Tuesday, June 28, 2011

so. busy.

Found another quick moment in a cozy little internet cafe to give a couple few updates.

Our first three months (actually 10 weeks) in Peru are spent in training for our work as Youth Development Facilitators. The Youth Development trainees are placed with host families around the Chosica area - which is a small semi-urban district (sorry geography friends, hope I´m making the right distinction there). [We aren't considered volunteers until the swearing-in ceremony at the end of the last week.] We have training every day from about 8-5 but the sessions are pretty dynamic, and luckily, as Youth Development trainees, our training centers around games ('dinamicas') and simulations of activities we can run with our youth.

...But we are pretty stressed. It's pretty draining doing 8-5 while learning Peruvian Spanish and culture. Its hard to balance, but it will be such a relief by the time we get to ¨site¨(the place we will be assigned for the next 2 years) to have some time off and a flexible schedule. Also the other trainees are awesome - everyone is great and ridiculously nice.

My host family also ROCKS - they are a family of five: Viviana, Ronald, and their three kids, Matias (8), Valentina (6), and Antonella (3). I. adore. them. They are so nice, and intelligent, and interesting. Love.

In other news, I finally went for a run today. I´ve been pretty worried about the dogs chasing me but most of the dogs have actually started to recognize me now, so I thought today might be a good time to give it a go. [Disclaimer: Always carry a decent sized rock when running in Peru - raise when approached by a ravenous-looking dog - repeat.] Running was a magnificent idea. The fog was covering the mountain which I ran/scrambled to the top of and you could barely see 10 feet ahead of you. I was literally running inside of a cloud and it was one of the very first times I was in awe and so excited about being in Peru and doing Peace Corps.

So yeah, its moments like that. And I cant wait to get to site to break out of this routine and have moments like that all the time.



Again guys, I really miss all of you. Keep me posted on your lives, and if I don´t get back right away just know that I am reading them and anything you send me MAKES MY DAY.



And just in case you´re curious:

New Meat Things I´ve Tried:

- Chicken Foot (Actually, this is totally a lie, I didnt actually eat it, I was scooping up some potatoes and lentils when out of the depths of my lunch came this claw of despair jutting out towards my face. I did not eat it, but I´m sure I will eat one soon. Apparently this is my youngest host sibling´s favorite food... I´ll keep you posted.)

- Cow Stomach (I did actually eat this, last night, in a dish called Cau Cau, not bad)

- Chicken Liver (I ate it before I knew what it was... turns out to be a good method)

- ¨Cuy¨ aka Guinea Pig (Sarah Newman, I seriously apologize. That actually goes for all my neighbors... I will try to do this as little as possible... It will be hard to avoid. It really does taste just like chicken though...)




Love you all lots!

-Ali

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