So this Wednesday was Dia del Maestro, which meant that is was my day, cause I am a teacher! So Wendy made a cake, and we had Coke, and I got presents! Wendy collected the money and went to buy something that she knew I would like rather than the not so great Peruvian gifts, which I love with my whole heart because the kids gave them to me. Anyways here are my presents.
One week my freshman year of college or maybe my sophomore I don’t remember, but I remember the street corner that the conversation took place on. Anyways which ever year it was, Victoria and I were in her Blazer turning onto Edward Gary leaving campus, and she started talking about how dependent we were on our cell phones. The conversation progressed and we were in agreement that we couldn’t go more than an hour without using them. So we decided that we were going to go on a cell phone fast for a week. Let me tell you we didn’t last the whole week. It just wasn’t possible. Hardly anyone has a landline on campus and even fewer have a landline in their apartments. The internet was there if we happened to be on Facebook all day. If we hung out at the BSM all day we could generally communicate with everyone we needed to without our phones. However, outside of a very small circle of people without our cell phones we had severed the only line of communication we had to the rest of our worlds. My boss would contact me for a job through my cell phone, I would talk to my best friend who went to school in Austin, and let’s not forget the obligatory phone call I owed my mother weekly for her to continue paying for my phone...I can tell you in full honesty I did not always call my mother every week, and she always reminded me of that. I didn’t always want to call my mom, or I would genuinely forget to press my #2 (cause voicemail is 1) speed dial. However, cell phone dependency or my mom’s weekly call is something I will never complain about again.
I miss the ability to call anyone whenever I want. Or to send them a random text about something that was wondering around in my mind. (Like recently I realized I always brush my teeth starting on the back bottom left work around to the front then back right, then I switch to the back top left and do the same up top. I even brush the kids teeth that way. I keep wanting to ask someone which direction they brush their teeth in and if it is always the same, and I wonder if I brush my teeth that way cause my mom brushes her teeth that way.) Or to have voicemails on my phone when I got off of work or out of class. If I had a question I could generally call one of 3 people and have an answer 99% of the time. If I was sad I had someone I could call and talk to. If I got really good news I could immediately go down my list of important people and spread it within 20 minutes. If I was angry I could call someone to vent to. If I needed to stay awake while driving, or was bored on a long drive I could call someone to talk to. If I locked my keys in the car and didn’t have a coat hanger or wire handy I could call someone to come rescue me. Needless to say I was, like generally everyone else, dependent on my cell phone.
Not that my cell phone was the only thing I was dependent on. I depended on my car till it died, then I depended on a loaner from my parents. I depended on friends and family to always be around. I depended on the internet at my apartment to do my papers and lesson planning. I depended on Hulu or Daniel to watch TV since we had no cable at our place. I depended on having my jobs. I was forced to depend on classmates to do group assignments. And I depended on the sun to come out each morning and remind me of God’s glory, the beauty of creation, and how little I really am.
In Peru, however I am no longer dependent on any of those things except for the last one. This coming Thursday I will have been in Peru for an entire year. When you have been somewhere for that long, and especially if it was a major life change you find yourself reflecting back on where you were a year ago. A year ago I was reflecting back on my life in college and anticipating coming to Peru. In the months and especially the final weeks before I left America everyone always asked me the same questions and I would reply the same every time; A year? Yup, a whole year don’t even have a ticket home. Do you know anyone there? Nope, don’t know nobody. You are going by yourself? Yea, I am going y myself, and I am excited about it, it is going to be the first time it will just be me, and the only people I have to depend on are God and myself. Won’t you get homesick? I don’t get homesick, I love change, and I will come back, no need to be sick if you are perfectly healthy.
I have always considered myself a very strong independent person and I am to a degree. But the one thing I have learned in Peru is that I am actually a very dependent person unlike the responses to those questions that boasted of my independence. I am constantly depending on God for everything, though I hardly give Him a shout out. I am really dependent on my family no matter how hard I try not to be (another thing I have learned while away is how awesome my family is and how committed to me they really are). For an entire year I was dependent on the support I raised, and now I will be supporting myself. I have learned to be less dependent on the things as in actual tangible items that I am used to, I still wish I had them, but I have adapted well enough without them. One thing I will always depend on and need are my relationships, my friends and family. And I want you all to know how truly grateful I am for your support, prayers, and love you have given my entire life, but especially this last year. Even though not everyone is always consistent, myself included, at communicating over the distance, you have always come through when I needed you. And I want you to know how much I love all of you and miss you. And even though it is still 6 months away there is going to be a lot of running to hugs that I am depending on when I get back.
