Sunday, November 29, 2009

3 Months in Site!

Some Shilla youth! In our awesome new coliseo...

I will hopefully start to work more with the primaria (elementary) kids mas starting next school year. The Peuvian summer vacation starts the end of December until March... maybe some art summer school classes? We shall see....

Fellow chevere Ancash volunteers on a hike to Lake Churup.

The fellow volunteers are amazing.. and the new 4 Peru 14ers just got here this past week. Quechua classes in January will be very fun and hopefully more hike filled.

Baja and I on the hike!

Oso (Christie's dog) came on the hike too! There is an Ancash volunteer tradition of jumping into the glacier lakes.. we shall see if I actually do it...

Sun rain view from my casa.

The rainy season has started officially. I remember, literally, the first day of October it poured and basically there was lluvia (rain) the entire rest of the month.. and then.. it stopped. Until recently. I love the sound it makes on my tin roof and I can't wait til it is raining all day long... just how I like it. Plus todo is all verde (green) now. It's gorgeous. Oh. Also, there are frequently rainbows in sun showers like this one depicted above. My host sister Gladis informed me that rainbows kill people. So I told her that we think there is a pot of gold at the end of them.... which is a sillier explanation? You tell me.

The little plaza close to my house.

Dad. Here is our portion of a paved road. I believe this plaza is relatively new and I enjoy sitting in the little gazebo things when it rains and playing/chatting with the kids on the steps.

Me and some Shilla madres.... after teaching about AIDS.

World Aids Day is December 1st.. so we're going to have Shilla's first ever March against AIDS on Tuesday. In order to prepare, my health post counterpart (the awesome dentista) and I taught some charlas to the secundaria kids and some moms about what AIDS and HIV are and then we'll have the marcha.

My PANDA trash can! Too cute to not buy.... should I send you one Bri?

I still falta some things for my room like a dresser/wardrobe.. and hopefully I'll paint a mural. We shall see...

Mi cozy cuarto... with a wall and all... and this is after I cleaned it.

Fun with the sisters.

I swear I work on my Community Diagnostic too.. cough.

World Map Progress.. I'll be posting just world mapness from start to finish soon when it's all done. Falta poco. The jovenes are good painters!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Peruvian Pasttimes

- Combi rides! (the best ones are on the way to or from Shilla from/to Carhuaz)
- Eating soup for breakfast (usually accompanied by a second dish... I miss cereal)
- Sleepovers in Jangas
- Listening/Dancing to Huayno (lyrics I sing a lot: Se va.. se va.. con el coche de su madre!!!)
- Listening/Dancing to Cumbia (lyrics I sing a lot: dejame entrar.. en tu vida y tu corazon!)
- Paint things
- Read..... a lot... and I mean... a lot.
- Swatting flies off my host abuela (grandma).... and then learning important lessons about hygene
- Disfrutaring (enjoying) the rain (it oftentimes works as a shower)
- Yelling at various animals (mostly chickens and our cat)
- Hang out with the host family (playing Go Fish, Bingo, generally laughing/eating meals)
- Recording cute Itzel (my niece) moments
- Teaching English in and out of school
- World Map-ness
- Trying to obtain Quechua superpowers
- Wearing yankees (the typical tire shoes)
- Sleeping (I get about 8 hours every night :)
- Chatting with Shillapinos
- Teaching children the "up high, down low, too slow" game
- Recently, spreading the word about AIDS (world AIDS day is December 1st)
- Huaraz time a couple times a month... meaning delicious American food with fellow volunteers
- Walking up and down my hill
- Eating papas like nobody's business
- Spending time with the jovenes (youth)!

Happy Turkey Day a day late! Today we (Ancash voluntarios) are making a delicious huge Thanksgiving Cena (dinner). Yay!


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Anca$h Updates

Reporting live from Carhuaz in my Internet café favorito. I have a fever and sore throat among other enfermedades but it´s all bueno. ¡Tis the season for the flu! My family always takes great care of me... Anywho.

So. Don´t read the next little paragraph if you don´t like bugs, eggs in your skin or blood... skim down about halfway to where I talk about communicacion instead :) I now know that I must wash my feet more often. ¿Why you ask? Because apparently there are these little bugs called pikis (pronounced peekees) that can burrow into your skin and lay their eggs. I saw it first hand in my abuelita´s feet (grandma). It mostly just looked painful and hard to get the little eggs and critters out with an aguja (needle) shoveling into her flesh. My job was to swish the flies away from her feet. Man. I feel bad for her. I can´t communicate to her because she only speaks Quechua.. just some phrases like "nanan?" Does it hurt? or "Yameiyakukekanki?" which roughly translates to How are you? But I did notice yesterday that I was understanding a lot more Quechua than I did when I first arrived. yay! Mostly because I know some words and gestures and the interjected spanish words help a montón.

