Thursday, July 1, 2010

A Day In The Life

I’m sure you’re wondering what an average day here is like… What exactly does a Peace Corps trainee (PCT) do? How does Beth spend her day? After 2.5 weeks (Has it been that long already? Has it only been that long?), I have some idea of what my normal routine is. So here it is, an exciting day in the life of a PCT…

6:45 – Wake up and do the normal get ready stuff. I say a little prayer that the showerhead water heater is working and I don’t have to freeze through my morning shower.

7:45 – Breakfast with the family usually consists of bread with avocado, cream cheese, or jam and a cup of coffee.

8:15 – I have Spanish class in the home of one of my classmates. Luckily, my whole class lives in the same town as I do so I don’t have to brave the combi this early! Spanish class is usually a lot of fun, my group is really easy going and my prof always has some good Spanish music to share.

11:45 – Spanish class finally concludes (I like it but 3+ hours is a lot of Spanish). I drop my backpack off in my bedroom and go read on the front porch until it is time for lunch.

12:00 – I eat lunch by myself – the rest of the family eats later – but my host mom usually sits with me. Lunch almost always consists of rice, potatoes, and some sort of meat, often chicken. When I’m really lucky my mom serves “salad” also… cucumbers and onions marinated in lime juice.

12:15 – When I finish eating lunch, I head back to the front porch for some more reading time. Since I live on the main road, I often see some other PCTs wander by and it’s nice to have some extra English time during my day.

12:30 – I meet up with some other PCTs to head to brave the combis and go to training classes.

1:00 – Training classes commence. These consist of interesting topics such as: The Role of a Youth Development Peace Corps Volunteer, Safety and Security, Nutrition, Parasites, Stages of Group Development, etc.

5:00 – Classes finish and we disperse to other activities – Ultimate Frisbee on Tuesdays, Yoga on Wednesday and Fridays, and snacks or Frisbee after classes most other days.

Starting on Thursday, I’ll also have a youth group with some other PCTs. One of our assignments is to start a youth group to last the remaining six weeks we’ll be in training. I’m pretty excited for this to start and I’m sure I’ll have more information about it soon.

7:30 – Supper time with the family. We usually have coffee/tea/a rice-milk drink with bread and avocado. I love avocado. I could eat it for every meal. Luckily, I get to eat it for two most days.

8:00 – After supper I usually play some Uno with my parents, work on homework, write e-mails, or meet up with some other volunteers. There never seems to be enough time at night for everything I want to get done (which is why I’m over a week behind on my e-mail writing!).

11:00 – I try to get to bed by 11 (all the Spanish is exhausting) but I’m reading a really good book right now so I’m up late sometimes… I guess some things never change.

Well, there you have it… life as a PCT is always an adventure. The activities may sound normal but the Spanish and cultural barriers make everything much more exciting. Life as a PCT is never dull.

And, some pictures...
A typical Peruvian meal (though there's usually rice too!)
Got to love the combis - this was taken on a two hour ride home from Lima
My Spanish class is Lima - Dhyvia, Megan, Curtis, my prof Ivan, and me
Fireworks: Peruvian style
The new bus system in Lima is supposed to be "less Combi-like and more civilized". I'll let you judge how it's working out...


Jen said...

I'm envious of all the avocado you get to eat. I loooove avocado; it's the butter of the vegetable world.

I have a couple of friends in AA who did PC in Macedonia a few years ago. They were interested to hear about your experience in Peru. Would you mind if I give them a link to your blog?

CarynD said...

Awesomeness! Plus you look really ridiculously good looking in that a-team brown jacket! Sounds like they keep you pretty busy which I'm sure is a good thing in the beginning. Glad you have some downtime to read. Love the pictures and the breakdown of your day. Kinda makes me tired though and my day seem very boring! haha love you and miss you bunches!