Perdon, I want to be serious for a moment


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One thing I’ve learned this week is friends do not have to speak the same language. 

When I first pitched this blog, it was supposed to be about my awkward exchanges conversing in Spanish. Yet this week there was little time to buy food at the market or to go to a restaurant or even to drink (until Wednesday night anyway).

I’m not sure when I’ve been more stressed before this week in preparation for the classes I had to teach.

I failed my first class which had been with young teenagers. I still have a bruise on my head from that occasion.

When I thought I failed my second class, it was with young adults. I taught them directions and at the end of the session we played blind man’s bluff. The Spanish speakers have difficulty with vowels, and S. For example, one lady keeps adding an ‘e’ before stop. ‘Estop’. By the end they did well, helping each other navigate the room.

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Watching the football game between Peru and New Zealand. A spot in the world cup is at stake.

‘You!’ one student pointed at me, and they were so enthusiastic that I didn’t have the heart to say no. They guided me clearly to my destination. I was proud, but my lesson was 15 minutes short. I made exercises up but I left rather sulky that I had failed again. I didn’t fail. Still, before I learned I was successful I was nauseous, dizzy, and stressed. I hadn’t eaten properly, I couldn’t change my 100 soles note, and I was failing at not taking it out on the people around me.

A friend suggested the solution to his and my failure was to try harder, and I stormed off, pissed off. I felt I had tried my best. But as I thought about it longer, I knew he was right. It was just advice I didn’t want to hear.

There are things I still have time for; blogging, walks on the beach, Facebook, and just being plain goofy. I can do these things, but I hadn’t given the course everything just yet.

I hadn’t actually given teaching too much thought before I arrived in Peru. I just wanted something different and this seemed to be the answer. I gave up a job I had control over, in a town in which I was perfectly comfortable. I left this job to teach English to people who only spoke Spanish and that loss of control was gone.

What did I expect from an accelerated teaching course? Did I expect that it was going to be easy? Yes, I had, because I had not taken it seriously.

Now it’s time I found a way to take it seriously, while still enjoying the good times with the people around me. Because there is something special about these soon-to-be teachers.