Location: Sacred Valley, Peru
Hello ladies and gentlemen. Boys and girls of all ages gather ’round, for it is time. “Time for what?” you might ask. Ah, dear reader, it’s time for Hannah’s Blog.
So the day starts like any other day. You know, with screaming. More specifically, me screaming, “WE’RE UP” at the top of my lungs while the team leader pounds on the door. But wait…I’M the team leader! Why didn’t I get the memo? So actually, I screamed “WE’RE UP” at my alarm clock. (Not nearly as dramatic) As soon as I found out about the whole “being team leader deal,” I decided to take a leaderly initiative. Groggily, I led my roommates down to breakfast.
Everyone was already there.
By some miracle, everyone had woken up on their own. How? I had failed as team leader — I hadn’t attempted to break any of their doors down trying to wake them up.
After a quick breakfast, my roommates and I got ready for the day and sprinted down to the bus. Now, I should mention, dear reader, that we were allowed our phones for the day. So getting ready went a bit slower than usual; as did getting on the bus.
Once we were on the bus (half an hour behind schedule), our guides announced what we would be doing for the day: volunteering at a school. My heart plummeted in my chest — I’m horrible with children. But don’t worry! We’re just sanding and painting! Or so we thought.
After an hour-long bus ride up a mountain, we arrived at the school. Unfortunately, to get to the school, we had to climb up a steep path littered with loose dirt. Now, my friends, there’s about a ten percent chance that you’ve met me. If you are in that unlucky ten percent, you will know that I’m incredibly clumsy. I can barely stand on my own two feet without tripping over some invisible object. So this steep-loose-dirt path was NOT FUN. I think I fell about three times on the way up. Shoot. My jeans were already dirty, and we hadn’t even begun to work.
The first thing we did upon reaching the school was sand a classroom floor. We worked methodically, starting at the back of the room and working backward toward the front. Early on, Amanda volunteered to scrape gum and melted crayons off the floor, but by the time we were halfway done, she needed a break. I don’t blame her.
Also, by that time we had sanded about half the floor, and I too was ready for a break. I was proud of all the sanding that my team and I had accomplished, but I had scraped the skin off two of my knuckles, and my knees had gone numb.
Amanda and I switched places.
Once again, I went to the back of the classroom to survey the progress. Amanda had gotten most of the gum in the beginning, but the sanding had only uncovered more. So I got to work chipping away even more gum and wax.
How could a group of six-year-olds have melted this many crayons?
My group finished and went outside long before I did. I became obsessed. My life now revolved around getting every speck of gum and wax off of this floor, even if it killed me. I only exited my gum-induced trance when a fellow volunteer told me to come outside.
The kids were putting on a dance for us.
The dance was adorable.
The dance lasted fifteen whole minutes.
It was still adorable.
After the dance, I found my true calling in life: face painting.
At first, I let my friend paint my face like a tiger, using my face as practice before moving onto the kids. Unfortunately, she only got to paint the orange base before we were told to save the paint for the kids.
I was now orange.
I was now Donald Trump.
Almost immediately, a little girl came up to me, asking me to paint her face as a bunny. After a few minutes of struggling to get the bunny-to-be to hold still, my masterpiece was complete. No longer did a little girl sit before me. She had been replaced by a bunny. A bunny with very crooked and smudged whiskers.
The bunny ran along, right as another girl approached me, asking me to paint a line of flowers from her forehead to her cheek. This was trickier. You see, it’s a bit hard to face paint with crayons, but I worked with what I had.
After I had finished transforming the girl into a flower princess, kids began to flock to me. I gotta be honest; I was beginning to enjoy myself. I finally got my hands on real face paint and painted more flowers, a bat, a tiger, and a rainbow. I began to lose track of time amid all of the smiling faces and the paint. Before I knew it, it was time for lunch. But just before lunch, I remembered my orange face. I don’t know what possessed me to do this, but at that moment, I grabbed the white paint and began to paint around my eyes and lips. Maggie helped me add forehead wrinkles, and my transformation was complete.
I was the greatest president.
I was “yuge”.
I TOTALLY WON the popular vote, and whoever says otherwise is Fake News™.
I also had the urge to date my own daughter.
I was Donald Trump.
Following the Trump Transformation and lunch, we migrated to the soccer field, fully expecting to play soccer with the kids.
Some of us played soccer with the locals. Some of us did not play soccer.
The kids who were not playing soccer almost immediately divided into two groups: boys and girls. While some of the girls in my group braided hair and played gently with the girls on one side of the soccer field, the boys congregated on the other side.
The boys’ side quickly devolved into chaos.
There were boys wrestling with each other. Boys wrestling with Amanda. Boys stealing Amanda’s shoe. For them, it was all the fun in the world.
As I cowered on the bleachers with a couple of friends, watching the scene unfold, I felt utterly helpless. I cannot stress enough that I’m not naturally good with children, and now the children were out of control. While other people dealt with the kids, I was both terrified and useless. I had failed (again!) as a team leader.
So you can imagine my relief when we were called to sand and paint the school’s bathrooms. Diligently, we sanded all of the old paint and dust off of the bathroom walls. We were giving the bathroom a whole new paint job. Extreme Home Makeover style.
We sanded for a couple of hours and then moved on to painting. The problem? We soon ran out of paint. As I stepped back and looked at our hours of sweat, blood, and tears, I saw what we were leaving behind: a bathroom with an unfinished paint job.
On a happier note, I was still Donald Trump. I spent the entire day mimicking his best idiocies in an over-the-top accent, making the entire group laugh. Sorry to all you Republicans reading this blog but imitating the Great Orange Buffoon and our dumpster fire government just puts a smile on everyone’s face.
On another happy note, the 100-hour group was finally reunited with the 40-hour group back at the hotel. We hugged for a good fifteen minutes. Trust me – it was the most heartwarming thing you’ve ever seen. The greatest. The best.
After a delicious dinner (pizza!), we did a forum about our highs and lows of the four days. I ate way too much and went to sleep fat and happy, unaware that I would be sick the next day.