Saturday, July 27, 2013

Buenos Dias

Here is a link to a blog post that I just wrote for the Augustinian Volunteers' page. Enjoy!

Peace, love, and stars.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

I May or May Not Have Also Eaten a Donut

As my students say when I tell them to get off Facebook or I make them hand over their cell phone, "Que mala la profesora," or "How bad the teacher." I just realized that in my previous posts I neglected Nasca photos!

Ministry of Culture
Geographical Lines of Nasca

This line formation is called "the hands." Naturally, Britt and I decided to put our hands in the picture too! It's kind of hard to make out the shape, but it's amazing!

This shape is called the "tree." Some hilarioius, wiry little Italian woman took this photo of us while standing on top of the metal bars across from us. In addition to her scaling, she also forced the 10 other people on top of this rickety old structure to move out of the way and all into a tiny little corner. Hilarious.

Me with the Nasca sign at the entrance of the city. Dork. Note the patriotic Escarapela (rosette) pinned to my shirt! However, at the time I didn't realize that I was wearing it incorrectly: you're supposed to wear it on the left side over your heart. Oops!

At the airport we stopped at Dunkin Donuts... duh... It was NOT the same as back home but still quite exciting. I may or may not have also eaten a donut...

The honorary guests at the independence day march. Note Ms. Chulucanas standing next to the mayor. Beauty pageants are a huge deal around here and the winner has many duties all year long, including wearing tiny little dresses standing amongst a group of old men.

The Santisima Cruz marching band! They're actually VERY talented and did an excellent job. Those poor kids were out there standing and playing in the sun for a L O N G time.

The band marching into position to play while the other students marched by.

Me marching with the CEO team. I helped lead the group, holding the sign.

Still marching.

Wearing red and white ponchos, our students formed a Peruvian flag. They teach sewing at the CEO so our students always have the most beautiful costumes! Not like I have a swayed opinion or anything...

The marchers! The girl in the front with the blue sign is Faviola, one of my favorite students. They always choose the tallest students to march and she's by far the tallest student at the CEO.

Even though I'm still kind of creeped out by the weird militaristic feel of the marching, I was proud of my students. They all did a phenomenol job marching. The CEO director, Hermana Carmen, was glad that we didn't win as the winners have to march again in Chlucanas and must go to Piura to march. I asked her if I was supposed to smile while we marched (everyone else was so serious!) and she said, "Lucia, do whatever you want when we go by the judges. You can even stick your tongue out if it means we don't have to go to Piura!"

Britt and I after all the marching was done with. I have to admit this photo has kind of been doctored. Britt is totally bending down and I'm on my tip-toes! Also, we're both wearing our formal uniforms. After the march we both went to the Sisters of Mercy's home for lunch: yum.

Chantelle and Paul have finally come home from Lima! Glad to be  a whole community again!


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Proof That I Actually Work!

At the orentation for the CEO (in March). Here I am being presented by Sister Carmen, a sister of Mercy and the director of the CEO.

The presentation of the CEO teachers at the same orientation.

Helping Sister Mary Ellen wtih a retreat that she gave at the CEO.

At the march for peace in March.

Still marching!

Marching and cheering for peace!

There you are, proof that I really do work! I'll soon provide you with the pictures of today's march. Britt's school won first place so they get to go to Piura to march again.

Pleasant Surprises and Penguins

The pancakes I made for the 4th of July!
“It’s just so surprising to see how happy we’ve made these people,” one of them explained, a smile spreading across his face, yet that smile was laced with something else: confusion. One of his peers echoed his facial expression with the comment, “Yeah, even though they’re so poor.” These comments arose during a daily discussion between fifteen seventeen year-old boys, three adult chaperones, Chantelle, and I. The boys and their chaperones were here in Chulucanas all week on a school mandated mission trip and this was their reflection time. Malvern is a highly respected, Augustinian, all boys’ middle and high school mostly populated by white, upper-class students.

When first told that as Augustinian Volunteers we would- in addition to our other jobs- be in charge of creating a schedule and toting around 15 high school boys, I was obviously not thrilled. I pound one highly caffeinated cup of coffee and try to manage at least one five minute period of nothingness (this means horizontal immobility, silence, and occasionally a quick nap time) each and every single day. This strict schedule helps me through my crowded schedule of teaching and other impromptu events. I don’t have much free time.
Me, Fabiana, and Chantelle on 4th of July. Amurica.

Much to my pleasant surprise, this experience was actually one of the most life-giving that I have had so far this year. Watching the boys experience Chulucanas for the first time, learn about what service really means, and reconsider how they live their lives. We played soccer with local children, introduced them to our host families, visited the orphanage and old folks’ home, and introduced them to some typical Peruvian dishes. At the end of the trip as we hugged each boy goodbye, I realized that I was very sad to see them go and extremely grateful for the time that we had spent together.
The day that Malvern left, the medical campaign arrived. Every year, twice a year, 2 medical campaigns come to Chulucanas. The first (which comes in June) is a general medicine, physical therapy, gynecology, and eye doctor mission while the second is for operations. Our role during these campaigns is translation. I worked in a general medicine room with Dr. Ellen. Working with her was exhausting, wonderful, and extremely interesting. We saw dozens of patients each day from all over the diocese, including some from the Sierra (the mountains) and campo (the country).

A week later, our program director, Pat, came to visit us and brought us to the beach for our mid-year retreat. It turns out that this was the exact thing that we needed as a community. In addition to rejoicing in a successful six months in Peru, Chantelle, Britt and I recommitted ourselves to our community and talked about what we could to get the most out of it.
Paul and I with our awesome, secret belly bags.

Last Sunday, Paul, Chantelle’s friend from home arrived in Chulucanas. He spent the week coming to work with us and getting to know the city. On Thursday, we all jumped on a plane to Lima and the very next day we started our tour of Paracas, Ica, and Nasca! In Paracas we took a tour of the Paracas National Park- a desert right near the beach known for its high volume of marine fossils, went for a dune buggy ride and sand surfing, and took a tour of the Islas Ballestas (the poor man’s Galapagos). Amazing! The dune buggy ride was so incredibly fun and we saw penguins at the islands!!! In Ica, we took a tour that brought us to a Pisco and wine making factory. While in Nasca, we were supposed to take a flight over the famous Nasca lines, but it was unfortunately cancelled due to the poor weather. Instead, we made our way to one of the lines’ lookout point where we were able to see two of the formations: the hands and the tree. Such an awesome trip!

Us at the Paracas National Park.

The Cathedral formation at the Paracas National Park.

Me, Britt, Paul,and Chantelle!


Ready to sandboard down a super big hill!

On the boat to las Islas Ballestas.



Sea Lions!!!
Tomorrow morning I get to march in the Peruvian Independence Day parade. So exciting! I hope all is well for you.

Love and miss you all!!!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

From Bubbles to Boys to Physicians

It's been awhile, but i'm still here! Here's a photo recap of what I've been up to recently:

Wipeout in the bubble (Guayaquil) 

Malvern students exploring the "chakra,"

Unique peruvian dog, yes they're all that ugly.

At our friend Oscar's chakra!

Attempting to get coconuts down from the tree.

With my friend Susi, a contestant in a beauty pageant!

With her formal wear! She won 3rd place by the way! 
Beach volleyball in front of the pit. 
Sunset at Centro Pastoral

With "my" doctor, Ellen who I translated fro

Chantelle with Angela: she learned and performed the dance for us!

Britt marching in the parade!

Santisima Cruz students marching

With Tito, a professor at Satntisima Cruz. Please note Britt's formal 

When the power goes off,  we change to headlamps.

Pelau's pig had babies!