Day eight in Peru started we went to Congress. It was a very interesting experience. Hank beat us all there, but was last to arrive due to relaxing in a café. We were greeted by a tour guide that had worked in congress for the last 18 years, though he did not look so old. We were asked to dress formally in respect of such an amazing place. We began finding out about the age of the building, it was called the congressional palace and had been around for almost 150 years. It was designed by an Italian, and the styling was very visible in the space. The floor of the building was very beautiful put together in tiny pieces of stone. We then moved form there to the original congressional chamber, which was empty. It serves a different purpose now, it is where congress receives foreign dignitaries now. Peru’s Congress originally had two houses, but was dissolved due to president Fujimori in 1993, as one of his first steps to repairing the countries economic situation. It was reopened as a singled housed congress, losing the need for the second house.
We were lucky enough to then be able to enter the major congressional chamber, which was in session. It was very interesting to sit and watch for a bit, a very rare and wonderful opportunity.
We then returned to Nora’s house for a quick lunch, but Hank was not feeling well, so had to take a nap. I left with Grace, Monica and Stacey to visit a Canadian NPO, which helps groups far from the city to get clean water, but their projects have been very underfunded. We talked a bit with them about funding ideas, and left promising to keep in touch and figure new ways to help them to gain funding.
We then went to a Rotary meeting at Magdalena del Mar, which due to traffic, Hank and I barely arrived to. We sat down and the atmosphere was a fun one, where we went right into our presentations. Our friend from the airport, Maria, managed to make it out to see us, which was awesome for us. Next, they club surprised me by singing happy birthday to me. However, there was an interesting tradition in Peru that I was not aware of, the shoving of a face into a birthday cake. Lucky for me, I have a very strong neck, so my face was kept nearly an inch from entering the cake, a close call. Once again, another packed day, and onto the next.