A ver. Más noticias (more news). The new Peru 14ers will be arriving to their sites next weekend which is pretty awesome. I´m no longer a newbie! hehe. Lisette (fellow volunteer and friend en Anca$h) just got a puppy!!! Now two Peru 13ers in Ancash have puppies.. Baja too... she named him Juneau (because he´s a husky) and Baja has Oso (which means Bear). They are adorable. Colleen and I think it would be kicker if we both got puppies. And then brought them to Early IST in December (our first meeting up with everybody since training). However. Puppies are a lot of work... sooo.. don´t worry madre. I don´t think I´m getting a puppy. More likely a horse :)

Thanksgiving is coming up ya.. we will have a pilgrim/indian theme. ¡¡¡¡ANCA$H is BETTER!!! I will be makin´the mashed papas. Although I am SICK of potatoes mashed ones will be a good change from the regular boiled ones I get. In one day I must be served at LEAST 8 to 10 potatoes... probably more. And they´re the thing that usually stays on my plate. That´s including beakfast lunch and dinner though.

I hope all is well in the U.S. of A. Extraño a todos and I can´t wait for Raquelita´s, Jenna´s and my trip in one month!!!


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Daily Life in Ancash: pics and video

World Map Progress!

My Front Door

Chocolate Torta for breakfast?? At 5:40 a.m.? :)

My hermana Gladis' Birthday! 21!

Baby guinea pigs (cuys) on the fridge!

A Niece and a Baby Chicken :)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Piano, anyone?

Just a quick nota to say that I think I may have found a piano I can use twice a month! We shall see... I had to fill out a solicitud (Peruvian's official document to do anything) and everything. I will keep the masses updated. There have been several Shilla teens who have asked if I could teach them... this could be promising! :)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Pirates and Perspective

Happy Día de los Muertos!
I just wanted to write a quick nota letting todos know that Ancash is Better. :) That is our (the volunteers who live in Ancash) theme or motto. Because it is true. Last night for Halloween we all dressed up.. and we went all out. The theme was pirates (one of the volunteers had even been growing out a beard since April to get ready for last night!) so most were some sort of pirate and then the rest of us pretty much adhered to the theme by being something related. Lisette, for example, was the treasure chest, Baja was Tiger Lily... there was a mermaid, parrot and even a narwal (¿spelling?). I was a ship (as I think I noted in the last posting).. because every crew of pirates needs a ship right? Complete with cannos, a sterring wheel and an anchor. It was pretty awesome and fun to get into the spirit of Halloween. Candy was consumed, fun was had.. and even the new Peru 14ers were there for their Field Based Training.

In other noticias, I can´t believe it´s already Noviembre. Locura I tell you. Getting to know the community, doing the diagnostic and starting small projects does make the time fly! There are so many little stories I have now and it´s been amazing to learn about this culture and my own. Yesterday, I was thinking how I had never REALLY looked closely at American culture like I am now.. here in Peru. When we (all the voluntarios) get together in Huaraz it´s like a little other mundo (world) where we just immediately understand each other without having to explain anything. Even if I meet an American Peace Corps volunteer who I´m not BEST friends with, we still have that commonality which facilitates ease. Jokes are más or menos caught, our actions aren´t weird, what we eat is normal and delicious... and I´m starting to see what it must look like to see an American from the outsider´s view... from a Peruvian´s perspectiva. Just like it´s really very easy to generalize the Peruvian culture and say... they´re always late, meetings are just talk and no action, they are hard workers, they like to drink alcohol, they dance a lot etc. etc. so too must it be so easy for them to think like this about us. That is why, with this in mind, I still haven´t tired over explaining the same things over and over again... like.. "Sí, hay lluvia en algunas partes de los Estados Unidos, pero tienes que tener en cuenta que los EEUU son grande y hay muchos terrenos y climas diferentes, como en el Perú. En Oregon, llueve un montón como acá en Shilla.. en el sur de California, casi nunca!¨ (yes it does rain in the United States but you have to remember that the U.S. is huge and there are lots of different climates and terrains like in Peru. In Oregon it rains a lot like here in Shilla and in Southern California, almost never). It´s only been two months, so maybe I will tire explaining the same things over and over again.. but I´ll just need to keep that perspective in mind.

The real joy is when you start to get to really know some of those people who before were ¨Peruvians¨in your mind. That perspective has melted away for me in regards to my host family. I don´t see my madre as that ¨cuy (guinea pig) killing machine who works in the chacras¨ so much as I now know that she loves to crack a joke and to laugh... that she gets nervous by other people she sees as authority easily.. and when she gets nervous her eyes somehow look smaller and her voice is quieter, that there is a tender sadness underneath everything she does and she´s content to live in Shilla but it considerate to think of even a crazy California girl´s needs without even having imagined ever leaving her country. The herbs they use in tea and the many illnesses they prevent don´t seem outlandish or weird to me anymore.. even the other day when my madre told me that she heard bread causes cancer I caught myself... wait. Maybe bread does cause cancer. Who´s to say that all those thing I learned in the U.S. weren´t just fabled myths too? Peruvians could be right! This is all apart of asimilating I guess... and it will continue... I´ll be Peruvian before you know it! (just kidding Laurie.. I´m coming home.. no te preocupes). I can´t wait to get to know my familia and other people in my community más, and for their own label as ¨tall blonde gringa Americana¨to wash away when they look at me in return.

¡Hasta la próxima!
Abrazos desde Carhuaz,