If Peruvian car horns could speak…

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There is not a moments peace here for all the taxi´s honking their horns. After over three weeks here riding in colectivos everyday I have finally decoded what the honks are saying and split them into five categories:

When attracting a new customer:
“Hello, you… yes you! I´m over here, that´s right on the other side of the road. I know I´m going in the wrong direction and you´ve turned down 10 other taxis, but look baby, I´m not like them… I could be the taxi of your dreams! I´ll do a U-ey for you… look now we´re on the same side of the road. How about it?! Go on…  you know you want to really 😉 ”

Expressing approval of a “Linda/Guapa/Gringa”:
“Oi! You! Fitty! Check this out, the guy who´s pressing my button… he´s got a face like a dribbling pervert and you really ought to see it!”

When releasing frustration:
“Why the hell aren´t we moving! Oi, idiot infront… I dont give a toss if you´re stuck in traffic, find a way, there must be a way. Just move…MOVE!”

Having found a way out of traffic:
“Wahey! Check me out baby. I´m driving down the wrong side of the carriageway. Yeah, thats right oncoming cars… I´m driving towards you so you´d better get the hell out of my way! Oi, you suckers stuck in traffic, look at me. I might be about to die, but at least I´m moving… anyway look I´ve got Jesus here with me, I´m going to heaven!”

When serving a general warning to the public:
“I´m driving like a mad man and there´s nothing you can do to stop me! I´m not slowing down and I sure as hell ain´t stopping… so come close at your own peril. Anyway, I started honking first so it´s my right of way… yeah, that´s right puta, you just stay where you are. I´m the King of this road!”

Needless to say, I find the colectivos a little stressful…

Some more funny cultural differences…

I am seeing these left, right and centre haha can´t possibly remember them all but here´s a few:

– I saw an advertisement for a food company called Fanny.. so far I have seen their name on a can of tuna, and a jar of strawberry jam. Hahaha too many jokes too little internet time to make them 😛
– I also saw a frontpage headline on a news stand “Learn the techniques of masturbation with your feet” and no i didn´t misread it!
– I took the bus for the first time 😀 They are all like the old buses from the 1950s with bright cartoons painted on the outside. They ride along with doors open and people whistle from the street and it slows down and they hop on. The first bus we went on, the driver had framed and hung up a picture of his wife and kids, and his kids shoes were hanging from the metal bars 😛 There was also a poster of Albert Einstein sticking out his tongue. Then the second bus we took… well that was more Peruvian style. The driver had stuck up pictures of all his favourite pornstars around his window hahaha.
– Yesterday I ate the most enormous slice of chocolate cake you´ve ever seen, from a little shop near mama doris house. I am now cold, sweaty, sleepy and my stomach hurts :´( looks like i am not going to make this trip scott free. Lino says I can expect at least 3 days in the toilet!!! Noooooooooooooooooooooooo!!! Nothing has happened yet, so i still have time. I´ve been downing charcoal tablets and hoping and praying for the best. WISH ME LUCK!

A little laugh for today :)

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One of the presents which I brought over from England for the children was a jumbo colouring book. Inside are lots of silly pictures of cute looking animals etc. nothing out of the ordinary. So I decided I would get Mama Doris to go through the book with me and teach me the names of all the animals in Latin American Spanish. All was going very well… until we got to a picture of a turtle sitting on a beach. Mama Doris let out a yelp “¡QUÉ!  ¿QUÉ ES ESO?” I was like “Es tortuga…” She looked at me very concerned and said in all sincerity “¡Aça en Peru, los tortugas NUNCA se sienten, siempre están horizontal!” translates as “Here in Peru, turtles NEVER sit, they are always horizontal!”. After I had finished laughing it took me a while to explain that it was just a cartoon and of course turtles don´t sit up in England either, hahaha ah deary me! Was the same when we got to the fox in clothes, and the tiger that looked like a cat 😛

Wawa Wasi y mis chicititos…

(The Nursery and my little babies)

I have fallen head over heels in love… with eight of the most adorable little babies you have ever seen in your whole life!

