We had a lovely first taste of Mollendo, our first stop on the Pacific Coast after months of traveling in the mountains and jungle.
The main reason we are making a detour to this town is a thirty-year partnership between Mollendo and my home town of Oberried. The Eine-Welt-Kreis supports a day care center for children from the slums. We spend the night near the city and in the morning we visit the Aubergue Infantil Maria Inmaculada and César Loarte, who runs the Auberge and gives us a warm welcome. Just like the children between the ages of two and six who have class today. People are very happy about our gifts and Leon is admired by all the children.
We’re attending a class – not much going on today, it’s the holidays. I play soccer with the kids and get branches of a bush as a gift, which the annoyed gardener later collects.
The children are very happy and I don’t get the impression that they come from poor backgrounds.
The Auberge is very clean, the children happy, playful, inquisitive and open-hearted. The teacher manages to attract the children’s attention and teach them new topics in a playful way.
The donations from Germany are put to good use. This is not least due to the co-founder and spokeswoman of the one-world circle Monika Huppertz from Oberried, who maintains close contact with Cesár, regularly visits Peru and also had a spontaneous three-party conversationwith Cesár and us over the phone.
It’s crazy: We’ve been traveling through South America for months and now we’re landing in this city in a place that’s so foreign to us – and there are photos of my home in the Black Forest hanging there. I show the kids with the photos they know that I’m from there. Since most of the photos show a lot of snow, you imagine that it always looks like this and it must be so cold.
César invites Sara and I to lunch and we enjoy sweet picinhos (fried sweet potato and corn flour donuts) on the beach.
Leon enjoys the waves and is happy about his wet feet.
In the afternoon we say goodbye. We are very impressed by how we were welcomed and pleased about us.
We continue driving up the Panamericana for the remainder of the daylight. On a small beach next to the road we find a couple of fishermen and a pleasant place to stay.