Tomorrow is my 24th birthday. One year ago, I was swinging at a piñata in Malibu, CA and right now I am watching a 12 year old dance in the living room of my host family´s home in Peru. It´s amazing what a year can bring and where life will take you. I´ve only officially been a Peace Corps Trainee (PCT) for one week. ONE WEEK. I can´t believe the whirlwind it has been and how much happened in seven days. In honor of turning 24, here are 24 of my initial thoughts, observations and tales of Peru.
- I´m living with my host mom, grandma (64), grandpa (70), two cousins (12 & 17), one brother (12) , and two cats (age unknown) . Full house!
- I will be living in Huascata, Chaclacayo, Lima for my 3 months of training.
- Our PC training consists of sessions on the subjects of language, technical skills, diversity & culture, health & security and cultural immersion. We have training Monday – Friday from 8am to 5pm.
- The chances of all 44 of the trainees getting diarrhea in the next 27 months is 100%.
- Based off the previous 26 Peace Corps groups in Peru, an alarming amount of volunteers will also poop their pants at some point. Cool.
- Our training group consists of trainees from all over the country, ranging in age from 20 years old – Empty Nesters.
- A “combi” is my main form of transportation. Unless you are my Mom, feel free to google “Combi Peru”.
- Peace Corps was in Peru from 1962 – 1975 and returned in 2002.
- Regardless what country you are in, kids still get in trouble for texting at the dinner table. Don´t worry, it wasn´t me.
- My brother and I bonded over music on my first day here. One of his favorite bands is Nirvana. He also plays guitar, sings well and knows the lyrics to NSYNC´s “This I Promise You”. I´m sure he is a total ladies man at school.
- On my first day with my host mom, I said “Yo necesito comprar sopa para mi ropa”. That translates to “I need to buy soup for my clothes.” I meant to say “I need to buy soap for my clothes”. Brain fart.
- I brought too much stuff with me to Peru.
- This week I got some birthday shots! No tequila, just Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Rabies, and Typhoid. Ya know, the usual.
- Originally, I was worried about not being able to celebrate my birthday, but turns out I share my birthday with two other chicas in our training group! Super stoked to celebrate with them tomorrow!
- Speaking of birthdays, 5 other members of my (extended) host family have a birthday in May too. Fiestas!
- There are six regions that I could be placed in for my two years of service. These include Piura, Junín, Cajamarca, La Libertad, Ancash, or Lambayeque. All have pros and cons, so only time will tell!
- During a commercial break while watching a movie about zombies, my host brother turned to me and asked “What do you think came first, the chicken or the egg?” He thinks the chicken.
- I will be washing my clothes by hand for the next 27 months. This makes me re-think if I can wear those jeans JUST ONE more time.
- Leche de 7 semillas is a common beverage that I have for breakfast. I like it!
- My host family doesn´t drink coffee. Don´t worry, us volunteers already started a community coffee pot at our training site.
- To be honest, I have been going to bed around 9pm this past week. Thinking in two languages is EXHAUSTING.
- We visited a school today and the selfie craze is still going strong, but I have yet to see a selfie stick in Peru.
- I love the music here! I don´t understand it all (yet), but it´s so catchy.
- This past week has been insane, but I am so incredibly excited to continue on this journey for the next two years.