It’s been quite a week. I expected to kick off the new school year with my youth groups and move forward on a new healthy homes theme with local mothers. My email inbox* was uncomfortably full of memos, secondary projects, and other seemingly important things I should be doing in my spare time. My plans were re-arranged when I developed exorcism-of-Emily-Rose-style vomiting and diarrhea.
So, I rescheduled sessions, postponed meetings, and did my best to ignore my inbox while I dealt with my body’s revolt of something I ate. (In what appears to be both a blessing and curse, Ian is traveling this week to help with training events. He was spared my grossness, but now the whole town thinks I was sick because he’s gone. Sigh.) My host mom brought me chicken broth, I watched a shameful amount of The Wire, and eventually I called the Peace Corps doctors in Lima for some medicine to fix my intestines. I thought this week was for the birds, but then today brought a blessing. Coincidentally, today also marks 18 months in Perú.
When I first met Yolanda in September, she was three months pregnant. Her reality isn’t uncommon in this corner of the world: Read more
2013 brought me challenges I expected and sometimes, lessons I never saw coming. Here is a handful of the most valuable:
1) The rain provides an extra rinse for your clothes hanging on the line to dry. Between the months of January and June, it rains almost daily in Luya. When you rely on the sun or wind to dry your clothes hanging on the line, the constant rain becomes a challenge. Just let go and let mother nature rinse your clothes another time or two. Your underwear will dry. Hopefully.
Ian and I landed in Perú one year ago today with these kindred spirits. It’s been one hell of a roller coaster, but here we are one year later.
“Life in the Peace Corps will not be easy. There will be no salary and allowances will be at a level sufficient only to maintain health and meet basic needs. Men and women will be expected to work and live alongside the nationals of the country in which they are stationed—doing the same work, eating the same food, talking the same language.
But if the life will not be easy, it will be rich and satisfying. For every young American who participates in the Peace Corps—who works in a foreign land—will know that he or she is sharing in the great common task of bringing to man that decent way of life which is the foundation of freedom and a condition of peace.” – John F. Kennedy
Now that we´ve hit a more or less steady pace on our projects, I thought I´d post some info on what it is I´m working on.
Judith became a mother at 19. She raised her son as a single mother, and in the meantime, she completed college and started her career as a teacher. Now 24 years later, she is the acting director of the elementary school she once attended. She is also the only female member of the city council. Judith is an exception. Read more