Monday, October 31, 2011

Back from Trujillo

We´re back from our lightning visit to Trujillo. Wesley, César and I left Saturday, but Wesley stayed there since his girlfriend is on the point of giving birth- at any second. They told her between Oct. 24th and Nov.2nd since she doesn´t want a C-section. Apparently the doctors here try to convince you it´s necessary so that they can charge you more money. How disgusting. We stayed with Rafael and Sandy which was great because it was free. Since we didn´t buy a ticket in time and it´s a bank holiday weekend we arrived to Trujillo lying down in a cubby space behind the drivers seat. It was excellent, easily the most comfortable bus ride I´ve ever taken and I slept very well. Bonus: the 3 of us travelled for 10$!! Good to have friends!
Once in Trujillo we took the bus to Huanchaco, that was fun since there were no seats and I had to hold the bar, but it was such a choppy ride that Rafael and César had to help me stabalize, they thought it was hilarious that I have practically no muscles or sense of balance. I had a ball though, everyone else on the bus kept looking at me as if I was insane for laughing everytime the bus stopped and started again, oh well let them think that it´s because I´m white! When we first got on the bus there were 2 black men with a portable stereo rapping, and they rapped about my eyes which was nice, and then they asked us all for money. Neat job. We took Rafael and Sandy´s dog Boni to the beach, it is such a cute dog, you can´t even see it´s paws because it has so much fur! Later Adriana and Wesley and Adrian´a little sister joined us at the beach, I was hoping her water would break because that would have been exciting but for her sake I am glad it didn´t because the hospital in Trujillo was 20 minutes away. It was cool to feel her belly where her baby was kicking. She is hugeeee! How exciting! It´s a boy by the way! We were discussing names lots. At one point they were hooked on Steve, but they couldn´t say it properly so they changed their minds. I think his name may well be Adrian, but the pronunciation is AH-DRIE-ANN in Spanish. Or Wesley Jr. I hope they were kidding about that one. When the baby is born I´ll post a picture. I am not sure when the couple will be back in Cajamarca but I am sure they´ll be pics on facebook!
César says I am addicted to washing our clothes, it is not that, it is just so much fun to have a washing machine. I am happy happy! Today I have no classes to teach and I am taking the opportunity to-well- relax! And wash clothes. And then I will practice my dance for the talent night!

Well chicos, more later!
xxoo Gemma!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Bye bye ICE

Today is a sad day, because I just chatted to Mum and she says that our dear dog Ice is no longer among the living. So now I am being very nostalgic and thinking of all the great moments shared with her. She was a beautiful dog, not like the horrible rabid ones here that bite you. My student came to class the other day with 3 holes in his leg from where a dog a had taken a chunk out of it. ughhhh, it was awful.
I was so sick yesterday, maybe I could feel Ice´s sickness even though we are far away or something like that!

On a lighter note, later on César, Wesley and I are going to Trujillo tonight to see Adriana and her extremely pregnant tummy waiting to explode at any moment :) It would be super exciting if she gave birth while we were there, but since we will be back in Cajamarca on Monday it´s not so likely. Wesley will stay there with her until the grand moment hits! Owww! Pictures to follow as long as I don´t forget to take my camera!

