This morning Steve, Lauren, and I got an early start and went down to the Clinica to help out with the food program coordinated by the Mision but funded by the Christian Fund for Children and the Aging. For each child sponsored (I believe it's $30/month), that family receives a parcel of food each month. Today was the day it was being distributed which involved weighing out lentils, sugar, and rice and separating them into individual bags; checking parents and children in; and then handing out each family's portion. About 325 kids are sponsored through this chapter of CFCA and this month that meant each family received:
2 kilos of lentils
3 kilos of sugar
3 kilos of rice
1 Liter of oil
0.5 kilos of salt
2 kilos of spaghetti noodles
2 cans of milk
3 cans of fish
Although it may not seem like a lot, it goes a long way toward helping these families and their children. What never ceases to amaze me, though, is how heavy of bags these women carry home - all those kilos add up to quite a bit of weight. There are some strong mothers here.
This afternoon, we were surprised by a festival going on just across the way from us - dancing around a tree and taking turns chopping into it with an axe until it fell over - in celebration of Carnival. I'm not really sure the significance of chopping down the tree but as soon as it fell, everyone rushed in on it to grab the prizes tied to its branches. Even more exciting was seeing Andrea, the head knitter, among the dancers in her traditional Puno garb. (Andrea is from Puno, a city right off of Lake Titicaca which I'll be visiting in a week or so!) She was beautiful and the dancing looked like a lot of fun. It made me wish we had something similar in the U.S. that I could join in on ... perhaps I'll have to join a square dancing group when I return.
Well, I have a great video of Andrea bailando (dancing) but I've been trying to upload it since yesterday and it's not working so I'll try to upload it once I've returned to the States.