There is not really an easy starting point to sum up over a year’s worth of time especially if that year was spent in another country, culture, language and climate. So I will begin with where I am today and then talk briefly of how I got here.
I live in a small town about two hours south of the city of Lima, Peru in the Cañete river valley. My town has about three thousand people most of who are employed in agriculture. The average daily salary in my region is between 20 and 30 nuevos soles (the exchange rate is about 2.8 nuevos soles to the dollar). It is higher a bit further south in the department of Ica because their crops have a higher value. I am a water and sanitation (Wat/San) Peace Corps volunteer (PCV) as I have mentioned before so some of the facts about my town lean in that direction. The water source in Roma, the unofficial name of my town, is the irrigation canal that runs along the side of town. Right now the water is super brown since it is raining in the mountains, but it is still the source of water for my town as well as a bathtub, washing machine and sometimes trashcan. As a Wat/San PCV one of my goals is to improve the accessibility and quality of the drinking water and to that I am trying to start a project with the local and municipal mayors to repair and expand the local water system. I am also starting swim lessons, cooking classes and when school starts again I will continue tutoring student in English and math.
Now the question remains, how did I get here? If you have read my blog in the past then you know that Roma is different from the original place that I lived. I was originally place in Ocucaje, Ica, but I was unfortunately attacked by a Peruvian man one morning during my first few months of service. I was not physically harmed, but my world and sense of security was broken. In July of last year I was moved to Roma where I have a lovely host family and community. A special thanks to all my friends and family in the States who listened to and supported me through my tough times and especially to my fellow PCVs; I would not still be here if it were not for y’all.
I hope that everyone had a very merry holiday season; I know that I did!!
Until next time,