That’s not true. Okay, maybe it is trIue. I didn’t expect Spanish to be easy. So maybe it’s entirely what I expected. I go about my day knowing maybe 2 or 3 words said in every single conversation I hear. Where I’m lucky though? I work with three year olds. The beauty of three year olds is that they talk. They talk a lot. However, they seem to be satisfied that the majority of their conversations with me just end up with me saying Si. Of course I vary it, sometimes I say Hmm…Si. Sometimes I say, Ah yes si si! Other times, But of course si! It satisfies them. I’m sure what they’re asking is not a yes or no question. I’m sure that probably half of what they ask isn’t a question period. They sure do love white skin though. I’d heard that people go to parts off the beaten path in Africa, or maybe an asian country and you stand out for the color of your skin but I suppose I wrongly assumed that that wouldn’t happen in South America. Actually for all I know they aren’t enamored with my white skin at all but are trying to tell me something important but I can’t tell because I don’t speak the language. Yet. I’m getting there. I’m improving every day. That’s not the point. I started my actual volunteer assignment yesterday, Inabif. It’s essentially a government sponsored day care, semi-school, & tutoring center. I worked with three years old then and I was told I’d be working with 5 years old today. When I say today, I mean today and for the duration of my stay in Peru. Instead I’m back with three years olds. Not complaining. I’m with another dude that’s been here 5 or 6 weeks and the kids know him, they like him, and he speaks more spanish than me. It’s going pretty great. I’ve never felt as loved as I do then by random three year olds who don’t even speak my language. They sure love hugs. Or just holding hands, or holding arms, or holding legs. It’s fun. It’s also fun when you’re like the cool uncle who the kids get to mess around with. I don’t know how that goes or how it’ll continue but the teacher does most of the work, while I seem to try to create some order while also letting the kids have fun. These are kids that maybe can’t afford to go to schools where they have to pay. Even public schools require money that some of these children’s parents can’t afford. A lot of children here only eat when they’re fed breakfast and lunch at the center. Come the weekend? No food until Monday. I feel it’s the least I can do is to make them smile even if it’s only because I’m white or wear a watch.
Speaking of watches…how about downtown Lima? I never said I was a master of the segway. I should say some of my blog posts are going to be more deep introspections and others? Just talking about my day. Variety is the spice of life or so they say. Anyway! Downtown Lima. For one, I just want to say it’s always nice to go to places that actually have history that dates back more than 200 years or so like the ol’ US of A. I’m also glad I actually have a camera. One day I’ll connect it to the computer and start to utilize some photojournalism kinda magic. But yeah, Lima is a pretty cool city. It’s got lots of churches, we went through catacombs and got to see the bones of the poor folks. 25,000 buried under one of the churches we went to. Apparently there was a big climate conference? Al Gore was here allegedly. Someone important was here if they just are driving around in an Alfa Romeo. Still unsure if it makes you feel safe to see cops everywhere or less safe. In theory, one should feel safer, but in reality a cop with a gun that strongly resembles an AK-47 doesn’t fill me with confidence either.
Wow though. I seem to have written so much and said so little. That’ll probably be the template for most of the things I say on here though. I’ll go into more detail about volunteer placements later, my views on my own and the others, I’ll dig deeper into my experiences and it’ll be a wonderful journey that I look forward to whomever is reading this accompanying me on. So far I’m glad I’m here and I think that’s the most important thing. So it goes.