The nursery where I´m working is called el Cunitario de Amor (The Love Unit) it´s run by an organisitation called Wawa Wasi who run nurseries in under privileged areas. It´s in an area on the outskirts of Trujillo near the beach, called Buenos Aires. It´s a much poorer area than Monserrate where Mama Doris lives. The roads are just dirt and they are lined with rubbish, stray dogs roam everywhere… much to my fear as I haven´t had the rabies injection :S Most of the houses are very small. Just breeze block buildings with a few rooms and corrugated iron roofs. Cunitario de Amor is just one room, and the wallpaper is plastic sheeting. It is incredibly basic, and everything in it looks ancient. There is a table, a few chairs, a bookshelf full of old toys, a little bed in one corner, and a potty in the other. Yet inside the atmosphere is fantastic!

The first time I stepped into the room eight little grubby faces with enormous eyes all peered up at me… then watched my every move intently with open mouths. For me, well it was love at first sight!

Pamela: She is the eldest at 4 years old, and the life and soul of the nursery. She´s always singing songs and dancing away.
Helen: Is 3, and a bit of a terror 😛 She´s always throwing toys, stealing toys of other kids and hitting them (remind you of anyone else I know…?) Needless to say I took an instant liking to her, she´s also one of the cutest at the nursery!
Jose: Is the funniest little thing, he´s about 2. With a bowl hair cut, and the first time I met him he ran over and hid behind a chair then just peered out at me from under his mop of hair… so cute! He´s constantly trying to escape, so you´ve got to keep an eye on him hahaha. It´s an impossible task though, so it´s mostly just hilarious to watch him try and scramble his way over the baby barrier.
Alexandra: Took and instant affection to me for some reason 🙂 She was crying because her mummy left, she teetered over to me, bawling her eyes out, with her arms outstretched and just fell into my arms… then stayed there for the rest of the day and cried when I went home.
Stephany: Is only one and she just plays by herself all day haha.
Linda: Is gorgeous and carries her absolutely fiflthy doll with her wherever she goes. She mostly just keeps herself to herself and is a bit scared of the other kids but the cutest thing happened…  Jose pushed Linda, so Linda pushed Jose then they both looked up at me with these big innocent eyes, pointed at each other and started crying hahaha. I couldn´t help but burst out laughing.  The kids are always fighting, but I just find it so funny.

Last, but definately not least, is my absolute favourite. I know teachers shouldn´t have favourites, but this little boy made my heart melt the moment I saw him. He is two years old and he´s called Gabriel, he has the biggest pot belly you´ve ever seen, the chubbiest little cheeks, and the biggest eyes. He´s so shy, the other kids are always hitting him and taking his toys and he just looks all upset and confused and does nothing. The moment I walked in the nursery he didn´t take his eyes off me once, but even though I kept smiling at him, he wouldn´t come over. Then eventually he wandered over to me looking very shy and gave me a toy and a hug 🙂 Then my next day at the nursery he literally didn´t leave my side. We danced together, we played ball together… and much to my delight (or not) he always comes to me when he needs to piche. Which basically means i have to hold the potty whilst he wees. It´s quite the even in the nursery, all the kids crowd around and watch. Lets just say Gabriel hasn´t got very good aim, I´m frantically moving the potty around so as not to get piche allover me; meanwhile seven other kids just stand around laughing.

I just love working at the nursery, I´ve been showing the kids all my 70s dance moves. They literally were rolling on the floor laughing haha. They also keep asking me “Que tienes en su cara??” (Whats that on your face). They´ve never seen freckles before 😛 they keep trying to touch them and asking if they hurt haha. I find it near to impossible to understand a word they say, baby talk is hard enough in english but we can still play and laugh together 😀 I´ll try and take some photos soon so you can see for yourselfs just how adorable they are, but I´m scared of getting mugged for my camera out in Buenos Aires 😛

Mama Doris, su familia y su casa…

(Mummy Doris, her family, and her house)

