día de independencia

What do you do when you're in Peru on the 4th of July? Why, celebrate America's Independence Day, of course!  The director of the orphanage here apparently loves our Independence Day, so he planned a program for us to celebrate this afternoon.  There are quite a few American volunteers right now, so I suppose it kind of makes sense.  Either way, it was pretty fun.

We had the day off, so there was much resting and rooftop book-reading to be done while the kids were at school.  When they arrived back at the orphanage, they all lined up outside and the volunteers came to meet them and we sang our national anthem.  They thought it was a pretty strange song (especially since we aren't all, ahem, musically inclined).
Then, I joined them for lunch today.  The cafeteria was totally decked out with balloons and signs and a little American Flag.  We even had ice cream for a treat!

And then tonight, the director surprised us with fireworks, which we set off from the roof.  I tried my best to take pictures but none of them really turned out.  This was the closest I've ever been to fireworks like this, since they are illegal in Oregon.  I know this might make me sound like a nana, but I can definitely see why they are illegal now.  Peligroso!

A few other Peruvian highlights so far:

1) My room is plush.

I even have my own bathroom!
2) My mosquito net fell on me twice last night.

I enlisted the assistance of one of the volunteers today to reassemble it.  Hopefully it makes it through the night tonight.

3) I have a nasty sinus infection and the most irritating cough.  Prayers are much appreciated.

4) Some of the volunteers hosted a worship and prayer night last night.  It was so wonderful.  After spending the past 2 years in a program that is not the most welcoming of Christians, I didn't realize just how isolated I had felt until I moved in here and was surrounded by fellow Jesus-lovers.  It is the most uplifting thing, ever.

5) The orphanage is completely surrounded by sand.  I feel like I'm in the Sudan.  But if you stand on the roof and look out past the entrance gates, you can see the ocean!
Our dried up little orchard. 
Taken from the rooftop of the main building.  This sign sits on the rooftop of one of the casitas, where the kids live.
Can you see the ocean off in the distance?
6) I just spent an exorbitant amount of money on a tour to Machu Picchu.  My trip to Cusco (at the end of this month) is going to cost nearly as much as it did to get me to Peru in the first place.

7) I kind of want to stay here longer.  Like...kind of a lot.