I honestly cannot believe how quickly the last two weeks flew by and have only begun to really reflect upon my time in Lima. Yesterday I spent the last morning with my family at CLDN washing many more dirty socks and underwear (by hand), and then hanging and folding laundry. Since Sunday is also mother’s day in Lima the boys school had a celebration for their mothers. Oddly the boys didn’t participate in the festivities and I don’t think they even went into school for any part of the day. After the Mother’s day Celebration came to a close the mothers who were able to attend came and picked up their boys for a long weekend, Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon. Usually the boys only go home from Saturday at 3pm to Sunday at 3pm. I’m glad I had the opportunity to see the boys’ mothers and better identify the types of homes they come from.

On the ride to CLDN Friday morning I also had a great conversation with Tatya discussing the kinds of homes the boys are coming from and the type of work their parents often find. Most of the boys at CLDN do come from loving homes but their moms for example work as maids or nannies and only make $250/month. Most seem to have come from the Andes and do not have the skills for other kinds of labor. Though to be honest, with the low price of fruits, vegetables, grains, etc. the women could provide if they only had 1 or 2 kids. The problem arrives because many of the women I saw had at least 4-5 little ones and again the availability of good quality education is basically non exist for those living in extreme poverty. In my opinion both of these issues should be addressed by the government. Having citizens who are knowledgeable about planned pregnancy and access to free, good quality education could do nothing but improve the nation. Anyhow, as I said I’m just truly beginning to reflect upon these issues and could go on an on but will keep this on the shorter side for today.
In the afternoon after saying good bye to the tutors of my family, Tayta and I went back to the door we painted on Thursday. It took us about 2 hours to touch up spots we missed and clean off all the paint that found it’s way onto the glass. In the end it wasn’t perfect, still a bit of paint on the windows but the spots were in hard to reach areas and overall the door was a great improvement over the old one.
I really appreciated the painting projects because they were something tangible, something that I could visibly see a difference and my impact on CDLN.
I hope I was also able to touch the boys in some shape or form. Maybe in the extra tickles, hugs, and piggy back rides, they felt a little more love and empowerment.
As for me the last 2 weeks were a great lesson in humility. Doing what I’m asked to do no matter what, which again meant lots of laundry, as well as eating simple meals for lunch. Further, I think the experience has renewed my resolve back in the US but I’m still not sure how to best position myself to instill and see change, something I will be thinking about quite a bit as the end of my 3rd year in graduate school comes to a close.
Thanks so much to Tatya for all of her hard work and finding ways to keep me busy over the last 2 weeks and showing me so much of Lima, and to Joanne for all of our great conversations, the trip would not have been the same without these 2 amazing women!
Best,
Nicole
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