It’s not that I’ve never experienced the challenging situations that living in another country present, but this time it’s more apparent than others. This time around I’m learning more about bravery and adaptability and the clashing of cultures.
Everyday requires bravery to do uncomfortable and hard things and patience to get through, so in honor of this I thought I’d share the top moments thus far:
1. Killing of the roaches. Ok so this one was mainly Michael, but I helped. For the first few weeks we would find roaches in our kitchen. We would get home at night, flip on the lights and they would be there waiting. After debating the best attack route we would spend hours trying to corner them and squash them. They are so fast and fearless and giant. Our can of Raid sits on the counter ready for when they show up next time.
2. Freezing showers. I know I sound like a spoiled American…but I really don’t like cold showers and I have to prep myself before I can brave the cold temperatures. These aren’t just lukewarm showers, they are straight up cold. To dull the shock of these here are the two solutions we’ve come up with:
- Exercise before you shower. If you are sweaty and hot then the water feels more refreshing and less terrible.
- Boil water and keep it in a pitcher by the shower before you get in. Mix the boiling water with the freezing water to reach a desired temperature and then rinse off with that.
3. Speaking Spanish. Turns out, working and having to speak a different language while working is hard. It’s hard to communicate ideas and projects when you don’t know terminology or the right vocab. I know I sound like an idiot every time I try to tell a story or communicate something, so this is also a lesson in humility and patience.
4. Teaching. Unexpectedly, I’ve been asked to help teach English at the elementary school just a few times a week. I was kind of terrified at first since I’ve never really taught anything to small children. Luckily, kids are the most forgiving and they are mostly just fascinated that I’m white and blonde. They shower me with hugs, cheek kisses, origami, stickers, and apples (the cliche gift of teachers!).
5. The noise. Chiclayo is a noisy place. Around 5am everyday we get woken up by roosters outside of our window (I still have yet to find them, but when I do…). I didn’t know cities even had roosters. There is also constant noise with honking, sirens, and construction EVERYWHERE including on top of our house. This doesn’t bother me except when I’m sleeping and they are hammering and dropping bricks right above my head.
Luckily, I’m with some pretty great people with pretty great senses of humor. People that will laugh with me when we are served potatoes and rice for the 20th day in a row. Today we had a potato appetizer, rice/potato entre, and then a rice dessert. So we laughed, because if we didn’t laugh we might cry because of breaking points and long days of work and frustrations. But Arrested Development starts tonight and that’s enough to heal any wound.