Sunday, June 20, 2010

2010 Trip Report

This 2010 report was written by Betty Grabusky, a neighbor, and first time volunteer worker for the Becky Fund Peru trip. She was a great addition to our group, who brought a strong work & play ethic to the group. Thank you Betty for all the help & energy you brought to this year’s trip.

It was a personal thrill for me being able to share this experience with my son and his family. The girls were troopers and good will ambassadors with all the locals. As always, I am grateful and humbled by all the volunteers who give of their time, energy and resources. And, of course, to you the donors who make all of this possible I send a special thank you.


Trip Report 2010
The Becky Fund

Because of recent flooding in Peru, this year’s trip presented new challenges as well as opportunities. The main bridge offering access into the Sacred Valley was destroyed in the floods. As we approached the bridge in the dark, loaded with school supplies, we had no idea whether or not the bridge would be accessible to us. It was a very good sign when we arrived and discovered that the temporary bridge just opened the day prior to our arrival.

Dinny was joined this year by two generations of her family, including Alex, Angela, Sophie and Elena, all of Fairbanks. Also joining The Becky Fund volunteers were Leonard (his third time), Michael and Betty, all of Las Cruces. Again, Justo expertly piloted the van on remote switch back roads while Mr. Wilson acted as the ambassador to the schools. The group was joined for day trips by two of Mr. Wilson’s grandchildren, Roby and Nico. It truly was a multigenerational experience and commitment. As in past years, Mrs. Wilson rewarded the volunteers with a delicious meal upon our return.

As the van approached remote villages, children squealed at the sight of the van, overloaded with people on the inside and soccer balls on the roof. By now, they know about the Becky Fund, the supplies for students and teachers, fresh bread, the good will and the smiles that accompany the volunteers. Many of the schools have a picture of Becky posted at the entry. Frequently, the flooding of the roads prohibited us from driving right up to the schools, but the students found their way to us... across rivers, up steep hills (at 14,000 feet!) or across fields.

The children of the Sacred Valley seemed especially fascinated by Sophie and Elena who eagerly participated in distributing school supplies, toothbrushes, trinkets, clothing and smiles to many their own age. Especially appreciated were the supplies from the Rosemont School in Birmingham that Sophie and Elena helped to distribute. The school children performed favorite songs and folk dances for us and found delight in having their pictures taken, then getting a glimpse of themselves on camera.

There were occasional hitchhikers, always grateful, as roads in the Sacred Valley are long and steep. The devastating floods blessed the Valley with incredible wildflowers this year, a beautiful sight to behold. The long trips include fond memories of Sophie learning more Spanish and Elena entertaining the group with her jokes.

Opportunities this year included reaching out to the local hospital, much in need of blankets and sheets, providing the materials to repair a hole in a school roof (parents provided the labor), providing educational supplies for a new day care that had nothing to start with and distributing the clothing donations. As in the past, if we were unable to reach certain areas, the teachers found us. The doorbell rang constantly, often till 9:00 PM. Teachers traveled great distances to visit “Senora Diana”

In the end, The Becky Fund reached out to about 200 schools and 5000 students. How kind it was of the local teachers to sponsor a mass in honor of the Becky Fund and Dinny’s continued efforts. As prior volunteers have remarked, we were all impressed with the gratitude and hospitality of the local community in Calca.

Our own wheels were turning constantly. How about using GPS to put together a database and map of schools most in need? Where can we utilize “green” opportunities? What else is desperately needed and could be provided? How can more needy students be reached?

The Becky Fund continues to provide much to many who have so little and are so appreciative. The donations of all, large or small, are all put to good use directly for the benefit of those who need help the most.