Auto Mechanics Training in Piura, Peru GG1528092
Project Dedication September 21, 2016
Bob Medley & Mary Jane Calvey
Rotarians Bob Medley and wife Trina, Clayton Taylor and Mary Jane Calvey travelled to Piura Peru between September 19 and 23 to attend the kickoff celebration and project dedication for Global Grant 1528092. They were hosted by Rotarians from the Miraflores Rotary Club of Piura, Peru and stayed in the homes of local Rotarians. Jorge Del Carpio Zambrano from Piura and Mary Jane Calvey from the Oklahoma City Rotary Club were project leads.
Greeted at the airport with a large Miraflores Rotary Club banner, the Oklahoma City contingent felt welcome and proceeded to tour the city of Piura and to meet the Alcalde of Piura, get a preview of the project location and meeting with Padre Guillermo Uhen who heads the mission of St. John Vianney. The trade school is located in the Castillo section of the Piura region and the $3 million plus building is nearing completion.
Beside the newly furnished Auto Mechanics program there is a cosmetology and massage curriculum, a commercial baking operation and a computer training classroom, plus a very professional sewing operation with many beautiful items of clothing displayed. There is a daycare for student’s children and plans are underway to start a marketing venture for student’s productions including bakery, beauty shop services and car and motor taxi repair.
That evening after the other OKC Rotarians arrived we had dinner at the Asado Restaurant owned by a Rotarian, while Clayton ogled all of the frozen milkshakes and drinks being created by the barman we feasted on corn, salad, steak and potatoes.
The next morning we toured Monte Castillo village outside of Piura, a complex with no paved roads, homes make of bamboo or corrugated tin and thatched roofs. The area now has treated water thanks to the Piura Miraflores Rotary Club and we saw a day care operation built by the mission that is providing kids as small as three with hands on education experiences. They were planting very small fruit trees when we were there.
The project dedication at St. John Vianney Trade School started at 11am. The entire school was lined up including the 15 mechanic students in brand new blue coveralls!
All of the equipment was branded with Rotary Stickers and plaques on the wall acknowledged the donor clubs and project leaders.
An additional item of decoration on the wall next to the broken-down truck ready for students to begin learning on was a picture of Uhen’s garage from Southern Wisconsin where Padre Uhen’s grandfather had worked. Many speeches and congratulations later the plaques were unveiled and a group of students danced a traditional dance. The commercial bakery students served plateafter plate of delicious cookies, sandwiches and profiteroles.
Padre Uhen and his assistant took us to a wonderful pizza restaurant where we watched flour, oil and eggs being turned into pizza crust and talked about future plans for the school. Next on the list is a construction trades classroom and also a market place where students can sell their products, fix someone’s car or offer a massage or haircut. Entreprenuership is thriving in Piura.
We met the mayor of Castilla (the area where the school is located) and visited the local market where the president of the Castilla Rotary Club has a jewelry booth. Clayton Taylor visited a potential water project in Papagayo that the Piura club is contemplating and later that evening we met for dinner at Tonio and Yola’s home. The food included vegetables, chicken and a wonderful cake from their bakery shop. Silvia, their daughter served as a wonderful translator.
The next morning we loaded into Jorge’s car and went to Marrepon a town about an hour east of Piura nestled in the foothills of the Andes. Aura warned that it would be Calde and it was! Marrepon is the town Aura was born and we were greeted by the mayor and the public works head who told us of their plans to extend clean water to all the surrounding area. We were treated to an exhibition of Tandengo dancing by the national prizewinners who had just returned from the international competition in Japan. The dance is dramatic and energetic with no translation needed to see the story being portrayed. We met Kevin, a Peace Corp Volunteer from Rhode Island who is working on the water project and drove out in the country to see one of the wells from which they hope to pipe and treat the water.
Clayton once more folded himself into the back of the SUV and we went off to see a library and learning center in a suburb of Piura where children and developmentally delayed people were being taught rudiments of grammar and reading. We helped hand out sacks of food gathered by the Piura club.
The evening was the Rotary Gala celebrating the project completion at the Club Grau, a social and sports club at the center of Piura life. The assistant District Governor attended and praised the cooperation necessary to accomplish the project. After many toasts and gifts, including sombreros for all the Oklahomans we went home to prepare for our return to Oklahoma City.