Speak soon xxoo

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sleep is for the dead

Well, I am so happy here in Cajamarca because I am now very very busy, actually maybe I would have a nervous breakdown but I dont have time for that. Also I calm in my storm.
This month I began working with a group of bright students from a local high school who are planning on taking an English exam called PET at the end of next month. They need to be prepared well in speaking and writing, so I got called in! It means I have to get up at 6:15 to be at the school at 7:30 because it is outside the city in a field where there are cows. I love being there because it is so peaceful, I love to get out of the city and all the noise! The problem is a main road has been closed for repairs and the cars are being directed in front of our apartment so that is just wonderful. In the picture you can see me in ICPNA
I am doing well at university. I am going to dance a lyrical solo in their talent night representing the faculty of psychology so I am excited about that and happy to be dancing again! I am SO out of shape though! I actually didnt realise it was that bad! I have lost weight since I arrived here though, so that is positive.
Today in the morning I was invited to judge a spelling bee in English at a local high school, that was pretty neat! They gave me a lovely gift to say thanks which is a board game of ludo made of wood and all the counters are little carved glass animals. It is neat. I just got back from judging Project Citizen, which is a program where locals have to identify a problem and come up with solutions and an action plan for it, and they write a book too- all in English. It is a LOT of work for them, and although their English is so-so the ideas were cohesive so that was ok.
On Tuesday one of my classes went to do our volunteer work. We gave a workshop about Self-Esteem to ¨children of few resources¨ as they are called in Spanish. It was interesting and as I am so nosy I loved seeing what their school was like., but the school was normal, there are places much poorer here. The school my group has chosen is way poorer, all the children are street workers (selling food, cleaning shoes etc.) and the oldest is 14 because by that age most of these children will have a family and have dropped out. The school is awesome because the director is AMAZING and all the teachers are volunteers, the state doesnt help them AT ALL so the spirit there is awesome, everybody wants to be there and the principal has total control- even with his no punishment rule. The kids all want to be there. I have to say- they may not be bright when it comes to school work, but I havent been to any private schools here with that kind of discipline and such a great environment. Nobody fails, they just go to learn, nobody expects them to finish high school but if they want to stay they are welcome. It is like their second home. They are SUPER polite too, sweet sweet sweet. I much prefer them to certain other very spoiled students who I know belonging to schools of high prestige and high tuition as well. I guess you know a really poor school because the students dont have a uniform. When we went to do our workshop the other day all the students had uniform, so while they are not rich maybe they arent so bad off- one child even whipped out his camera phone to take a picture. I think we should take the opportunity to go to really really poor schools, so I am excited to spend the next month helping out at CEGECEM with the sweet streetworking children.
I have a sore throat, ugh
This morning I cracked an egg--- on the floor, and since we dont have paper towel I tried to clean it up with a plastic bag which actually doesn´t work by the way. HOUSEHOLD TIP #1- put dry powdered laundry detergent on top of egg. The detergent will dry it up and later you can clean it up. WALA! Bet your glad you decided to read my blog today!
Cesar and I saw this great movie called 8 minutes before death or something like that with Jake Gyllenhal or somebody like that and it was so thought-proking, we were nerd chatting about space-time continuems and the future for ages afterwards.
My classes this month at ICPNA have been full of the usual things, poor Cesar gets to hear me rave like a lunatic when I´m happy and rant like a madhorse when I´m not. He´s great :)
My hands are getting better thanks to TRIMICOT, a cream recommended in the pharmacy which appears to make my wounds disappear, how wonderful!
César and I hope hoping to travel on Sunday, somewhere. Wesley and Adriana are going to have their baby any time now!

Catch up with ya later! Hang in there all you BUers suffering from the strike! I´m sure you´ll be back to class soon, or I hope, for you! ;)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Things I have learned in Peru

1. How to open a door with a credit card. Don´t panic, it is impossible to open our two front doors with credit cards because they have padlocks. However, the door to the bedroom and the study can be wedged open with a well placed and jimmied card. Good skill to have! Especially since there doesn´t appear to be a key for those locks!
2. Just because the sun is out when you leave the 3rd apartment, doesn´t mean that it won´t be pouring down with rain by the time you reach the ground floor (i.e. in the space of about 10 seconds)
3. Powdered laundry detergent wrecks hands. I washed our shoes with it and now my hands are inflamed. PLUS: César has done all the washing up lately ;)
4. Flash cards (i.e. those things you use to study) have a correct format, and if you forget a comma you are an idiot. OH MY GOODNESS IT IS RAINING SO HARD RIGHT NOW. When I wrote point 2 it was sunny. I had to do 32 flashcards and I lost 2 out of 20 for incorrect use of commas.

Ok, so I am writing because I am so excited, yesterday we bought a WASHING MACHINE! Woahhhh! And we are gonna dry the clothes in the kitchen since our roof is made of glass (which is great, as long as it doesn´t rain!)
Last weekend we went to Chiclayo, it was great to be outside of Cajamarca! We went to Tucame and climbed a pyramid where pre-Incan kings are buried. We hiked around there and took pictures and walked through the herb garden and it was great! Plus we saw a lizard which César tried to trap so we could get a good picture but it was way too fast for us! We also went to the cinema to see some movie about Walter and a beaver which was bizareeee!
Enjoy the photos, We had to hold the washing machine down because it vibrates a lot!
I will write more later, must get to work!