Category Archives: fbt


the new 21er's, their trainers and me!

the new 21er’s, their trainers and me!

a few weeks ago, i had the pleasure of hosting 8 of the new 21er’s that just arrived to peru in june! if you recall, i also endured my on field based training, which is a week-long intensive training of language, culture and giving practicums. it is not for the weary. the days are long, and you end the day collapsing onto your bed, only to wake up feeling as though you had just closed your eyes. part of my hosting the trainees, was coordinating the entire schedule for the entire week, which included numerous site visits of other volunteers, which was lot of work…i know better understand the amount of coordination that goes into any training, and my goodness, it is A LOT! during the week, i stayed with the trainees, and basically served as a mentor for the newbies throughout the week. many have never been in a classroom before peru, and so i was there to help with generating classroom activities and ideas for them, and also help them with their spanish. i also was sort of a cultural liaison, to help them understand the cultural differences they were experiencing and seeing first hand. here are some highlights of the week:

we visited olmos!

we visited olmos!

the land of the limon! i loved being able to see all the other volunteers' great projects as well!

the land of the limon! i loved being able to see all the other volunteers’ great projects as well!

i got to see milagros! another highlight for me was seeing all of the youth that i have worked with from our camps!

i got to see milagros! another highlight for me was seeing all of the youth that i have worked with from our camps!

we visited the afro peruano museum in zana!

we visited the afro peruano museum in zana!

isabel getting into the music!

isabel getting into the music!

ana maria and the trainees enjoying some good ol' american food!

ana maria and the trainees enjoying some good ol’ american food!

the english activity with students at icpna!

the english activity with students at icpna!

trainees working with teachers at icpna!

trainees working with teachers at icpna!

the entire group of trainees were fantastic and stayed so positive through their grueling work week! i kept stressing to them that service is nothing like this, but they were always so eager and determined which was awesome! i am so excited for the four that are headed to lambayeque! they are a great group! though, it should be noted that it took me two full days of sleeping to recover…but that may also be from the gripe i caught during the week….

Tagged , , , ,

street art.

let me just start out with this: good morning mike!

but really, i have been nonstop impressed with the street art that i have seen everywhere, but i found it to be more prominent on the coast. here are some of my favorite shots from throughout the week.
















we spent saturday afternoon at a big tourist beach, which had incredible waves. it left me wishing i had packed my swimsuit.

kallan and brian dining on ceviche on the beache.

a dilapidated seawall.

i spent a lot of time just sitting on the beach. i took a brief break to get a pineapple & maracuya juice. but then it was back to the beach.

there were tons of jellyfish at the beach. kallan and brittany both braved the water and also both got stung.

colorful streets.

dr. suess trees.

sunset on the beach.

the entire yd fbt crew + hosts + facilitators.










we spent friday afternoon in chichlin. we helped facilitate an english class for english teachers. it was a lot of fun. i bonded with many of the adults, and it reasserted to me that my best age group is on the older end of the age spectrum. needless to say, a lot of laughs were shared amongst everyone in the class.

a dog cooling off in the shade at the school.


puerto malabrigo.

la plaza de armas en puerto malabrigo.

we spent friday morning in puerto mlabrigo, which was the site of a volunteer that just completed service earlier in the week. another youth volunteer will replace the previous one (a site of about 5,000). i wish it was going to be me, but alas, a male volunteer has been requested. in this site, the volunteer literally lives on the beach and their main socio is with a surf school. talk about a rough two-years…

we spent the morning there to participate in a program called “red ambiente,” which is supposed to help promote youth leadership. we sat through two presentations, one of which was on la pesete (the plague). supposedly it is still a problem in that province, with most reported cases in peru being from their region. afterwards i facilitated a short game on how to synthesize the presentation and take the information back to their community.

then we just spent a short bit at the beach.



we spent two days in guadalupe visiting a volunteer, whose site had about 30,000 people.

the municipality at the plaza de armas.

taxidermy at a local lunch spot.

it was about a 30 minute combi ride from pacasmayo. the first day i sat on the back bench of the combi and quickly learned that was the worst possible place to sit. i found myself sitting on the engine and, quite literally, had the exhaust smoke blowing out beneath my legs. my nostrils and my lungs stung. needless to say, the next morning i grabbed a seat in the front.

my morning combi ride.

i taught at a more rural primary school, just out of town. it was a two room school house and between the two days, i taught four classes: hand washing, teeth brushing, friendship and virtues. the municipality was nice to give us a lift out to the school, but we all had to fit in one truck, which meant we had to ride in the back…which i love to do anyhow.

carlhey, me, evan (our pcvc) and brian (the la libertad pcvl) riding in the back of the police truck.

pretending we live a hard-knock life.

the youngest of the primary classes.

showing off the glitter on their hands and ready to learn to wash their hands.

saw this in the older class. an anatomically correct lion. details. details.

two of the students ready to bike home with a rice field behind them.

