Saturday, March 30, 2013

Family time

We had the pleasure of having Marco's brother Ever, his girlfriend Ana, and their baby girl Patricia over for Ever's brithday last weekend. Patricia is adorable! I couldn't get enough of her. She is a super happy baby. She will be one year in a month. I also offered to take care of her for a night when Ever and Ana want to go out. I know that once a child comes along, couple time is almost non-existent. Also, we are family so it's the least I can do. :) We enjoyed a duck that Mama Ynes sent Ever. It is pretty awesome that she has animals that she can raise and kill and ship to us for celebrations.  It was delicious!

Here are some pictures!

Even though we are very excited to have kids in the future, Marco and I are content being our own little pair for a little while longer.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

A New Job

I am excited to announce that I will be starting to teach general music in a private school in La Molina. I am going to be teaching K-2 grade and I am super excited. I had a mock class yesterday with a first grade class that I will be teaching. Oh man! They were full of energy at 8am. I am going to be beyond exhausted at the end of the day but I am looking forward to it. I was super tired when I got to the school but as soon as class started and the kids came in with all their energy, I knew it was the place for me. More than anything, this job is going to teach me about managing a classroom. I have the musical knowledge necessary and I have all sorts of great ideas for my classes but I have had much less experience in the management of classrooms that weren't made up of all music students. I am going to be dealing with kids who don't want to have anything to do with music and with those who are very advanced. It is a spectrum and I have to teach to all. That is going to be my challenge and I am ready to take it on. I wish I had more puppets and fun things but I am excited to get my creative juices flowing and have fun making things for class. I got all set up with HR yesterday and now all I need to get are the objectives for my year for each grade. I am also hoping that I can get a hold of the school's procedural manual so I am more clear on how everything works.

I tried out for a Chorus called Coro Arpegio. It went really well and they are interested in having me join! I am pumped because not only does it mean I will meet other female singers, I will also be making more money than I am playing my violin in masses right now. The rehearsals will be in Barranco and I have some time before I have to start. April and May are high season for weddings as well as October and November. Obviously, I won't be working on the 18th or 19th of October. ;)

In other news, we bought an entertainment center from Ripley a few days ago. I haven't been taking any photos lately but here is one. I am super excited to actually start furnishing out place. We are still waiting to buy a couch and dinner table until we move to the house on the villa but an entertainment center is a nice addition to our living room. Our TV is definitely not the type of TV the center was made for. Marco is itching to buy a 40 inch screen. I don't care all that much about buying a TV. It is not on my priority list. We will continue furnishing on a monthly basis. There are many things we need to be saving for so buying a TV right now is not our number one priority.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Still Here!

Hey everyone. I am sorry that my posts are not very frequent. I have been busy working on contracting work from Odesk. I spend way too much time on my computer and at the end of the day, the last thing I want to do is put up a post. However, things are going well and after the next week and a half, I will have much more time to myself.

In exciting news, I have the possibility to start teaching general music to kids between the ages of 5 and 8. I am super excited. It is like my opportunity with Qantu. I feel like I lack experience but I don't lack enthusiasm! I also have the want to learn as much as I can from Cristina, my friend who proposed the job to me. She is a student at the National Conservatory here in Lima and she can't cover all the classes she was teaching last year. If all works out well I will be teaching two days a week for a total of 10 hours. I am very happy to have a part time job. It will give me time to continue teaching violin and English classes.

I am getting more and more comfortable living in Lima. It hasn't been as easy as I would have liked but big moves are never completely easy. Lima is bigger than Cusco and it is the first time that I am actually living in a big city. I say that I am from Chicago but I grew up in Evanston, in a nice cozy neighborhood. I am getting used to being more aware of my surroundings and personal safety. Peru is not a dangerous country to be living in relatively speaking. You have to be careful in any big city though. Fortunately, nothing has happened and I plan on keeping it that way. :)

Friday, March 1, 2013

An Open letter to Jamie Neal and Garrett Hand

This is an open letter to Jamie Neal and Garrett Hand. This couple from the California Bay Area in the United States decided to go off the grid in January while in Peru. They were out of touch with everyone for over a month from January to February of 2013. Their "disappearance" sparked all sorts of awful ideas that they had been kidnapped or killed. Peru has not had the best PR lately and it is so important that this couple address the severity of what their naiveté and irresponsibility caused.

Dear Jamie Neal and Garrett Hand,
 First of all, I am glad that you guys are safe and that you are enjoying your trip through Peru. It will obviously be unforgettable especially now that you two are somewhat of celebrities both here in Peru and in the United States. I am sure that you have gotten reprimanded from your parents and family members who were worried sick about you during the past month. It would be really easy to laugh the whole thing off because you guys are OK but the problem is, what you guys did was not something that only affected you and your family and friends. It affected two countries and many peoples' perspective on Peru. It did nothing to help the image of Peru. As a world traveler you are automatically and ambassador for your country and you must always be conscious of that. 

It is so important that you acknowledge publicly how your mistake in not letting anyone know where you were going was a big error and that you hope that the people of Peru and the United States forgive you for being so irresponsible. As and avid outdoorsy person myself, I like to be off the grid sometimes too but I always let someone know where I am going. That's just simple safety. It might have been that you did let some people know but they didn't really understand the implications when you fell off the grid. I find that hard to believe since not a single person knew where you went. The amount of publicity and frenzy it caused brought something else to light. It brought to light how privileged you are as Americans traveling in another country. The majority of people in this world couldn't even dream of being able to go on a trip like the one that you are on let alone be sent for by the officials. It is sad that there are so many missing Peruvians and you guys are the ones that people went searching for. Everyone deserves to have family and friends that care as much as yours do and everyone deserves to be treated equally. Unfortunately, that is not the case. As Americans you were going to be found no matter what it took. The average Peruvian doesn't even have the privilege of going to our country. Lots of money and time was spent on finding you and while it is easy to say that you had no idea that going on a trip would ever cause this kind of reaction, your ignorance of how others perceive you caused problems. 

The problem is that now, without a public apology, people will assume that you are a selfish Americans and it will not help how Peruvians (or other countries for that matter) view you or Americans in general. Humility and admitting you made a mistake is something that everyone will commend you for. You have a responsibility to yourselves, your fellow countrymen, and the rest of the world to do so. We are global citizens and it is time to start acting like one. With privilege comes responsibility. Please apologize. If you brush this off and do nothing you will be an embarrassment.

I hope the rest of your travels are safe and enjoyable.

Amy Royse Brown
American Citizen
Resident of Peru

Update: After reading this article I would like to address the mother as well in this post. I understand you are worried about your son when he travels and that is normal but if he told you he was going to be out of communication you have to trust him! What a massive miscommunication! Overprotective mothers take heed! If your adult child go on vacations to places like the jungle of Peru you will not be hearing from them for a while.