April 17th to 18th
Well everyone if you have been following my adventures here we go again. I have it under a new heading as the last one was for 2011. Sorry if this has caused confusion.
So what have I been up to since I returned home???....lots
From finding out what was the best role for me to allow me to continue to work with the charity to a bit of fund raising to talks...plenty to keep me incredibly busy.
It is amazing how many kind people there are who are keen to support what I am doing from family to friends to colleagues...It is heart warming to know that despite the current climate and hardships, concern for others still remains to the fore.....YEY TO ALL YOU CHARITABLE SOULS OUT THERE AND THANKS FOR ALL YOU HAVE DONE OR ARE DOING.
I have found just by talking about what I do and the charity’s philosophy it lends itself to offers of fundraising events, donations of money, knitting and talks. Don’t get me wrong I don’t talk about it every minute or ram it down people’s throats I occasionally drop it into a conversation and then see where it goes, or out the blue someone says what about......??
We have held a dance trying it on a big scale. Unfortunately despite the music being phenomenal and a good night had by all we didn’t get the turn out we had hoped for...clashing with way too many other things. We still made over £550. This has not disheartened us, only allowed us to look at the best bits and what we will do next for our Live Music Event...Living Heart Live. Watch this space. There will be another either in September or in the Spring of 2013.
I have done 2 talks one on trekking and one about the charity. The latter resulted in Ayr Rotary Club donating £500 to Living Heart and its projects which was phenomenal!!!
On the cards and the date set is another abseil with hopefully 20 brave souls having a go. If you are reading this and are free on Sunday 19th August please feel free to drop me a quick note and I will send you a sponsor form. It will be held at Mauchline and is 100 foot drop. It is very professionally done by a kind hearted Adrian who is very professional and supportive ensuring you feel ready before you make the descent. We did this last year and made a day of it with sandwiches, cakes and drinks. It went so well I felt it was repeating. It raised such a lot of money for us. All I ask is a minimum of £50 but some raised so much more which was amazing.
This and possibly another dance as mentioned in late September. The lovely Chris is looking into this for me before we go any further...As I said some amazing kind hearted souls giving of their valuable free time.
There may also be a bingo night and other talks...so lots of things that all add up to valuable funds to support the great work done by Living Heart and the team.
OK that’s what’s been happening now so onto the present.
I have managed to persuade my manager to give me another 8 weeks unpaid leave with the possibility of another 8 weeks later in the year if we have enough pharmacist cover to allow me this time...That would be fab.
So I am sitting in Madrid airport waiting on my next flight beginning to write my first blog. I took the cheapest flights this time so only had 23kg of hold baggage but because I had left quite a lot in Peru I was determined to maximise my luggage with kids clothes. There are a lot of wonderful ladies knitting and giving me some wonderful jumpers, hats, gloves and very valuable bootees. If anyone has a notion to knit we also need knitted tubes for the ladies to wear as leggings to keep their legs warm in the bitterly cold weather up there. Their skirts are ¾ length with bare legs and sandals as part of the traditional dress so these leggings really make a difference to the women. Anyway I managed to bring 10kg of kids stuff with me. My luggage was 2 kg over but the kind man at Iberia chose to ignore it so I didn’t have to take any of it out..SEE WHAT I MEAN...you just don’t know where the next kind hearted soul will be.
For the first time since I started flying to Peru I had only 3 flights!! I got straight to Madrid although I then had a 7 hour wait until my next flight but as there is only one flight a day to Lima from Madrid it allowed for any problems with the first flight. There were no problems so got here in plenty of time.
(I was a little annoyed that I ended up paying £100 more as the travel agent didn’t book my flights in time and missed the special offer he had told me about.. but they were still a lot cheaper than the year before).
This trip will be all about finding what areas are best for me to work on remotely at home as well as in Peru. ..what is the best use of my skills and how do I complement the great work the new project manager Fani is making . I will also look at where we are from a finance perspective. With all that was happening at home re work etc I hadn’t been able to give the charity as much time as would have liked over the last 6 months. Some weeks I managed to do a reasonable amount then others not a lot. Hopefully going forward I can be a bit more consistent..... I will also catch up with Sonia who has thankfully slowed down now Fani has taking over the day to day stuff. ...All good.
Now back to my flights, like last year I had my hold bag wrapped in plastic to protect it...It was full to bursting!! The challenge is always getting through customs. Although I had tickets and luggage labels right through I knew before I asked anyone I would still have to collect my case at Lima and go through customs. For those not in the know this means going through one of two gates and pressing a button on the way through. If you get a green you are laughing and go straight on..if you get a red...tough..you are guided to the right or left to big X ray machines and all your luggage has to go on. Last year I got straight through but not this year!! It is always a bit of a worry as although I was carrying a lot of new knitted clothes I had some used clothes amongst them..which are illegal to bring into the country. I would also have to convince them the knitted stuff was new, if I was stopped. This would probably be fine; however my biggest challenge to explain away was all the male and female condoms I was carrying!! I had collected them the day before and as they were no longer useful to our health board they were still ideal to take with me as absolutely fine!! When female condoms were mentioned to me I thought what a brilliant idea!! Why hadn’t I thought of that?? This could be the answer for those women who either wouldn’t or couldn’t use the injection ..they can be worn for a number of hours which means it doesn’t matter when the man comes home. It takes the pressure off trying to get the man to wear a condom too. So here I was with lots and lots of condoms all around the spare millimetres of space I had in my hold luggage, going through an X ray machine..mmmmm...how do I explain this one in Spanish? I wonder if the X ray attendant thought the same...he didn’t stop me!!
Other than this the flights were uneventful...a slight delay in Lima due to fog but got to Cusco in plenty of time. I was still tired despite managing about 8 hours on the long flight from Madrid to Lima so knew there would be no Salsa that night, just an early bed.
Outside the airport I did a bit of haggling to get my taxi cost down..still extortionate considering it is 3 solis on the street ..I got it for 25 solis..10 solis less than the first price I was quoted!! I had asked Carol if I could stop at her place for a couple of hours then head to Urubamba with Braulio, who I had used the year before, if he was available. I had opted not to go for the collectivos at Pavitos just because I had my laptop and a lot of cash on me. I was carrying the proceeds for the dance in dollars to save on bank charges. At Carol’s I met their new lodger for a few weeks..Lucy ..a lovely girl doing her elective placement in a hospital in Cusco after finishing her finals for medicine. We had a lovely chat and lunch.. a lovely curry..the first decent meal since I left Scotland about 36 hours previous. This set me up for the next stage of my journey. If you have time why not settle down to part 2 of my journey to Urubamba and my new accommodation.