four months in Peru!

Amazingly enough, it has now been over four months that I’ve been living in Huaycán! As with each post, I promise to put up some photos of my students, field trips, side journeys, and experiences in Lima soon, but I am behind on uploading them to Flickr!!

As I mentioned in the last post, my weekly routine helps ensure that the weeks continue to fly by. I don’t generally have a lot of down time to myself to spend just sitting around relaxing and processing my new life. Today has been an exception, as I decided to come back to Huaycán last night, since I’ll be back in Lima on the actual weekend for a friend’s birthday party. 🙂 I’ve managed to fit in yoga and meditation, laundry, reading, listening to great music, responding to emails today, but have mostly appreciated the ability to sit in a calm, quiet environment, a contrast to my normal days.

Now that we are already in November, things are starting to wrap up for the year, which means big changes are ahead. In just over a month, our programs will have ended and we will be having end of the year parties and field trips. All of my current roommates/coworkers except for one will be heading back to the US, and the house manager and I will be moving to a new, bigger house (!!!). I have yet to see the house, but apparently it is much more spacious, which means each of us will have our own room to start off, and there are several spaces which can be used for work space!! I am really happy that the director decided to have us move because I think we will be able to do much more productive work with more space to think, plan, process, and live.

For this reason, the new year holds a lot of new possibilities that I am excited about, from the small and personal to the big and organizational. To my own surprise, I have managed to reestablish my yoga practice even in such tight quarters, and next year I am sure to keep up with it when I have more privacy. I will also have learned from all the challenges of these past few months and be able to be an even stronger leader with the new group of volunteers. I already know all the students and will be able to introduce them to their new teachers. I have figured out what my goals for the English program will be for the next six months, and will finally have more time to make the huge program improvements that I think are necessary to ensure our programs are effective. I honestly just think having more space will mean I will be able to do my supervisory role better, since I can create that separation between my work and home life, even if it’s just closing my bedroom door. 🙂

As you can tell, I’m excited about what the future holds. But let’s talk about the short term – we’ve got one more month to cement our progress over the past few months. In all of our classes, kids are much better behaved and most of them have made a lot of progress on making basic classroom requests in English. I’m seeing progress in my students’ abilities to speak in full sentences rather than reciting back vocabulary. Given that our classes meet so infrequently, this is an important step forward, one that we’ll reinforce next year. The teachers have really committed to getting the students to use English only, and have consistently strengthened their teaching skills, listening to my feedback with an open mind (which can be hard when you take pride in your work!). In the next couple of weeks, we’ll be tying up loose ends in the current units and reminding kids and adults alike what we can do for them. That way they’ll leave on a good note and come back from the break with positive energy, or at least that’s what I’m hoping for!

Next month, I’ll finally be visiting Easter Island! I can’t believe it myself. Then I’ll be heading back to the US for a two week visit for the holidays. Then on January 6, I’ll fly back to Peru, for at least another six months, the exact length of time to be determined by money, life, love (haha!), family, work, who knows. I truly will be letting life take me where it wants to, and trying to appreciate every moment of the journey.

As I keep saying, I am going to get some photos on this blog SOON! to illustrate my time here in Peru, since each week it is becoming more of a real life, even if it’s a temporary one. I also want to capture all the tiny details that seem normal now, even though they are so different than my American reality. 🙂

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