The lack of communication on my blog is just embarrassing, especially since my days left as a PCV are numbered. That's right, pretty soon this blog will become nothing more than stories from a time in the past when I was a Peace Corps Volunteer, because ladies and gentlemen, I have been to my Close of Service conference and chosen my final day.
I am COS'ing on July 24th, putting me back on US soil for the first time in 2+ years on July 25th.
I currently have 73 days left in Peru.
If there were words, or a meme, or some stupid GIF I could post to express the chest crushing, completely contradictory and complex feelings I have about this, I would post it. But there aren't, so instead I'll just continue on both feeling excited to see family and friends, and utterly depressed and panicky about leaving Peru behind.
As promised, here is a quick update on what I've been up to recently:
The Foot Growth
So, this is kind of a long story, but Imma make it real short: I had this weird growth on my foot called a "granuloma" which is defined as being "a tiny collection of immune cells known as macrophages..[which] form when the immune system attempts to wall off substances that it perceives as foreign but is unable to eliminate" - Wikipedia
So, I had this weird growth on my foot which started because I went digging for something (a bug? a splinter? a piece of glass?) in my foot with a knife. Then it never healed and got all weird looking. I went to the doctor and they had to cut it out, stitch me up, and I wasn't allowed to walk really (but I did with a cane), and I missed my last vacation as a PCV. I'd put pictures up, but you really don't want to see that.
It rained, a lot.
My town can't handle rain. We're all dirt streets and desert and despite the fact that it rains every summer, we're still not prepared for it. There were a lot of mosquitos during this time, and cases of dengue raised.
When I first got to Lambayeque I think I would've floundered a whole lot more than I did if it hadn't been for my PCVL, Nicole. She finished her four year service (yeah, FOUR YEARS) last July and it was terribly sad to not have her around. She came to visit for Semana Santa and I was able to spend some time with her in her old site (now Zack's site). Miss you sister!
I love my dear sweet department of Lambayeque, and the reason I love it is because the volunteers who serve here are awesome, dedicated, and inspiring. They are also very fun to be around, and we had our first-ever department prom, which included rented dresses, and voting for prom king, queen and best dressed.
US Embassy English Teaching Workshop in Lima
My host mom is an English teacher for the high school, so when there was an opportunity to attend a workshop held by US Embassy English instructors in Lima, I signed her up. My host mom is great with the "book smarts" of English, pretty much having perfect grammar and a vast knowledge of vocabulary, but she never practices actually speaking. All of her instructors in Peru have been Peruvians, and even their pronunciation isn't great. Speaking with natives and practicing conversational English isn't something she gets a lot of opportunities to do. You'd think with me living in the house that wouldn't be a problem, but apparently I'm really hard to understand and she often feels too embarrassed to try. However when we went to the workshop in Lima she did great! She was speaking very well and we learned a lot of awesome games and ways to introduce topics to students to get them interested and more involved in their language learning. It was a great week and I'm glad I got to spend it with my host mom.
COS, or Close of Service, is a time for all of us from the same training group (Peru 17!) to get together to talk about what comes next; finishing things up in site, preparing to say goodbye to all of the people and places that have become so important to us over the past two years, and get ready for returning home. It was so good to see everyone in the same place at once and to look back over the past two years and how much we've all grown. And to say the least, it was stressful to think about all of this coming to an end.
|During our Swearing In Ceremony Chris, Faith, Zack, and Jon all played "El Condor Pasa," so it was only right that things should come full circle for our COS conference|
|Receiving my Peace Corps Completion certificate from my APCD|
|My pin! Peace Corps Peru|
My Town Anniversary
After an emotional week of saying goodbye to friends, I came straight back to site for anniversary festivities. In Peru you don't just celebrate the anniversary of a town with a single day, oh no. It is at least a week, if not 10 days. So there was a lot going on every day, like music, dancing, a mass civil matrimony where 22 couples got married, various contests, and Zack came to my site and helped me put on a "ginkana" which is like corny games you play with kids on the 4th of July.
|Mass Civil Matrimony|
|The folklorica band Zack plays with came to perform in my town|
|settin down the rhythm|
|one of the little devils from a typical dance|
|the "desfile" or march|
What's to come?
Well, with only 2 1/2 months left there isn't a lot of time to do much, but that doesn't mean I won't try! I am restarting my Health Promoters group so that we can get more sex education classes in the high school. I'm also hopefully starting vocational orientation classes with the older students. Next weekend is our highly anticipated annual all-girls leadership camp, ALMA, and in 6 weeks we have our all-boys leadership camp, VALOR.
We actually haven't been fully funded for VALOR yet, so, shameless plug, please help support our camp! This is your opportunity to help us directly with a projects, and this will be my last camp as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Without all the funding we won't be able to have the camp, and this is an incredible opportunity for boys from PCV communities to learn about leadership, communication, vocational orientation, gender and equality, sex education, y mucho mucho mas! Please click on the link to get to our funding website, which is a safe site (and everything is tax deductible!) Camp Valor Lambayeque 2013
The next couple months are going to be pretty crazy, filled with a lot of emotions and hopefully good times. I will take more time later to delve into stuff like that, but this update will have to do as I already have to get back out the door to continue with work and preparing for the weeks to come.