at the end of our first day, we went to a special needs school that the volunteer works at as well. we worked with young adults with special needs, showing them how to make a picture frame and also painting a map of peru on the school walls. it was a blast.


the whole crew (volunteers + students) with our finished map.

our last afternoon in guadalupe, the municipality set up a nice lunch for us at the house of a local artist. we had lunch in his garden which was quite beautiful.


where we dined.

he concluded lunch by sharing some of his original poetry. it was beautiful. he also showed us some of his paintings as well. to top it off, he had six-week-old kittens. needless to saw our hearts were overjoyed that afternoon.

kittens for cat.

kittens. kittens. kittens.

also, i saw this really awesome spider:

does anyone know what kind of spider this is?


we stayed a couple of evenings in a great little surf town in pacasmayo.

it was a nice little surf hostel.

it was so green, and had hammocks and even a trampoline!

casey taking a much needed nap in the hammock at the hostel.

this is the closest i have gotten to machu picchu. at a surf hostel on the other side of the country.

great, colorful fishing boats filled the beaches.

the beach at sunset.

this dog and i became the best of friends over those couple of days.

every town seems to have some type of statue at the top of a hill. pacasmayo has jesus (which is more common than not).








san pedro.

on tuesday, we visited another volunteer who lived in much larger site (around 17,000). we taught nutrition charlas at an all girl school. the girls were a lot of fun, and just loved to laugh.

plaza de armas.

the girls practicing their marches for the fiestas patrias this week.

working on creating their plate of food.

the food pyramid and a group’s plate of food.

all the volunteers with the girls.

viva el peru.






bello horizante.

on monday, we visited a volunteer finishing up his service in bello horizante, which is a smaller site with just under a thousand people. it was quite beautiful, as it was probably one of the greenest sites we saw on the entire trip and at the foot of some small mountains.

it was about a 30 minute combi ride, and as i was mindlessly looking out the combi window, another combi passed us, but this one in particular had two live sheep tied to the top and the sheep were lifting their heads bah-ing at us as they zoomed by. it was quite a funny experience.

at the school, i did a charla on self-identiy and self-esteem. i had them draw maps with chalk and they could take water and pour it on parts of the maps to symbolize that they didn’t have to carry the negatives with them or that the choices that they make now do affect their future.

the school where we taught.

class time.

the kid’s face on the far right is awesome.

drawing her map.

after lunch, we went for a small hike to some ancient ruins that are in the site. the view was incredible.

ancient burial grounds.






trujillo is the capitol city of la libertad. before going, everyone i had talked to in chaclacayo kept describing trujillo as the land of forever springtime and the place to buy shoes. both proved to be true. it is also where peru claimed its independence and where the first congress met. it used to be much larger than lima, so it contains a lot of history, and colorful, ornate buildings.

we stayed at the official peace corps approved hostel, which was close to the plaza de armas. it was in an old building, which was beautiful. our room faced out to the street, which was great during the day, but at night there were always parties at the church across the street, which proved to make falling asleep a bit challenging.

street view from my room.

street view from my room.

there was a club inside the hostel.

view from the hostel.

hostel décor.

because it makes sense to have a giant seahorse.

where the first congress of peru met, which is now a bank. my bank to be exact.

the church in the plaza de armas.

plaza de armas.

the ladies of my fbt group in the plaza.

the other view of the plaza de armas.

plaza de armas en la noche.

the trujillo municipality.

some ancient ruins in the middle of the city.

there were bees all over the city, and the nerd in me LOVED it.

just starting the day off with some pineapple juice.

i ate at this sandwich shop for three dinners straight. seriously, they were life changing (and cheap). i got the lechon one each time. their ahi verde was incredible. just everything about it was incredible. i will miss those sandwiches, more than one should.

ran into a peruvian mj.

our last day in trujillo i taught two classes at “el cultural,” which is one of the most renowned english teaching schools in the country and the best in la libertad. students come to learn on the weekends on top of their normal school schedule. i taught two classes in english on two topics: music and the art of complaining.

the music class was a lot of fun. i took them on a time continuum tour of who i decided were the most important musical artists of the last 60 years, which are all obvious: elvis, the beatles, michael jackson, madonna, new kids on the block and tupac, needless to say it was a blast for me.

for the class on the art of complaining, i had prepared some fun improv activities to show how and when to complain. but instead the class had already prepared questions for me. when i heard this, i assumed they would be questions about american culture, which is somewhat true. they instead asked me about our gun control policies, our problems in our educational system, and the lack of public health care. needless to say, i was left a little stunned. each question ended with, “what are your plans to help make needed changes?” i was left speechless each time, but adequately answered the questions and hopefully giving them a better understanding why america is quite slow to react sometimes or to make various changes. but the kids were more well-versed on american issues than most other americans, and it left me quite impressed. but i am still laughing about the whole situation. that is the best thing to do here. laugh.

%d bloggers like this: