Saturday, July 17, 2010

Cherimoya, Tortas, y Cheatsheets

I love my life here.  I was about to begin this entry with how I had a great week, and then immediately realized that all of my weeks here are absolutely superb, and that this entire exercise is getting rather redundant.  Peru never fails to both amaze and entertain.  Last night I was served a steak with only a spoon to eat it with.  I succeeded.  I think I can do anything now.

I leave today for Field Based Training.  I am going to spend a week in Cajamarca - en la sierra - teaching a business class to 25 college students.  There are four of us in my group - me, Biznieto (yay!), Edgar, y Jim.  We are going to have a fantastic time.  I am going to teach how to do a community analysis and how to do a business plan - in Spanish.  I am ready.  Edgar got Accounting, so I am hugely relieved.  How do me and accounting even go together?  We have been working all week on pretty much just this project.  We are teaching the class tech-free, as we must get used to doing, so we have spent the week making epic amounts of papelotes, worksheets, and other various tools and dinamicas.  I am becoming more comfortable with the concepts and my ability to teach them.  My Spanish will not be awesome when I leave here, but I am strangely untroubled by this as with everything else.  I will continuously learn.  When I stop learning, then I will be concerned.  I don't think that will be a problem.

It has also been rape week here in the Peace Corps.  We have been hearing stories from victims of attacks here in the Peru PC.  It's pretty unsettling.  I keep just hearing (though I don't think it's really what they're saying), "So, you are going to get attacked..."  They are drilling everything into our heads that they can to help us avoid this and what to do after if it happens.  I am just gonna focus on my kung fu lessons with Biz, and make habit all the safety tactics Enrique gives us - like don't be a chick.  I will never walk alone.  This is the key.  Just never be alone.  So I am working on that.  It's weird.  Living with the protective parents here has already been difficult for me and shedding these last pieces of independence is really the only personal internal struggle I have found here.  Far too used to doing whatever I want...

I am getting closer with my family and already realize that I will miss them when I go to my site.  My evenings consist of sitting here, at the dining table, studying Spanish and chatting with my mom and sister.  I have really moved into a pleasant and homelike routine.

I am absurdly excited about finding out my site assignment.  I still have two and a half weeks before they let us know this most imperative piece of information however.  I requested something very remote in the high sierra.  It will be devastatingly cold with low levels of oxygen. I said I need zero amenities, absolutely do not want to be a replacement volunteer, and want the smallest village they can find.  I think I am one of the only people requesting to essentially live in a tent, so hopefully I will get it.  Most other people I have talked to are asking for internet and a mid-sized town.  I am going off the grid.  Send me your favorite greenhouse designs.

My friend Ashley and my friend Mario both requested the high sierra too, so hopefully I will have buddies nearby.  Biz and Ellen will be headed to the coast.  There aren't many sites for married couples, so it seems like our jefes already know where those two are headed and it's supposed to be pretty pimped out.  I will go visit them when I need to be coddled.  I am rather tragically sad that we won't likely live anywhere near each other though.

Mario got a letter from my mother yesterday.  Which was absolutely hysterical.  The letter itself was pretty great, but I just loved that fact that another trainee got a letter from my mom.  Complete with embarrassing stories and pics from my childhood.  Nicely done, Mother.  Also, it apparently arrived six days after she sent it, which has to be the greatest miracle of the Peruvian Postal Service since its inception.  Because of this letter, Mario made me sing some Paul Simon with him at karaoke in Chosica last night.  Thirty gringos taking over a karaoke bar in Peru - absurd.  I was happy to hang out with my friends before all of us splitting up for a week.  I am far too attached to my colleagues here, knowing that I will be forcibly separated from them relatively soon.  Particularly amazing last night - rousing renditions of both Bohemian Rhapsody and Tiny Dancer.  Also, a booth in the park that made Cherimoya Pisco Sours that were possibly the greatest beverage ever concocted.

I need to go pack and shower, then meet up with my group and head to the bus station in Lima.  We have a twenty hour bus ride this afternoon, evening, night, and tomorrow morning to get up into the mountains.  I am going to go hang in the cake shop til it's time to go.  I have become an absolute full on coffee addict and my new very favorite thing to do is to sit in that cake shop and drink cafe and read.  SO RELAXING.

I love you.  Catch you in a week.  I am going to take up photography again starting tomorrow, so hopefully I will have fun visuals to share next time.



  2. You are amazing little one!
    Steinbeck as "earthbound but aspiring.... A lumbering soul but trying to fly...(with)...not enough wingspread but plenty of intention."
    Your wingspread is plenty and magnificent also!

  3. Nicely done, Mother, on spotting my Steinbeck reference! But then, I suppose you do know me too well...