Monday, May 30, 2011
Sunday, May 29, 2011
- Story time in Inca class, my professor told us his story of going to the Ayacucho area in the 80s to study a colonial-era religious movement, but getting arrested by the army because it was right at the beginning of the terrorist years and they thought he was in the Italian mafia and helping the communist Sendero Luminoso.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
So apparently, I know how to draw. At least according to the kids at Deporte y Vida. “La profesora sabe dibujar.” I find this amusing because if you asked me, I’d say I can’t draw. I can copy a picture somewhat proficiently, but drawing something out of my head, not going to happen. Nonetheless, yesterday I drew (mostly copied) a penguin, a turkey, a manatee, various dancers, some food and 2 ceremonies. (What are they supposed to learn by copying a picture and a sentence? I don’t know, but that’s another soap box I won’t get on)
And then they brought over the posterboard, (not intimidating at all) and asked for a scene of “Educacion inicial.” And when the mom of another girl saw me with that one, she brought over her daughter’s as well. Which is how I ended up drawing 2 posters and a smaller one of teachers and children and their toys and cake. (I really wish I had had my camera to take a picture) I’m pretty sure the mom could have drawn equally well or better. I have no idea why they wanted me to do it but I didn’t feel like arguing anymore and I don’t think I inhibited any learning by doing it for them. (I just wish I could see the profesora’s face when three kids walk in with drawings that have remarkably similar disproportionate people)
And, since I am apparently now the resident “profesora que sabe dibujar,” I figured I’d better practice. Thus I present to you this masterpiece of drawing-by-squares. (Just don’t look at their poor misshapen hands)
Monday, May 23, 2011
Friday, May 20, 2011
Today I had a most excellent morning of cookie-making and guitar-playing with Zoe. I brought a cookie mix with me to Lima and saved it until I really wanted some. Which was today. We brought them to share with the group because this afternoon we went on a tour of Villa El Salvador. Villa is a poorer district of Lima where Deporte y Vida is, the afterschool program I volunteer at. Villa began as a land invasion by migrants Lima who needed a place to live. Many of the outer districts of Lima began this way. The first houses were made of straw mats which have since been replaced by wooden and even multi-floor concrete buildings. The community was incredibly well planned, building a district in the middle of the desert with groups of lots called manzanas grouped into neighborhoods, each with a plaza and field in the middle and a school and market every certain number of groups. Gradually they fought to have running water and sewage service and electricity, some are still fighting. One section just got water this month after fighting for 15 years. This week the district celebrated its 40th anniversary.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Things which were good or amusing or made me smile:
- Techno in the micro this morning. I was hoping for something peppy, I guess I got it.
- Not 1 but 2 letters in the mail! Thanks Abby and Emme!!
- No homework to do during my between-class break. It was either done or I didn't have any for that class. Imagine that.
- Lunch with cool people
- People-watching across campus from the 5th floor
- Drawing dinosaurs in my notes margin
- The guy across the street whose jam session I could hear while eating dinner
- Fun times with Melissa
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Monday, May 16, 2011
As part of my curiosity-driven self-education about Peru I wanted to know who exactly the namesakes of the streets I frequent were. Thus, I present to you Famous Peruvian People, (assisted by Wikipedia).
Simón Bolivar – known as El Libertador, a key leader in the wars for independence of most of South America as well as the establishment of democracy. (Thus he gets multiple streets named after him, potentially leading to confusion if you take a micro to the wrong one. I walk past one in Miraflores and my micro takes one as well)
Jose de San Martin – another important liberator of various South American countries
Antonio Raimondi – a Italian-born early archaeologist who got a park rather than a road named after him (He was even in my Incas book)
Alfredo Benavides – a Peruvian diplomat and founder of the Peruvian Olympic Committee. Not the president Oscar Benavides.
José Larco – possibly a mayor of Miraflores. There’s apparently a song about the street though.
José Pardo – a twice president of Perú in the early 1900s, also the son of a president. He worked on education reform (bonus points for that) But he got ousted in a coup.
Javier Prado – a prime minister of Perú in 1910. There is also a Costa Rican soccer player and a Mexican luchador by the same name but I’m going with the Peruvian.
Admiral Miguel Grau – a Peruvian hero of the naval Battle of Angamos and the War of the Pacific, known as the Gentleman of the Seas for his chivalry, rescuing the crew of the enemy ship he sunk or warning them to abandon ship before opening fire. He was mourned by both Peruvians and Chileans when killed in battle.
There’s also lots of streets named after places, international and domestic, from Brasil, Panama and Cuba to Arequipa and Tacna.
Hasta la proxima
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Saturday, May 14, 2011
Today I visited Parque de la Leyendas, a combination zoo, family park and archaeological site. I must say, it was a little awkward because we were definitely the whitest people around and by appearances the only ones without small children in tow. Oh well, we had fun anyway.
