In Paucartambo / Huallamayo

Week of June 29 – July 3, 2009

Press conference at Paucartambo city hall to introduce our presence: Capacitadores Norteamericanos Comienzan Trabajos de Asesoramiento en Laptops en el Valle Agricola e Hidroenergetico


A rest stop during Man and Brian’s bus ride from Lima to Paucartambo, Sunday June 28, 2009


Beautiful blue lagoons and white snow caps dotted the sceneries when we were among the peaks of the Andes


Arriving at Enersur’s residence compound Campamento Huallamayo late at night


The following day we were treated to sweet mountain air, fog draped green hills, and pristine gurgling brooks



While Alli Feldman, Rebecca Crabb, Sonia Rutherford, and Brian were picking up snacks at a local sundries store


The guys were on a mission to procure large volumes of Cusquena.  That’s just water, hop, malt, barley, stirred into a brew!

IMG_4182 IMG_3984

When you buy enough Cusquena, they throw in free delivery


Caution: frequent sheep crossing


In case of collision … cordero pachamanca!


Buen provecho!


Hydroelectric is big in Paucartambo and is iconically featured in the city square



Encountering a group of kids just off the city square. It wasn’t long before we joined them for some spirited soccer and volleyball.

Girls in Peru have taken on volleyball as THEIR ball game, versus soccer for boys.  The Peru women’s national volleyball team won Silver in the 1988 Olympics and is consistently a medalist in the South American Championship going back to the 1950’s. The girls and their volleyball have earned Peru many more international medals and fanfare than the boys with their soccer!



Someday, these girls might be movie stars, famous authors, singers, artists; famed volley ball players, renowned scientists; senators or presidents … and it will be Man’s turn to ask for THEIR autographs!



Week of June 29 – July 3, 2009

After several weeks of living on the go, sleeping under tin roofs, sharing 1.5 bathrooms with ten people, warming the room with your own body heat, and trying to beat the 3-minute hot water timer in the shower …. we showed up at Campamento Huallamayo to find ourselves in the lap of luxury.

This compound provides residence for the professional staff of the EnerSur hydroelectric plant and offers creature comforts sufficient to help people endure their one- or two-year stays. That means single rooms with private baths, daily laundry service, a lounge area in each residence hall with TV & DVD, a canteen with table linen and wait staff, a recreation room with ping pong, pool, foosball, a bar; along with a workout room, sauna, soccer field, landscaping, and expansive mountain views!

For our now recalibrated standard of living, this was like finding ourselves at the steps of the … Ritz-Carlton.

Gate to the residence compound. Greeters standing by 24 hours a day. They just happen to also have guns.



But before you can get to the gate of the residence compound, you must first make it through the military checkpoint.

24 hours. Machine guns. Live ammo. Answer the question. Humor not appreciated.


On right: canteen & recreation building


Single rooms, tiled floor, window curtains, and a ceiling that’s not a tin roof.  Welcome to Ritz-Carlton!

Oh by the way … anything left on the bed in the morning will be washed and returned by 6 pm


Private bath? And a shower with seemingly unlimited hot water? I feel like a sheik.


Meeting up with (from left) Sonia Rutherford, Allison (Alli) Feldman, Rebecca Crabb


Breakfast before heading out to the schools. Notice table linen, china, flower vase, and a wait staff … can you spell luxury?!

Clockwise: Rebecca Crabb, Alli Feldman, William Marshall, Max Harleman, Bui father, Bui son


Socializing with Paulo the facility manager


If you’re going to be away from your family and stay here a year or two, you’ll rack up a lot of hours at this table.

Notice the bar in the background and the lanterns hanging off the ceiling. It’s home away from home for your sanity.


And let’s throw in a soccer field, BBQ area, a gym, and a sauna to boot!


Thursday July 2, 2009

Up the mountain from our residence compound is Institucion Educativa 34026 where Rebecca Crabb and Allison (Alli) Feldman are currently deployed. Brian joined Alli today in a 6th classroom while Man teamed up with Rebecca in a 5th grade classroom. The principal gave us rousing introductions to the classrooms and then set us free with the teachers and kids for the rest of the day.









Algrebraic sequence!

Some of these were tough, even Rebecca and Man had to confer on what the answers might be. The kids were surprisingly adept.


When the bell rang at the end of the school day, the students wouldn’t let us go alone. They tagged with us all the way out.

Goodbyes are never easy after you bonded with the kids.





Wednesday July 1, 2009

Today we came to visit Max Harleman at his school, Institucion Educativa 34087 in the ACO village of Paucartambo. We spent the day in a “multi-grado” classroom of 3rd and 4th graders. The kids used the XOs to help them work through long division math problems. Later in the day when the teacher’s lesson plan turned to religion and the sacrament of baptism, Max showed the students how to leverage Wikipedia on the XOs to look up “bautizo” (Spanish for baptism) and use the information found to write their compositions on the topic.





Tuesday June 30, 2009

After arriving last night in Huallatambo and settling into very comfortable quarters at the residence compound of the hydroelectric plant, today we accompanied Sonia Rutherford to Institucion Educativa 34089.  We were warmly welcomed by the principal, exchanged a good amount of pleasantries over coffee, and then headed for a 5th grade classroom to see the kids.




Brian … always popular with the girls


Sonia sharing some fancy XO moves with the teacher


Is going to school supposed to be this much fun?



Using the XO’s built-in camera, students took turns taking pictures of (and with) Sonia, Man, and Brian


Receso …. that’s recess and it’s play time

Brian joined the boys for soccer while Man put in some volleyball action with the girls


Monday June 29, 2009

Leaving the lights of Lima behind, we now take on a 9-hour bus journey northeast, crossing the Andes yet once more, to the Pasco region of Peru. The bus will take us to the city of Carhuamayo. There we take a 1.5-hour car-hire eastward to the city of Paucartambo. And then another 20 minutes to the village of Huallamayo where there is a large hydro-electric plant and we get to stay in a very nice residence compound built for its staff.

On this bus map, Carhuamayo is between Cerro the Pasco to the north and Junin to the south

A 7-hour ride from Lima, northeastward


Once we’re done with the bus, it’s still another 1.5 hours by car-hire to Paucartambo, underlined on this map (below Cerro de Pasco)

But hold on … once in Paucartambo, it’s still another 20 minutes to the village of Huallamayo

Miles to go before we sleep. Who said that?


With our pick-up-and-go style of travel, we’ve learned to literally live out of the suitcase

Fluff’em, fold’em, but keep them in the suitcase and ready to zip up


Amazing how resourceful we become when we are far from the comfort of home

No washing machine?  … Hands

No clothes dryer? … Curtain rods

No laundry detergent?  … Hair shampoo (try it, clothes smell great!)