Sunday, December 9, 2007

More about Culture and Accidents

Libby, Peru 10, and my family from training. They're all so great!

One of the popular traditions in Peru is the idea of a Madrina or Padrina. This signifies godmother or godfather. There are madrinas/padrinas for everything. You can have a madrina for all of your life or just to get a haircut. Peace Corps volunteers are asked to be madrinas/padrinas quite often. Of course, there is a huge difference between being a madrina of a haircut because that’s a one-time thing. It’s another thing to take on being someone’s godparent for the rest of his or her life. Then you are responsible for gifting to that child for the rest of your life, and if something happens to the parents…then the child lives with you. They take this responsibility very seriously. Sometimes, with poor language skills PCVs end up being godparents without realizing the commitment.
A picture from the pre-school promotion. How cute?

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?


Mardy said...

Love the pictures! And the bus accident, yikes! I guess we can add travel safety to the list of prayer requests. I'm glad to hear that your Spanish is back. I'm sure it's always much better than you think! Good luck with the report writing--let us know how we can help.


carolyn said...

want you to know that we think of you often even if i don't always answer your look and sound great. do they celebrate christmas in peru?? it is very interesting about godmothers and godfathers.i'm glad you got a chance to take on the kids. keep on keep you lots carolyn