Mama Doris lives in Urbanizacion Monserratte, it´s about a 10 minute walk from the centre of Trujillo and completely different to it! Most of the buildings are unfinished, like the builders just took a hike half way through… but the people moved in and started living there anyway haha. There are trees and flowers everywhere, it´s so beautiful, and the sun is always shining! I arrived under the cover of darkness and everything looked a lot different. The first thing I saw was a lady with a bicycle riffling through rubbish, then another lady with a bicycle full of rubbish cycled past, under all the rubbish was a little baby covered in fiflth peering out. Then we walked up to Mama Doris´house… which is about the size of a small council house. There are metal bars across the windows… I have to admit my first thought was “oh shit what am I doing!” hahahaha. In daylight though i realised the area is actually very friendly, I don´t feel at all in danger. Mama Doris´house is a bit run down looking but very cosy, and i felt instantly at home. I share the bathroom with about 10 cobwebs, and last night i shared my bed with a huge cockroach with wings. I ran out screaming to Mama Doris, she nearly died of laughter when she saw the size of my “enormous” cockroach. She was like “ES PEQUEÑITA JAJAJA” then whipped off her flipflop and beat it to a pulp. Then took the dead cockroach out to all the people she was feeding at the time and they all had a good laugh. Then an argument kicked off because one of the lodgers thought she shouldn´t have killed it. The latino temperament 😛

I had my first shower yesterday… it was quite the experience. There was no hot water and the water stank of rotting eggs. I have never kept my mouth so tightly shut in a shower before for fear of doing a “Charlotte” from sex and the city hahaha. Despite all that I actually felt very refreshed after, maybe cold showers aren´t so bad after all 😛 The food has been no problem so far… no guinea pig. They don´t really eat it on the coast. I´ve been having usually some kind of meat (that i have no idea what it is) with rice, and some kind of runny vegetable paste with lumps (that i´ve no idea what it is). I´ve been big and brave though and eaten everything, it all looks a bit scary but so far it has all tasted absolutely delicious! I´m just hoping and praying i dont get diarrhea because Mama Doris toilet… well it don´t flush so good. You can´t put toilet paper down it, so there is a bin next to the loo full of pooey tissues. I have never washed my hands so thoroughly and so often hahaha.

Mama Doris is lovely, and there are photos of her in the house from when she was younger. She was stunning! She´s doesn´t have a husband, but she has two sons who still live at home. They´re both really friendly and have shown me around the town, they escort me everywhere until I´ve learnt my way 😛 but tomorrow another volunteer is coming… YAY 😀 so then I can look around the town with her. I´ve really surprised myself with how at home I feel in Mama Doris´house given how different it is to living at home, you don´t need money to fill a house with love 😀

La Jovencita…

That´s my new name out here 😛 Everybody asks me “¿Cuantos años tienes?” and when I give them the answer its a sharp drawing of breath and “Ai, ai, eres jovencita” Translates kind of as little young thing 😀

Everyone has been so lovely to me so far. I love them all! Everything is so different out here culture wise, I just don´t even know where to begin. I guess the things that have struck me most so far are:

-the “just for gags” candid camera shows. They play them everywhere, the airplane, the bank… they just can´t get enough, and everyones laughs along. It´s such a great atmosphere!

– I take the collectivo to the nursery every morning. It´s basically a  shared taxi that people hail even when someone is in it, everyone just piles in and pays their sol (equivalent of about 3op). The most i´ve had so far have been seven in a car… the driver, then two people in the front seat, and four people on three seats in the back, plus a baby. People sit on each others laps when they´ve never met. Then we go swerving about the road like mad men trying to avoid the dogs and people that run out infront of us. It´s really fun hahaha! Although the Peruvians do get their chuckles when i scream and grip the seat… that was only once though, we nearly hit a bus it was completely justified but they weren´t even phased!

– Mama Doris´ house is plastered with religious images of Jesus, except the bathroom which is plastered with images of naked porn stars. Its also not uncommon to see sex scenes on TV in the middle of the day… but when i told Doris i didn´t go to Church she seemed very taken aback 😛

– Mama Doris feeds everyone and everything. People just knock on the door and she feeds them. Not poor people or anything, just University students haha, it´s so bizarre!

– The nursery where I work is in an area near the beach. Its literally a breeze block square room with a corrugated iron roof and plastic sheets covering the walls. The roads are just dirt, and there is rubbish and stray dogs everywhere. The children are adorable though, and so are the nursery mamas! I will write in more detail about them at another time. My internet time is up!

I love it here!!! 😀

Wonder Bra

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This may look like just another pretty bra, but don’t be fooled by the lace and bows. This is no normal bra… this is a true wonder bra! It contains everything I shall need in the event of a mugging, and I don’t just mean breasts.

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In one pouch I have $30, enough for emergency phone calls and a taxi home. In the second pouch I’ve got a photocopy of my passport with all my emergency contact details on the back. Now is that organisation or what! Lets just hope I never have to put it to the test…