Sorry it’s taken me awhile to send an update, but I just haven’t really found the time to sit down and put into words all that’s been going on.
I’ve been in Peru a little over 3 weeks now, today marks 3 weeks with my host family. They are really nice, but don’t speak any English, which is somewhat of a challenge but it helps my Spanish. I live with my host parents (in their 60s), two sisters (in their 30s), their husbands, and my 2 nieces (7 and 8). My room is completely separate behind the house, which is nice for privacy but then we all share only one bathroom, which is in the main house.
Basically my typical day consists of training Monday through Friday from 8 to 5. I usually have 4 hours of Spanish class, a couple hours of technical environmental training, and then various other sessions on safety and security, health, culture, or Peruvian history. Everyone in my training group is pretty awesome. There are 57 of us total—14 are environmental, 14 are water and sanitation engineers, and the rest are health volunteers.
My technical trainer and my boss for the environmental program are both awesome. My tech trainer is 26 and she is a complete badass. She has worked with Amazonian manatees here in Peru and she also did sea turtle research in Brazil. Plus she’s an amazing photographer.
I’m pretty sure I’m going to be working with a marine reserve and protected area once training is over. It’s too early for my boss to tell me for sure but he has definitely hinted at it. He says I’ll be doing education/outreach, working with fishermen to educate/enforce regulations, possibly planting some native tree species, and possibly assisting with some marine species research within the reserve. It sounds really awesome and I can’t wait to learn more…plus I get to live near the coast so that makes me happy!
I feel tired all the time. I don’t really know why either but I guess it’s because 4 hours of Spanish a day is exhausting on top of everything else. I can’t wait to be fluent! Ugh I wish I was better but I know I’ll get there.
In case you ever miss me and want to brighten my day, my address for the remaining 7 weeks of training is below! I have been searching for postcards but haven’t really found any—plus my friend mailed 2 letters and it cost her like $8USD, which is a fucking lot of money to us here (during training we make the equivalent of $3USD/day).
I haven’t really done anything too exciting. I went to Lima with my Spanish class but didn’t get to see or do anything too exciting. I’ve been to a few birthday parties, complete with a clown, a DJ, and a giant guinea pig (and yes it was for a guy’s 25th birthday). I also went to a beauty pageant for a nearby town. Pretty much just like the ones in the states, but thank goodness it wasn’t toddlers. Other than that I really just hang out with other volunteers and my host family.
Well I feel like this has been a pretty lackluster update, but this is my Peruvian life thus far. I hope everything is going well stateside!!
**Now for more of an update today October 10, 2012**
Life is great in Peru. I am almost 40% done with training (4 out of 10 weeks), and the upcoming weeks are going to be busy ones. Tomorrow my environmental group is going to a site south of Lima to learn how to make improved stoves that will be better for the environment and the health of the people using them to cook. Then on Saturday we are leaving for a 5 day trip known as "mini field-based training" to a site a couple hours north of Lima. There we will get to explore a national park, meet with the municipality (local government of the district) about their environmental efforts, and then give educational presentations at a local school. Lots to do and lots to look forward to!! I basically already know where my site for the 2 years beyond training is going to be, but I'm not going to report it until I get the official word--but I am really excited about the location and work I will be doing. There's a lot going on and always a lot to do, but I am really enjoying my time and I am so proud of the work I am going to be doing and so proud to be a part of the Peace Corps family. I am inspired everyday when I hear of the work being done by current volunteers here in Peru and I just hope that I will be able to live up the the expectations that my country staff (and myself) have for me.
I'm going to try me hardest to be better at updating this thing. In the meantime feel free to shoot me an email, facebook message, or even better a piece of snail mail, and I will try to respond faster than I have with this blog post.
Until next time,
**MY ADDRESS UNTIL THE END OF NOVEMBER**
Cuerpo de Paz - Peru
Calle los Cedros 647 Chaclacayo
Lima 8 - Peru