Un, dos, tres, CHUPA! (And additional goodies)
I have been sitting here for about 20 minutes just staring at this blank page trying to think of something, really anything, to write about. I guess thats what a stressful work week will do to you.
This week I had to give a 20 minute presentation (yes, in spanish) for my linguistics class. Basically I had to read this abnormally abstract article about a linguistics topic and then give an overview of the entire article. I know it doesn’t sound to complicated, but trust me when I say it was mentally draining. Now that it is done with I can look forward to my next presentation, JOY!
This past weekend I got to experience two different cultures in one night. I attended the Peruvian version of Oktoberfest. Basically it was a night of German culture, with spanish being spoken, and Peruvian beer. I can’t complain.
When I walked in it was a little overwhelming with the amount of people there were just walking around speaking spanish. But after a few cervezas, or chelas, I was feeling a little less overwhelmed.
As I sat there sipping on my abnormally large beer, I couldn’t help but feel super blessed to be sitting there with all of my new peruvian friends. Not only because they are awesome, but also because of them my spanish has improved un montón! Who would have ever thought that I could have so much in common with a group of people from across the world!
Ok I will stop being sentimental. I mean after all it was a festival of beer, how sentimental can that be? Throughout out the night there was a live band that played traditional German music and they also had times where dancers would go out and dance the traditional dances. After ever song the band would shout “UN, DOS, TRES, CHUPA!” which roughly translates to “ONE, TWO, THREE, DRINK!”
Also throughout the night there was an ongoing competition to see what table could build the largest pyramid with the beer cups they had completed. Below is a picture of me and my friend Mercedes with the largest pyramid that night as well as some other photos for your viewing pleasure.
Now I’m sure you are all thinking that all I do down here is go to class three days a week and then party the rest of the time, but I PROMISE I am doing useful things with my time. One of the greatest thing this trip has offered me is getting to volunteer at a private school in Villa El Salvador which is a more impoverished location. I get to work with a 2nd grade class every Thursday at a private school which was set up to give education to the children of this community! This is such a rewarding experience. The students as well as the teachers are so amazing.
Every Thursday when I walk through that door the ENTIRE class runs up to me and gives me the biggest group hug. I’m talking so big that I almost fall over every morning, but how can that NOT put a smile on your face. Throughout the day I get to help them with various things, like math problems, questions on grammar (I have to say, this probably teaches me more than them), and how to use a dictionary.
The most amazing part of this all is the environment that they are learning in. The teachers are so nurturing and loving towards them which in return makes the children so loving. I can’t tell you how many times they will come and just sit on my lap, or give me a huge hug, or play with my hair. It’s so awesome to experience all of this love.
This semester another girl from my program and I took on the task of creating a website for the NGO which encompasses the school and their partnering after-school program. It has been a large task so far, but so awesome to get to have this opportunity. This website is being built to be an informational website so that people outside of Perú can see the amazing things they have accomplished. They are a relatively poor organization and have no outside recognition. We are hoping that with this website out there they will be able to find generous donors to help this wonderful organization grow! I will be sure to get you all the link once we have completed the website!
I can’t believe my time down here in Lima is dwindling down. I have just a little over 50 days before I return back home and boy do I have so much to do in those 52 days. Below is a little breakdown of everything.
Oct 30-Nov 1: Travel to Máncora
Nov 9-Nov 10: Travel to Lunahuaná
Nov 13: Presentation for Linguistics
Nov 13: PARENTS & GRANDPARENTS ARRIVE
Nov 14-Nov 16: Trip to Cusco (Machupicchu)
Nov 16-Nov 18: Trip to Arequipa
Dec 3: Final presentation and final exam
Dec 4: Final presentation and final exam
Dec 5-Dec 14: Free time to travel around South America
Dec 15: BACK TO HOME SWEET MN!
In all this time I will also be going to volunteering every Thursday as well as spending quality time with my host family. Wish me luck with this crazy, hectic, yet very amazing schedule!
All this being said, I should head to bed. I’ve got to be up early tomorrow to go to the school, and let me tell you I need all the sleep I can get. These kids wear me out!