Fat, Beautiful, and Full of Life.

We have come to the end of Mother’s Week. I am not kidding, it is a holiday that rivals Christmas here in Ferrenafe. The Peruvians love a good celebration.

With the kids this week, we worked on Mother’s Day songs and crafts. I am a terrible singer, but Hannah likes singing even less, so I led the kids in very off key Mother’s Day songs to the tune of London Bridge is Falling Down and Oh Christmas Tree (which has a very high part in the middle that I would mouth rather than sing…I don’t think they noticed)

Our crafts turned out great. The kindergarten through grade 2 classes made these flowers for their moms with their pictures in the middle. While the end product was really cute, crafts take so much time to prepare and so much time to clean up, and yet only minutes to complete – I have a great deal of respect for elementary school teachers! We also had a minor breeze problem in our class, blowing tissue paper throughout the room. However, the kids were pretty excited to take their masterpieces home!


Then, Friday was the BIG DAY – the Mother’s Day program for the families to attend. The place was packed! The kids were decked out in their finest with 5 year olds looking like they were going to prom.

Hannah tried to explain to me what a big deal this was, but I had no idea until I saw it myself! Each of the classes performed a song and/or dance with their homeroom classes in Spanish. These were elaborate! Costumes, gloves, hair nets, and banners all included!

The grade ones were even dressed in different career costumes. I honestly couldn’t tell you what their song was about, but they were definitely the best dressed!

Ice Cream Seller

Our English classes performed in between. I can’t say they sang all the words… but they were sure cute! The grade fours were super excited to hold up their signs that said, “I L-O-V-E Y-O-U.” As you can see, in spite of multiple practices during the week, Martin still forgot which way an “E” goes…

I was especially proud of my little roommate, Perla. She has been living in the children’s home for about year, since her mother died of cancer. As you might guess, Mother’s Day is an especially sensitive holiday for her. She cried several times this week during practices, sitting on my knee as I cried too. My heart broke for her. But, she is a strong and courageous little girl, and on Friday she got up and sang her heart out. She told me she knew her mom heard her.  I have no doubt that she did.

We also got two new kids at the children’s home! Both went to the bottom house. Rita is nine and she arrived on Thursday evening. We also received a new baby boy on Saturday! He was abandoned on a bridge, and that’s all I know. He’s about 6 months old, and Carol named him Solomon. He is the absolute cutest thing!

Yesterday I survived yet another trip into Chiclayo. I am totally serious, I am actually surprised every time I make it back without dying in car accident. Let me explain to you the rules of the road where I am. In the city, there are occasionally lights at intersections. The lights are not like lights in Canada, but they are all placed in a traffic circle that you cut into, honk your horn, pray no one smashes into you, and, if you’re lucky, somehow make it out the other side. But, these traffic lights are few and far between. Stop signs for busy streets? No, just uncontrolled intersections. And this is how you maneuver them: drive, honk your horn and if you’re there first, you go. And if two cars approach the intersection close to the same time at a perpendicular angle (which happens often), it’s really just a game of chicken. You stick your nose out far enough, you honk, and you go. Or, if you’re on the single lane highway, and you want to pass the car in front of you, you just do it. If there’s oncoming traffic, they just move over, and three of you fill the width of the road, sometimes with a moto (motorcycle carriage) on the shoulder. I am honestly still trying to figure out why I haven’t witnessed more accidents.

Hannah, Katie, Me, Lily

Mashed potato cheesy ball

Any way, you have to see it to believe it. Yesterday, Katie, Hannah, and I went into town for lunch with Lily, the kindergarten teacher at school. We arrived at 10 am, accompanied her to the grocery store, came back, peeled potatoes, shelled peas, mashed potatoes, moved from the dining to the living room 5 times, and ate at about 2 pm. Eating dinner is an event! We ate a delicious mashed potato ball thing with some milky cheesy sauce. How’s that for description? They told me the name in Spanish probably 10 times, but I don’t remember.  Then, after this huge mashed potato ball, we were served a heaping plate of rice and a piece of chicken. It was all yummy, but my stomach is only so big. I did my best, I honestly did. When I thought I was going to burst, Lily asked, “Do you only eat a little in Canada too?” And I had eaten at least half of my rice mountain! I can’t keep up! She also said, “We have a saying in Spanish to compliment a woman: ‘fat, beautiful, and full of life!’ If you keep eating like us, soon you will be fat, beautiful, and full of life!” I told her I’d aim for two out of three.

And, on the way home, we stopped for ice cream. So I’ll let you decide which two.

XO – kb


5 thoughts on “Fat, Beautiful, and Full of Life.

  1. I love following your posts, so happy you are sharing them with us. Looks like you are doing amazing work and that the children really appreciate it. Miss you tons and can’t wait until you’re back. Don’t kid yourself, you’ve already got 2 out of 3 ❤

  2. Hey Kailee! I love reading what you are up to in Peru. It sounds like an incredible experience. I love your description about the driving. It was that way when I was in Haiti too. It’s hard to explain how ridiculous it is unless you see it yourself. Many blessings to you! Love Nicole

  3. How wonderful to hear about the celebration of mothers in other cultures. My heart aches for your roommate knowing that even at my age and 22 years without my mother I still miss her. I cannot imagine the emotional roller coaster you must ride every day. All I know is the children there are blessed to have you to share all of their emotions whether they are high or low.

    Thank you once again for sharing.

    Auntie Cindy

  4. You’re a great writer Kailee! I feel like I’m there experiencing it with you. 😉 Glad to hear it’s going so well and you’re enjoying the special things in the culture like celebrations, the people, food and driving! 🙂

  5. I continue to love your blog Kailee! You will have to get the recipe for that mashed potato cheezy thing. From what I understand from Terry, mashed potatoes are a bit of a luxury in Peru. When his nephew brought his family to Canada for a visit from Peru the children were so excited about the mashed potatoes and ate mounds of them because they were such a delicacy.

    I look forward to your next entry…..Auntie Lori

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