Awanacancha: Learning the Process

On our first few days we learned how the yarn was dyed using natural materials, including a parasite that grows on cactus, which produces one color naturally, and several others when activated with salt or lemon. Then we learned how to turn the wool into yarn by hand using a spool. And finally we learned how to weave the yarn into something using handmade looms.

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Awanacancha: Llamas

Our next volunteer project was called Awanacancha and its main mission was to preserve the culture of the Andean Highlands by raising llamas, and alpacas, to then turn into beautiful handmade goods, woven by the local communities, some projects taking months to complete. Every morning we cleaned the llamas’ cages with our boss, Lady, who was 16 years old. Then we fed the animals, and after that we learned about the process of turning wool into yarn into blankets.

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Niño Fiesta

Our first volunteer project came to an end of a few weeks ago and we threw a party for the children with cookies and sodas, and small presents for their good behavior. We both miss the kids very much and hope that they are continuing to have a good time at their summer program.

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Our First Volunteer Project

Our first volunteer project in Cusco, is located a short bus ride away from our homestay. We can’t communicate with the woman that runs the program, and can only sometimes communicate with the children, but we have an amazing time coming up with ideas for the lessons we teach. So far we have had several English lessons, and many art projects; including, painting self-portraits, drawing family-portraits, making animal flashcards in English, and making Valentine’s Day cards. The children come from a small town with dirt roads, and despite the language barrier, have been so much fun!

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Settling In

We have settled into our new home, and plan to stay here for a little over a month with a small break soon. We have our own apartment next to the main house. The cats and dogs are always wandering around. We have decided that Zenzaro (italian for ginger) is our cat. He sleeps in our house every night now and sometimes comes in when it is raining. The other 7 cats are named Lucretzia, Kanella (cinnamon), Meggy (nutmeg), Gilda, Muton, Smokey, and 37 or Trente Sette. The dogs are named Gastone, France, and Bella.

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