Day 26. Well, if this were a 30-day NOLS Wilderness Backpacking course I’d be: 1) hiking inhumanely fast with my instructor team 2) to a campsite *with a picnic table* during independent student expeditions 3) to fill out pounds of paperwork and 4) almost tasting my future of a hot shower, a G&T, and a sundress.
Instead, I am filling out kilos of paperwork, missing my team of co-instructors, returning to my roots as the confused and confined student… and everything (SURPRISE!) is still in Spanish. Not a goddamn Gin & Gin in sight.*
If you’re a fan of “Blog” please let me know what you’re interested in hearing more about. [Also: Who are you people in Paraguay? Your country is the most popular of my site stats?!] Do you want more insights to PC training? More pictures of food? More pictures of me eating food? More pictures of dogs who live on roofs? More snide commentary about acronyms and tourniquets? Leave a note. It’s kind of empty in here.
Week Three in Casi-Erratic Review
- For those of you not on social media, I made “Gringo Salad” for my family on Easter Sunday. Let’s just say it was a big hit more for the gringos. It involved going to three different markets in two different towns and it was completely worth it.
- More training classes featuring project management, diversity, diseases, bugs, worms. Yes, Jordan is displaying a Show and Tell item of one of the pet worms we can raise as a pet in our small intestine. Also we got bug nets as take-away prizes. ” Oprah voice: “YOU GET A BUG NET! YOU GET A BUG NET! AND YOU GET A BUG NET!”
- Language activities and immersion in cross-platform training and preparation for Language Proficiency Interviews (LPI) Week Five. CED was broken up into smaller activity groups to venture out to assigned neighborhoods to practice (on-belay with FICs) to facilitate team-building activities, interviews, and presentations. Here is a group in el vecino 3 de Octubre, conducting awkward dynamicas, historias, and mapas.
- FBT Assignment! As you may recall from last week’s post, Week Four is a week of “Field Based Training.” I have been assigned to Huamachuco, La Libertad. It is a town of 40,000 in the high mountains at about 10,000ft. It is rumored to be currently cold and rainy and I am excited to dust off my Wyoming airport wear. The eleven CED trainees are facilitating four-day entrepreneurial classes for 30-student-group secondary school students after school. More on that next week.
- Host-Family bonding. Every weeknight I get home around 7 or 8pm to a variety of family members ranging from one-to-nine residents, plus additional friends, neighbors, and family. Today (Saturday April 7th) my host-sister Jenny is at the hospital having a baby girl, rounding out the host family total to a moveable ten. Pictured below is Jenny’s husband Raul and son, Luciano. Caution: Brillit. (Pronounced with all sorts of Spanish rolling “Gggjjsjjsjjjjjjjjsszzzzz” = Brigette posted my first Insta-Story online without my knowledge the other night.
6. This Friday CED broke into groups to do our first presentation to live human Peruvian students. We presented the first phase of “Design Thinking” in the file cabinet of “business” to a group of 29 fourteen-year-olds. Apart from designing and planning the lesson plan and supporting materials, I spent another 8 hours preparing my Spanish. It went great except for one student who decided to test out his English skills by cussing me out with the F-word a few rounds in front of the class. Guess who will have notecards prepared in Spanish for that situation next week. And a prompt visit to his mother. This time in the language of mujer a mujer.
6. Various other games and classes and presentations in the relentless pursuit of getting us trainees all prepared for our hopeful placement of two years of service.
I didn’t cry on Thursday but I did in the debrief on Friday! Yay for me. Hopefully showing a moment of vulnerability will allow another volunteer to be open or act differently in the future.
The biggest struggle I am having is 1) the often conflicting instructions as a trainee 2) completely demolishing my expectations (of how I will do teaching a class, or having any set time to prepare).
I keep reminding myself 1) I am human, and F* it. 2) I like trees and maybe I will see some this week. 3) I am the only one who cares (this much) how well I do in any given activity and should concentrate harder on the number “Zero” and the letter “F”s given and enjoying all the moments. 4) How damn lucky I am for those of you who have reached out via comments, text, board games, and phone. I am glad I am not doing this thing in Analog.
…Salud to whatever happens on the other side Week Four!