Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Living in a cloud of dust

This week has gotten off to an interesting start. But maybe I should begin with last week. I had a fever last Monday and wasn’t feeling too great for a couple days, but that was over by Wed. I have been keeping busy with classes. We went on a field trip to Lima two weekends ago, and this past weekend we began working at a local agricultural university. We are going to go there every other weekend to learn about planting in Peru. This should help us when we get to site to begin a garden if we so choose. I am very excited about this. I don’t have any gardening skills but hopefully this will be the start of a new hobby for me. I also broke out from an allergic reaction. This was strange because I have never been allergic to anything in my life (I think it was a spider bite). After 3 Benadryl I was good to go.
This week began with a holiday called Feriado, it was in celebration of a saint. I had the day off from classes. So my day consisted of me “cooking” lunch for the family. I really didn’t cook though. I don’t think they were ready to let me loose in their kitchen just yet. I’m pretty sure they believe I don’t know how to do anything on my own. And for those who know me, know just how much I like to do everything on my own. This has been a hard adjustment to make to say the least. I just try to do as much as I can to keep myself sane, like go out with other volunteers, work out, and do my language homework (even though there isn’t really any reason to do it except out of boredom).
Anyways, I “cooked” spaghetti, but again, since I wasn’t really allowed to cook they pretty much did all the work while I stood around suggesting what we could do next. The best part was at the end when they thanked me for cooking lunch. I laughed and shook my head, because I didn’t know how to say anything that I really wanted to say. I wish they would have let me cook, because I really can cook. If they knew I could do some real work then they might not perceive me to be such a helpless American.
Today we were supposed to have classes, but there is a strike going on with all of the public transportation drivers. They are in opposition to some law so they are marching through the streets as I type this. There are about 14 of us who live in my town and we were all supposed to walk to class today since it isn’t safe to take a taxi and all the busses are not going. So at 8:00am about half of us met up to begin our walk. We live at least 5 miles from the training center so this was not going to be a short distance. We got all the way down our hill when one of the other volunteers brother came rolling in on his bike to tell us we didn’t have class after all. This was good to know, now that we were all the way down the hill… We turned around and walked right back up. It was a good morning workout.
That’s the other thing I have had to get used to. Communication in Peru is very limited. Rather than planning a head for things people here seem to take a “wait until we cross that bridge” approach to life. For this I have found myself waiting numerous times for someone to show up, or I have been left without notice about many things. This is just the way it is. I know that I need to be flexible in order to survive the next two years, so this is just good practice for me I guess.

Here are some photos of the “hill” that I live on and walk up and down every day. This picture does not do it justice, but my walk up to my house takes about 10 or 15 minutes. It is all dirt, as you can see... I live in a cloud of dust, but I love it.

I have been trying to get some videos up on here but the internet takes hours to upload a video, so I have yet to figure that out. I will try to get some more photos up here soon.
Love and miss you all!


  1. alana it seems as if your ready to crack right now, i feel alot of tension in this blog but you might have been looking at bad boys 2 lately WOOOOSAAWWW...USE this technique to help you survie....

    ps. can we have some more frequent updates,but i am loving all of this, you are a survivor...

  2. haha, not going to crack YET! I think I was venting in this last blog... I definately have been saying WOOOSAAWWWW often, and it actually helps!
    Thanks for your comments, but who is this?

  3. Hey Alana,
    Thanks for the Happy Anniversary phone call!! Enjoy the "traditional" 4th of July celebration with your fellow Peace Corps colleagues tomorrow.
    We miss you lots, tempered a bit by how much we enjoy hearing & reading about all your Peruvian experiences.
    Love you lots,

  4. Hi Alana,
    Thank you for writing again in your blog. These entries are so very helpful as we try to imagine what you are experiencing. I'm glad the PC starts folks in groups - what a comfort it must be to be with Americans as you get used to things in Perul - I know it was/is for Penny. They get together quite often even now.
    We are doing fine - enjoying some fresh salmon. We sent a package...hope you get it soon.
    Love, Amelia & Family

  5. Alana! I am so happy that you're doing the blog so that I can keep up with your adventures and live vicariously through you... It will get better with the host family, I promise... As they get to know you better and gain more trust in you, they'll give you more freedom and independence... You're doing great! I am so proud of you :O) LOVE YOU!