Saturday, July 31, 2010

"Emily! Han chocado con el tubo!"

Hola a todos!
So. Last Friday I feel sums up how things tend to go in the work side of my life as a Peacecordian. I had classes about self esteem which went well with the little guys in elementary school, had a successful Amigos y Libros meeting with the teens (they're the ones who will eventually read to the elementary and preschool kids) And everything seemed to be going swimmingly after meetings about our upcoming project against AIDS/HIV and meetings with teachers about finding professionals for a job shadowing project in September... and I was looking forward to digging a hole in the evening to make compost with the Club Huascaran (made of sixth and fifth graders from primaria who are learning about the environment with me). The parents of the kids even showed up early with their tools all ready to go! Yay! I felt. I'm doing things! :)
Amigos y Libros Club: (Notice the books that people have been sending me! :)

And then.. 50 minutes into digging the hole, Samuel comes up to me... "Emily! Han chocado el tubo!" Which means. CRAP. We broke the water tube to the school! Ugh. Here I was riding on this rush of volunteerism and happiness to be with the kids and parents in the school when the tube breaks. I immediately thought "I'm making Shilla regress instead of progress." So I got an impromtu lesson on how to pick out, buy and fix a broken water tube. Fun times.

The Day of the Tube: parents and kids from Club Huascaran

Trash Day with Club Huascaran! This is where Shilla botars their trash we found out after 4 hours of collecting all the trash of the district with Cesar, the municipality driver of the truck in the background. As the kids pointed out it smells a bit... but has great views!

I guess why this little story represents my work here is because.. it's all small steps. It's about getting people together and working towards a goal, however small. Although we broke the tube... there will be MANY setbacks. We fixed it and will continue. I will remember this hopefully this upcoming Wednesday when I embark on a day long journey with Club Huascaran to the Llanganuco Lake for a paseo (field trip). Who knows when I'll have to fix a tube again!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Peruvian Perros

Hola a todos,
There are at least 6 dogs out to get me in the Shilla district. On my daily run anyways... because well, I have few options of routes and the one I have consistently stuck with is using the main dirt carreterra (road) up and then down (it's not too steep and flatter than most other "paths"). But along the way you go by the houses and then the dogs.. ugh the perros. I now have to keep a rock in my hand the entire way, which.. I'm definitely not out of the norm with fellow peacecordians... dogs are mean here.

But now I know my route well, which means I know the dogs well. I was bit a couple days ago (not badly mind you.. ) but my guard is always up and I know which ones to walk next to instead of run by, which ones to CHARGE at and pretend to throw the rock at, which ones to just out run, and which ones to yell at the owner to get control of. Sometimes the dogs are a no show and they even have an horario (schedule). If I want to miss the great dane (boy is he huge.. but if you just say "puppy!" in a cute little voice and walk by him he is nicer and starts wagging his tail) then I run in the afternoon/early evening. If I want to miss the horrible puppy from hell with his snarling teeth (he will bite me one day.. I just know it) then I run at 6:00 a.m. It's kinda sad that my running is scheduled by flea ridden creatures.

It's almost Fiestas Patrias time here... Peru's Independence Day... we shall see how Ancash parties. I'll probably just go home early. :)


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Llevame mis zanahorizas, mamay

Hola a todos! I am currently in Carhuaz after waking up at 4: 30 a.m. to go with my host madre to sell corn and carrots at the bi- weekly huge mercado here. We didn't sell all the carrots. But we did sell all the corn. (and by corn I mean the dried cornels of corn). For all those interested in money and numbers out there. We sold a monton of carrots (like.. 15 decent sized carrots) for 50 centimos (roughly 20 cents yo). And for a whole heavy bag of the cornels... 25 soles mas o menos. Which is what? 8 bucks. For awhile I got to sell the carrots which was fun! (more so because everyone is confused.. what? a gringa sells produce?) and I got to say things like "Llevame mis zanahorias, mamay, porfa." in a whiney voice. hehe.

I love market days. LOVE them. Although I usually don't buy anything anyway... and the ropes that hold up the tarps for shade for the vendors come up to my shoulders so therefore I must duck constantly, there's something about the hustle and bustle of it all... and the really cheap veggies that makes my day. If I could add on to my list of Favorite Things in Peru from the other blog a while ago I would add market days and when donkeys in Shilla run down the hills he-hawing and bucking and playing.

One thing of the things I do not like, you ask? The drunkeness. The way women must put up with it when their son or father or grandpa come home completely gone (although to be fair.. I have to say that women get drunk here too.. just definitely NOT as often). And how the little three year olds already know how to pretend to be drunk to be funny. Itzel, mi sobrina (my niece.. the love of my life!), has many a time come up to me in a playful mood "Tia Emily! Mira.. estoy borracha!" (Aunt Emily! Look.. I'm drunk!) while pretending to not be stable on her feet and running into the walls. I am lucky to live in a house of all women because whenever I have an encounter with a drunk Peruvian male who is completely out of bounds I get very angry Muy enojada. Not to mention sad. My madre tells me I just need to acostombrarme (get used to it) but we have discussions where I tell her I don't think it's something you should get used to. It's the worst thing, in my opinion, when I have to be around many many drunks at a peruvian party. Parties should be fun. After a year living in this country I think their drinking comes out of a deep sadness. They are drinking to forget... but it only makes them remember. They cry, they grab at people, they ramble on and on about the travesties that have happened. It's their outlet... but there's gotta be a better one, no? Their lives are hard but I think alcohol just makes them harder.

Those are my pensamientos del dia. I've been writing a lot lately which has been very helpful for me at this one year mark. I'm excited to go to Lima in a couple of days to see new volunteers and to continue my project Amigos y Libros on Friday (yay!) where high schoolers read to elementary and kindergarten students. (by the way.. I need more books for kids.. low reading level.. in spanish!)

If I were in the States right now I'd say Happy Birthday to Aaron Smith and go get a free slurpee at 7/11. :)

Abrazos y besos,

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Lil' update, no mas

Hola a todos!
Soo... Happy Birthday United States.. I am giving classes in America's honor to the secondaria kids these next two weeks... talking about what we eat, how we celebrate, and country/western music line dancing lessons... haha. American culture. Maybe I'm not even the one who should be giving this class. Lately I've been feeling that I've been away for so long that I don't even remember!

Next week I go to Lima for a couple days to help train the new Peru 15ers! yay! Locura I tell you. I sort of pictured myself last year as a trainER instead of a trainEE but not that it's actually here it just feels odd. Really? A year? Ya? Ok.

So this is just a little blog to say I'm alive and well and kicking... literally kicking dogs away from me lately... and work is definitely underway although classes always get canceled left and right.. for sports, for holidays, for teachers just wanting days off. :)

I'll write soon. Mas. Te lo juro.

abrazos fuertisimos,