I went to Peru with some basic medical supplies and eyeglasses as well over one hundred bags of school supplies Sense the World put together for the Peruvian children. The language barrier was difficult for me; even though I speak Spanish I couldn’t speak or understand a word of Quechua. Alfonso translated, explaining that these people had never seen a person with my color of skin before. They looked at me as if I was an alien, and it sunk in what it really felt like to be a minority.
We began to set out to do what we had come for. The kids lined up, anxious to receive their gifts. Their hesitation toward me as a foreign figure turned into acceptance. I left with the memory and knowledge that these children were given the ability to create, to think, and to explore their minds in a way they had never done before. I love that Sense the World does not try and change their lifestyle but goes to these villages to show that they are genuinely cared for by strangers from far, far, away. The spirit that Sense the World sends into different parts of the world shows the beautiful side of humanity, that we are all one in the same and we are here to take care of and learn from one another.
Here is an excerpt from her blog for one of the trips to Huarqui:
Where we were going there would be no paved roads or Spanish spoken.. the people that we visited in the villages spoke quechua...
We walked up to a village that was nearby and these people were in SHOCK to see me. Their reactions were kinda painful... most of the kids were afraid of me as if I were an alien... they had NEVER seen a white person before. I´ll do the best I can to describe the village we were approaching......
This is a place I never could have imagined. Walking up the hillside there is nothing but beautiful scenery surrounding me for miles and miles. This is the land of llamas and alpacas wondering free. Most of the open field had horse wondering free mingling with some pigs and sheep. The animals outnumbered the people by the hundreds. There were some huts- or houses where the people lived. They were made out of rocks stacked on top of each other formed together with dried mud- the ceilings were made of dried grass straw. The doors were no higher then 3 feet... and the few people we came across in the house were not much taller than that. I felt tall for the first time in my life as I ducked to enter the house. The house was a one room I could hold my hands out and nearly touch each wall.... if I took one step left I was in the kitchen one step forward in the dining room and one step to the right the bedroom (no walls) where the entire family slept in one ¨bed¨. As I took those few steps I had to be careful not to step on the dinner.... live guinea pigs that ran around on the floor to be breed for food. That was a sight!
The kids all lined up behind the back of the van and we gave the bags away- each kid walked away with a bag of supplies and everyone got some bread.
The rest of the day was full of adventure as well..... we said good-bye.. and headed to yet another village that was sort of on the way back. This time there had been word we might be coming and as we drove down a dirt road there were kids chasing the van. We got to a middle ground and once again gave out the supplies... kids lined up behind the van anxious to get some treats. The thing that amazed me about all these dirty little kids was how bright their clothing was. Very typical traditional clothes worn by all of them- and you can't help but LOVE the big brown eyes peering up at you. That made the trip all worth it! The work that Greg & Kirsten are doing with Sense the World is admirable work and I got to witness it personally that they are doing some great things throughout the world. I am honored to be able to have worked through their organization.