Well, after a 14 hour bus ride of uphill twists and turns I’ve finally made it to cusco. I wasn’t sure if the infamous Macchu piccu was going to fit into my south american schedule. I’ve kind of had my fill of squishing between tourists to grab my obligatory photo with *insert famous monument here* to send home to mom and dad, but I didn’t want to regret not going, so here I am. It is one of the seven wonders of the world after all, so why not. But this blog post isn’t about Macchu piccu. I’ll save that for after I actually go there (duh).
This post is about psf. Where I’ve spent the past 4 and a half months of my life. Wow. Crazy. Most of my friends and family at home have a vague idea of what I’m doing out here, volunteering, building houses, but I haven’t really sat down to write a good description of this place. And I’m not sure I’ll even be able to. But now, leaving pisco for the first time in months gives me a little perspective on life there. At least compared to life traveling or at home.
First, Pisco is dirty. That’s the first thing I realized when I got to Cusco. Holy shit it’s clean here. Pisco is full of germs and filth and disease. In the city and inside PSF. But it’s amazing how quickly you adapt to living situations. At home if you get typhoid, you’ll be sent straight to the hospital and quarantined. In Pisco, take some antibiotics and you better be back to work on Monday. Sometimes we have to go 5 or 6 days without water. I don’t say this to complain, just to describe what life is like here. Pisco is a shithole, but it’s our shithole.
Second, you’ll find some of the most amazing people you’ve ever met at PSF. Yes, that sounds cliche, but it’s true. If you think about it it makes sense. People that travel tend to be pretty interesting. People that volunteer tend to be very caring. The volunteers at psf are on the whole very caring, interesting people. There’s so many unique, quirky personalities that come together to form a constantly transitioning but incredibly special family.
Finally, PSF does phenomenal, phenomenal work. Like any organization it has it’s flaws and has to deal with a lot of bureaucratic red tape to get things done, but with the enthusiasm of it’s volunteers so much amazing work is being done. Having been here for over 4 months I’ve had the privilege to take part in a lot of different projects and and work with lots of volunteers. Most people don’t know a thing about power tools when they first get to PSF (myself included) but somehow they come together to create these amazing projects. I’ve seen PSF take families from makeshift shelters and put them in homes, give children permanent schools and parks and help change the lives of countless other individuals. Right now I’m helping lead a project to build 11 compost toilets in a community of 100 people that currently have no toilets. Hopefully before I leave in august I’ll have time to do a modular house project for a family. I’ll need to help fundraising from home, so get ready for me to hit y’all up for money. Anyway, this has been way longer than I anticipated but I think it was a bit overdue. So now you guys all know what I’m doing down here. Miss everyone so much. Love love love from Cusco! Heres some photos to give you guys a visual