Wow, these last two weeks have flown by. Things are wrapped up at the school and I am spending my last week in the office. Here’s the recap of what happened:
Week 17: Today’s lesson at the school was drawing the big picture. During the past 6 weeks, we’ve talked about many things and maybe the kids don’t remember or don’t understand how everything fits together. So today, we went over the highlights and connected the dots. I wanted to make sure that these children understand why I am here and that we share this world, so what you do here can actually affect the rest of the world. It may not have been the most exciting lesson, but I believe the point got across.
And week 18, my last week at the school. How bittersweet it was. Two ladies from the office joined me at the school and I am very thankful that someone else could share this experience with me. This week, I asked the students a lot of questions. I wanted each student to tell me something they have learned. A lot of them mentioned the importance of nutrients (for ourselves and that a garden needs nutrients, also). A few students mentioned plastic contamination. And some students said they learned about composting (which, if you know me, you know this warms my heart).
After the revision, I gave a pep talk to the kids encouraging them to stay in school and learn as many things as they can. I printed some photos throughout our time together and brought them in to pass out. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a photo of every student working in the garden so a few kids were sad, but overall, this was a big hit. Of course, after our talk, we went back to the garden and Silvia and Juana (the ladies from the office) spoke with the professors and took photos, as well. Any opportunity to go in the field is exciting and this was a great day to come. Two other interns from the office accompanied me to the school on two separate occasions, also; but personally, I think this was probably the best day. This is definitely a day I won’t forget anytime soon. I think I learned as much from these kids as they learned from me.
I also gave a presentation about my project in the office at FAO this week, which went over well. It was neat to see other’s interest in my school visits. I felt well-received during the presentation and was asked good questions. After this presentation was also one of times when I felt really proud of myself. I came to Peru not being fluent in Spanish, and therefore not having a lot of confidence when I found out I would be teaching at a school. Although I am still not fluent, I have learned so much. Giving a presentation to children is different than giving a presentation to your colleagues. After the presentation in the office, which was not perfect, but it was not bad, really gave me a confidence boost.
On another note: The weekend between this two weeks, I went to Cajamarca (a city in the northern Andes of Peru) to visit my friend’s parents. This was a fun trip, different from my other trips because I was taken in as family. I have to say that these two weeks in Peru were very comforting, even though I was still outside of my comfort zone at times. But it is working through the challenges that produce the most satisfying outcomes.
The northern Peruvian Andean countryside is really beautiful. Cajamarca is a quaint city, although recently has been disrupted by some mining activity. For me, it seemed like the history and the integrity were still strong, and I can appreciate that about any place. They have farms, textiles, and a few ruins, all worth visiting.