So it's the end of the second week. The honeymoon is over and this is now feeling like real life. Summing it up in one word: awkward. Like a turtle.
General awkwardness part one: Spanish. I sit at dinner with my family and they talk and talk and talk and laugh and I sit there desperately hanging on to my limited vocabulary. My Spanish shuts down at about 7pm, so I feel pretty dumb around the dinner table. I can't communicate and it sucks. I had a moment the other day where I felt like it would never come. But everyone keeps assuring me I'll be ok. I imagine what it would have been like in Africa where no one knew the language and I feel a little better. It's not my fault most everyone else in my program knows Spanish and studied abroad in South America and I didn't. Why the hell did I take Japanese? I can't remember...
General awkwardness part dos: Food. My family feeds me boiled chicken and rice for every meal. I eat fruit, but I've been suffering from the problem that comes with no vegetables and very little instant coffee. Yeah. It sucks and it's hard to communicate health needs with a vocabulary of a child. But I'm using my own funds to buy fibrous food items. Wish me luck.
General awkwardness part tres: Clothing. I have to cover my tattoos, which can be hot. And I was told by the PC people that my knee-length skirts are kinda short. Gross. I'm not sure what I'm going to do about that since I hate pants and can't bear the thought of wearing sweaters and leggings when it's 80 degrees in the sun.
General awkwardness part cuatro: My host sister. The one that's 12 does not find me amusing. She won't talk to me and it's really awkward. I try to practice my Spanish and she looks at me like I'm an idiot. And she mumbles so I can't understand her whatsoever. I think she's over having volunteers living in her space. And what sucks is that I think she's actually pretty cool but she doesn't want anything to do with me.
Anyway, I had a rough week but things are looking up. I don't think I'll ever be able to get used to freezing cold showers and my coping mechanism to that is ghetto baths from the sink and letting the dust just penetrate my skin. It's really dusty here in the foothills. Training is tough- it's 8 solidly packed hours a day of hard thinking and engaging. I go to bed at about 9-10pm every night and sleep till 7. Except when I wake up to the goddamn feral street dogs communicating all night.
I went out last Saturday night to a discoteka with a bunch of PC kids. The beer was really shitty but better than nothing. Since I can't have good beer, I've been running almost everyday to find a buzz. I guess that's not a bad thing.
I was gonna upload photos but I guess my camera needs to be connected to upload through iphoto. Next time. The color is beige. The texture is dust.
My address here till Thanksgiving is:
Los Cedros 647
Lima 08 Peru
Thanks for the comments and emails :) Miss you and hot showers. juliet