The park is separated into la sierra (mountain region), la selva (jungle), la costa (coast) and internacionales. (The monkeys in the selva were my favorite) We also went into a museum that explained the huacas of the park and one randomly about petroleum, sponsored by PetroPeru. (A nice happy view of gas exploration, an interesting comparison to the video we watched in class about all the awful things such companies are doing to indigenous peoples who have little political voice and their lands) It wasn’t the best zoo I’ve ever been to but we certainly got our exercise for the day, the place is huge!
Friday, May 13, 2011
Quipu - knotted string used by the Incas and earlier cultures as a mnemonic recording device. They could record everything from census records to battle results to narrative poetry.
Pottery from various PreInca cultures
A short video so you can hear their playing:
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Now I agree that plagarism is bad, but isn't this usually a topic covered in class, not on a placemat? Did it really require a superhero to "save the world from a lack of ethics" and a rat with a "horde of plagarism thugs"?
The more useful side of the placemat:
We spent lunch questioning a Peruvian friend about a variety of things, math vocabulary in particular. You'd think math would be the easiest thing to help with homework at Deporte y Vida because it's objective, but no. It's actually among the harder things because we don't know the vocabulary or the slightly different symbols they use. But now I will be able to discuss types of triangles and their parts as well as the various mathematical operations and the Pythagorean theorem. Bring it on, strange math worksheets.
We reciprocated by explaining some English as well, words that sound alike...church and charge; live, live, and life, etc...
Hasta la proxima!
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Monday, May 9, 2011
(If you don't feel like hearing me complain for a few minutes you should stop reading now. But I figured it's only fair to post all parts of life, even the not-awesome ones)
Things which are decidedly not awesome:
- Getting stabbed in the foot by high-heeled lady on the micro. Pain is always a nice way to start a cloudy Monday morning, right?
- Only being allowed to take out library books for 4 days at a time and not being able to renew them. I took out the same book for the fifth time today. How is this helping anyone?
- People walking so slowly they might as well stop moving altogether
- Professors who assign something and then don't read it. (And then discuss the topic in class, repeating themselves several times and asking if we get it. Gee, if you'd read our work, you might know that)
- Missing people at home
- Eating the same thing for the fourth meal in a row. (Leftovers are awesome. Leftovers of leftovers of leftovers are not)
- Being frustrated with myself for being cross and frustrated with the world
Anyway, now that I've gotten that out, I'll say I really do like Peru. I'm glad I'm here. But that doesn't mean I don't get frustrated. But tomorrow will be better.
Time to listen to music, sleep and look for little happy things tomorrow.
Hasta la proxima
Sunday, May 8, 2011
Saturday, May 7, 2011
An island with many lobos marinos and their calls (lobos marinos literally means marine wolves in Spanish)
Then we jumped off the boat into the (very, very) cold water and swam off toward the sea lions. We got really close! (As in, one popped up about a foot from my face. Surprise!)
There was lots of smiling and laughing and a little shrieking in surprise
I think the sea lions were equally curious about us..
And then there were penguins. :)
Hasta la proxima
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Anyway, Huaca Pucllana is an archaeological site (look! I spelled it right) located right in Miraflores. It is from the Lima culture and also has Wari remains. (As well as a later culture whose name I didn't quite catch; it sounded like it started with an I) It looks like a big pile of dirt in the middle of a city from the outside but it's much more than that. Our tour guide was excellent, very informative and easy to understand. (Yes, we took the Spanish tour. No English for us)
Huaca Pucllana means, roughly, toy oracle. That was our translation based on learning huaca means oracle (me in my History of Peru class) and pucllana means toy (Melissa in her Quechua class) Our guide explained that huaca referred to any sacred place, it could be a temple, a stone, the ocean, etc... and pucllana referred to playing games but sacred ones in this case. So we had the right idea.
The walls are built with the "librero" technique; librero as in libro as in book because the blocks look like books all lined up. This style gives the wall the flexibility necessary to withstand earthquakes for the hundreds of years it has.
The side of the pyramid. The pyramid does not have a point because it is solid, no rooms inside, so the top has plazas that were used for a variety of religious and secular purposes. It wasn't built all at once, a cross-section would show distinct layers.
A Wari tomb with examples of how they would've been buried, including the types of provisions for the afterlife that would have been present. The Wari took over the area from the Lima and buried their people here as part of their way to claim the land. Our guide explained that destroying the ancestral burials of another group was a powerful way to defeat them.
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Sunday, May 1, 2011
As I was studying for my History of Peru parcial, organzing my thoughts, making outlines and practicing writing essays on the given themes, I attempted to write about archaeological evidence.
I stared at arqueological for a good full minute before realizing why Word did not recognize it. (Spanish spells it with a q, by the way)
Likewise, I kept writing parciality instead of partiality. And adding cion instead of tion to things.
I'm going to end up with a curious form of Spanglish if this keeps up!
Wish me luck!
Hasta la proxima