Published: May 4th 2009May 4th 2009
Once again sorry for not writing for so long, i guess blog writing is not my thing, but i will give you a big update now.
I currently have a 5 day weekend as friday was 'day of the worker' and day of some saint of arequipa or something, so no work then and then on mon and tues all the schools in arequipa have been closed so the teachers can have meetings about swine flu, which now isnt even in peru as suspected, let alone in arequipa, but hey, any excuse for a day off! Not sure what i will be doing for the next few days, its nice to be able to relax and not do much.
Im a bit disappointed that school has been cancelled though as this week was going to be really good; on sunday its mothers day, so obviously all schools are shut on friday because of this... its also the 12th birthday of the school im at, and 2 volunteers are leaving, all of which means a big party! all the mums have been invited, and all the kids have been learning dances which they will perform in traditional costumes. its also tradition
for the volunteers to do a dance in costume as well, although i dont know whats going to happen now, as we were supposed to be learning it at school on monday, which is now cancelled. last week and this week we ahve been having competitions every day, the first of which was singing, which we all had to join in with, so in that sense, no school on monday is a good thing, as it was going to be the modern dance competition! we also had poetry which was very funny, and drawing which made for a very calm afternoon. This wednesday we are celebrating birthdays which we do every month, and the kids get to chose a present (rucksack, shoes, jumper or stories), and we have cake and a big fruit salad which is really nice. then on wednesday night we are going on a torchlight walk around the community where the school is with the community which should be interesting. Its on a big hill on the edge of arequipa so the views of the city at night should be really stunning. then thursday is the big day, and on friday im going to chile for the
weekend to get a new stamp in my passport as mine is going to run out next week! busy times!
My first graders are doing really well, one of them can actually read properly and finds all the work very easy, however doesnt do it quickly enough to let us give him an extension which is a bit frustrating. the others are learning their ma, me, mi, mo, mu´s and sa... and are starting to get there. at first i wasnt sure about learning to read like that as they never really learn the alphabet, but actually its quite good, especially as spanish reads how its spelt, not like english. Elvis who was new on my 3rd week can now almost count to ten which is a big achievement, and can say scissors in english! i will upload some pics of them with the plate decoration things they made out of salt dough for mothers day. Also uploading some pics from when i went to salinas salt lake and saw lots of alpacas which was really cool. the scenery was amazing, and this tiny baby alpaca came running over to us as soon as we got there and followed us
around until we left!
My spanish is getting better all the time, and i can understand alot now, but still need to work on my speaking, which my host dad is determined to improve! i guess i find it hard when im with some of the other vols who speak really good spanish as its easy to let them do it.
I am definitely starting to miss english food and my bed! and surprisingly the rain! the weather here is still hot with clear skys in the day,and cold at night. in june and july its meant to be quite cold ( although im not sure how cold, as my host dad was shocked when i told him, yes in england it gets cold enough for you teeth to chatter!). anyway its definitely colder at night, and i bought a big hoody to keep me warm! lots of people have been ill with horrible colds, and i still havent completely shaken mine which i had weeks ago, but now i think the peruvians are really scared of any gringos who cough as we could have swine flu, so have to be careful, although could work to our advantage in crowds
if we need to get places! Im not at all worried about swineflu, its not even in peru there wree 2 suspected cases, but i guess they werent actually confirmed. also when i was ill, i managed to go to a pharmacy and ask for cough sweets, and walk out with 4 different types of medicine including antibiotics, so im sure they have plenty off stuff to help it.
anyway i will upload my pictures and then i need to go home for some good peruvian bread for tea! i got corn on the cob for lunch which is amazing here, the corn is like 1cm by 1cm at least - huge!
There are more photos below