The busride to Pisco was fairly uneventful. The only thing worth mentioning is how the damage from the earthquake got more and more apparent as we got closer. There was a brief stop before Pisco which involved a detour through a small town because the Pan-American Highway was damaged. The town looked decimated and as the bus went by bunches of children ran along next to it with outstretched hands, and the ruins of buildings behind them.
We arrived at the HODR headquarters building: a restaurant that the organization has rented for housing volunteers. We rang the doorbell but no one answered. Our phone calls weren't answered either (later I found out that I needed to add a zero). We walked down the street to a restaurant and got some chicken and rice. The woman in the house next door insisted Stephanie, one of the managers of the program, was in the house, so we rang and knocked. Finally she came to the door. She had been busy cleaning and hadn't heard us.
The first task was to clean up the hq so it would be livable. We scrubbed floors and walls. There had been a mini-tsunami which had coated the floors and about a foot up the walls with dirt and salt. A little later, two more volunteers arrived (we were the first to arrive), Charlotte and B. We ate dinner together, talked a bit then settled down for the night.
The next day was devoted to more cleaning and preparing the tools for the volunteers to start work the next day. We also took a trip to the market. The town has rubble everywhere but life goes on and people are busy working. I guess the government is paying people 14 sols a day to work so I think there are a lot of enthusiastic workers around, cheerfully running around with shovels. It's overwhelming seeing all the ruins and all the work that needs to be done--and frustrating to be lazing around here because more preparations need to be made before we start. Hopefully we'll start working tomorrow.
Last night after dinner we came home and saw a huge dog in the courtyard. He barked a bit but eventually we gained his trust when Charlotte started feeding him cookies. Since we didn't know his name, Rowshan called him Doggie, which the next morning we learned was actually his name.
In the morning, we found a second dog in the courtyard who had come over from the neighboring building where the navy has taken up residence. He was a big grey dog and liked jumping on people. The dogs seemed to get along OK until suddenly a fight broke out when Doggie's owner appeared ("Quick! Look like I'm guarding the house!). The navy guys had to pull their dog while Lalo pulled his dog away.