Tag Archives: school


today is the first day back to school after the two week mid-year break!!! woohoo! oh wait, there’s a swine flu outbreak? so school should be canceled for the entire week? okay. if you say so.

am i surprised? nope. at least i still have a few other meetings and projects happening at the same moment…

also, i think it should be noted that i think it shows how integrated i am as a volunteer that i am quite excited for the count of monte cristo to finish downloading. not just because of the movie, but because it’s my monday night plans that i have made for myself…and i am super excited to watch this movie for the first time, especially since i just finished the book last week!

ps. the book is awesome! it is a must-read!

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dia del logro.

fireworks...of course...

fireworks…of course…

the last day of school for the semester ended with a dia del logro celebration at the school. all the classes showcased their accomplishments and achievements throughout the semester. each subject took an hour to showcase what each and every class (6 classes to each grade…and their are 5 grades…so 30 classes) took time to share what they learned in each subject. honestly, it’s a great idea, and it was fun to see what each class had learned!

the setup.

the setup.

more of the setup.

more of the setup.

of course, we need to highlight the virgen. always.

of course, we need to highlight the virgen. always.

danza de los diablicos.

danza de los diablicos.


my students highlighting what they have learned in their speech class.

my students highlighting what they have learned in their speech class.


showing off what they have learned in math...it was...riveting...

showing off what they have learned in math…it was…riveting…

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international environment day.



a teacher that i have worked closely with at the main colegio in town asked me to help him in planning and executing a school-wide activity for international environment day (june 5). we had a flood of ideas, but the biggest difficulty that was presented was engaging more than 700 students at the same time. as the main event, we had all the students come to the school in the morning and cleaned the entire school grounds. this was inspired by a “chiclayo limpio” activity on earth day, where all the schools in chiclayo took to cleaning their school, which really meant, cleaning all the miscellaneous trash that covered the school grounds. the kids really enjoyed this, as we had music playing, and we were able to actively and continuously engage the kids with the realization that when they throw their trash on the ground, no one will pick it up but them. that is a part of the culture that runs rampant here, is the blatancy of littering…willie nelson would be so disappointed. the additional problem is that the trash just builds up, until there is enough dirt that you are practically chipping trash out of the ground.

sweeping dirt. or really getting trash that has been built up in the dirt.

sweeping dirt. or really getting trash that has been built up in the dirt.

it wouldn’t be a real event in my site, if there was no pasacalle, so of course, after we filled trash bin upon trash bin, we got the school together to march through the streets with the municipality. hooray for the environment!


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saved by the bell.

IMG_3821lately, a part of my day time has been spent in the classroom with all the 3rd grade high school students. i am working with all 6 classes of 3rd grade, during their hours of tutoria. tutoria is an hour during the school day, devoted to helping the students develop a sense of self: self-esteem, future planning, etc. i have been working with the teachers and health center on carrying out the “pasos adelante” program with all 6 classes. at the end of the 3 month course, we will select 3-4 students from each class who have demonstrated the most amount of interest and work throughout the course, and form a group of youth health promoters for their school. they will then replicate the classes for other classes in their colegio and work with the health center on doing health promotion events (e.g. international youth day, world aids day, etc.).

each class, we have a discussion part, where we discuss what was discussed the week before, and how it applies to the next discussion topic. we then do an introductory activity, which normally allows the students to move throughout the classroom. after, we do an applicable discussion and how to apply the activity to the theme and other parts of their life and why it’s relevant. both the students and the teachers have demonstrated a great deal of interest in the program. though, with only 40 minutes for each class, it is definitely step-by-step, but it’s great to make sure that the kids are grasping the concepts, as most of this is the first time the students have been presented with the ideas of: why self-esteem is important, why it’s important to understand how to make decisions, what are the key differences between sex and gender. also, it’s been great to get to know many of these kids in a classroom setting, and has solidified my working relationship with the teachers at the colegio.



