First published 29th June 2008 on

My first day at the new school was interesting as there was a mass protest in Wancheq the local area where the school is (which is a pretty deprived area). This involved locals blockading the roads with rocks and trees (although they moved the rocks out of the way when a police car approached , and then replaced them after it passed), throwing rocks and marching down the road with large bits of wood (ooer). When we went for our break, the procession stroke riot was heading our way, accompanied by riot police, so we promptly changed direction. All the shops were closed and the shutters down, and the local taxi drivers burned their tyres in protest, although amusingly enough I spotted a riot policeman arriving late by, you guessed it, taxi!

Today was less eventful, but I got loads of exercise acting out present continuous verbs (my “flying a kite” was a tour de force!) and doing the heads, shoulders, knees toes song ad infinitum with energetic 7 year olds.

There’s yet more people squeezed into our guest house, and the middle bed from Lisa and my room has disappeared. We tried to convince Juan that this could be our own private party area, and got him to join us in a mini boogie, but he soon shuffled off, giggling in his high pitched Bela Lugosi stylee.

The other day saw excitement as fireworks were being let off in the Plaza de Armas, about a mile away, so I rushed to the very top storey of the guesthouse, hoping the occupants of the top room wouldn’t mind me and Lisa oohing and ahhing over the fireworks. When they’d finished about 30 minutes later, the entire Juan  family trooped out of the top room, where they’d also rushed up to see what was going on. Nice to know it’s not just me who hasn’t grown up.

Booked a trip to the jungle in Madre de Dios today – from the 13th to 16th July. It involves seeing giant otters, so needless to say I’m beside myself with excitement!