Category Archives: training

taking over the sierra.

beautiful huascaran.

beautiful huascaran.

or really, it would have been that the sierra took over me, since i spent the entire time there with a terrible cold that i am just now really getting over. in fact, it took two days after we came down from the mountainous city for my ear to finally pop…it was pretty tragic.

anyways, i headed to the beautiful department of ancash and stayed in huaraz, which is the department’s capital city nestled up in the andes, for a few days for a peace corps training for project design and management (pdm), and followed that training with my in-service training (ist). at pdm, we each brought a community partner that we work with, and introduce them to basic project design and management 101. it’s extremely rich in information and also follows an american schedule, which of course exhausted all the socios, as they are not used to working a 8a-6p schedule without a siesta in the middle of the day. it was also a lot of work to reiterate a lot of the principles that were being taught, but it was great to get to know my socio better, and we have become even better friends as a result!

half of our pdm group w/ socios!

half of our pdm group w/ socios!

me explaining some of the concepts with my socio, berardo.

me explaining some of the concepts with my socio, berardo.

after our long days of training, we went to the main city for water and just to take time to look around. this is me and some of my favorite fellow pcperu 19 ladies.

after our long days of training, we went to the main city for water and just to take time to look around. this is me and some of my favorite fellow pcperu 19 ladies.

and i totally decided to fall for the tourist trap of posing with an alpaca because why not???

and i totally decided to fall for the tourist trap of posing with an alpaca because why not???

while there, in between being sick and at trainings, some ladies and i took the time to see a few other places in ancash.

beautiful yanguy. the original town was destroyed by a landslide, and rebuilt itself in a new location.

beautiful yanguy. the original town was destroyed by a landslide, and rebuilt itself in a new location.

the domineering huascaran.

the domineering huascaran.

the beautiful, turquoise glacier made lake, laguna llanganuco.

the beautiful, turquoise glacier made lake, laguna llanganuco.

as you can see i was unable to contain my excitement.

as you can see i was unable to contain my excitement.

the awesome-looking bark on the trees.

the awesome-looking bark on the trees.

on our way to see pastoruri.

on our way to see pastoruri.

some wild horses.

some wild horses.

one of a kind cacti.

one of a kind cacti.

to get to the glacier, first you go by horseback and then hike for about another mile. this is me and my horse, ol' smokey.

to get to the glacier, first you go by horseback and then hike for about another mile. this is me and my horse, ol’ smokey.

carlhey and i on our horses.

carlhey and i on our horses.

the view on our hike.

the view on our hike.

i made it!!!!

i made it!!!!

the glacier is an excellent example of the dramatic effects of global warming. so much of the glacier has changed just within even the last year!

the glacier is an excellent example of the dramatic effects of global warming. so much of the glacier has changed just within even the last year!

another example of the melting glacier.

another example of the melting glacier.

brrrrrrr!

brrrrrrr!

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eist.

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.

 

 

 

MEN AT WORK.

all about business.

this is zach and connor. i tried to take a candid photo of them as they were both attentively paying attention to spanish class in the same lounging position. they help make language class as fun as possible.

TEACHING PART TRES.

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.

CUATRO DE JULIO.

the event’s announcement.

i suppose a delayed announcement to my readers would be that a couple of weeks ago, i was nominated and elected president of my training class. don’t worry, it does not entail planning a ten-year training class reunion, but rather organizing activities for the class. for instance the cuatro de julio celebration.

if you know me at all, you know that my all-time favorite holiday is the 4th of july. i was a bit sad that i was going to miss this year in the states, especially the fireworks. last year, mike and i attended four days straight of fireworks…i seriously mean business when it comes to independence day, but do not fret, this year turned out to be plenty of fun.

in the morning hours, the language facilitators at the training center organized a “peace corps olympics.” it was quite fun and included traditional field day games.

the orange team doesn’t mess around (cw: kathleen (our training program director), nico, kyle, tekala, chris, starla, emily, me, mandy y alyson).

nico, starla and emily getting ready for business.

¡READY!

some competition on the black team: jenny (a language facilitator), tyler and mike.

nico and chris showing how it’s done…

watch out. (also best photo bomb shout out to brad)

nico betting on which box the cuy will run into. this is a traditional peruvian betting/party game called “cuy loco.” you try to scare;/yell at the cuy into a box and if it is the box you bet on, you get the prize that was on that box…and some dinero.

kallan and robert showing what happens when water balloon fights go too far…

team orange got the gold. seriously though, should you be surprised?

after the friendly competition, the juntos directivos and i planned a bbq and community vegetarian potluck. there was also a neighborhood soccer tournament, and music aplenty that only included all-american artists. this has been the first day since we have all met in DC that we have had time to just relax and have fun with one another. it proved to be much needed and just a blast. there was also an impromptu dance party. i may be biased, but we are a pretty rockin’ solid group of trainees, soon-to-be volunteers.

our training director, kathleen donated an all-american chocolate cake to the celebration…yum!

soccer practice.

michelle, jessica and starla enjoying their afternoon.

