Monthly Archives: February 2013

1/4.

approximately 6 months ago, i raised my right hand and swore-in as a peace corps volunteer. at the time, i only had a slight idea of what was to come, as we are always told “it depends.” and my goodness is that true. when i think about all the things these last 6 months have brought, and all the emotions and frustrations it brought as well, BUT i can say that it has been worth it.

my site is in the desert. you will not find my department featured on a brochure for peru. but it is the REAL peru. and even though i have been brought to tears a couple of times (out of frustration and happiness), i have an INCREDIBLE site with INCREDIBLE people. just seeing small changes in the lives of others has already made it worth it. and you learn that even the smallest things sometimes go the longest way.

how poetic that today my socio at the muni, who is one of my kindest socios but not the easiest to work with, paused our conversation this morning to tell me how much better my spanish is. of course, he emphasized how terrible my spanish was when i first got to site, BUT to hear that i have made great improvements sent me over the moon. or that my socia at the health post is so excited about our plans to work together this year, and how lucky she feels to be able to have a cultural exchange with me and share ideas. those moments remind me why i am here and doing what i am doing. and the filler moments of dancing marinera in my house with samia or dancing the night away at birthday parties, those are the times that i will forever hold in my heart.

so, i am officially 1/4 of the way done with my service. i can’t believe it. the time has flown by, which makes me a little nervous, because i still feel like i have so much to do. i now truly understand why our service is at least 2 years. there is no way that sustainable projects can be achieved in a shorter time frame. also, to celebrate i am going to FINALLY get to do my world map…it has only been 5 months in the making…and finally, i am excited and anxious about what the next 18 months have to bring and have ZERO idea of what comes after the fact…but i am grateful for this time that i have right now to learn about myself…the good and the bad and hopefully make me better and help me become the person i dream of becoming. FINGERS CROSSED!

so thanks for everyone. for reading. for being a great support system. and all of the above. six months could not have happened without you.

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what is a week end?

this weekend is not pictured, but too much happened and i am not sure where my camera was.

friday morning/early afternoon was the campeonata. i came home to my mom telling me it was tino’s, our friend, birthday…and that we were already late. so i quickly changed and rinsed my face and off we went, where i danced for 4 hours straight and ate food that i was not even hungry for. seriously, i am making some great headway on getting a peruvian gut. ha. then i topped off the night with a meeting with the youth leadership/dance group i mentioned earlier. needless to say i was asleep by 10pm due to exhaustion and didn’t awake until 8am.

i think packed a day bag and headed to pimentel, where ali and i began our tefl course together, lunched and then i caught some FANTASTIC boogie board waves. you guys. i LOVE to boogie board. then i spent my saturday night with an artisan friend, at the artisan’s new store, where i helped her merchandise and prep their products for the store opening.

now, here it is sunday morning, and i am still without energy. can somebody let me know if they find it?

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campeonata.

the jovencitas on their way to lambayeque.

the jovencitas on their way to lambayeque.

generally speaking, young women stay in their houses most of the day, helping with chores and taking care of small siblings or nieces and nephews. so basically, the girls were really happy to have a day outside the house…without their parents! since it is too hot here to camp, there was a smal campeonata, in lambayeque that i took the young women to. we played volleyball and soccer in the morning and they were able to get to know other young women in the department of lambayeque. it was a pretty small turnout, about 10 girls in total, since my district only include the pueblos, BUT it still was a lot of fun!

the girls practicing their volley skills.

the girls practicing their volley skills.

my first counselor, andrea, has the most adorable 1-year-old daughter. andrea is 19 and a recent convert to the church, and she is such a natural at connecting with the girls.

my first counselor, andrea, has the most adorable 1-year-old daughter. andrea is 19 and a recent convert to the church, and she is such a natural at connecting with the girls.

mochumi! represent!

mochumi! represent!

 

since the activity ended earlier than we had all planned, and it was ridiculously hot outside, i treated the girls to some raspadillas. basically, snowcones with homemade syrups and the shaved ice is done by hand from blocks of ice.

since the activity ended earlier than we had all planned, and it was ridiculously hot outside, i treated the girls to some raspadillas. basically, snowcones with homemade syrups and the shaved ice is done by hand from blocks of ice.

the girls with their raspadillas. all and all, we had a really fun day!

the girls with their raspadillas. all and all, we had a really fun day!

