Thursday, September 20, 2012


     They told us Peace Corps would be an emotional roller coaster. It's everywhere, from the recruitment documents to the training manuals to the blogs of volunteers all over the world. I was hoping I'd be exempt, Yesterday I hit a low and began weeping in, ironically, the training session on emotional reactions to stress. I was immediately comforted with hugs and sympathy from every volunteer in my immediate vicinity. Support system: in place.
     Things improved after that. I went home and got involved in an animated political discussion (in Spanish) with my host sister, who is a teacher on strike. My host brother isn't ready to have his picture taken, but he did let me take a picture of his homework. He is in first grade.
 And here is my homework. I am in 53rd grade.

Today was definitely a top-of-the-rollercoaster day. Here is my Spanish class, meeting in the dining room of my house this morning. That's our teacher Jennifer in the middle. We love her.

Our Spanish class went to the school next door and gave a short presentation in terrible Spanish. This blue building is the school.

The kids were attentive and the next thing I knew, I had my first class discussion rolling. Yes! Something I know how to do!

In the afternoon, we had technical training and again were out in the community. Nathan (tall redhead in picture above) and I went out to interview the workers in the tree nursery and to the library to gather information about the river (Rio Mimac). The people we talked to gave us information that was inconsistent in interesting ways. Everyone was warm and helpful and eager to tell us about the community.

This is my room. I have a very good desk and chair. Note the picture of my beloved daughter Katherine in its place of honor.

Instead of a dresser, I have shelves for my clothes. The green towels are genuine Peruvian towels from the equivalent of Wall-mart. 

Most important--my bed. The bed I had at first was very soft. After a bit of negotiation, they gave me my little brother's bed, which is far better for my back.

My walls and floor are cement, which is a luxury compared to the dirt floors of many families.

I like my haven, where I can rest and recharge my batteries for the next round of ups and downs.


  1. Hey Alane, my name is Adam from PC Panama. Me and a couple other volunteers here started a PC tourism website that we can all put our sites on. We are trying to get PC Peru up and going and have a couple sites already. We were hoping you could pass the message along so we can get any site with tourism potential up there. Thanks in Advance! Here is the link: