A Travellerspoint blog

My first teaching week

Getting involved with classes and life in Trujillo, Peru

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I have now been at Espaanglish in Trujillo for one week and already feel like I have spent a great deal of time here. Feeling relaxed and confident with the weeks ahead!

The idea of teaching English is a challenge I have wanted to take on for some time, with my future plans in terms of jobs a little undecided the main reason for coming to Espaanglisch is to see what merits teaching would hold and how I would fair in the education world. The volunteer program sounded great and after speaking to Mary Beth I knew it would be somewhere I would love to be.

I arrived fashionably late at the Trujillo bus station but after managing to grab my bag rather quickly I spotted my arrival party waiting by the exit. It felt good after feeling a little isolated in a bus full of Peruvian men and women to see a Gringo smiling back at me! Arriving over a weekend meant the Sunday was spent exploring and getting to know the area, I particularly enjoyed a visit to Huanchaco beach watching the many surfers catch the waves with a beautiful sunset as a backdrop. Sounds a little cliché but it made me feel instantly relaxed and at home!

The first meeting eased my mind even more, finding out that we would be in teams to teach meant less pressure and ultimately more time to have fun with the kids.

Over the course of last week and the next three or so I will be teaching in three different schools, with a whole range of ages, from 4 to 11. This first week has been interesting, settling into the routine of different classes and getting to know some of the good and bad students that are in the classes. The best feeling so far is stepping into a class and without saying a word being mobbed by kids asking my name and where I am from and generally showing me all sorts of attention, which again puts you a great mindset to teach a great lesson.

With a new curriculum in place the classes are well structured and Mary Beth, Jennifer and I have had a great week teaching the students about the verb ‘to have’, colours, days of the week and my personal favourite, the weather! I have been aptly named ‘The weather man’ for my brilliant attempts at drawing clouds with my fingers in midair!

I have to say I was nervous at first but with this first week under my belt I feel in my element, I have no problem having fun and that is what is needed in all these classes to keep the lesson flowing and the children entertained, when each class finishes I am a little sad as I seem to enjoy them like I would any other activity…It doesn’t feel like work for one second.

On the other hand the evening classes are a nice change, to get involved in teaching adults means you have to be a little more serious with a bit more of a set plan, as the students are expecting a well-organized lesson, I have already learnt how to structure a lesson and now have my next week figured out and ready to teach.

I have already decided to extend my time here! The people I have met already and the people I am sure to meet are making me want to stay longer. Seeing the kids every day and the different way of life I am leading gives me the feeling that teaching is for me and Peru in general is a very interesting place to be starting that career.

Posted by davidt.ontour 16:23 Archived in Peru Comments (0)


2 Days in the Capital

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Sorting out the lost bag situation took a long time and I knew my hostel pick up service would've been long gone. I arrived to scores of people asking me if I needed a taxi, I had heard and seen a lot of warnings with regard to illegal taxis so decided the best options were the ones setup by the airport despite being a little bit more expensive.

The man was friendly enough, as we left the airport complex I motioned a questioning look to the security guard (as if to ask 'is this guy alright') he gave me a reassuring nod which made me relax back into my seat.

I wasn't relaxing for long however as we emerged into traffic upon traffic, there seems to be some sort of order to the madness but I certainly don't understand, at one point on the 45 minute journey I am sure 6 cars were squashed into four lanes, constant beeping and shouting followed us the whole way , at several points I even let out a short gasp at how close we got to other vehicles at a speed that was unnecessary for the situation we were in.
We made it with all limbs intact and because I only had a small bag to carry I felt a little freedom entering the hostel.
I checked in with the little Spanish that I had and found my 8 bed dorm empty. Perfect.

It took 4 hours from landing at Lima airport to get to the hostel and was now 9am. I thought I'd take the opportunity to enjoy the free breakfast of scrambled eggs, rolls and jam and an excellent selection of teas before crashing out.

The prospect of wearing the same shorts and tshirt combo did not excite me when I awoke especially since the Peruvian spring hadn't really started. I shivered on downstairs to find a friendly mix of people, hostel staff, a Swiss girl who was leaving for home and two Israeli boys who had just started their leave from the army.

They had plans to head into the city and with my schedule free I decided an exploration of the capital would be a great idea and joined them. We managed to haggle a taxi down a little on price (saving ourselves 60p) and ventured into the heart of the city. First stop the Plaza de Armas, where the Palace and the main cathedral of Lima are situated, along with some fancier looking restaurants. We were lucky to find that all four roads that surrounded the square were closed to make way for a huge parade, paying tribute to Saint Rose, who is the patroness of the Americas. Incredible to see the normally bustling roads completely empty. We also walked down the main shopping arcade of Lima, Caught a glimspe of some Peruvian boy band which had 100's of girls stampeding around the Plaza San Martin.
I managed to chat about the customs in Israel, the majority of which revolved around the obligation of every person to do their stint in the army. They were a very interesting pair with exceptionally good English but thankfully poor Spanish meaning I could feel a little proud of helping them with taxis and directions that they didn’t understand.

