Monthly Archives: August 2012


while painting my room yesterday (this will be a poco a poco process, yesterday was my base coat day…!!!), my brother watched soccer game after soccer game. i took it as a good spanish lesson time for me, and also decided that in order for a soccer broadcaster to get their job, i think they need to be able to shout “goooooooooooaaaaaaallllllllllllll” for at least 60 seconds. i am not even exaggerating this one.

in other news. i received a great surprise yesterday. my host family has purchased a washing machine, which made my doing laundry so much easier. i still do my delicates by hand, but everything else is in the machine…though truthfully, it is way more complicated for me to figure out on my own. sad but real truth. it also took me about 2 minutes before i could remember that the device is called a washing machine in english. i guess that is some kind of progress, right?


as i prepped my room for painting and was jamming out to some cumbia, my host sobrinita, samia, came in my room and discovered my photo booth app. needless to say only cuteness was then ensued.


yesterday i had my first charla at the colegio. my topic was autoestima and for the first time, i was extremely grateful for having to do 8 million charlas on autoestima during training. overall, it went really well. there was some really supportive students that i can hopefully work with more closely in the future and also there were some troublemakers, but overall it was a lot fun and i am glad i was able to get my feet wet.


get it?!?! peace corps?!?!? (not apologizing for this).

yesterday was my first charla, and i decided to look official and sported my new polo with my peace corps patch. i was pretty stoked for it.

i also had a little extra time this morning and taught myself how to french braid part of my hair back into a side bun. honestly, this was quite a feat for me. normally i lack in the refined motor skills area…who knows…maybe i will learn how to use chopsticks by the end of this???

also, it got down to about 60 degrees today, which means it is FREEZING here. i actually took a coat out of my winter storage bag. and because i rekindled my love for photo booth today, here are my vain catalog poses:

sorry guys. it’s just not everyday that i get ready and feel photogenic. ohhhhh peace corps…


my new neighbor(s).


i came home from a busy first day and was getting some fruit from the kitchen, when i heard a very loud “gobble” from the back porch. i then opened the back door and saw that we had acquired two turkeys. as imri can attest, i have the best luck with turkeys, so i have opted to maintain my space and not a ride a bike close to them.

the window above the turkey is the window to my room.

apparently, they are for my host sister’s wedding in october. until then, i have these guys hanging out right outside my window. if you are wondering if there is anytime during the day that they don’t gobble, it is when there is no sun. unfortunately in this case, there is a lot sun and they wake me up at 6 am everyday. so if you really want to mail me something worthwhile and that would me make me the happiest girl in the world, some ear plugs would be GREATLY appreciated. until then, i will continue to put on my headphones, which are not as comfy.



head start.

tuesday, i decided to head out to the health post and to the colegio to introduce myself. little did i know what i was getting myself into. i have some great socios at both. i explained the aspects that i needed to complete in my community diagnostic to the director of the colegio, and he was ready for me to come back that afternoon and do my presentation, which i then quickly negotiated for next week.

i met with the head doctor, obstetricians and nurses at the health post and felt incredibly comfortable with them, which is great to have confienza with socios early on. though, they asked me to do a charla on self-esteem this week at a colegio. needles to say, they will have no qualms in helping me keep busy, but also they are wanting to learn more about non-formal education techniques, which is really encouraging. to share with them a new approach to education is a great opportunity, and a great early win.

me, jenny and doris with jenny’s most recent poster for the health post.

though i have enough to already keep me busy, i still have typical early-peace corps experiences, like sitting and waiting for three and half hours at the municipality to see my socio who said he would only be about 15 minutes. luckily, i have a really interesting book i am reading right now. and i plan to do the same while i wait to see the mayor in the morning as well. but i am grateful of the time at the municipality and it gave me an opportunity to talk and get to know more people who work there.

i have arrived.

personally, i think the title says it all. but to elaborate a bit more, on sunday morning i arrived to lambayeque. we were greeted by other volunteers who kindly made an all-encompassing sign. then we went to breakfast and attended our first regional meeting. honestly, after a restless night on the bus, i spent my day and evening in my hostel room. it was great to finally have a moment of nothing for a bit.

monday morning, i finagled a cab to my parraderra and caught a combi to tucume. my ride to site felt like a moment out of a movie. cumbia blaring on the radio speakers, the cobrador hanging out the side door’s window trying to get more passengers and the numerous chirps of little chicks in the box on the man’s lab seated behind me.

