Why Peru is bad for my cholesterol, USMNT communication breakdown, and other observations from week one in Peru

I was told I needed to post something, so here it is.

Before I start I want to personally thank John William´s sister for reading my blog. I´m glad you wasted bandwith on your computer reading this.

I´m very lucky in my training site- I get fed way too well by my host family, get internet whenever I want it, and don´t worry too much about getting stabbed at 4 in the afternoon.

I do, unfortunately, sit for 8 hours a day, with 3 hours of intensive language and other time spent on medical and nutritional items needed for survival. (other content edited for clarity)

We do get breaks though, which I spend sweating through my business casual clothes kicking the futbol (yes, soccer, for the culutrally unaware) or throwing the frisbee until we get called in.

Anyway, I guess I might as well recap my week. Monday was intro to language, where the class is all in Spanish and I have to figure out ways to entertain myself… in Spanish. For those who read Juliane´s or Claire´s blog, I happen to be in her class.

Monday night, I walked back to my house with other volunteers. Problem was I had no idea where I lived. So, I spent an hour at another volunteers house (Courtney) and was given the nickname ¨Hijo Perdido¨ by her host mother while everyone else in that house proceeded to make fun of me in Spanish.

When you don´t understand the language, it´s best to laugh while people make fun of you. Not only do you look like an idiot because you got lost 100 feet from your home, but it makes people more excited to make fun of you. (if this last paragraph didnt make any sense, just move on)

After that debacle, I got lost the next day. We have language classes in our host communities as a way of integrating and better understanding the language, and not only did I end up getting lost going to Claire´s home, I also managed to wake up 30 minutes late. My host family had a good laugh about that one.

Aside from that, it´s nice to bond with other volunteers. Whether destroying little Peruvian kids on the basketball court (score-wise, not physically) or spending money at La Taverna, a bar owned by a friendly Peruvian.

Everything is pretty cheap here. I haven´t been to Lima yet, where prices are much higher. I actually haven´t bought anything but beer (everything else is provided for) but even a giant beer is 3 soles 80 centimos, which amounts to maybe $1.50. This is also why our stipend during training is so small.

As I said in a previous entry, the volunteers are all from different backgrounds. A lot of people did some pretty noble things in other countries before they joined the Peace Corps, which makes for interesting conversation. Kinda makes me wish I had actually done some kind of study abroad besides DC, but that´s another story. People have volunteered in Chile, Mexico, South Africa, and other places. Most are of the democratic persuasion and are much less cynical than yours truly.

I will say though, I do enjoy teaching people the intracacies of the sports industry and teams in general. Especially la Copa Mundial. So many soccer fans in the Peace Corps.

Which brings me to my next point. Because everyone here is fans of Latin American countries or Espana (Spain), little attention is paid to the USA games. Well, actually just the Slovenia game.

Several miscommunications left the volunteers that give a shit about the USMNT thinking that we had lost to the tiny little Eastern European country. It was not until last not that we figured out that it was actually a tie, and that ref from Mali disallowed a Maurice Edu goal in the 86th minute, preventing the USA from taking the lead in Group C. Damn international conspiracy.

Which brings me to this weekend. Myself, along with the other volunteers went to a fiesta in the community of Chachasana last night, about a 15 minute combie (bus) ride away from my home community.

It definitely was not like your typical party, due to the amount of Peruvian music and the lack of dirty dancing in the dance area. At the end, one of the Peruvians in the community put on a giant costume that resembled that giant dragon from a Chinese New Year bash.

Only difference? This guy was hammered and fireworks were spewing from his costume. The reaction from the Peace Corps volunteers was similar to that of the scene when the USA wins the World Cup- total chaos. It was interesting nonetheless.

I would post pictures, but I´m way too impatient to wait an extended period of time for them to upload to the blog. If you want to see them, ask my mother. (My biological one who sends you countless emails to check this site, not my host mother)

Plus, I´m trying this new idea PCV Curtis gave me, where I take songs I like and translate them into Spanish. First up: ¨I Want It That Way¨


4 responses to “Why Peru is bad for my cholesterol, USMNT communication breakdown, and other observations from week one in Peru

  1. Hola, mi mejor amigo. My name is spelled with one N. Maybe you aren’t my best friend after all!

  2. Yes I read this. Combie is a van in South Africa.

  3. Katherine Meyer

    Just wanted to introduce myself as John William’s sister, Katherine. Thanks for the shout out in the blog. I laughed out loud when I read it. I’ve enjoyed keeping up with all the events of PCVs in Peru. Good luck navigating around the streets of Peru!

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