Week one: Training, washi tape, Carnaval

Training has been going non-stop.  Here’s what I’ve been up to since Friday:


  • Carnaval dancers showed up in front of my house, drums and all.


  • I got maisena’d.  That’s a handful of cornstarch to the face.  How does it feel, you ask?  Like integration.  It feels like integration.  (And it is also extremely uncomfortable.)


  • I’ve definitely gone inside the supermarket exclusively for the A/C.


  • “I got two / phones / one for the Corps, and one for my mom.”


  • Got really, really confused by, “Carlos es de Texas, si?”  Texas sounds like TEH-has.  I had just learned that “lentils” are “lentejas.”  I did not understand why she were calling him Carlos Lentils and asked her to repeat herself several times.


  • I wore a string of washi tape for the event celebrating the coronation of the pueblo’s Carnaval Queen. My host mom wanted to spice up my outfit, spotted my washi tape and straight up fastened it around my neck. Wasn’t going to argue with that.


  • Something large-sounding is currently buzzing in my roof and I am pleading with God for it not to be a cockroach.  Might actually be the cat.  She gets on the rafters sometimes.


  • My integration strategy is basically to ingratiate myself with the neighborhood kids because: 1) They are awesome and hilarious, 2) They’re trying to teach me to dance and play dominoes, 3) They’re impressed by my pushups and 4) They are so, so patient with my wacky Spanish.


  • Seriously though, the happiest moment of my experience so far happened Sunday.  I’d promised to draw with this kid prior to visiting my host aunt — wasn’t really feeling like keeping my word, but I figured I’d give it a minute and see how it went.  Within 10 minutes, there were 10 kids ripping apart my notebook to draw the logos of soccer teams.  They were also super excited about washi tape with English words on them.  One kid kept his “hello” piece of tape from one evening and transferred it onto the next day’s shirt.


  • I went to a youth group meeting at the Catholic church on Sunday.  The leaders were getting commissioned/presented/ordained and the ceremony included an extremely intense skit (that I didn’t understand, but still managed to enjoy) complete with dancing.


  • I teared up in Tuesday’s technical training session.  Given my limited teaching experience, I’d been horribly anxious about that aspect of the training.  Once the expectations were laid out, the fog lifted.  For the first time, I could let myself be excited about what the future held, sans the mind-numbing fear.


While I realize I’ll need more than optimism and fuzzy feelings to get through training, life has been pretty good so far.  

2 thoughts on “Week one: Training, washi tape, Carnaval

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