Has visto la lluvia?
So training is over. And now I’m in my site. Where I’m gonna live. For two years. What up.
I’ve spent three full days the last few weeks on a bus. The 24 hour bus sounds like a lot, but it’s not that bad. It feels shorter every time. Sleeping helps. During our visit, we were warmly greeted by the current volunteers in our department. They took us to the super tall waterfall (3rd tallest in the world according to some) where everyone excluding myself braced themselves under the freezing spray. The hike to the falls was really beautiful (see images).
Later I indulged in some green grapes for the first and last time during my Peru stay. I got real sick and couldn’t hardly eat any of my new host mom’s food. By the way, my home is awesome. Like, it’s not a hut. In any way. There’s water. Power. Satellite tv. Water heater for showers. Nice bed. Also, my mom is really cool. She holds some sort of official position and knows everyone. All her kids are living in Lima or Trujillo, and her husband is in Lima temporarily, so it’s just me and her for now. During the first time we met in the regional capital, I mentioned that my favorite fruit is granadilla, which is this weird fruit that kind of looks like an orange from the outside, since it’s orange, but when you open it there’s a ton of sour grey seeds and it looks like a pack of fish eggs or something. Anyway, she said, aw, well we don’t really have those around here. But lo and behold, when I got home, they were there on the table – she had hunted them down.
Also, when I got back to my training home there was a really loud party outside my door that was for some saint. We danced and then there was a Torro Loco. This is this cow thing that you can wear that shoots fireworks in a dangerous fashion. It was awesome.
The last week in training was a whirlwind of exams, hanging out, packing up, goodbye-ing, preparing for our host family party and swearing-in. Our swearing-in was at the ambassador’s house in Lima. It was pretty chill. The next day before getting on the bus, Tony and I purchased guitars. I needed a hobby for the rainy season… and a way to make my host mom hate me, maybe. Speaking of hobbies, it’s interesting how all the women here are crazy about knitting and crocheting. Every surface of my house is covered in these beautiful.. things. Another thing to pick up, I believe.
Anyway, right now I’m just trying to “integrate” and meet people and figure out what exactly I’m going to be doing for these next couple years. I probably won’t figure that out anytime soon.
Some exciting acts of integration have been:
Attending an 80th and an 8th birthday back to back that both consisted of lots of dancing. I have noticed that all Peruvians have rhythm/dancing abilities. It’s practically in their blood. I must have done okay though because someone called me the “United States of Bailar.”
Attending three masses in my first weekend. My mom is extremely Catholic.
Starting to get over my lifelong phobia of volleyball. They love that here.
Participating in lots of parades. Diabetes, Nonviolence, AIDS, etc.