Poco a Poco

This week has been slow and frustrating but also had some really great moments! First, it has been frustrating in that I can’t just do things on my own as easily! I can’t drive to Walmart and get floss or step outside the house and go for a run.. In fact, I did not leave the house for the first 6 days I was there. However, little by little I am learning how to navigate my way around the city, use the buses, buy things (yes, I found floss), and speak a little more freely. (It’s the speaking that gets me, not the listening; I understand or can figure out most everything people say to me).

I spent most of the week working on inventorying and organizing our supplies, games, and materials with Aracely (I’m not sure what her title is; I know she pays the bills and is in charge of the children’s program until she leaves us in October.) We finally finished today! I will try and add a picture tomorrow because the ‘closet’ that we keep it in doesn’t have lights. I’ve learned that my weekends, Monday nights, and Fridays will be my busiest times. Monday nights we host a youth group for teens in our scholarship program. Fridays I joined Dhaly’s Beth Moore Esther morning bible study and also have the women’s program in the afternoons. This weekend was pretty busy as well since all Saturday we celebrated the Día del Juventud (basically like Mother’s/Father’s day, except for young people- it makes me laugh). Then in the evening I attended Dhaly’s youth group (for ‘older’ youths). It was a lot of fun. I am very thankful to have her as a friend and housemate. I’m not sure I’ve told you about Dhaly yet, so just in-case: Dhaly is the ‘entrenadora’. She is in charge of the house, mentoring the girls, overseeing schedules/ budgets/ cleaning, and much more. She lives in the house during the week and has weekends off. I’d be lost without her.

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(Left to right, top to bottom)- Día del Juventud- team picture, Monday Night Youth Group- playing a game, Mujeres Virtuosas- making seed necklaces, Dhaly 

Surprisingly (not), many funny things have happened this week. 1. I accidently set off the house alarm. I thought it was turned off because the door was open, turns out it wasn’t. I ran upstairs to find Dhaly coming out of her room wrapped up in a towel… oops. Luckily the cops didn’t come. Promptly after that I dropped my hair clip in the toilet. I wish I had written down all the funny things I’ve said this week, but I didn’t. There is one however, that sticks out. As we were riding back in a taxi from the Día del Juventud I was teaching the teens and Paty, our psychologist, some words in English. She then asked me to “cuenta hasta que lleguemos al casa” or at least that is what I heard. The translation is “count until we get back to the house” I asked “in English?” and she said “yes”… I thought it was strange, but started counting anyway “one, two, three, four…” and she looked at me and said “sing”. To sing in Spanish is Cantar. To count is Contar. Heheh. Oops.

You may be wondering what the food is like here. It is pretty good. We eat a late, small breakfast, usually bread or eggs. Then lunch is at 1:00. The girls buy groceries and cook a large meal every day. They learn new recipes and we rate them on how good it tastes. It’s kinda fun. Then dinner is on our own- usually leftovers, eggs, or bread, and occasionally we go out to eat. The saddest part was that until this week we ate relatively no fruit or vegetables- just meat, rice, and beans. In fact, I’ve eaten parts of the chicken I didn’t know existed- something in the stomach… but also I had a few bites of chicken feet. I thought I had grabbed a leg… won’t make that mistake again. Today however, Luz made a salad with veggies and chicken. Also, a couple days ago I mentioned to Dhaly that I was sad we didn’t have any fruit on hand and a couple hours later we hear a guy on the street with a fruit cart. Dhaly grabbed money and we both ran after the cart. It’s sad how much happiness bananas, oranges, and limes can bring. What’s interesting though is that we tried to pay the vendor with a S/. 10 bill and it turned out to be counterfeit!

I have learned many lessons and hope to learn many more. I am looking forward to really getting started on my women’s project in the coming weeks and to welcoming Hayley and Adrienne, two volunteers who will be with us for most of October.  Once again, if you have any questions please ask them- also, I would like to make another video. Any suggestions on topics?

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