For those of you who don´t take Spanish for 4 hours a day, that means "I´m confused". Of course said in my own way. My way of drawing out all of my words goes for both English and Spanish and has won me the title of worst/best gringa accent. I guess you guys are right. I really do talk funny sometimes. OMGGGGGGGG YIIIIIIIIIIIKES. Hahaaaaaaaaaaaaa.
Anyway, back to me being confundida´ed. This is pretty much what I say every morning because I never have a clue what is going on. Ever. I think the girls I walk to the training center with in the morning have begun to look forward to our daily sessions of "What is Melissa Confused About Today¨. First it was pepinos. Apparently, the same word is used for both a sweet melony fruit as for a cucumber. Who knew? Well I sure did when I was staring at a plate full of cucumbers when I expected fruit. Also I spent all week worrying that I wasn´t going to get to eat on Saturday because my host dad cannot get the concept of packing a lunch to go. And every time I asked him or our housing coordinator about it I only got MORE confused. There is also the issue of my host sister´s name. Which I have determined is actually Yesenia but everyone calls her Vanessa? I don´t really get that.
Training has been going well. It seems like a lot, but I think the work is not as much as we think. Spanish is going well, I guess? But I guess not all that well considering I´m perpetually confused. We had classes in my house last week. Friday we cooked Peruvian food and my host dad, Julio, put on his full chef´s regalia to show everyone. It was the greatest thing ever.
Life with the host family is coming along, I suppose. It´s really awkward to live with a family that has to cook for you and wash your clothes. And they are soooooo accomodating (uh, except when they don´t get that I need a lunch to go) that it´s embarassing. So add to that awkwardness the fact that I can´t really understand them all the time? And boy, do you have problems. I think they might think I´m just this big, dumb, crazy gringa that has no clue what´s going on. Yesterday I was getting ready to leave for Lima for classes at the agricultural university at 7am. I was all dressed, sat down to breakfast, left to meet another volunteer and the second I closed the door behind me I looked down and started reaching in my bag for my keys. My host mom and sister, totally confused looked up and I had to explain ¨No estoy llevando zapatas" (I´m not wearing shoes) because I had left in my slippers. Man, they laughed so hard at me. They also thought it was super weird that I slept until 9:30 after going out to the discoteca until 1:30. But as usual, little Julio Cesar has provided ample amusement (and sometimes with meals of toast). We continue to enjoy watching Vivan Los Niños together. He also asked me if I liked ¨Techno¨with YIMCAHREE. In a situation similiar to HEEPSDONLAY it took a while but eventually I determined he was referring to the SNL skit where Jim Carrey does the Night at the Roxbury. The family apparently has this clip on a DVD so, of course, we promptly popped it in to watch. We also enjoyed a super intense WWF "ESSMAAACKDOWWWWN" match between Batista and King Booker. Complete with wrestling simulations by Julio Cesar wherein he pretended to body slam his mother. Today he asked me "¿Estas casada?" To which I responded "Si", he laughed asking "¿Con quien?" (with who?). Cansada = tired and casada = married. Ohhhh Julio Cesar, what a joker.
Hmm. What else. Peruvian mosquitos are RUINING MY LIFE. Their bites are the itchiest fucking things on the planet. And they stay for longer than 2 weeks causing my ankles to swell as if I had sprained them, thus making it difficult to walk and also freaky to look at. But this also might be because I have at least 45 bites centered on my ankles. Also their is this mosquito borne disease that has recently caused the death of a man from Lima, thus causing everyone to start paying attention to the fact that about 4,000 people die from Bartonellosis each year. Needless to say, after seeing my bites many people have lectured me about Bartonelosis and how I can die from it. Thanks. I´ll remember that. But on a positive note I´m working with a group on a project where we´re going to try to get out and educate people on Bartonellosis so people take precautions against it and stop freaking out thinking everyone´s going to die.
Ok, my time here is up. Check back later for updates on what will inevitably involve some sort of gastrointestinal distress. I mean, I´ve gone this long without getting sick. It´s gotta happen some time, right?