It's hard to think of the last time I could post about one of my most perfect days in Peace Corps, or a day that I've had such a quality day of work, friends, and personal time. Yesterday was just such a day.
I woke around 6:00am which is my normal time and I read a chapter or two (or three if I'm honest) of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. Around 8:30 we had a great breakfast of vegetarian lomo saltado (I think in that case it's just saltado) which is a combination of homemade french fries, tomatoes, and onions all fried up. Breakfast is always better on days when Papa Julio has a day off from driving his combi. This breakfast was no exception. Papa Julio and Mama Gi had an important day of trying to find a ram to breed with her five female sheep (ewes), and so I decided today was the day to check back in with all of my community partners. So what did I do? I read another chapter or two (or three if I'm honest) of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, got ready to be seen in public, and trotted off down the hill to visit my contact in the town hall. Before I made it past the plaza, I ran into him (Professor Alberto) and we chatted for awhile. Mostly, he told me he doesn't see there being any work, but he wants the Youth Association to take advantage of my presence before I leave in August. He also asked me if I was going to marry some guy from Jangas, but that's really a normal conversation for me. Before long we ran into my friend Hugo (who has been such a huge help since my first day in Jangas - he's really a god-send). Hugo and I set off on a mission to re-organize the Youth Association.
We visited a couple of people we knew to be leaders, and then I headed off to check in at the Health Post, Hugo in tow. It had been almost a month since I had set foot in the health post. The last time I was there, I left a little annoyed with the staff as they were taking a project I had spent many moments working on and turned it into...well, a big mess. But I felt it was time to eat humble pie and rectify the situation. I'm glad I did. I ran into Julia - the woman in charge of the health post - and we chatted for awhile. She felt the way I did about the group we were trying to create and encouraged me that we could make it more youth friendly and do a restart in a couple of weeks. I felt reassured.
Next stop, the school where I set up a couple of meetings, but Hugo and I had a mission. In our plan to re-start the Youth Association we decided to invite the 5th year students (think Seniors) to join the group. So we went to the two classes and invited the 5th years to come and take part in the planning meeting. Three community partners down, one to go. Hugo and I then went to the president of the split off youth association (oh what a tangled web this is) and invited him and his group to come and reunite the two groups into one, new, stronger, happier super group. Okay, that's a bit dramatic...Truthfully, I'll be happy if 5 people show up. And then we called to my main community partner who is currently working at one of the mines (like silver - I think) who we managed to wake up at 11:50am. I'm not sure what his work schedule is like, but that was very weird. He was invited, then allowed to go back to sleep. Hugo and I decided on a location, said good-bye, and I headed back to my house.
When I arrived, lunch wasn't ready but it was going to be good (black-eyed peas and rice which I planned on eating with the hot sauce my sister just sent me in a care package). So, I sat in my room and decided to study a little Spanish. One of my new methods for doing so, is to watch the Argentinian series Mujeres Asasinas (Women Murderers). Yes, it's as scary and demented as you would think, but I've learned a lot of new words (some swear words and bad phrases) to keep improving my Spanish.
Lunch was served around 1:45pm, and today it was just my older, younger sister Yuli and me. It was special though as we had a sister-to-sister heart-to-heart which we haven't had in months. We talked about things like if we were dating (that's a no on both of us), if she was excited to start classes again, and my excitement and sadness to leave Jangas in a few months. It was a wonderful meal, not just for the food, but I felt like I hadn't been connecting well with Yuli as of late, so this meal put all my fears to rest.
The rest of the day was spent watching more Mujeres Asasinas, reading one chapter or two (or three if I'm honest) of A,V, M, and then taking some time to watch the second season of Mad Men and completing about 10 Suduku puzzles. Papa Julio and Mama Gi did not find the ram that they hoped, so they'll have to try again at a later time.
Really, a pretty good day. Sorry no pictures, but I guess that's just how most good days go, we don't have pictures to remember them by except in our hearts.