Thursday, July 7, 2011
Saving up...for a frying pan!
You wouldnt´t think it would be so exciting to start from scratch and have to save up to buy things like frying pans. We have one pan so far, but no sauacepans or frying pans. We are going to get some kitchen cabinets and pans in a week or so when we have saved up. It´s awesome, because everything we have is really ours, and even though its not much, it is enough to make a cozy space. Actually, what you see in the pictures? That´s it. Nothing more yet. But as we get stuff I will post more pictures. I have had a bit of a tough week, because the food made me sick, and I had headaches, but now I am feeling better. I also only teach classes in the evenings, which meant I was in the apartment with nothing to do all morning every day. So, our apartment is VERY clean! Today, I decided to go to work with Cesar, and that was way more entertaining, as I met the owners of a semi and a digger which Cesar was wiring (oh my gosh it looks so complicated I have no idea how he made them work) and got to chat. Then I got a call from a friend asking if I could meet him in 10 minutes to translate. That was cool! I went to meet the Quality Inspector of Yanacocha Mine, which is the American Gold Mine which practically runs the city, as it half the population works there and they have boosted the local economy, while destroying the water quality at the same time. Anyway, I had to meet the head of the local welding academy and accompany them to inspect some big water tanks and then sit down and talk about this contract and agreement. I felt important, because George from the mine is from Texas and has been all over the world, no joke he was telling tales of mining in Saudia Arabia and India and Chile, and seems to be well respected. The Spanish guy was from Barcelona, with a Mexican wife, who has worked all over South America because he is passionate about training young men to be professional welders. He said he could live comfortably in Spáin if he wanted, but he prefers to help people out. Then, he showed us a picture of this building he had built in Barcelona, a sky scraper, and said he named it after his son Johnathan. I was like...WHAT AM I DOING HERE WITH THESE PEOPLE!!! But, in the end, if you can´t communicate it doesn´t matter what high position you have, you must use a commoner like me to get your point across! So anyway, my friend who works in the mine was supposed to translate, but it was evident that it was hard for him, so I took over. It was beautiful to see that when the Spanish guy was using hand gestures talking about the welding process, no translation was necessary, because the Texan could understand due to them both having had the same career for more than 40 years and arrived at the top. The Spanish guy was proud of his tanks, because they were welded by people from his own welding school. Anyway, it was interesting for me!
After that I had to go to ICPNA to judge project citizen. Those of you who kept up with my blog last year may remember that I was asked to judge a project that local schoolteachers had to do about teenage alcoholism and how to prevent it. This year it was ICPNA students at advanced levels. They presented about Gangs in Cajamarca. Another teacher and I had to ask them questions afterwards. You could tell they were nervous because they were shaking! But they put a LOT of work into the presentation. They decorated their 4 bullentin boards and gave us a brochure and made a whole binder full of information. I thought it was great. I challenged them to put their plan, which was prevention through education (YAY WUSC!) into practice. The problem was, this made me 20 minutes late for my class. My students were not happy, but what could I do! All the Project Citizen students were wearing suits and ties and dresses and I could´nt very well walk out, plus my boss was there so there you go. The head boss was here from Chiclayo, because yesterday was National Teacher´s Day so we were all invited for a lunch together which we actually DIDN´T have to pay for! wooo! There were about 20 of us, including admin, and 4 teachers were missing. It was nice, but in typical Peruvian style, we ate 1.5 hours late, and all had to rush home for our books in order to arrive at class on time. Or, maybe I was the only one who rushed. Who knows! There was a young lady from the states at ICPNA to tell us about a new program which matches ACCESS, or students learning English and tieing it to community involvement, with other ACCESS students around the world. I think it will be a great tool for them, in which to practice their English and connect with the world around them. I hate to say it, but the people here are somewhat old-fashioned in their beliefs, set in their ways, and somewhat closed minded to other cultures. There is interest amoung some to learn though, and that is great!
As for Cesar and I, we are getting along very well, we eat the MENU every day while we are poor, which means for 1-2$ I get a 3 course meal. They usually have few options and it usually means 4 cups of rice are on my plate and I can´t eat it all, but that is ok. I feel like a Peruvian when I go to place which sells menu, and there are hundreds, because there are never any other white people. Plus you don´t have to wait, they bring you soup right as soon as you sit down and ask you for your seconds choice 2 minutes later. Very efficient.
Cesar is at university right now, which he loves, so I am happy for him because it is not cheap and I know he has worked hard to save up to go. Also, he employs his cousin and is teaching him his trade on the condition that he finishes his high school edcuation (he is 22 I think) and goes on to study at SENATI. He says, that his cousin will be able to get a good job in the mine in a few years if he works hard. Cesar doesn´t want to work there because you have to get up at 4 to arrive there on time, and it is cold and damp. He says he prefers to work in the open air and make his own hours. I guess thats the best part of having your own buisness. I met Cesar´s Mum on Sunday. She is such a little woman...like half my height. And so very sad. I hope I never end up alone and scared of spirits and ghosts like her. She has this idea that Cesar and I are married, which Cesar says is because we live together and her religious ideas cannot allow her to think any other way. Apparently after I left she told his cousin that I am pretty, but I will probably beat Cesar up. Hmmm, nice analysis. I´m off to buy a wooden spoon...
Seriously, it was sad to see her though, alone in a room which Cesar rents her. There is nothing wrong with the room, just that it is lonely, and small, and she thinks there are spirits because the floor creaks. Apparently, every month she tries to get Cesar to move her to a different place. She has moved many times, and Cesar told her she has to stay for a while. I think, that she seems like a woman who has seen too many bad things, and stuggled too much in life, and doesnt know how to pull through it, or maybe has never known, becuase there was never anybody to teach her. And she kept saying how scared she was to die. Shes about 64 I think- and not likely to die anytime soon, but it was scary to see a grown women crying and talking about death and spirits. I think it makes you appreciate greatly the people you have in your life.
I keep seeing people I met last year or 2 years ago, and it is amazing to see how much they have grown, in height, personality, and English. I feel honoured, because while it is difficult to see large improvement month to month, the improvement in 11 months is noticable.
My boss asked me to give and oral exam in her class tomorrow night. I have to ask students lots of questions and evaluate their answers. Sounds cool!
I bought myself a bath towel! It is blue! You wouldn´t think that was exciting, but after sharing a towel for a week it is nice to have my own again!
Well, thats all for now! Thanks for the comments!
The picture is taken at the Exposition Park in Lima...AKA, Park of the Chinese!