Hello! My name is Menelaos Mazarakis and I’m writing the blog post today! Just a bit about me, I’m a Greek citizen who is currently living in the U.S. after being raised in Mexico as a child. I’m also a rising senior in high school, and am really excited to be here in Ollantaytambo!
What connection do I have to the Sacred Valley Project? For the next two weeks, I’ll be helping out with he construction of the new girl’s dormitory that we’re building (construction starts in 3 days!) and pretty much any other small tasks that need to be completed.
This is my third trip to Peru. The past two summers, I was a volunteer in a town about 2 hours away, where I helped rebuild a library that was destroyed by fatal mudslides in 2009. One last quick piece of information about me is that I am the founder of a non-profit called “Princeton Peru Partnership,” and after hearing about the Sacred Valley Project and all that they have achieved, I was hooked. These past 2 years, we’re really happy that much of the money that we’ve raised has gone directly to SVP to help them on their quest to promote gender equality and education.
I arrived in Ollantaytambo just 2 days ago, and yesterday was my “first day on the job.” It was exciting! Things that I did yesterday included taking “before” pictures of the construction site (and uploading them to FB), manually counting 1000 adobe blocks (which is one fifth of the total blocks needed), and “negotiating” with the construction site supervisor on his contract (this was really cool because I got to see how an Ollantino business deal “went down”). At the end of the day — I didn’t even realize this until I got into bed — but I was actually pretty tired! Today, I get to check out the rural communities where the girls are from. Ever since my visit to Ollanta last year, I’ve wanted to travel to these communities because they tell a story about where the girls at the dormitory come from and what they have overcome to get to where they are now.
Anyways, Joe just returned to take me to the communities to meet Alex. Bye!