When the week is coming to its end and I am closing my last workshop class for the week (with the dearly beloved kids I am teaching here) with my clothes stained by various paints, more blisters on my hands from crayon sharpening, appreciating the work of cleaning ladies as never before, I am always looking forward to another adventure somewhere around Chimbote where my blog and social networks take me for some entertaining work to do.
Some nights ago I experienced the first earthquake in my life. The epicentre was about two hours away by car and the seismographic measurements claimed the magnitude went almost as far as 6. People here have an app in their cell phones which helps them know whether the shaking is over when they get out of their houses – in their pyjamas or half naked, sleepy, this time at 4:45 in the morning.
What I enjoy about Chimbote is the fact that there are beaches all around and it is easy to get a taxi colective to get there.
Being a volunteering teacher in Chimbote, Peru, as a blond and green-eyed gringa (probably the only in the town) who speaks almost no Spanish but is supposed to teach English, yoga, arts and music to kids aged between 5 to 11 years of age can be a challenging, but truly rewarding experience. You surely need your cell phone with offline Google Translator, amazing creative skills, flexibility, adaptability, and love for improvisation…
I celebrated New Year´s Eve with my boss and his friends in Tortugas, a little beach town surrounded by sand hills and dunes. If you come there by an off road car – like we did, it is easy to go to a different beach every day, driving over the sand hills to places where black pebbles give way to dark sand and also to golden sand. The landscape is, I must admit, quite spectacular.
I guess it was clear I would need to come back someday soon. When I was in Peru (Lima, Cuzco, Pisac, Machu Picchu) in April 2019, I struggled with the cold temperatures in the mountains (especially at night, with no heaters present in the guest houses I was staying at), the food (whatever I ate went right out again), the strong energy of the country. I escaped to warm and relaxed Mexico, Yucatan and the Caribbean, as soon as my sister who lives in the jungle of Amazon with the indigenous people, and two friends of mine (we met up with in Pisac) both left Pisac for their own further travels. My escape to Mexico meant that I had given up on the prior arrangement of going to teach English for kids in a small school in Colombia, near Bogota.