We managed to tick off the beautiful Church of San Francisco and the Parque de Maralla which has stretches of restored old city wall. Really nice area to walk around. It is important to note at every corner of every street you will be able to find street vendors, selling mostly food but on occasions toys/games/jewelry and all sorts of weird and wonderful things. I bring this up now as outside the park gates a woman was boiling small eggs, I later found out these were quail eggs and you eat them as you would a normal boiled egg, although it’s a quarter of the size. Strange.
The guys I was with decided it would cool to cook something traditionally Israeli for dinner, I was treated to Shakshuka, which is a combination of tomatoes, onions and peppers reduced into a more saucy mixture with eggs on top, we bought some lovely bread and ate this saucy eggy concoction accompanied by Inca Kola
(I have to add my new addiction here, it is a fluorescent yellow soft drink, which has a similar taste to Irn Bru. *Fun Fact: Every country that Coca Cola is available to buy, it is the number one selling drink except for Peru, where Inca Kola is number one)
The following morning I was invited to Miraflores by the guys but with the potential arrival of my bag and my tolerance of wearing shorts and a Tshirt in cold drawing thin I declined and waited. I stayed in the hostel relaxing and catching up on sleep till 2, when finally my bag was delivered by the airline to the door, which isn't a bad service. I finally changed and wasted no time in getting to Miraflores in an attempt to find the others but more so to enjoy a wealthier suburb of Peru.

My first point of call was to be a very typical tourist and take a Red bus tour around the perimeter, It was little chilly (I hadn't learnt from my previous cold outfit). The bus, which had commentary in Spanish followed by English, took us some fantastic sites. The national stadium, an Inca ruins that were still being excavated and the best part of the trip following the coastline for several miles. When the tour had ended I made my way back to the coast, It was busy with tourists residents alike, playing all sorts of games, relaxing and picnicking in the many parks stretching along the cliffs that overlook the ocean. One of my favourite, Parque del Amor, featuring a huge monument of two people laying down kissing. It sound rather cliché but I found it pretty lovely!

Walking along further I found all sorts of fun things going on, as well as a tribute park to the Nazca lines made with flowers, the Miraflores boardwalk and an immaculate lighthouse area all made for great photos.

Knowing I was leaving in the morning meant I wanted to pack as much of Lima in as I could. I headed to Parque de la Reserva which features a huge waterfall collection, aptly named ‎Circuito Mágico del Agua (Magic Water circuit) I am so glad this was my final sight in Lima, a combination of 14 different waterfall formations spread around the park make for a spectacular couple of hours. Using a range of coloured lights tactically spaced the waterfalls make all sorts of beautiful arrangements. One of which was a Belagioesq routine performed to music and lights. Creating a fantastic array of different images in a wall of water that was created.

No wonder it has achieved a Guinness world record and for 4 Soles (1 pound 50) it wa a bargain. With a huge water tunnel, pyramids and jumping fountains it was a great finishing point. Another quick memory is of a waterfall that had random timings of when it jumped up and moved around, many kids were playing in and around it (despite being around 8pm.) I watched it for several minutes deciphering the pattern and then confidently strolled up to show everyone how it was done. Holding my camera to create a video of my talent I stepped into the Waterfall area, tactically maneuvered through several water sprays and navigated effortlessly through another few, the end was in sight and I confidently headed in that direction. I had no anticipated a child falling over and as I reached down to pick him up I got soaked by a fountain right in front of me. I was not happy although several children and a couple of adults found it rather amusing.

I arrived home dripping, to find the smiling faces of the Israelis, who also found the story funny but to ease my sorrows had cooked way to much rice and Snitzel and offered me a plate to which I jumped at!

Saturday morning saw me leave the hostel for my 9 hour bus journey to Trujillo, felt like I could've spent one more day but I am sure I will be back.

Posted by davidt.ontour 16:21 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

Stepping Out

Journeying to the next continent

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A combination of nerves and excitement greeted me as I arrived at Gatwick airport on Wednesday the 28th. Being well traveled I welcomed the familiar south terminal and swiftly checked in and cruised through into the departure lounge. Before arriving in Peru I would first have to fly to Madrid and then onwards to Lima on an 11 hour flight. (long but nothing I hadn't done before) an added bonus was that I didn't need to recheck my bags in Madrid, Air Europa would automatically transfer them. How kind. So all that was left to do was sit back and relax.

Madrid was an easy flight, I fell asleep as we took off and was awake just before we landed, a 3 hour flight felt like a couple of minutes, with no bags to stress about I was soon happily on my next flight. Two seats to myself which I took full advantage of.

The plane left a little to be desired with minimal amounts of food included and no personal screens, a luxury I had become accustomed to but we landed safely to a unanimous applause, which still baffles me! A pilot has done his what he has been employed to do, we wouldn't applaud a chef for a good meal or a builder for a great building! Anyway I'll leave that for another day.

Getting the tourist visa was easy and then to baggage collection...hundreds of people swarming the carousel, soon I could see my way through and eventually got to the front to find my bag. As the buzz died down and people filed out I was left with several others with a little panic growing inside me...as the luggage boys poked their heads through the entrance and the carousel came to a disheartening halt I began to realise today I would not be reunited with my bag.

Posted by davidt.ontour 16:17 Archived in Peru Tagged planes peru new lima fun bag plane start journey problem Comments (0)

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