Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My friend Yuli

After almost a year in site, I finally have a good friend outside of my family. Her name is Yuli (like my host sister) and we hang out a lot. It's been really nice to have someone closer to my age (she's 24) to hang out with and to spend time with. She works at the municipality, has three older brothers and two younger brothers. Yuli, her younger brothers and I all go running (sometimes), and we all go out to the clubs (sometimes as well). When I'm bored or just want to speak some Spanish, I'll go to her house and we'll visit for awhile and then I'll return to my house and eat dinner. It's been nice to have a new friend.

I'm always amazed at how difficult it is to make friends in Peru. My first attempts in Catilluc were completely foiled by my misconceptions about the culture. When we make friends in the US it's usually based off of some connection. I'm friends with people who like theatre, go to church, play basketball (whatever). But here people have been friends their entire lives, and their parents were friends for their entire lives before that and their grandparents before that etc. So it's much harder for people, like me, to come in and for only two years try to develop strong friendships. I have been completely burned and back stabbed in my friendships here.

Yuli is an interesting case as she grew up in Ancash, and her family was very poor. Her father was a carpenter originally, but as he sent his sons off to the police academy, mechanics school, and now one of them is getting his degree in accounting. As they have gained more education and therefore more money, they family's standing in the community has gone down. There is a lot of jealous. Yuli went to college in Lima and wants to go back again. Which is part of the reason we connected. She doesn't necessarily have a lot of good, good friends but she also knows what life is like outside of Jangas. And she's educated. We have a lot of fun together. Lately we've been joking that we're two CRAAAAZZZY chicas. I think it's interesting that in the last blog post I talked about how my host mom and I get along even though we have nothing in common, but this week I'm talking about a friendship I have with someone with whom I have a lot in common. It's nice to have a diversity of relationships.

Enjoy the pics. They are from various events (and Yuli's bedroom) that Yuli and I have gone to together. We do typical girl things. We check out the hot guys and avoid the drunks, and of course we crack each other up.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Just a Quick Word

For all you faithful blog followers out there (all six of you)I want to let you know I'm still here. And sometimes I even have ideas to write about, but I've been doing so much writing (for IST Theatre Manual, Youth Newsletter, IYFD Group, Resume, Cover Letter, you see what I'm talking about) I haven't been able to get myself in blog writing mode. Nor have I taken many new pictures lately. I'll try to do that.

I do want to let you all know, I have really been enjoying the company of my host mom. The other day we had a really deep and intimate conversation about marital relations in Peru. I think I've said how much I adore my host mom, Mama Gi, but sometimes I'm so amazed at how different we are, but how much we get along and enjoy each other. She's told me on a couple of occasions that she is sad when she comes home at night and my light's not on. She has truly become a good friend and sometimes I have moments with her and I just want to cry thinking of leaving her. So far I've been holding it together, but I'm waiting for the tears to fall. It's gonna be a faucet here before too long.

Okay, more soon and hopefully pictures.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Six-Word Memoirs

So Smith Magazine recently ended and published a book called "Not Quite What I was Planning" that includes six-word memoirs "by writers famous and obscure". In this vein, I thought I would give it a try myself. Here are my six word memoir ideas:

1. I survived Chosica, Catilluc, and Jangas.
2. To be: Returned Peace Corps Volunteer
3. I am not a sex object!
4. No more rice or potatoes please.
5. Let me survive this combi ride.
6. Spanish is not my first language.
7. Don't make me go to Lima.
8. Ancash: beautiful mountains, beautiful people, beautiful.
9. So many projects, so little time.
10. Life is absolutely fabulous in Jangas.

So there are 10. I'll try to take some new pictures to put up in the next week or so. There just hasn't been a lot of new going on...although, school is back in session and I do have some projects in the works. Wish me luck.