Trip of a lifetime – Week Three

Last week Natalia and her group had time off to visit the Galapagos Islands.  This week Natalia and her group head to the cold of the Andes to help the community at Kuri Kucho

Week three – Camp Kuri Kucho

We arrived at Camp Kuri Kucho to be greeted by the freezing cold temperatures that come with living in altitude.  The surroundings at the camp were so beautiful with mountains and the Mama Cayambe, which was absolutely jaw dropping!

The camp itself was in various buildings, with the social area and kitchen in one side of the camp and the sleeping accommodation at the other side.  After getting used to the arctic conditions and wearing many layers we were back to project work.  All the project work at Kuri Kucho was at the school.  This included cleaning, making clay, gardening, making cement and plastering.  Every single job at Kuri Kucho was enjoyable.

Whilst at the camp we learnt a lot about the culture of the people who inhabit the mountains and who we were helping.   We about learnt their language Kichwa, their beliefs surrounding spirits and nature, it was so interesting!  We also ate their food, which included their equivalent to chicken  -guinea pig.  It’s a dark meat, but I can’t say I recommend it!

Like Camp Costa, the community here was very welcoming.  They put on their cultural dance for us and it was so cool to see all their handmade costumes and hear their traditional instruments.  We were also invited to help one lady make tortillas.

Although I complained everyday about the cold, Kuri Kucho was by far my favourite camp because of the people, the work and definitely the whole atmosphere around camp in the evenings.  Staring at the blanket of stars, watching shooting stars whilst sitting around the campfire singing songs to the guitar and being oblivious to the outside world, was just perfect.

When it was time to leave Kuri Kucho I left behind my fleeces and Kee Safety long sleeve shirts as I wouldn’t need them in the Amazon. They were given to a little girl in the village and although they were hanging off her I will never forget the beaming smile she had on her face when she put them on, such a rewarding warm feeling.

At our last breakfast the staff at the camp said a few words about our work ethic and our lovely personalities, it was so nice to hear!  As we were getting on the coach many of us including myself were very emotional, we had made such an impact on the community in terms of work yet they had made an impact on us as people, teaching us how to be our best and how to appreciate and love