Today was our first day on-site in Piletones to learn about the day care center, what they need, and what they already have. It was kind of a shocking contrast to go from the bright and shiny places of Palermo to the cluttered, un-organized areas of Los Piletones. I’ve never spent time in an informal, poor community like this before. It didn’t feel foreign or weird to me. I suppose the organic, natural, and human-scale patterns of a community like this is similar to small European towns that were built under similar circumstances and mentalities centuries ago. I also just spent a week in Cuzco last week, and the historical center also grew up organically and without contemporary planning strategies. I see those winding streets in these. Current circumstances and complications are obviously different, but I can sense the same DNA at work.

It was great meeting the teachers. There were so warm and enthusiastic. I would have understood if they were a bit jaded or cynical, but they weren’t. They were ready to take full advantage of us while we’re here. I’ve been realizing lately that I have a hard time asking for help, and I suppose I’m impressed by their willingness to ask for help even while proving, with Margarita, their own power to help themselves.