My 25th, 2011
Today is my birthday! I never thought I would turn 19 in Peru! As usual, we went to class this morning at El Sol. I am really enjoying classes at the school so far. I really like my teacher because he teaches in a very interactive way, so we are constantly practicing our speaking skills. We had class from 9am to 1pm, then had about 45 minutes to grab some food and jump in a cab to get to the Air Force School, where would teach English for the first time. Not surprisingly, the cab situation was an ordeal yet again, with many people arriving late because their cab kept getting lost. As I had mentioned before, when we come to the school, we feel famous at the FAP school. The kids swarm up to us, some shy, and some very forward. It is obvious how excited they are to meet and befriend Americans. And today I was told by some of the young girls that I have some of the boys at the school crushing on me.
One boy took me around the school to try to find my group so I could start teaching English. He brought me to one room where I introduced myself to the kids. I told them it was my birthday and they all sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to me, first in English and then in Spanish, and it was really cool. It’s small things like this that really make a day great. However, this was not the class I was supposed to be in so I thanked them for singing to me and then had to leave to find my real room! I never did find it that day, because things were a bit disorganized, but I ended up in a classroom with some other Northeastern students who also never found their assigned group, and we just teamed up to teach together. We taught the kids about American food, so we went over typical American foods for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We had the kids tell us what foods to write, making them use their English, and as we went along, we would discuss and compare the differences between Peruvian food customs and American food customs. We also talked with the kids about traditional American holidays, like Thanksgiving and Christmas, where food plays a major role, so the students could get an idea of what our holidays are like. Our class was so enthusiastic and seemed so excited to participate with us, so that made our job really rewarding. I do not think we were teaching the kids anything that was truly new to them, because many of them knew the answers to our questions and spoke English very well, but they were having the opportunity to speak with us and interact with American students and it is clear how much they love this whenever we arrive at FAP.
I always run into Conny, my language partner, at FAP after we are done teaching and head to the conference room for lectures on Peruvian history. She always gives me a big hug and today she gave me a little bracelet as a gift, which I have yet to take off.
One of the highlights of today was when we returned to our host family house after our long day at El Sol and FAP. Previously, while talking to us and asking us questions about ourselves, our host mom asked us what our favorite food is. I said apples, because I literally love apples. So today when we got home from school, our host mom had a beautiful apple birthday cake waiting for me. It was so kind of her. And later after dinner we lit candles and the family sang to me. In a little while, a bunch of us our going out to celebrate my birthday, so I am very excited and can’t wait to experience my birthday the Peruvian way!