I have been on a roller coaster of adventure and emotion during the last month. A high was a visit from my fellow Returned Peace Corps Volunteers who worked alongside me in Fiji. It was amazing to be surrounded by people who have similar stories, beliefs and goals. We visited Machu Picchu (which is a place incredible beyond words!!), explored Lake Titicaca, drank kava and Fiji rum, and had many great discussions. Overall, it was wonderful to spend time with great people in such a beautiful place! Peru is a breathtaking country with a lively/inviting culture and great food. We greatly enjoyed the hikes, practice our Spanish/Fijian and exploring Peru together.
On the other hand, I am having a hard time with work, and initiating the process of acquiring my work visa has been anything but easy. I was in Lima for about 2 weeks trying to navigate the visa requirements, which happen to be additional and more complicated for Americans- go figure. The school could’ve and should’ve been more supportive and helpful. In the classroom and with my visa, I am struggling. The language barrier and the lack of communication are making my work difficult. Also, I was not aware in applying for the job or accepting the job that we are an inclusion school. I feel highly underqualified to deal with the special needs in my classroom especially across the language barrier. In my third-grade class, which has 13 students in total, 5 have special needs. There are a variety of needs from autism to Down syndrome to ADHD. I don’t feel equipped or qualified to handle this seeing as I am not even a qualified teacher.
In addition, there was a death in my family. As I have been out of the country for almost 3 years, I didn’t even know how sick he was. I am starting to think more about family and realizing how removed I have been from my own extended family over the past few years makes me sad.
****On a positive note, I have to speak to the WONDERFUL people I have met in Cusco. I have become part of an exapat community here. Something about Cusco draws the most kind-hearted and adventurous people I have ever met. I have managed to make amazing friends here in such a short amount of time. They have been such a positive uplifting part of my experience in this beautiful city!