Como se dice?

Written 6/13/10
My brain hurts.

Honestly, it hasn’t hurt this much in awhile. Not for finals, not for interviews, not for anything.

It’s a good hurt, like the hurt you get when you decide to actually work out right in the weight room. Or run a marathon. Or…. I was trying to compare this to something I’ve done academically, but since I’ve never tried in school… I came up short.

Well, there was this one time where I went to the Kimball Art Museum in Ft. Worth for a seven hour lecture on Impressionism in order to pass an AP Art History class in high school (I ended up enjoying that class for as shitty grades I earned in there).

The reason my brain hurts is I have never uttered the phrase “como se dice?” (how do you say….) so many times in the span of eight hours and had to process words this fast in awhile. En espanol.

What you hear from many RPCVs )returned Peace Corps volunteers and others is that Peace Corps has the best language training program. One of the main reasons for this is not only do you have 4-5 hours of intensive language Monday thru Friday, but during your training, you are placed with a host family.

Most of the time, this family speaks no English. Lucky for me, my host sister is rather proficient in the English language, which helped me in my quest for Spanish fluency. Still though, the majority of conversation was done in Spanish, a tough thing for someone who has one semester of half paying attention, and three semesters of online Spanish thanks to Midland College.

After lunch today, we met our host families that we were going to stay with during PST (pre service training) in Chaclacayo. So far, my host family is pretty cool.

The family consists of mi padre Luis, mi madre Gloria, mi hermana Ruby (veinte y cinco anos) y mi hermano Felipe (veintiuno anos. If you don’t know the words in the previous sentence that did not sound like English, look them up. They also have two cute little dogs, Carmelo y Eka (her name escapes me as well)

Anyway, while I had lunch at the training center, Gloria had cooked up some more food, which I did not mind at all. For the priemiero plato (first plate) we ate pappa a la huancaina, which was eggs and potatoes mixed with a type of queso sauce that I swear I’ve had at the majority of my meals since I arrive in Peru.

For the segunda plato (second plate- main course) we had pollo (chicken) al horro (the translation escapes me) with arroz (rice). It was nice.

After destroying that, I walked around the house with Gloria, and she showed me her garden of various fruits and vegetables. Pictures below:

Edit: ok so it takes an ungodly amount of time to load an image on the internet. I will post them later

It’s amazing what people can do on so little money.

Their family business happens to be an internet cafe, so I get free internet for the next ten weeks. Awesome. However, I really don’t think I’m going to overuse that. While I could skype for five hours at a time, I really don’t want to prevent my host family from losing money. It’s pretty funny- during the day, adolescents and preteens come to the cafe to play a game called Rakipa, similar to World of Warcraft.

From there, Luis, Gloria, Ruby and myself went to a city called Chosica, the city next to Chaclacayo for some shopping.

The place we went to Place Vea, was the first supermercado (supermarket) to open in this area, and the atmosphere was similar to the Whole Foods in Columbus Circle during lunch/dinner (New York City) or Best Buy at 6 am on Black Friday- pure chaos. Hundreds of people crammed into a little (term used lightly) supermarket angling to buy various items needed to sustain life in Peru.

With Luis waiting in the car, Gloria, Ruby and I went to the bread section to wait for baguettes and another kind of bread. It was interesting as other bread was flying off the shelf, and all the while I was getting double takes and someone even tried to reach in mis pantalones…. for my wallet. That was interesting.

After we returned, I hung out with Felipe for a bit, listening to the music he enjoyed. He was a big fan of Daft Punk and classic rock, which makes bonding time a little bit more fun when I showed him my music.

After innundating him with the likes of Pat Green, Cory Morrow, Robert Earl Keen and other artists of a certain genre which most of you who read this probably dislike, him and I watched Superbad with Spanish subtitles. I felt that it was a hell of a lot better to bond over than Crash, Syriana, or No Country for Old Men. I was right. Funny movies always break the ice.

Anyway, it is now 11:30 pm, and I need to be up at 7:15 prepare for my first day of training. Starting tomorrow I’m 8-5 Monday thru Friday. Hopefully by the time you read this in two months, it will be entirely in Spanish.

Kidding. Sarcasm just would not sound the same.

Anyway I’m going to rest my brain. I’ll need it for the training tomorrow and for finding out ways to school the other PCVs on the basketball near my host family home.


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