Week One [“It’s Thursday and I’ll Cry if I Want to”]

Hello Fellow Virtual Travelers.

This is hyperbole (surprise) but I have just enough time + energy to walk from my dinner plate to pillow-face-plant, leave alone evolving by processing all this in a journal first.

I’ll get to the point: I don’t remember much from this week. Or how long I have been here. (A week feels like a month.) You are officially reading the raw files.

Week One: Highlights

  1. According to the Alaska State Government, my blog/website has a bad Reputation. #WIN

    “Your requested URL has been blocked by the Global Threat Intelligence Reputation System.” Medium Risk category provided by Susannah Woodruff.
  2. When you tell a 6-year-old you’re going to bed (in Spanish) it can also translate to: You should totally come into my room and play Platano-grams on my bed.
    Platano-grams = Spanish Banagrams


  3. My Peru-family took me to a birthday party where the host-moms of three other volunteers were in attendance in the neighborhood of Huascata. There were multiples of food, children, family, dancing lines, and one single bonus Disco Combi.

    Maria, my host Mom (center) and her grandson, Lucien, (front) is the afore-mentioned sleep-thief. (Bonus Round: Find Vivek, a fellow PC cohortian.)
  4. Informative Classes such as “Keep in Mind: Pass, Quit, or Get Fired” and “DO NOT USE TOURNIQUETS. EVER.
The training protocol standards are thorough and well documented in our TAP binders. The three options by completing our Training Assessment Protocols include “1) Swearing In 2) Resignation or 3) Administrative Separation”
Meet Joe. He turns around every time someone says “Yo” and I turn around every time someone says “Yes.” Here Joe displays an excellent definition using an artisanal ransom note medium.

5. Stabbing Tuesdays: This week’s featured shot was Rabies. I also went for doubling down on Typhoid and just for fun, another round of Hep B.

Dr. Carmen Winding Up for a Typhoid Stab.
We Have No Fun Ever.

6. Field Trip: When a large Amoeba de Gringos is let loose in the wild.

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Team CED Excursions (Community Economic Development)

Colegio de Huamán Poma, Chosica
Colegio de Huamán Poma, Chosica

7. My Safe (but not ever quiet) Space: I have my own room and even more special, rare, and awesome… my own bathroom (!) in a two-story home, shared by a Peruvian family of ten, in Santa Maria, Chosica.

View from the interior door
You get used to the cold showers when you sweat through “Business Casual”

8. Other Stuff and Things Because I am Getting Tired – Blogging is Hard Work, WTH

Global Connection: Harassing Teasing Teenagers with Digital Media is Universal
Breaking Bread and Chairs w Friends: Vivek and a Frenchman
Peru 31’s New “Student Council”
Pure Evil.
From the Combi: Soundtrack Madonna, c. 1989
Gold Star: It May Have Taken Ten Days, But I Found a Park, FINALLY


~El Fin~

Thanks for reading along again this week.

It was good to recount how much we (volunteers and the ample staff) have packed into the first week. There is about 98% that I left out. (Like how it took 2.5 hours by mini-van to get back from Lima yesterday, only 30km away. Hashtag, TRAFFICO)

Regarding the title of this week’s post, it is important to explain I take pictures when I am excited and happy to share. But much of this adventure (while I continue to feel reverently grateful to be here) is ugly-cry feo.

  • Hours: The long days (six days a week!) of policy, rules, acronyms, conjugations, idiomas, culture, directions, prepping to teach in Spanish, facilitations… no breaks -and sometimes cutting way into lunch- have been hard to adjust to… but I *do* sleep really well.
  • Diet: Multiple carbs for breakfasts one & two, lunches one, two, and dinner. No gym in sight. Walking to training from Santa Maria is a bit of a death wish. Carbs turn into sugar and sugar turns into #HypoglycemicJess.
  • Isolation: The challenge of language is particularly hard and isolating, especially living with a family who is not inclined to carry the weight of conversation. Or spend the time to make sure we understand each other. I am working on it and I thrive in a challenge.
  • Socialization: There are large, merry, impromptu gatherings of volunteers after training, and while I long to get to know my cohort better, it is not what this Introvert needs after a day. (Disclaimer: Keep inviting us aloofers. One day I will stay out dancing until 3am.)


  • La Físico: I have wiped out my Emergency Chocolate Stash unapologetically justified by stress. My hair is a live-yet-somehow-rotting angry animal in the humidity. I sweat through everything. I burn in 30-seconds if I am not layered up and sweating through everything. I have to boil my drinking water at home (hot water to drink and cold water to shower…?) and emotionally manage the complicated stares for being “different” and occasionally getting the sense I am not welcome.
  • I miss Cabot and, if I really want a good cry, wonder if I should have left him so soon. (Note: Cabot is totally, completely content and happy. *HI WILLY.*)

So, to sum up, late on a Sunday night, when in a few short hours I need to get up, rinse off, and repeat again tomorrow… I will share this: sometimes… I get really tired, or a little frazzled, completemente confudida, and/or tantrum-ready frustrated. And sometimes I just step out and have a good cry (now precedented) on Thursdays.

And then again, sometimes I sit on a chair and it shatters into pieces under me– and I cry.  From laughter.



7 Replies to “Week One [“It’s Thursday and I’ll Cry if I Want to”]”

  1. If you’re not crying then somethings not right. So…. you’re normal and it’s totally valid. I’m so impressed and proud you journaled that much! That 6 year old is your ticket babe- but I’m guessing you may know that?:) YOU GOT THIS! everything is just the same as when you left it-xo

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Agh, there’s so much pain in isolation. My first month at my site was such a dark time. It’s rough to leave so much behind, in exchange for what? Feeling out of place. Anyway, I’m with you during the hard moments.

    Liked by 1 person

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