“Zancudos” – what the Peruvians call mosquitoes. They are constantly pointing at my legs and shaking their heads: “Oh! Zancudos!” My mosquito bites now blister when I get them. I have heard that there are two kinds of mosquitoes here and one makes you blister. I’m not sure if that’s true, but if not, I’m having some sort of allergic reaction instead and now have blistery mosquito bites. Apparently making me itch wasn’t enough for them!
I am coming to the end of my first week teaching! It has been awesome, but challenging. I have spent hours planning things this week, but it gets easier and faster every time. Some of things they like to do, I wouldn’t have expected and other things I expect them to like, they’re not interested in! It’s been a bit of trial and error, but I feel like I am getting to know the students, and I’m beginning to feel comfortable in the classroom. The names are still a struggle, but I learn a few more every day. And, the ones that misbehave were the easiest to learn. Funny how that happens… 🙂
The 4 and 5 year olds worked on colours and foods this week. The highlight was painting with apples, which we did today. We used both red and green apples, using red and green paint. There is a lot of teacher-talk in the Peruvian classroom, even at ages 4 and 5, so it was cool to see them get to do this activity fairly autonomously and with a high level of engagement.
As far as my home life here, I have been living with an American couple in the upper level of the children’s home. However, the wife was back visiting in America until last night, so we just met! She is a lovely lady, making popcorn for breakfast and peanut butter cookies (my favorite) in the afternoon. Remember when I went to Africa and came back a little chubby? Well… Let’s just say, I’m not getting any smaller here.
Having her home also means the babies in this house are a lot happier. Below are my two house mates, Daniel (two and a half) and Andrew (one and a half). Since I have arrived, they have been two teary eyed little boys, but they are changed men today! They are sure happy to have their foster mom back home again.
The boys aren’t the only ones around here missing their mom. Yesterday was the first day I felt a little homesick. I’ve been loving every minute here, but I’ve felt the first pangs of homesickness. I miss my mom today most of all. Most of us go through a phase in our lives when we think, “gosh, if I turn out like my mom, I think I might die.” And maybe some of you still feel that way! I, too, have felt that way in the past. But, as I grow older, I realize what an incredible, talented, strong woman my mom is. She does not apologize for the person that she is, and she can even seem intimidating with her strong front. But beneath the surface is a compassionate woman who has taught me how to love people, not with words, but with actions. She is inspiring in her continual commitment to putting others first. Her unspoken dedication to living generously, in every sense of the word, with people is something I always admire. While she is not quick to praise or express herself in words, she is the woman buying socks for Christmas for all of her refugee babies at work. She is loved by more people, and has touched more lives, than she will truly ever know. Gosh, if I turn out like my mom, I will be forever grateful. Mom, I miss you.