If kids were monkeys needing to be trained for the circus I would be their trainer. And in one sentence you have summed up preschool. However, my mother said it is probably not best to tell parents that you have ever compared their children to monkeys in any way, but that is my comparison and I am sticking with it.
Two and a half months ago, if you were to have walked into my classroom you would have immediately ran away, because it looked like a zoo. But today you walk in and people have been telling me that these are the most well behaved preschoolers they have ever met. Which is strange cause I still find them to be crazy, and sometimes hard to handle. Looking back though they are way better trained, or educated in the appropriate behaviors and acceptable actions in school. And taking it overall the kids really are very well behaved, definitely much more orderly than the beginning, so props for them, or props for the teacher who is good at programming kids to complete a task in response to a single word command. Haha.
I have said before that preschool is not my forte nor my first choice of age groups to teach, but having an established routine and structure helps make that a lot better, and so I am really able to enjoy my class a lot more.
As far as how I am doing - because people keep asking. .. I am doing really well. If you asked like a month ago I would have kind of said "eh". Not today. I kind of got a recharge a couple of weeks ago. I was just kind of finding myself not enjoying what I was doing, or having to scratch plans for school because someone didn't follow through for me, and too much improvising just makes you a little crazy. I had just kind of lost my motivation as well, I guess it decided to take a little time off. I even dreamed that I was grocery shopping in America and it was so beautiful, I have never missed Walmart and HEB so much in my life, I might hug them both when I return.
Speaking of returning.... I do not have a ticket yet, but I am looking to return around the 14th or 15th of December. I want to be home for Jason's 21st on the 16th. I think the end in sight kind of gave me my recharge I needed. Not that I am ready to go home tomorrow, but it is nice to know I will be coming home soon. Also, I am getting really excited about my Dad coming, which means mid year vacations, and what teacher doesn't enjoy Christmas break? Mine just happens to be in July/August but it is still the winter so hey.
There was also a group that came from a church in Lubbock last week. It was a really crazy week, I do not believe I sat down very much that week. Not many of them spoke Spanish so Wendy, Auden, and I were in constant demand. It was really fun to have people to hang out with all day long, just not so fun having 20 people in my small house from 9 to 9, and all the Peruvian kids that were in the school for the VBS they did. I was just a little nervous for all of our school stuff. But it was fun, and it was good for the community. Part of them helped me in school, they brought a bunch of crafting activities, then they also did VBS. The other half did a medical campaign in 3 different places. They were right outside my house for 2 days, those were the craziest. Then one day we went and worked on Auden and Wendy's house. The non medical people were all there. The guys picked their team to sheet rock the ceiling, and the ladies weeded and cleaned. I went shopping for food with Olinda, and then was asked to join the sheet rocking team cause I was tall. I was waiting for my invite, and not to brag but I was an asset to their team. I kept the on track and saved them from cutting the wrong side a few time.
It was a really good week. Crazy but good. Lots of people to hang out with, I got to do some work which I miss. I get tired of playing mom and house sometimes cause I am so not ready for that. So it was nice to use some tools. Another great thing about that week is I didn't have to buy any food, they brought lots of stuff for the school, and I got the leftovers in my fridge.
Coming out of the week however was ridiculous. I haven't been that tired in a long time. I just wanted to sit down for 2 straight days and then I could never make myself get up early this week to was my clothes that are now 2 weeks worth of laundry. However, Hermana Maura offered to was my sheets and clothes for me while I am gone this weekend. Which I am very grateful for because sheets are daunting they are so big and rinsing them is a pain. I didn't leave her all my clothes because I felt bad, even though she told me not to worry.
Anyways I hope you are all doing well. I apologize for not updating since the end of April. I kept putting it off, then last weekend I started and then the internet stopped working. But on a bright side my wonderful mother sent me some dollars to pay for a landline of internet to be installed at my house. So now we are waiting for them to come look at the phone modem on Monday and then see how many more days till they can install the internet. So, I will be more reachable soon.
Thanks for your continued prayers and still loving me even though you never hear from me!!!