I firmly believe that life’s too short to not travel states this week’s featured blogger at the top of his tumblr page. After studying abroad for a month in college, Degen decided to head south after graduation and teach English. His new home is located in Arequipa, Peru and below you will find some of our favorite pieces he has composed. His blog is laugh-out-loud funny and we can only hope his many adventures will inspire others to travel as well. Enjoy!
View from the kitchen. Arequipa keeps going and going past the roofs. Took a stroll last night and with 11 soles ($4) I bought 9 eggs,1 mango, 1 apple, 1 tomato, 1 onion, and a bag of chips. For $1.50 this morning I had coffee and a pastry. I don’t think I’m going to miss the states. Weather reminds me a lot of an early morning in California. Cool, mild breeze, a bit of sun / clouds and no humidity. Plan for the day: To not get lost in the ever-winding streets and cobblestone alleys of this city.
Oh, and since it’s such a prominent holiday, Happy Groundhog day from Peru!
Helluva sunset last night. That’s the view from my window, along with my courtyard which is (clearly) right below me.
I’m going to cruise Arequipa today looking for a suitable house pet. I’m leaning towards a turtle, but I’d certainly be ok with a lizard or parrot. Open to possible names so let me know!
First day of classes tomorrow, which means I’ll be busy today writing down as many ice breakers and get-to-know-you games as I can. I think I’ll also make brownies to really cut that first day of class tension, or should I make cupcakes? This will be the most difficult decision I’ll make today. Here’s to you Arequipa ‘Cheers’
The streets of Arequipa are rather quiet today. Classes were cancelled because of a public transportation strike (una huelga) due to the increase in the price of petroleum. No complaints here though, I got to sleep in which is a commodity for me these days.
Graded papers yesterday and it felt rather odd to tell students that their theses lacked depth or that they needed to give better examples in their supporting sentences. Less than 4 months ago I was in their position complaining that my teachers were ignorant and if they wanted a “stronger” thesis statement they should write it themselves. Oh how the tables have turned
I’m a big fan of all the pastel colors used in Latin American countries. A majority of cities in the States are characterized by big concrete buildings plated with glass and steel which make me feel cold. Having traveled through Central America and Peru / Chile, I much prefer the pastel color schemes and vibrant chalk-drawn signs offering daily specials.
I got asked for directions today by a Peruvian and truth be told, it felt pretty good. There I stood, reveling in the fact that he didn’t think I was another bumbling tourist, oblivious to the difference between ‘caleta’ y ‘calato’. (big difference by the way). After I had had my moment, I turned toward him, smiled, and said, “no sé”. Always glad to be of service.
Before heading overseas to be an ESL teacher, there are quite a few things that you really can’t prepare for. Like trying to explain the many different definitions of the word ‘swoop’ (excluding the EWU mascot) and why Americans make fun of Canadians. (For the record, ‘because Americans make fun of everyone’ seems to be an easy answer). Although I would like to give my students a concise rule for English grammar, “Because that’s the way it is” is a frequent response. For example, after some verbs you have to use the infinitive, no questions asked. Why? Sorry to burst your bubble Jorge, but that’s English for ya. Read More >>
15 year old Chinese girl in my class named Yufen goes by the nickname Yu (pronounced ‘you’). Whenever she walks in I yell “YUUUUUU”, which is similar to the oh-so-catchy “Crank That Soulja Boy” song. Needless to say, I taught her the dance and that’s how class starts 2-3 days out of the week. Read More >>
Have you also been to Peru? Rate your experience now!