Monday, December 31, 2007
As for now, I'm currently celebrating the New Year with my new friends feeling thankful for the gift of these new friendships and hopes that they can deepen, and that my work in Catilluc starts to find balance.
Thank you all for following my blog this year. I will write in the New Year, so don't give up. And I hope that all of our deepest healthiest desires come true for you in this next year. Take care.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
I took a few days to run back to Yanacoto to visit my family from training. I needed the break as things in Catilluc were still hot when I left, which also means I need to return and finally deal with all that happened.
BUT...I had a fabulous Christmas with Loly and the gang. Christmas is much calmer and smaller here whichis a nice antithesis to Christmas in the States, but I really think there should be a combination of the two. I will try to post some pictures when I get a chance. I just want everyone to know that my Christmas was fabulous and that I'm feeling much better.
Happy New Year!
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Of course like any good party in Peru, it started very, very late. And it might only have started late because there was never really an exact start time to begin with. The great thing about Llamapampa (the caserio in which I was to be madrina at the primary school) is that it’s a sure location where I can actually make phone calls on my cell phone (Catilluc doesn’t have cell phone service, although we were supposed to get it a month ago, this month, and next March, I’m not holding my breath). Sometimes Internet is not available either, as it hasn’t been this week, so sometimes this one small little spot in Llamapampa is my only connection to the outside world. Weird, no? Anyway, I went a little early so I could communicate with some of my friends from Peace Corps. Thank you for free cell to cell calls within Peace Corps sometimes that is the only thing that keeps me sane.
Long story short, it started to rain in the middle of one of my phone calls so I found some friends and passed a couple of hours just chatting with them before the ceremony started. The hustle surrounding the preparations was interesting. It reminds me of all the simple pleasures we have in the United States. I watched the parents spend about 30 minutes trying to string electricity into the little school. One lonely light bulb was responsible for lighting the room, and there was another chord spliced for a little boom box to play the music that we would later be dancing to.
Presenting the gift to one of the graduating students.
The ceremony was pretty straightforward. We started off by singing the Peruvian National Anthem, which is fairly common. Then the Director, my friend Professor Segundo gave a few words, and then there were poems and speeches from the children being promoted and a few of their schoolmates. I gave a quick, and poor, speech about the importance of education and continuing onto University after they’re done with secondary school. Then I presented them little gifts. I bought long sleeve T-shirts that said “Promocion 2007, Llamapampa” and fleece pants, because it’s pretty cold in Llamapampa. They don’t open the gifts in front of you, so I don’t know if they liked them or not. After my presents came the presents from their padrinos or madrinas, they each have an individual godparent for the promotion as well. Their godparents gave a quick speech and then we ate and danced. A nice, simple little ceremony.
As for the work, I am definitely in the three to six month stretch because I am so frustrated with my work. And I am going to have to move. My family is having some financial problems and can’t manage life with me added to their other stresses. This is a pain because I don’t have a lot of options for housing and I’m pretty much guaranteed I’ll need to buy my furniture which was easier when I had a little extra dough from Peace Corps. I will need to move in January. So on top of work being difficult, needing to find a new family, and being hit on every day by some Peruvian (sometimes under very sketchy and scary circumstances) I feel a little stressed out. So, I’ve been given a quick reprieve to go visit some friends in Cajamarca. So I’ll be headed to San Miguel tomorrow to discuss my circumstances with a couple of other PC volunteers. We’ll see if I can clear my head a little bit.
Sunday, December 9, 2007
That being said, I have become a madrina of a school promotion. This is a one-time thing. I will give little gifts (a long sleeve t-shirt, and some sweat pants) to three students from a local caserio. I felt like this was something I wanted to do once. This was an easy choice for me, but turning down being a madrina the future could be difficult. Yet, this is a hugely important part of their culture.
On a completely different note, a little less than a week-ago the bus company that I take to and from Cajamarca had an accident. The bus flew completely off the road, with my counterpart, Tania and the nurse, Ellie and her young son in tow. Everyone on the bus was badly shaken with minor injuries, but thankfully noone was killed. I rode in Hernandez (that’s the bus company) the day after and took a couple of pictures of the accident. It’s a constant realization that bad things can happen especially when traveling in a developing nation.
Here's the bus.
As for my mental health, everything’s great. Once again, I feel like my Spanish is back on track. I’m finding small ways to get out of the house even though the committee wants me to wait until January to start work. I’m hoping that I can create a project plan to get money from either the municipality or the ministry of health to fund an employee of the CAID. I believe that this will be an important advancement for sustainability. Of course, this requires a lot of work and writing a report in Spanish, but I’m up for the challenge, and I believe in the CAID and the work that it could do to enhance lives in Catilluc. Wow, is that Disney movie of the week, or what?
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Peel and chop carrot
Cut chicken into pieces
Heat up the oil with garlic (2 cloves)
Add liquid cilantro (chopped and blended)
Add water (6 cups to 5 cups of rice)
And salt to taste
When the water is boiling, add the rice
After the rice is cooked, add a little more oil