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the great may escape.

goodness gracious. my, oh, my how time has escaped us…or really just me.

after celebrating the most incredible peruvian birthday, i hopped on a plane to visit friends and family in the us. i was overwhelmed in general, but also by the love of those closest to me. bu seriously, i was pretty overwhelmed culturally as well. being in the peace corps, you get so used to a certain pace of life, a very slow one, and also that about 90% of your time is spent independent of all other americans and in solitude in your country’s culture. another 5% is spent with any volunteer that may be near you, who you may see with varying frequency (once a week or once every month or so depending on schedules). and the final 5% is with other volunteers once or twice month, who are all living the same life of solitude as you, so really we are pretty not self-aware of  how strangely awkward we have become. so, to put me in a situation where i was constantly interacting with people, by the end of the 3rd day in a row, i slept for almost a full 24 hours to catch up. though, i am not complaining. it was so wonderful to see all of my family. and i am so blessed that my brother and close friend both flew in from nyc to see me.

it was especially nice to get to spend time with mp, who was my main reason to visit the us. when mp last left, we went to cusco and lima, and now it was my turn to pay him a visit. though, he kept me quite busy and even gave me a second birthday surprise! he coordinated with a local animal sanctuary to do an at-home visit with a SLOTH and FENNEC FOX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




i think it should also be noted that i got my hair cut for the first time in almost a year, and saw it straightened and cleaned, and i felt like a new woman. but obviously with the animals above i was on another level of excitement that was out of this world. eventually all good (read: great) things have to come to an end, and a very reluctant to leave girl was pushed on to her plane by an amazing mp to return to peru.

i arrived back to peru in one piece, and had a few days in site to remind everyone that i was still here and wanting to work, and also coordinate and prepare for our PEPFAR (president’s emergency plan for aids relief) training. with this training, my socia and i were able to take away a number of great new resources and statistics to share with our community, and now have the opportunity to receive aid money for our project.

doris and i after she received her certificate of completion!

doris and i after she received her certificate of completion!

the following week, we jump started our 6 classes of our sex ed leadership training program, but unfortunately later that week, she received news that she was being transfered to another post far from my site, so now i am still spearheading this training, but more so solo-style, since my health post is dramatically understaffed, and have them help out when it needed. but if anything, this motivates me even more to get my youth promoters trained, so they then can be doing this part and alleviate some of the stress from the health post as well.

i have been terrible about using my camera lately, so i will succinctly describe the other activities that have been keeping me quite busy:

  • i have been giving business charlas to the artisans, and helping them figure out what the costs of their products are and how to determine what they should be setting as their prices. and goodness, they were in need of this. one artisan had been selling these beautifully embroidered bread covers for only 10 soles, when the cost alone to make them was 35 soles.
  • 6 classes of pasos a week keeps a girl busy. let’s just leave it at that.
  • i have been working with my youth leadership council (ADEPZORT) on helping them with their community diagnostic. we have been visiting the most rural caserios and my goodness, you never get used to seeing the amount of poverty that exists in this country, or in any country, but you can’t help but want to give so many more opportunities to these people.
  • celebrated dia internacional de los museos with other volunteers, and finally visited my museum’s pyramids.
  • weekly youth group meetings with my mochumi young women’s group.
  • coordinating a 5-pueblo job fair for september
  • coordinating an environmental awareness event with my colegio for next week.
  • working on a website for the artisans
  • working on a video for the museum
  • and of course, camp ALMA!!!!!!!!!!! (which will be covered in it’s own post)

so i have been busy, busy girl and for that i am grateful. i have also been able to watch all of the new arrested development…superb! as a parting gift, here is a picture from the top of one of my pyramids:


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last week, after returning from almost two weeks out of site, i jumped right back into work! i started out by going with doris door-to-door doing mini charlas on vih and conducting hiv tests. we chose to go door-to-door because only women come to the health center, so the hope was that we would be able to catch some men to take the test. even though we were able to talk to men about the test, almost all still refused to take the test…another perfect example of the machismo culture…also they were normally the most fearful of the brief pain of the test…ha.

doris explaining vih.

doris explaining vih.

administering the rapid test. the test is quite simple...

administering the rapid test. the test is quite simple…



during eist, the obstatrices gave a few charlas at the colegio and even included the dinamicas that i shared with them. as a way to celebrate the end of the charlas and testing week, we planned a pasacalle! peruvians love their pasacalles! in typical peruvian fashion the 8 am pasacalle didn’t start until 10 am, BUT it was still a success. tons of literature was distributed as well as condoms. hoorah!










monica, doris and i post passacalle!

monica, doris and i post passacalle!

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a new profession.

getting ready.

getting ready.

after doing a charla the other week, the professor at the school saw my camera and asked me to return to take photos of the 5th graders (equivalent to seniors in high school) for the upcoming promoción (equivalent to graduation). of course i obliged. it was a lot a of fun, and i have taken it as my given place in my community now….community photographer…haha.


one of the classes.

one of the classes.

for some reason, peruvians never smile in their pictures. so i took this one after they all started giggling uncontrollably when i asked them to smile...

for some reason, peruvians never smile in their pictures. so i took this one after they all started giggling uncontrollably when i asked them to smile…

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