 

TEACHING PART DOS.

this past week i had another teaching practicum, where i taught another class…on my own…for 45 minutes…might i also mention that i was still sick from the week before and was without a voice. in order to explain to the students why they not only could not understand me because of my poor pronunciation, but also because i, literally did not have a voice, i prepared a story for them to read aloud. it proved to be quite the success and the students loved it.

each papalote has a new part of the story…be impressed by my drawing skills…

for our activities, i had us have a “hammer or nail” ice breaker to recognize both the differences and strengths amongst their classmates, and then followed it with a silhouette self-esteem activity.

beginning the first discussion.

listening to their classmates’ answers.

handing out the materials needed for the silhouette activity.

typically, peruvian students do not have any sort of arts program in their schools. and the peruvian education system does not promote creativity, but rather order and efficiency. needless to say, the students were quite excited that i was giving them a chance to be creative and draw during their class time. they got really into it, and it was difficult to tell them that the time was up, but their drawings were quite impressive, and they were able to fill in their current knowledge, skills and values, and additionally adding their aspirations and dreams at the end.

sharing his silhouette.

the class with their posters.

chosica.

al parque de chosica.

my language class took a morning outing last week in the neighboring, much larger town, chosica. it was quite nice to walk around and talk to the municipality and to the police chief.

they even have their own giant statue of jesus.

practice. practice. practice.

the team getting ready to start.

on wednesday i had my first tech practical. i was in a group of three and we had to teach three 45-minute classes on self-esteem to middle schoolers. i was pretty nervous, but i got all the kids to say “howdy,” which helped me feel right at home. and though i accidentally said “i am drunk,” instead of “i am joking” (fyi the words are pretty similar in spanish…at least in my head), it went really well and was a lot of fun. it reminded me of why i am here, and that though i am still catching up on the language portion, i have a lot of other strengths in the classroom.

teaching about the characteristics of high and low self-esteem.

the kids writing all sorts of nice compliments to me. one day i will translate them. one day.

food.

in the aforementioned post i mentioned that it is common for volunteers to peru their pants (fyi, it still has not happened). this is commonly due to food and water consumption and getting used to the bacteria in peru. my diet consists of rice. every. single. day. for two of my meals. for breakfast it is commonly bread with some jam and cheese, and vasa of hot milk (peruvians due not believe in cold drinks…i am not exaggerating, this is a real thing) and a cup of freshly made juice (read: my mom put some fruit…typically papaya in a blender and then poured it into a tasa for me). though this morning was different, i was really excited because she told me that we were having yogurt with cereal, and in my head i thought plain yogurt and some oatmeal, which made me super excited. i came downstairs and it was choco flakes with dehydrated marshmallows and liquid hot pink strawberry yogurt. just a little different than i was anticipating.

typically what i eat for lunch is also what i eat for dinner, but sometimes i can get away with no dinner or some fruit or some bread. notice a pattern yet? tons of carbs. my mom’s family is from cusco, and her brother recently returned from a visit. he brought back around 100 lbs of potatoes, which is in a large pile on our roof, and some really delicious bread and cheese. i am really lucky in that my household eats dairy. other volunteers have yet to have milk or any other form of dairy, and i seem to have too much of it.

anyways, back the topic of lunch: rice, which is sometimes accompanied by lentils, and normally a type of meat….but really just chicken…or a fried egg. the highlight is always a fresh salad with tomatoes, cucumbers and avocados with fresh lime. though, last saturday was a rough one. my family had chicharrones, which was accompanied with raw red onions mixed with vegetable oil. lets say i was really grateful for the raw onions that accompanied the chunks of meat scraps that still had veins and tendons. it was a rough go, but i survived. my mom also made some delicious chifa earlier in the week.

a yummy grenadine.

anyways, the highlight to all my meals are the fruit. i eat tons of mandarins and apples and some grenadines, which is similar to a pomegranate but you eat the whole seed and is bigger.

overall the food is delicious, but i really miss froyo, chips and salsa, peanut butter, and hummus…and it is only week two….

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