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.