i arrived to site by late morning, and carried my things across the park, while everyone stared wondering why the gringa had so much stuff. i walked inside my new house and it already immediately and gratefully started to feel like home. though, poco a poco i have plans to make my room home.

this is everything i own…for the next two years.

this is the essential layout of my room. i am currently in the process of furnishing and painting it.

after lunch, i convinced my really great host brother to join me on an adventure back to chiclayo (the capitol city) to help me buy a bed. little did he know what he signed up for. i brought him for help with pricing (as there are two prices: the actual price and the price they charge gringos) and transferring my bed back to the house.

we went to all the tiendas at the mercado with all only offering expensive, foam mattresses, which honestly did not fit within the budget that the peace corps gave me to furnish my room. we met up with steven, his host mom and aunt, in hopes that we could barter for better pricing since we could then buy together.

out of luck, we resorted to going to a big name store, which is usually very expensive, but we remarkably found great mattresses within our budget. now came the great adventure. moving our mattresses around town while we bought the rest of the items for our beds.

proudly posing with our new mattresses.

everyone squeezed in our small taxi.

we returned to the mercado with our mattresses, and then bought our bed frames. then had the bed frame store hold on to our mattresses and bed frames while we went and purchased sheets and pillows. then, david and i hailed another taxi, loaded up my bed, and then caught a combi back to tucume.

i have two very astute observations about peru thus far: they are the best, but craziest drivers in the world, and they are incredibly talented at tying knots. needless to say, 6 hours later made it home. david was kind enough to help me with putting together my bed. i still need to get a light blanket it for it. and the ladies at the tienda thought i was crazy for not wanting pink/fuschia sheets with flowers. apparently, that is what the ladies love here?

my new bed.

i returned to the market yesterday to buy a desk and two sets of shelves for storage in my room. my host mom was kind enough to join me, and it was incredible. i went to the market a couple of weeks ago to price out items, and when i returned with my host mom, on average the prices they told her were 20 soles less. needless to say i am incredibly grateful for her attendance. also, honestly, i was most worried about how to get the shelving units back to my house, but yet again the combi driver’s understanding of aerodynamics and knot-tying left me impressed. maybe i should take some lessons from them?

a day of rest.

miraflores coast line.

saturday while everyone was recovering from the night before, michelle and i walked along the coast line in miraflores. followed by going to a bike training meeting, with only 2 other people. and then she and i ventured to la molina and i got to finally go to the temple. it was a much needed day of rest and recuperation from a n exciting week.

the coast.


the lima temple.

i went there saturday!





i did it. on friday, i became a real, true peace corps volunteer. we were lucky enough to have our swearing-in ceremony hosted at the ambassador’s house, which was beautiful and ornate. we all were able to mee the ambassador, as well as the mayor of lima (which is he south american equivalent of meeting the mayor of nyc), as well as other mayors from nearby municipalities. i also got to meet with old pcv’s from the 60’s in which one of them told me about all of the dysentery he experienced during his time in peru. talk about words of wisdom.

overall the ceremony was beautiful. the part wear we stated the oath was really incredible. it made this entire process worth it. saying goodbye to my host mom was the hardest part. it was such a mix of emotions. as well as saying goodbye to the training staff. they were such an important part of my support system here that it was hard to go, but it is because of their support and determination for all of us that i even feel ready to go and concur. so thank you for that.

my host mom and i ready to head to the ambassador’s house.

michelle and i at the training center.

peru 19. our last and first official photo.

we should all be taken very seriously. (and who knew my mouth was that huge???)

we couldn’t bring our camera’s to the ambassador’s house for obvious security reasons, but there was an official photographer there. maybe one day i will receive the pictures from it…after our ceremony, our country director threw peru 19 a welcoming reception at his house. it was fantastic! there was a small fire pit, buffalo chicken wings, anticuchos (beef heart on skewers) and a dance floor. it was a blast!

party time setup.

steven, me and sam.

anticuchos (beef heart) on the grill!

andrea and me.

the lambayeque crew ready to head out!









family party.

just a small part of the decor for the celebration.

the trainees and i threw a family celebration for our families the day before swearing in. we put together a buffet table of food (both peruvian and american) as well as a talent show program and a slide show. about 150 people were in attendance and it took a lot of coordinating but we had a blast. at the end we presented our families with gifts and i was lucky enough to be presented with a gift from my own family. see? i wasn’t lying that i had the best host family ever.

connor modeling traditional arequipa wear for the fashion show.

some other trainees planned a traditional dance from ica.


victor, my mom, me, claudia and norma post party.




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