The Ups, Downs, and All Arounds of Living in Peru,
the one thing that kept coming back to me was: people. Specifically: my little people. The cute ones I teach every day. 🙂
This picture was taken just this September, a couple weeks ago. My husband was in charge of “Spring Day” where they all planted flowers to celebrate spring and brighten up the campus. I was sick that day and home in bed. Brian snapped this picture of the three girls I teach. They were planting a flower for me. They picked out the pretties one, cleaned out the pot, planted it carefully, and have been watering it and taking care of it outside our classroom ever since. They were so proud of themselves and could not WAIT for me to see the flower they had picked out specifically for me. Melted my heart.
Back in 2009, I took this picture, also on spring day:
A definite “up” has been getting to know these kids. In many ways, I’ve come to feel like they’re mine. I rejoice in their achievements, I cry when they fail, I cheer them on and snap pictures at every event they participate in, I stay up late making sure the next day for them is going to go well, I pray for them. They’re special, unique, and loveable. 🙂 Some of the cultural differences between them and children in the States include:
- When talking about poverty and how they can help others, it’s always met with the response, “Last week, at the market, I saw a man with no legs who was asking for money. I asked my mom and she gave me two soles to give to him, so I did.” Or, “There was kid begging for money in Lima the other day so I gave him all the money I had in my pocket.” Or, “This year, I want to give away all the toys I don’t play with anymore to someone who doesn’t have any. I don’t need them.”
- When I told them about raising chicks from eggs in 3rd grade, it was met with, “Did you eat them for Christmas? I think we should do that – raise chicks and then eat them for Christmas dinner!”
- When talking about weather, one has never even heard thunder and neither have ever experienced snow. The other day, one asked me, “Lisa, I wish it would snow. Why doesn’t it snow here?” I had to explain that it doesn’t get cold enough here and when they asked me how cold it needed to be snow, I’m pretty sure they thought I was lying.
- When teaching about time zones, daylight savings time, and the sun coming up and going down at different times during the year, they are completely lost. We live in a country where the time zone never changes, we don’t do daylight savings, and the sun rises and sets basically all year round around 6 – AM and PM. Yet another thing I think they think I’m lying about.
- When I define spelling words, I use Spanish, hand motions, horrible stick pictures, and occasional pantomimes around the room.
- When explaining a Magic School Bus book on where we get our water, I had to tell them, “And this… and this… and this.. and this… does not apply to us. We still can’t drink our water.” I had to do the same when they learned about pasteurized, canned, and processed food – no food is purchased in cans here (unless you have some money), most food these girls eat is not processed, and pasteurization I’m CONVINCED is different.
- When telling them they have it easy – school starts at 9 and is over before 1 OR starts at 2 and is done by 5, they (again) don’t believe me. To them, this is A LOT of school. In Peru, you go to school either in the morning, the afternoon, or the evening – never all day, hardly any homework at night, and reading books? What books? They can’t fathom a school day that begins before 8 and ends after 3 PLUS homework.