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anna howard shaw day.

thursday marked my first valentine’s day in peru. here in peru, it is also dia de la amistad (day of friendship). so a few other volunteers and i decided to get together and spend the day at the beach, since 3 of us had valentine’s that we could not celebrate with. however, that did not leave me without surprises, which made me the luckiest girl at least out of our group, but i am just going to say in the whole world. the volunteers were coordinated to show up with flowers or balloons for me to receive from them throughout the day, and then lunch was taken care of, which made all the other volunteers extremely happy. at first it caught me by surprise and i didn’t believe and thought it all to be a joke, but then each time my heart kept melting. the best part though was that i was able to share my valentine’s with everyone, and we were all able to partake in the happiness.

i came out of the bathroom, and all the volunteers set up their balloons and flowers for me. ha. ps. the balloons are SUPER popular here for valentine's. there were people selling them everywhere.

i came out of the bathroom, and all the volunteers set up their balloons and flowers for me. ha.
ps. the balloons are SUPER popular here for valentine’s. there were people selling them everywhere.

the post-lunch damage. ceviche, arroz con mariscos, tortillas de choclo, papas fritas, camote fritos, pisco sours, and a 1/2 jar of fresh mango juice for me. needless to say, we were all quite full after.

the post-lunch damage. ceviche, arroz con mariscos, tortillas de choclo, papas fritas, camote fritos, pisco sours, and a 1/2 jar of fresh mango juice for me. needless to say, we were all quite full after.

we then spent a couple of hours at the beach in puerto eten. and i was able to boogie board!

we then spent a couple of hours at the beach in puerto eten. and i was able to boogie board!

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a new pet (kind of).

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i guess it would be considered a pet since it lives in my room…on it’s own terms…but i don’t have to feed it, it feeds itself…and it doesn’t like me to touch it, so i guess it is kind of like having a cat, right?

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the peruvian way.

ready for the feria.

ready for the feria.

ali and phil came over to see the feria in my town, and it was so crowded that the only way we were able to stick together was making a peruvian chain. here, when youth or family members are walking down the street, either the arms are clasped by the elbows, or it is more common for one of the friends/family members to have a hand simply resting on your shoulder. it is also a sign of affection and confianza with the friend. it should also be noted that this is especially done by youth of all ages, both sexes, and knows no gender norms. it’s pretty awesome if you ask me. i might have to bring this trend back to the states.

bonus picture! how about those dulces?!?!?!

bonus picture! how about those dulces?!?!?!

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festi danza.

one of the great things about my vu programs is that it has allowed me the opportunity to get to know more people in the community and build confianza and friendship with them. some of my environment group participates in a young adult leadership/dance group in town, which i have now started to attend and hope to plan some future projects with them as well. this group also planned a performance and big “festi-danza” during the feria, which included regional dances from all over peru, and it was QUITE the show!

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IMG_2925the last picture was something that made me feel uncomfortable as an american, but does not have the same tone here in peru. yes, they are in blackface, however, in this circumstance they are demonstrating a dance from the sierra, which honors a famous saint who happened to also be black.

 

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bolsos.

working away!

working away!

we have been working away on our bags! in fact, we hope to finally finish them on Monday and start our new project. and thank goodness for that! but this ended being a really fun and easy diy project, so if anyone would like to learn how, i would gladly like to show you!

ps. i FINALLY got in with the doctor, and my eye is still in tact and i received some drops that will hopefully help my eye out. apparently the fuerte sol here has caused my eye to start building its own extra layer of protection, so i have been given strict order to wear my sunglasses whenever i am outside.

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this is how we (i) do it.

Photo on 2013-01-07 at 19.00 #4

montell jordan shout out!

so far away from anyone who knows how to really use a decent pair of shears, i have taken it upon myself to care for my own hair…for better or worse. however, i am left without a decent pair of shears and use the safety-tipped scissors that came in my med kit. so needless to say my hair dresser will be surprised this spring when i go to the states for a trim! woops!

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clean bill of health.

almost.

not really.

you know, there are a lot things you just get used to while in service. number one, being that your stomach is never normal, and getting sick is like brushing your teeth. it’s a (almost) daily habit…that might be true for both things…but GUYS sometimes we have days without water…okay?

infected eye picture.

infected eye picture.

so along with my normal ailments, i have recently discovered a nice little bump on my eye hanging out next to my pupil. though it hasn’t obstructed my view, and honestly, i am not too worried about it. i did finally breakdown and call the doctors. they quickly made me an appointment at the approved health clinic in chiclayo. however, you need to remember that i am still in peru so even the best clinics are…well…i mean i am in peru. with that, i showed up, and was told that they do not have an appointment, so i told my doctors…they were just as confused as me, and so i am rescheduled for today. honestly, i am hoping to just some extra strong eye drops. there’s a ton of dust and dirt around town and i feel like i should honestly be wearing safety goggles everywhere i go…so i am sure it is a result from the dust in my eye.

dying in my bed.

with the failed visit to the clinic, i am positive that i contracted some other ailment, which resulted in me waking up the next day with a pretty bad throat infection. luckily, with the peace corps, if i am sick, i can actually allow my body to recover. so after my morning meetings, i listened to my body, that was in a lot of pain and just exhausted, and went home to rest. ate lunch with my family, and then was asleep at 2:30pm…only to be awoken for meals, i did not fully wake up again until 1:30pm the next day.

doing what i do best.

doing what i do best.

honestly, that sleep was the best thing that could have happened for my body. i spent saturday afternoon in bed, and still took it easy most of sunday, but on sunday my energy levels were back up and yesterday i really got busy with work. however, i still have some small symptoms, some congestion but not nearly as bad as all the other times i found myself with the gripe…so you know what? i’ll take it. and today i return back to the clinic for my next eye appointment. fingers crossed it happens!

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