The day started with an hour and a half car ride with a baby sleeping on my lap to Trujillo, arriving in the northern part, my new home in Milagro, at about 10. Our list of things to accomplish during the day was rather lengthy, the first thing was to see my new house. My current living situation is another temporary one, God just hasn’t and won’t be grounding me anywhere for a long while.
We pulled into Milagro at the restaurant off the highway. A right after all the houses made out of straw mats, a left after the painted rocks, straight past the vandalized playground, after the elementary school on the left side of the square there is a 2 story house, that is our new rental. The second story isn’t completed but in the process. The bottom story is ours. The front door opens to a double sized room, enough space for a good sized living area, and dining room, this will be my school and classroom. The first door on the left as you walk in is my new bedroom. It is actually pretty big, the family who owns the house had all been living in it, three beds fit in the room- I may feel pretty small in there by myself. As you walk to the end of the classroom area you reach the kitchen through the second door on the left. Walk through the kitchen and you end up outside, look to the left and there are the stairs to the unfinished second story (this is where the owner and her grandchildren will be living), on the right there are a few rooms, one of which Auden and Wendy will utilize on the days they stay over in Trujillo. After that on the left are the two cement sinks for hand washing my clothes, next to them are the bathrooms. The one for the children is a hole, the one for us and the family has a shower- more cold water of course- but there is a toilet! Then there is a small yard of dirt with a tree and a post holding up the clotheslines and hammock, there is a stack of bricks, an adobe fence, and some turkeys, and that about covers the house. (I will be living in this house Sunday nights through Friday after school, then I will stay Friday nights with the girls and Casa de Paz and the following day, Saturday nights I will stay with the Lujans in Jequetepeque and head back on a bus Sunday afternoon, teaching M-F 9-12)
The next part of our day was to revisit the students Auden had recruited the day before to introduce myself to them, and tell them about the parents meeting Friday evening. This part of my day will show you how far away I am from the norms of life in America, even from where I had been living here.
As we travelled through the neighborhood, one thing was consistent, these people are in need. In need of food, proper shelter, education for their children and even themselves, clothing, running water, electricity, and more. the majority of our students live in crudely made house that consist of straw mats leaning on poles. Most of the houses I cannot stand with a healthy posture inside of. The floors are dirt. The bathrooms are at the end of the road in any spot you choose just not close to the house. Some of the kids were to shy to come out of the house, others were playing in a pile of adobe bricks when we walked up, some were just playing in the streets, but one thing that is the same among all of them is that they are beautiful, they need love, and I am here to give it and teach them with what I am blessed to have learned.
After we met the students Keili, their 3 year old was in need of food so we headed to the mall, a completely different level of civilization than we were just in. It felt weird going to a mall with stores you find in America, everyone is well dressed, all the Peruvians are actually watching a soccer game on the giant TV in the food court, we paid our cell phone bills and ate Papa Johns for lunch. Some of our students eat lunch at a different house everyday because their mom goes to work and they are left to themselves all day and one of the neighbors who is home makes sure they get fed each day, but we had delicious pizza and Coke sitting in a comfy booth, while they more than likely ate on the ground or a plastic stool. It is just interesting to look back on the day, we were in several different worlds today and they are all within a few kilometers of each other.
Auden left us at the mall the look for sales at the grocery store before we went to visit a friend, while he went to get a bed for me, and tables and chairs for the kids. He was successful, though I wish I had gone will it would have been fabulous to see him put the double bed mattress on top of the car and drive through town as so. He is talented.
It was a successful and exciting day. Thursday we will be going to paint the front of the house, put the bed together, and search for more classroom items. Friday will be the whole day as well, with the parents meeting in the evening. Both these days we will also be moving my stuff. On Sunday I will stay my first night and Monday teach my first day of preschool- in Spanish!