Today we pretty much wrapped up painting the outside of our escuela and tomorrow we’ll start on the inside walls. Tomorrow will be our one-week mark and it’s already starting to feel like a routine for me and Mads. It’s really your typical 9-to-5, only your co-workers are pint-size Peruvians. In the morning, the combination of noisy ninos and sunlight sifting through our window wakes us up around 7:30. After desayuno it’s off to work around 9. The kids join us around 10, as they bolt from their classrooms and gather on the lawns to eat lunch. Most of them hang around us, gawking and quietly hoping las gringitas might say or do something entertaining. We don’t disappoint.

For the most part we try to engage them with “nice to meet you” questions like what’s your name, where are you from, what are you learning in school, etc. So far, I think we’ve won them over — if dessert-sharing is any indication.

After the ninos go back to class, Mads and I break for lunch. Our meager ingredients are really inducing our culinary creativity. Today we made veggie burgers and we have grandiose plans for pallea and quinoa stirfry. Once stuffed full of delicious lunch, Mads and I head back to work. It’s quittin’ time around 4:30-ish, when the sun feels hottest and the altitude makes you a little fuzzy. After heading back to the casita to change, we try to catch the final, most diluted rays on our reading bench. Once the sun dips behind our surrounding mountains, the temperature drops and it’s dinner-time. Bedtime follows pretty soon after.

It’s a far cry from life in DC, but the pace is a welcome one.

Las palabras del dia

La sombra – shade
El dibujo – drawing
La galleta – cookie (not to be confused with la gallina, which means hen. My 7-year-old friend Yami was a little confused when I asked her to draw her farm animals and suggested starting with the cookie.)

August 20, 2013