Weekend in Arequipa, Peru


We onceĀ lived in Arequipa, Peru, when Marcus was 2 and 3-years old, and we hadn’t been back since, until this weekend. Marcus and I visited some Canadian friends who are living there now. Here are some highlights from our weekend trip:


The view from our friend’s balcony.


A shaggy alpaca that was tied up in a park.


Marcus enjoyed feedingĀ pigeons in Plaza de Armas.


We gave money to this blind man and watched him say a prayer aloud.


Then a parade went by! There were dancers in traditional costumes.


And the Peruvian flag.


In Plaza de Armas.


Walking along a side street filled with shops.


My 1st Visit to Westfalia


On Friday, Marcus and I joined Darcie and her friend, Laura, on one of their regular visits to Westfalia Orphanage. Darcie has been volunteering there for several months now, every Wednesday and Friday. You can read about her experiences HERE.

When we arrived we were greeted by Alejandro. First he gave Darcie a hug and then he asked who I was and gave me a hug. He should be in school, but I guess his paperwork is not yet completed so he just sticks around the orphanage all day long. Marcus and Alejandro played together.



Darcie showed me around. I got to see their animals.



They have one pig, two bunnies (one was hiding), a rooster or two, chickens and geese and guinea pigs. Did you know Peruvians eat guinea pigs? They are a delicacy here.

After visiting the animal pens, we visited the Kindergarten. It’s like a little daycare center. Most of the kids live at the orphanage, but others walk in from the surrounding area and stay while their parents work. We interacted with these little cuties and also served them a lunch which Darcie and Laura provided. Laura made the sandwiches and Darcie brought chocolate milk boxes and tangerines. This was more food than they usually eat for lunch, which is their main meal.



The little girl playing with Darcie’s camera was 6 and too old for Kindergarten, but for whatever reason, she had stayed back from school that day. Darcie gave her a chocolate milk box and a tangerine which made her happy. We also gave out milk boxes and tangerines to the older kids who were hanging around. The children wished me a Happy Mother’s Day which was sweet. Before we left, I got a tour of one of their casas (houses where the children live in groups of 12 I think).





Darcie has seen other casas and she said this one is the nicest because it’s recently been remodeled. She said some aren’t as nice. But you can see that their couches are made of stone with a thin foam seat and their beds are just a thin foam mattress which can’t be very supportive. I guess this is one of the better orphanages here, and it does get public support so these kids are lucky. But these kids cannot be adopted. Ever. Their parents still retain their rights.

Darcie is going back to the states at the end of this month and these children are really going to miss her. I could see how much she loves them and how much they love her. Marcus and I plan to take her place this summer, and Laura plans to continue visiting with us, which is good because Laura speaks Spanish.

The last picture I took was of this sweet little guy, who wanted to see the picture of himself. Darcie and Laura are currently putting together hygiene kits for each child. Please visit Darcie’s beautiful blog to see more pictures of Westfalia and the special children who live there.

Westfalia Kindergarten


Westfalia Kindergarten

Aren’t they adorable? These are some of the Kindergarteners at Westfalia orphanage, which is where my amazing daughter, Darcie, gives of herself every week. Click on this picture to visit her beautiful blog.

Nature Walks



I love nature walks. When we first started homeschooling, Marcus and I took advantage of a little nature path in our neighborhood. We observed frogs there in their natural habitat and collected leaves from the variety of plants and trees that grew there.

A nature journal is a fun idea. Buy an inexpensive sketch book for each child, and bring this along with some pencils when you’re outside observing nature. Your child can draw anything that catches their attention. They can even label parts of plants. They can press leaves or make leaf rubbings.

Don’t forget your camera.