From Cajamarca, Peru
My Experience in Peru: Anna Solomon
“No se vayan, carnivales. No se vayan, carnivales.” (Don’t leave, carnival.) I have had that phrase and its accompanied melody stuck in my head all day and night. Carnival started in Cajamarca on Friday, and the city came to life. The kids have been preparing for this weekend ever since I arrived in Peru, and the time finally came for them to whip out those globos (balloons), fill them with watery paint, and enjoy the pleasure of soaking the remainder of the city. No mercy.
Tomorrow I will go in with Harold, my host brother, and the rest of the young single adults from my ward to watch all the parades. I am so excited to be apart of such a rich cultural experience. I really couldn’t have picked a better, (and crazier for that matter) time to come to this country.
I knew this would happen. It always does. My weeks are filled with so many wonderful and exciting, blog worthy experiences I don’t even know how to fit them all in. Here are some highlights.
Discovering how beautiful Puyllucana is. Pullyucana is the small rural, mountain town that hovers over the entire city of Cajamarca. This is where El Bichito, the center I work at, is located. We wanted to focus on the importance of exercise, so we climbed up the town hill and found a brand new soccer, volleyball, and basketball court. I was team Peru, and Anna was team Real Madrid. Only way to describe this past week playing soccer with our niños-pure joy. Even the girls got into it, because they saw that Anna and I were playing. Now, we are determined to have a women’s sports night once a week, and invite all the town women to come play volleyball. We really want to advocate the importance of being active, especially for women.
Four random youth from neighboring towns showed up to my English class this week. They had seen the sign and wanted to drop by. I was so impressed. We were running a little late one day up at the court with the kids playing soccer, when two boys showed up at the gate. As I was leaving, I said hello, and was about to be on my way when they beckoned me to stop! They told me they had come for the English class, but no one was at the center. They heard we were at the court and came to find me. We returned back to find two other girls who had never come before, patiently waiting to learn. My mind flash backed to my high school years when the best thing in the world was when your teacher didn’t show up, and you left with your friends to go get lunch. How foolish I was compared to these kids so eager to learn. We have such a great time. I teach them English, and they teach me Spanish. We are all equal in my classroom.
To read more from Anna Solomon’s blog, click here.