: 9-5-2010

The colonial street full of beautiful antique lamps in the evening in Trujillo.

The sensational Palacio Iurregui.

Beautiful architecture with beautiful balconies.

The breathtaking Monasterio El Carmen.

Huanchaco: 9-5-2010

Me at the pier of Huanchaco overlooking the beach and the left-hand waves. I saw a lot of people surf today, and it made me want to try surfing as it looked super fun!

A fishermen ready for his work in the morning.

A picturesque view of the Huanchaco beach.

Huaca Arco Iris y Huaca del Sol: 9-5-2010

On top of Huaca del Sol of the Moche civilization overlooking the suburb country of Trujillo. The climb of this ruin was definitely an amazing and unique experience! (Although there is a sign saying no climbing, everyone went up and there are a couple ´hiking tracks´going up.) :P

The massive Huaca del Sol of the Moche civilization.

Other than Chan Chan, Huaca Arco Iris is located on the other side of Trujillo. Arco iris means rainbow, and its depiction can be seen throughout the walls in this temple, symbolizing fertility.

A sloped path going up to the top of the temple of Arco Iris.

Gastronomy Peru: Street snacks

Peruvian most authentic street snack: Anticucho de corazón, barbequed cow´s heart.

Coconut Cremolada ... so yummy!

Another authentic Trujillan speciality, cremolada de Ciruela.

Gastronomy Peru: Seafood II

Tirita de Atún (Raw Marinated Tuna), which was sublime!

Picante de Mariscos, mixed seafood cooked in lobster bisque, all fresh from the sea just a few miles away!

The best ceviche ever in Huachaco!

Chan Chan, Trujillo: 8-5-2010

A maze-like mud brick city of Chan Chan of the Chimú civilization.

The walls have various depictions of animals, such as pelicans, birds and fishes.

Another maze-like part with intricate designs

A reservoir system by the Chimú Empire inside the mud brick city, with totora reeds growing around it.


Huanchaco: 8-5-2010

Night view of the beach that lines with totora reeds fishing boats.

Some Peruvian boys surfed in the beach.

The fishing boats made by totora reeds.

Huanchaco bus going to Trujillo.

By noon, I hopped on a bus going to Huanchaco, a beach resort town about 20 minutes away from Trujillo. I found myself so used to local transportation now that with a right set of mind, it's a truly authentic South America experience. The beach here, as opposed to Colán, is less attrative, but the waves are definitely stronger and they are coming from the left hand side! That's why Huanchaco is named the surf country of Perú. And here the water is much colder. Here you can see the 'original' fishing boat made by totora reeds lined along the beach. The town itself was a pleasant experience, lots of down-to-earth people, relaxing atmosphere and great seafood! In the evening after dinner and a stroll along the beach, I passed by a group of señores singing some Latin folk songs, while one of whom was playing the guitar. It sounded so great and soothing that I couldn't help myself but stood there and listened. After a round of applause from me, we introduced each other and I continued to enjoy their live performance. It's good to be away from the troubled world.

Trujillo: 8-5-2010

The airy Plaza de Armas of Trujillo.

Colonial architecture.

The colorful colonial building surrounding the center of Trujillo.

Typical street of Trujillo Centro.

Arrived in Trujillo, Peru early in the morning with a bit of grumpiness due to the frustrating and corrupted things I have been encountering. But it's a good thing I'm in Trujillo because although it is the third biggest city in Peru, it carries an air of small town sincerity. People tend to be more chilled and friendly, as opposed to the cosmopolitan Lima. The center of the city is lined with colonial architecture. One would feel like he went back centuries ago, if only ignoring the names of the enterprises that engrave in front of the building.

After strolling in the colonial and slightly claustrophobic streets, I reached the airy and again very chilled Plaza de Armas de Trujillo. Synced with the feel of the rest of the city, I felt truly relaxed and found myself sitting on one of the beautifully craved marble benches in the plaza, enjoying the ambience.

Gastronomy Peru III: Seafood I

Arroz con Marisco (Rice with seafood). Very very yummy, especially the seafood sauce, just incredible!

Parihuela, a mixture of seafood with its juice too. We had it in Colán, right at the source of seafood. It´s so delicious that we finished every drop of the juice!

The world famous Ceviche, which is raw fish ´cooked´in lemon juice, garlic, onion and cilantro. Served with sweet potatoes and corn.

Chupe de Camarones (Seafood soup). It´s the Peruvian version of Lobster Bisque. So you can imagine how it is like ... :)

Marisco a la parrilla (Grilled Seafood).

Gastronomy Peru II

A homemade mushroom ceviche I made following a receipt I got from the supermarket promoting this exquisite vegetarian dish. Yummmmm!

Arroz con Cabrito (Rice with goat). This is a good representation of a traditional Peruvian dish, with rice, salad, some beans and a choice of meat.

This is Causa Tricolor. Causa is a typical Peruvian dish. Basically mashed potatoes but flavored with lemon. A very great appetizer.

After hearing raves about Argentine steak, I had this world famous bife de chorizo in an Argentine restaurant in Lima. It´s sublime!

A traditional Peruvian cold drink, Chicha Morada, made with purple corn, lemon and syrup.