First WTF moments….

First WTF moments…. What are those?

Those are the moments where I have to keep reminding myself “keep it cool, keep it cool, this is not your culture, just get over it.” But deep inside you just can´t…?

Moment number one:
– After school, I go to el Vergel to get my bus. I realize I don´t have money on my bus card and all I have is a 50c coin. The trip costs 25 c. I get on the first bus. The driver will NOT let me go in. What nice drivers do is that they usually tell the person with a 50 c coin to put their coin in the machine and when the next passenger gets in, they tell them to give their 25c coin to the previous 50c coin passenger. This is what NICE drivers do. Mine was an ass (huh, was having a bad day) so no. Big no. That put me in a foul mood already, because of course, it was raining hard. Anyway, I get off the bus, go to the closest tienda and ask for “un caramelo”. A really old lady comes out of the back and gives me one caramelo. I ask if she can give me change for the bus, she says “no no no, no tengo vuelta”. Note: one caramelo costs 5c. No vuelta? Are you serious? So what does she do? She picks 5 caramelos, takes my 50 c coin and gives the 5 caramelos along with a 25 c coin. Thanks.

Moment number two:
-I´m with K. in her decimo class. She´s been teaching for an hour, I´ve been observing for an hour. We have a second hour. A woman wearing a vest “un libro para todos” comes in the classroom with a student volunteer. Class is cancelled. I´m thinking “ok, at least it´s to promote reading…” So what happens next? Well, this book in Spanish called “something or the red planet” is distributed among the students, and they get to read the book for themselves, in silence, for the next 35 minutes. Ok, that´s… strange. I expected something slightly more interactive. Of course the teachers have to stay in class for that wonderfully entertaining time. I get a copy of the book, I figure, well, I´m going to practice my Spanish. And thus I began to read the biggest pieace of crap ever written. Basically this Columbian dude who calls himself a writer (huh, messiah) and runs this “one book for everyone” fundation uses the lamest metaphor type ” I have met the inhabitants of Venus and they are the happiest people in the universe. Unlike us, they do not care about beauty: they are all similar : blond, blue eyes, slender nose (what, seriously?), they do not destroy the earth blablablabullshitbla.” Of course, there was a whole speech on religion, you could have guessed.
The best part, though was the paragraph about how the inhabitant of Venus do not fornicate (they just have babies) and thus they have no problems with “curing people from homosexuality”. “On Venus, quite simply, homosexuality doesn´t exist.” How helpful would this be for kids questioning their identity/sexuality, huh?
And for that CRAP, we lost an hour of class. And guess what? The next class I observed was the same deelio. Viva la lectura !

-Moment number 3:

I realized the 19, 22 and 24 year old kids of the house do not own a key to the house. No wonder it took a good 2 weeks for me to get one….

On a brighter note, on Friday, I did get to go to the secretary´s office. Did my speech about the film club (I had previously gotten the video projector´s room booked for all the days I need it til the end of the year – hence why you have to make pengyou with the video projector gal, eventhough she wants you to take side with her in the internal colegio staff war) and oh, hallelujah, K. tells me ” sit here, we´ll write the official letter/demand for the rector!” So all I did was sit by her as she was reading outloud her super duper fancy formal text in Spanish. She asked me if I had a titulo for the signature, so since she wasn´t sure of the Magisterio abbreviation, we settled on M.A. + my name.
My second favorite part of the letter is when it says that the movies will be an incentive to live a better life and to love English, basically.

All I needed to do was :
(in order)
-to get the holy graal signed by the rector
-to talk to the inspector general
-to get him to write a “circular”
-to get the authorization from the parents
-to get all the lead teachers of each class to talk to the students
-to get someone to remind the parents at the teachers-parents meeting to remind the parents about the first showing on Friday.
Finger in da nose.

I did get the signature, talked to the inspector general who told me we could skip the circular thingy and I just need to talk to the inspector of the octavos, novenos y decimos and they´d spread the word and ask for authorizations.

So … Woop woop! and on Friday let´s see how many kids show up when I show “the pursuit of happyness” in English with Spanish subs from 1 to 3pm.
The file is on the video projector´s room computer so finger crossed for no tech issue.

The English teachers´film club turned out way easier since I got the authorization for the room already and I just need to work on my handouts for my 5 (probably 4) teachers. I´ll start with the King´s Speech because I have the file already and the internet isn´t consistant so I can´t download stuff I need now.

Non-school related, I finally made it to the Cajas! A previous PCV who knows all the trails by heart took us, and it was quite breathtaking.
So anyone who comes here, even if I don´t have vacations when you come, the Cajas is just 1h away by bus and it is a fauna (especially birds)/flora paradise for whomever digs those. If you don´t it´s great exercise and maravilloso landscapes, tons of lakes, slowly taken over by clouds. As we entered the cabin where they sell grilled fresh trout (just for the hell of it, please repeat TRUCHA out loud 10 times in a row. It´s kind of fun sounding) for 3.5 bucks and hardcore (pink, don´ ask why) trago (canelaso) it started to rain, then it poured for the next 3 hours. That´s the bad part: we had to wait for the bus… quite a while but got to stay all the 14-15 of us in the little shed of the rangers´station. It was fun, my legs hurt, I´ll do it again anytime, hopefully at least once every two weeks?

See for yourself.

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By the way,
question number 1:
-Is France screwed ? (election question)
question number 2:
-Any great movies with a great (no religion, please) message you recommend for 11-13 year olds?

Besos chicos y chicas.



  1. you are a rockstar volunteer!! was wondering how you were starting up the film club, lots of ecua-hoops to jump through : / also love your wtf moments!

    • Well, shall see how many kids actually show up on Friday 🙂 I´m hoping at least 3 hahahah
      I´m sure you got your share of WTF moments too, can´t wait to see you here to share stories !

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