Category Archives: chaclacayo


there is not too much to report on this. i don’t think it is a secret to everyone that i am one of the few people where training is not my favorite part of my experience. however, i did welcome the opportunity to partake in some pinkberry and get to stay with my host family in lima again.

it was especially nice to spend time with my lima host family, because my language has improved so much and i was able to understand and communicate with them so much better. it was such a tender-delight. i love my lima family with all my heart, and i cannot wait to see them again in just one quick month!

the main church in trujillo.

the main church in trujillo.

for the second half of training i went to trujillo. i spent all week with the gripe (cold), and so my energy wasn’t there to explore. however i did get to have an all-american night where i partook of papa john’s, pinkberry and even went to go see twilight…AGAIN…but this time it was dubbed in spanish…but you know what? it was just as good.


we found a christmas tree at the mall. merry christmas y'all!

we found a christmas tree at the mall. merry christmas y’all!

anyways, i finally returned home yesterday afternoon after a long regional meeting. my heart is overjoyed to be back in site. all the worries that it started to experience the week before were placated, and my since of purpose in stie has been strengthened. i think i experience the opposite of volunteers…where the majority experience their doubts while in site and then go to training and are rejuvenated, whereas i am the opposite, and being in site gives me the strength and excitement and purpose and reminds me why i am in service. it was also a nice treat to experience all the saludos after i returned, as i learned that my town actually missed me. woohoo for integration!


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.





yesterday, i had my third teaching practicum. i went to my host sister’s school. let’s just say the ease and comfort that i experienced during my last practicum quickly disappeared. it was a great experience, and honestly, compared to what i have heard other trainees had, my kids were angels. i had a lesson on planning for their future, and how it is important to develop a strong self-esteem and recognize your strengths.

honestly, yesterday was probably day that is a little more realistic to what i will experience in site. part of my work during training, includes the development of a youth group. when i talked to the director last week, he said to start my group today during an assigned class period in the evening for students. i was pumped, because it meant i was going to have a guaranteed group of students to work with. when i arrived at the scheduled time so that i could talk to the teacher before i began, i was greeted with a flood of students leaving the school grounds. apparently, the students were let go early today for teacher meeting. while inquiring about the changes, i began talking to a teacher who then asked our help with teaching the professors correct english pronunciation and starting classes for that. we struck a deal that we would help them with their pronunciation if they promote our clubs to their classes for us. an agreement was made.

on our way home, we stopped by the local post to see if we could use the facility for our future youth groups, while talking to the president, we learned that in order to have a youth group in our neighborhood we need to make a formal officio (read: government document) to submit to him, and then he will talk to his socios and hopefully gather the youth of my barrio for the group. hopefully this all works, and though multiple wrenches have been thrown in what began as such a simple plan and idea, i am glad that i am experiencing them. it is all a part of learning how the system works down here, and is giving me practice at talking to people on all levels in the community and how to submit formal documents that will need to do once i arrive in site. however, at the end of the day, i also find it incredibly comical.


a little different than the fnl in texas, but it was a nice relaxing evening last night. it was just a really busy and stressful week. we had our second school presentations, our youth clubs started, we had the independence day celebration, and our 4th week language interviews. needless to say, i welcomed friday with open arms.

after training, a big group of us headed to a local park where many played basketball, a few of us tossed the frisbee, and everyone just hung out and enjoyed not having training for a few days.

basketball crew.

brad and anel are always ready for their picture to be taken.

me, mike and andrea holding down the fort. also look closely and one of these things is not like the other…

a helpful hint. apparently, this week proved to be extra exhausting for sam.


last week i attended my first quiñce celebration. needless to say, it was quite the party. the party was for a friend of my sister, norma. we had a blast, though to be honest, i was far from having my health renewed. the best part was probably having my mom ask me to go dance with my sister, which meant i essentially joined a few dozen 14-year-olds on the dance floor. let’s just say that i showed that middle school dance who’s the boss.

also, it is peruvian quiñce tradition that the birthday girl be presented at midnight…which made this night my latest night out since being in peru…partying late with the sis and mom.

quite the formal setting in a local restaurant.

mi máma y hermana, norma.

the grand entrance.

her first dance…which lasted about 20 minutes and she danced with every male figure in her family. this was followed with additional speeches given by every single male in her extended family.

so much clapping was involved. also, i love that kid on the right’s flock of seagulls hairdo.

mi hermana and sus amigas.

throw your hands up in the air like you just don’t care.

a morning jaunt.

last saturday, a couple of others from the hauscaran crew decided to hike up the neighboring “hill” (read: mountain for this texan) to go check out the view and to see the giant cross.

my fellow adventurers. with the destination up above. and a nice view of my barrio.

given that we are in a small barrio, it was a given that there probably wasn’t going to be a trail equivalent to one that would be found in the states, but we are an adventurous and resourceful group and found a dirt road leading to somewhere up the hill.

the dirt road.

after a very steep incline, the road ended and we were essentially left with a steep rock incline that bascially involved being on all fours as we climbed our way up.

the grand ascent.

michael working his way up.

the view from above.


finding our own religion.

the group.

the hike was worth it, and especially welcomed by me. the view was great, as one side of the hill was a view of a typical barrio and the other of the extremely large, nice houses of chaclacayo. it made for a great first week story. when i got home and told my mom, she thought i was a bit strange for being so adventurous, but i think at this point my mom finds most things i do strange.



home (for now).

right now, i am in the department of lima and living in the city of chaclacyo and the zone of hauscaran.

el parque de la ciudad de chaclacayo

the training center for the peace corps is located in the department of lima, but the city it is actually located in is chacalcayo. it is in an old house that they converted for our use. it’s quite beautiful, and located in a neighborhood with houses just as nice. i go to the same tienda everyday to get my coke zero from the gloria and her husband (at least in chaclacayo….there is no diet coke or coke zero to be found….i know, i had the same panic attack you are experiencing right now).


the other day my friend, kg, and i found a bakery and even ordered our own slice of chocolate cake. i was proud of myself. we even asked about cultural norms in regards to gratuity. as my host mom says, “un poco, un poco.” and it really has been that. however, everyday is just as grueling as the first so by the end of the day…that slice of chocolate cake was heaven…

%d bloggers like this: