Perúvian Food Mondays

Many of my friends know that I am a foodie. Back at home, if the TV wasn’t tuned in to the news it was probably on Food Network or The Cooking Channel. (Did you know that they’re sister networks? Makes sense, I guess.)

For approximately one year, I ate a vegan diet. I have no raging political reasons why, the simple answer is that it is a very healthy lifestyle – when done correctly, of course. (That goes to say with really any “diet”.) But about two months before I left for Peru, I started incorporating the foods that I had been fasting from. I am 100% fully supportive of dairy, eggs and meat. They are great. Greek yogurt is probably one of my favorite foods on the planet and no almond/soy/rice/coconut/hemp/whatever milk “yogurt-style” concoction can fill its place in my heart. Once I knew that I was going abroad, I knew that I wouldn’t keep up the vegan-ness. Reasons being I didn’t want to impose such a persnickety diet upon my hosts and why would I want to deprive myself of this unique culinary opportunity? I mean seriously. While I do miss the occasional tofu-scramble, I couldn’t be more in love with the food here.

Being the aforementioned foodie I like to think I am, I did a little research on Peruvian cuisine before heading down here. I hadn’t known this before, but Peruvian food is apparently quite on the rise in the culinary world and that was pretty darn exciting for me. Reading about all of the different dishes, fruits, snacks and drinks made me hungry. In fact, I’m hungry right now.

Having been here for a bit, I’ve gotten to a point where I have specific people I buy my food from. The open air markets host a plethora of vendors, so it was overwhelming at first when trying to figure out which one to go to. I’m not sure how it came to be, but now there’s a special person for my snacks (nuts, dried fruit, the occasional pack of gummy bears), yogurt, bananas and tangerines, mangoes and of course, there’s panadería across the street for bread.  When it comes down to the produce and yogurt, there isn’t really much difference between the same type of fruit or brand of yogurt that’s sold at every other store. But I’ve become fond of the people I go to, often once or twice a week, and it seems weird to think about any other way of buying groceries.

If you’re thinking, “But Michelle, that’s basically the same thing as buying food from a farmer’s market!” I get it. But honestly, it’s different. Farmer’s markets in the US feel more like a novelty compared to how I buy food in Villa El Salvador. Now, I’m not trying to start a conversation about the importance of local agriculture and the domination of mass-produced food.  My main point is that there are many opportunities to connect with people. I knew that traveling to Peru would manifest grand opportunities for such networking, it’s the seemingly  little connections, like having a conversation with the woman who sells trail mix, that remind me of how fulfilling it is to just converse with people. And if it’s over food, all the better!

So with all of this said, I think I would like to make Monday posts, food-centric. Because why not? Mondays and Tuesdays are my days off, so I think that considering Tuesdays are usually reserved for day-trips, Mondays are looking like a pretty good day to devote to food.

P.S. The featured picture was taken at La Casa de la Gastronomía, which is a museum dedicated entirely to Perúvian cuisine.

Welcome to WordPress and Other Craziness

Welcome to Notas de Perú via WordPress! If you’re reading this, I greatly appreciate it. I’m sorry about the site change – but it’s all for the better! (It’s not you, Tumblr. It’s me.) Now, if you feel compelled to write a comment on a blog post – you can! (No pressure, but you should.)

This morning was spent transitioning the posts from the Tumblr blog to this one. I wanted to make sure that everything got here in one place, instead of just starting off with today’s post. Gotta keep up that continuity. (Says the girl who said she would post one blog a day and has many a post titled “Catch Up ___”.) Also may I just say that choosing a blog theme is more difficult than one would think. There are just so many. I digress.

On to the important stuff!

Since the program’s inception (I believe) the guitar/cajon class that I’ve been working with has been held in the morning. But not today. As of this week, we changed the time to 4-6pm, because of the really low turnout that we had been getting. The kids study more often in the mornings so afternoons are a better time. So, tonight we had very high hopes that we would get some more kids to come jam with us. We got that and then some. Because Música isn’t the only program that runs from 4-6pm every Saturday evening – Repostería happens at the same time.

In theory, it really shouldn’t be much of a problem. The women who go to Repostería really just stay in and around the kitchen at CEDED and the guitar class is in the main area of the community center. So, there shouldn’t be much traffic. But more often than not, the women also bring their young children and not all the books in the world, let alone the little CEDED library, could keep them occupied for the two hour class. So tonight was pretty busy. At one point, I somehow I ended up holding a toddler while also trying to stay engaged with the kids in the música class. Regardless of the craziness, I thought that tonight went very well. Having an abundance of kids at CEDED is better than none at all.

Unfortunately, I didn’t actually get to play any guitar tonight. We only have so many guitars at CEDED and tonight yielded enough kids to have them all being used. Although, the selfish part of me that wished I could have gotten to play just a little was drowned out by the excitement from seeing all of the new faces playing the guitar for the first time. It was nostalgic, fun and of course the theme of the night: a little crazy. There were about eight kids in total, some playing guitar and some the cajon. And by playing, I mean more like aimlessly strumming and spontaneously drumming along to each kid’s individual internal rhythm. The immense activity was a refreshing change and I hope that the kids come back next week. With their friends, too.

As mentioned before, tonight was Repostería. During one of the quick moments I was a way from the music kids, I peaked my head into the little kitchen to see how things were going. Luckily, I got to try tonight’s recipe: empanada de pollo.

Empanadas ready to go into the oven!

A delicious filling of chicken, hard-boiled egg, olives, onions, bell peppers and spices was wrapped up in a flaky, warm golden brown pastry. They were amazing, as is every recipe that is made during Repostería.

I’ve found that busy nights like tonight end up being more energizing than exhausting. That may be naïve to say as I’ve only been here for a month. I don’t know if it’s the challenge of keeping tabs on everyone when things get busy or the buzz of energy that envelops the community center during such times, but it is nights like tonight that I try to remember most.

Getting Down to Business

This afternoon, Roxana asked me how I knew all the kids’ names. I replied that having been here for one month, I’ve simply gotten to know them over time. If it were possible to do a double-take on spoken words, that’s what happened. Until that random moment, it hadn’t registered that I have been here for four weeks.

We are one month in, people. We, meaning really just me. But I like to think some people read this?

Yesterday marked my first month here and I think that this anniversary is a perfect time to really start firing on all engines. Not to say that I wasn’t applying myself these past four weeks. This month has been a time for transition and essentially, orientation. It goes without saying that steamrolling into a new environment and preaching ones ideas with intentions of probable affect are irrational. Being the reserved, non-confrontational person that I am, that was easy to bypass.

I even marked this special occasion by finally buying a larger notebook for notes. For the past month, I’ve been writing down notes in a smallish pocket notebook. Never again. As a part of the grant I received from Omprakash, it is one of my requirements or expectations, that I take ethnographic field notes. I read a bit about them as a part of my global development class, EdGE, but I honestly am still trying to figure it out. Nonetheless, I am determined to take insightful and educational notes and I’m confident that a new notebook will do the trick. After all, I was deprived of the back-to-school office supply shopping this fall, so I think I deserve it.

Now switching gears to something completely off-topic and really not important.

If you count the months right, I will be away from home for Thanksgiving and Christmas. That’s ok with me. (Although, the food blogs that I follow are already in pumpkin-spiced-insert-any-food-here overdrive and I’m beginning to consider how to make a pumpkin pie in the weird plug-in dome oven at CEDED, so that could change.) I knew that Hannah was going home for Christmas, but today I learned that Emily is going home as well. I don’t know about the other volunteers who are arriving in the coming days, but as of now it looks like it’ll be just Roxana and me. Even some people in our host family are going out of town! Who knows.

Central Lima 3.0

I know, my creativity is lacking in the title-making department.

But really, today I went into central Lima for the third time. Except, I almost didn’t.

Tuesdays are virtually everyone’s day off at CEDED because the only program is one that starts at 6pm. I hadn’t anticipated going anywhere today, except for doing random errands and such. But to my surprise, I heard a knock on my door at around 6:30am with Roxana on the other side, asking me if I wanted to go into central Lima with her and Hannah. My newly discovered spontaneity embraced it and decided, “Why not?”.

We headed out at around 8am, similar to last Tuesday’s adventure. Today we decided to explore a church we didn’t have time to see last time, the Saint Dominic Priory. Architecturally it was very similar to the Convento de San Francisco on the other side of Plaza de Armas. The cathedral or Convento de Santo Domigo was also very similar to the Basilica of Lima. The tombs of Saint Rosa of Lima, Saint Martin de Porres and Saint John Macías are all located at the Saint Dominic Priory.

One of the coolest things about this tour, was that we got to go up into the bell tower. We climbed up some of the most precarious stairs I’ve ever been on, but the view from the top was worth it.

Me, Hannah, Roxana

After climbing back down, we went to a coffee shop only half a block away for a much needed coffee fix. As you can see in the picture above, it was pretty foggy and there was even a little drizzle. Coffee was a must.

Conveniently across the street from the coffee shop, was the Casa de la Gastronomía. Basically, a museum dedicated to food. It was everything you could want from a food museum, except for the fact that they don’t serve any food. But nonetheless, it was really fun.

The different types of pastry/bread in Peru aka heaven.

Quinoa!

Not surprisingly, after perusing through a museum of food, we were pretty hungry. We decided to head down towards Miraflores in search of the cafe that Hannah and I went to a couple of weeks ago for a BD marketing meeting. (Considering we had to get back to Villa before 3pm, we were a little frenzied as we power-walked our way through Lima and the Metropolitano bus stations. There was even some sprinting.)

Once we got to the cafe, we settled down for a quick lunch. It was pretty darn good, too. For only 10 soles, each of us got a nicely portioned appetizer, entre, drink and a little dessert. I would have posted a picture of said lunch, but I was a little too hungry to remember. My appetizer was a frittata-esque sweet potato gratin (if you can imagine that) and my entre was rice in a little pyramid form, perfectly grilled chicken and a little side salad. It was delicious. That is all.

I’m becoming very fond of these little day trips because it’s really nice to explore places outside of Villa. I don’t think it’s going to turn into a weekly thing, as that could become sort of expensive, but I’m definitely looking forward to excursions around the city.

Parque de la Imaginación

Today by the numbers:

47 kids, ages 11-18

13 volunteers

6 hours (10am departure, ~4pm arrival)

1 bus

12 mega buckets of KFC chicken for lunch

Innumerable amount of napkins

The Parque de la Imaginación is located about an hour away from Villa El Salvador and is a pretty awesome place. It’s basically like a discovery museum. It features several different types of sciences, all with very interactive and engaging exhibits. Emily and I went a few weeks ago to scope it out and plan for todays trip. Ever since that first trip, I’d been quite excited for the kids and I very hopeful that they would enjoy the opportunity.

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So, 47 kids. It was a little crazy, to say the least. I’ve had plenty of experience with leading groups of people my own age, but it’s a whole different ball game with kids a few years younger. Also when they are extra hyped up after eating lunch.

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We ate lunch at a KFC that was only a couple of blocks away from the park. However, our bus driver wasn’t able to get us very close to the entrance, so we had to walk around the shopping center where said KFC was located. It was not the ideal situation regarding safety, but I made sure that my group walked on the side of the sidewalk that was farthest from the street, looked both ways before crossing and waited for people who needed to catch up. Getting there was fine. We had to make the same trek back to the bus after lunch, but this time I was leading three times as many kids as I had originally brought. There came a point where we had to cross a street and Emily was waiting on the other side. Of course, this is the moment when the kids decide to walk into oncoming traffic. The very last, last, last thing I wanted to happen was for one of them getting hurt, let alone while on my watch, also throw in the right-in-front-of-Emily-Director-of-Building-Dignity, aspect. Although I was pulling back kids by their jackets left and right, everyone safely crossed the street and we made it to the bus.

But really, the everything else went very well. The kids had a great time at the park, we were relatively on-time with the planned out schedule and no one got hurt. It was really nice to be able to take a trip out of Villa with the kids and have fun while also learning about electricity, the human body, physics, biology and loads more.

For the past couple of months, Voices of Youth has been going on one paseo a month. I’m not sure what they have planned for October, but considering how well today went I think it’ll be pretty hard to beat.

First Day 2.0

I have a new housemate. Technically, I have a lot of housemates considering I live with Ana María’s family. But late last night, a new long-term volunteer arrived and she’s living on the floor above mine. Her name is Roxana, she’s the same age as me and is taking a gap year as well!

Today was her first day and I got to play tour-guide. To my surprise, I wasn’t nervous or anything with having to show her around. In fact, it was almost empowering. It was really gratifying to be able to prove to myself how much I’ve learned about the community and the people who live here and I really loved being able to share that with someone new.

After a trip to the market, Roxana and I headed up to CEDED. Normally, I would go to CEDED later in the day because Voices of Youth is from 4-6pm. But due to the fact that I only had one avocado, a huge loaf of white bread and one-third of a package of crackers, I figured it was time to get some food.

Today was the Thursday group for Voices of Youth. Today we planned on having them work on organizing an economic activity, finalizing plans for their field trip that’s this Sunday to the Parque de Imaginación and starting to think about a menu for their first communal meal that will be in about two weeks. This afternoon proved to be a chatty one. The youth’s voices were heard. Very loudly and quite often. But nonetheless, we got business done and I’m looking forward to watching more than a dozen kids make arroz con pollo y papas a la huancaína in the little CEDED cocina.

All in all, today was a huge reminder of a principle that I’ve made a goal for my time here: always be aware of the “now”. As I showed Roxana around, I was mentally thinking back to when Emily was doing the very same for me only a short time ago. It may sound silly, but sometimes I think about the fact that “I live in South America” and “I am in South America” are phrases that are applicable to my life and I am filled with pure wonderment. Being as reserved as I am, I’m not one to make a big deal about things. But every so often, (mainly during mototaxi rides up to CEDED) I remember tremendous potential of this time in my life. It’s a little overwhelming, but I’m finding that any anxiety that spurs from that train of thought often dissipates once I realize how incredibly fortunate I am to be here.

Throwback Thursday: Central Lima Edition

(Ya, I know it’s #transformationtuesday and #throwbackthursday. Titles are hard.)

Uneventful is the last word I would use to describe any part of the time I’ve been in Peru. Today was no exception.

Today, Hannah and I went on a quick trip up to central Lima to sight-see, as we both had today off and Hannah hadn’t gotten a chance to see many other places in Lima besides Villa el Salvador. To say it started off rocky, would be an understatement. First, I did a perfect 10/10 A+ face plant while catching the Metropoliano. I’m still sort of confused about how this happened because 1. I’m pretty sure I’m not a clumsy person and 2. I wasn’t even running. I think that I literally took one step and that was that. Oh, well. Hannah reminded me that I should be lucky to have fallen on sand/dirt and not cement. Thank you, unpaved roads? Once we got on the bus, we hit morning rush-hour traffic. Because we had to be back in Villa by around 1-2pm, we left at 8am. So for about a half hour, somewhat still covered in dirt, hands stinging from the fall, I stood in a ridiculously crowded bus that was going less than 20mph. Things were not looking up, that’s for sure.

But all of a sudden, traffic dispersed and we were on our way. Just like that. We hit the freeway and were into central Lima before 10am. Thankfully, the Metropolitano has a stop that is literally blocks away from the Plaza de Armas, which is where Hannah and I were wanting to go. Today was my second time there, since I went with my aunt and uncle two weeks ago. But nonetheless, I enjoyed being able to have a little more freedom this time.

We went to the Convento de San Francisco as well as the Basilica Cathedral of Lima. On the tour I took with my aunt and uncle, the guide talked briefly about it but we never went in. This cathedral is one if not the most important cathedral in all of South America, as Francisco Pizarro laid the building’s first stone. He’s also buried there. We could have gone to see his tomb, but it was a little expensive so we opted for just a tour of the cathedral, which by the way, is nothing to scoff at.

There are 15 smaller cathedral/shrine like rooms that wall the basilica. Each one is dedicated to a saint and beneath it, there are tombs of benefactors and other important people associated with the church/society.

Apparently one of Santo Toribio de Mogrovejo’s fingers is in that thing. 100% True.

Before we left Plaza de Armas, we were able to see the changing of the guards in front of the presidential palace. The entire ceremony was almost an hour long, but it was really quite interesting. The police block off any traffic that would go through the street that runs right in front so that people can watch. The band played maybe three or four songs and I thought it was over. Then more uniformed men walked out from two passage ways from the palace and did their thing.

The ride back to Villa was a fraction of the time it took to get to Lima. Once we got back, we headed up to the lavandería to pick up our laundry. Did I mention that I have to get my laundry done for me? Ok, so that sort of sounded like it was a problem, but it really isn’t. Who doesn’t want someone to do their laundry for them? The only catch is that they don’t wash underwear so you have to do that by hand. But that really isn’t too bad.

So, considering I started the day face-first in dirt, I think everything worked out pretty well.

One Fine Sunday

With almost three weeks under my belt, I’ve started to definitely feel more comfortable with the ebb and flow of my schedule. I work every day except Monday and Tuesday. The rest of the week consists of three 9am-7pm work days, and two days with programs only during the afternoon. So far, that’s been going quite well. Except I haven’t really had a totally normal week, as I was at CEDED all of last Monday and the week before was my first one here.

The flexibility has allowed me to have a lot of mornings free, during which I’ve enjoyed traveling about the markets of Villa El Salvador.

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Every Sunday, there’s a flea market of sorts in the same area as the open air market where I buy my food. The street is lined with dozens and dozens of vendors selling all sorts of random things. It’s a great day full of bustling people and good food. Today I was feeling very festive and bought these delicious coconut cookie/macaroon-like treats. The vendor sold these as well as fried coconut meat. (I decided to buy these instead because I figured the coconut meat wouldn’t taste as good when not warm.) These are a coconut lover’s dream. AKA my dream. They’re basically flat macaroons with a freshness and sweet taste that are equally apparent. They’re fabulous. I can definitely see that buying these every sunday could (and most likely will) turn into a weekly ritual.

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After going to the market, I headed up to CEDED for today’s Voices of Youth meeting. On Sundays, the meetings are 3-5pm. I was pretty excited for today’s, because of the activities that were planned. On Friday morning, Hannah, another volunteer Katherine and myself created the lesson plan. We started off with two “dynamicas” or ice breakers and one of them was one that I suggested! I learned as a part of LINK Crew training, which was a freshman orientation program that I participated in during my junior and senior years in high school. I was curious to see how the kids would like the games. While I wouldn’t be personally offended if they hadn’t liked it, it definitely wouldn’t have felt very good. But that didn’t end up happening. From the incredible amount of laughing and smiles, I think I can say that the name game was a success.

The main activity was Impromptu Baseball. It’s very well known in the Interact-world and most likely other leadership building platforms. Today, it was “Béisbol Improviso”. We split the group into three teams that each had about six or seven people. Essentially, someone is given a random word and he or she must speak about that topic for no more than a minute (we changed the rules a bit), and he or she cannot use filler words like “um”, “like”, take really long pauses or go off topic. The point values are pictured below and one point was taken off for each “mistake”. It was an exercise to try and get the kids to feel more comfortable with public speaking and presenting to their peers.

Below, is the final score and point values (kept by yours truly):

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The kids absolutely loved this game. After someone spoke, Katherine would give them constructive criticism about how they did as well as how many points they got for their team. Everyone would get really quiet, in preparation to hear what she would say.  At the end, everyone wanted to do one more round! Their enthusiasm was infectious and my heart was quite warmed.

One of the biggest challenges that I anticipated regarding my involvement with Voices of Youth, was a potential lack in cohesiveness of activities and lessons that I’ve learned about leadership, in conjunction with the goals and values of the kids in this community. That and my ability to communicate my ideas and beliefs clearly and obviously, in Spanish. Today, I got to tackle all of the above. The name game ice breaker and today’s main activity, resulted from me suggesting them earlier this week. I even lead the ice breaker! Today was a really positive step forward in my journey here. Today’s Voices meeting gave me reassurance, confidence and a lot of hope.

With all of this said, I feel like I will soon be able to dig a little deeper into my involvement here. I’m fully aware that every day won’t be like this one – invigorating and boosting of self-esteem. I know that some days will be difficult and things won’t turn out as I will have hoped. But as corny as this little thought has turned out to be, I really believe that it’s days like today that make the not-so-great days, not so bad after all.

Happy 19th Day Anniversary

Today was my 19th day in Peru. To be perfectly honest, I really haven’t been counting the days because 1. that seems sort of senseless considering I’ll be here for a lot of days and 2. the time has been going by so quickly that I just haven’t even thought that much about it. It’s easier to track weeks at this point. But even today, I realized that something that I thought happened last week, really occurred two weeks ago.

As told in this blog, my time here has been anything but uneventful. For almost two weeks, I hadn’t seen my host, Ana Maria because her mother became very ill and had to be hospitalized. Some of Ana Maria’s family also live in the same house as me, but because my room is more like an apartment, I don’t necessarily see them every day. I was really quite concerned for a while, but a couple of nights ago I almost literally ran into Ana Maria in the kitchen while I was getting some yogurt out of the refrigerator. After the surprise encounter, we (mainly Ana Maria) caught up on all that had happened during the past week. I’m still not sure when Ana Maria will be coming back to work at CEDED, but it looks like things are getting better.

Ana Maria’s absence has consequentially given me a lot more independence. Another reason behind that first solo-trip to the market was because there simply wasn’t anyone for me to go with. (But nonetheless, the main motivator was the aforementioned Metro trip at night.) I’ve even become a little more adventurous with spending my time in Villa El Salvador. For example, my market trips now yield more diverse products i.e. avocados, pears, a different flavor of yogurt, grocery bags, and snacks like gummy bears and these candied peanuts. Baby steps. My favorite discovery is a panadería that’s across the street from my house. I’m still not sure if it should be considered a favorite or a dangerously bad habit. Basically, this place sells delicious baked goods for not a lot of money and what more can a person ask for? This morning I had the terrible problem of having to break a 20 sole bill and obviously that might be sort of hard at the open air market (it probably wouldn’t be) so I guess I had to buy something at the panadería this morning. Shame. I ended up buying pastry rolls, avocados and one chocolate that I wasn’t really sure about. But then I tasted it and it was basically a gourmet s’more and my morning was made. I’ll post a picture later. Words cannot do it justice. These little outings are just a few examples of the things that I’ve grown very fond of.

Truth be told, I frequently think about what it will be like to come back home. These thoughts aren’t fraught with longing or wistfulness, they carry more of a curious and in some cases regretful nature. I say regret, because I have already become quite happy with how things are going and sometimes the thought of not being here brings on a twinge of sadness. But my plan is to be stay for seven (and at most eight) months, get a summer job, then begin college in the fall. But then I could argue with myself about the fact that I had a very similar plan (that’s even mentioned in a pre-departure blog post) and that one didn’t really pan out the way I planned. It’s hard for me to not over-analyze or think too far ahead, too quickly. Nonetheless, I believe that this period of my life is a very unique way of instilling skills that will help me embrace life’s more spontaneous moments.

There are definitely two clear mentalities that could be embraced while being here: counting down the days or adding them up. If that even that make sense. But at this point, I’m just trying to keep track of what’s happening today.

Lessons in Horas Públicas

Before I started working at CEDED, I always anticipated that Voices of Youth would be one of the most challenging programs I would be involved in. Challenging in the sense of integrating my own skills, the prospect of dealing with teenagers that I didn’t know at all and trying to get them to feel empowered enough to become catalysts for positive social change. Just those things. But to my surprise, one of the most exhausting programs I’ve been involved with is horas publicas.

Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9-11am and 4-7pm, the center is open for kids to get homework help. The morning sessions are usually very low maintenance, as the younger kids are in school and the older kids don’t necessarily need the tutoring. However, once it hits 4pm, the community center comes alive.

I’d say that the average total number of students that come in within the three-hour session would be at least 15. Students always outnumber volunteers. For example, tonight there came a point where I was juggling probably three or four kids. (Not literally, of course.) It’s a little crazy but somehow the kids get their questions answered and homework gets finished. Somewhat ironically, I always end up helping kids with math homework. This is ironic to me because I have never felt very strong with my math skills and yet here I am, helping ten-year-olds add and subtract multivariable equations. I think we can all agree that the more impressive feat is that ten-year-olds are adding and subtracting multivariable equations.

I’ve already experienced frustration with trying to work with the kids and tonight was no exception. I worked with one girl for probably an hour on her homework assignment that really should have taken about half that time. She just completely disengaged because she originally wanted to just use the computer to get the answers, but I told and showed her that we had a book that had the same information. It got to a point where she just completely stopped communicating with me. She even started crying a little. I’m not entirely sure if this particular situation was the cause of said reaction, but nonetheless, it was heartbreaking. I made sure not to coddle her but also not completely abandon her while she was in this rather fragile state. I told her I was going to check on other kids for a minute and when I came back, she had begun to read the book I showed her and was writing down an answer. It was progress. It wasn’t smooth sailing from then on and I will save everyone the trouble of reading about that, but I can say that we did end up finishing the assignment.

To say this evening’s horas publicas was tough would be an understatement. It was exhausting. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying your very best to communicate or help someone and receiving nothing in return. You can’t over-do it and you can’t just give up. It’s made me begin to believe that learning is a two way street when it comes to the relationship of a teacher and a student, in that there has to be a willingness and enthusiasm in learning, or else it’s just harder than it needs to be.