a day in the life of a peace corps trainee

April 17, 2011 § 4 Comments

a monday, half way through training.

it’s 6:30am and i’m awake long before my alarm clock announces the day. well, maybe not awake as much as conscious. a mosquito had menacingly buzzed around my ear throughout the night and sleep, if it could be called such, was hard to come by. the night’s dreams dissolve and reassemble as a waking one. i dress, choosing from one of several outfits. the old reliables, they’re more states of mind at this point.

breakfast is around 7am, consisting of coffee and bread, usually, with sides of butter, queso fresco, and various jams. however, salchichon, scrambled eggs, or pancakes are not uncommon. i eat with my host mom, maureen, who is eternally smiling and sweet.

after brushing my teeth (always important), i walk to spanish class with rosie, another trainee who lives across from me. there are two things you should know about rosie: one, she’s not from the states; she’s from brooklyn. and two, she’s always late. we have spanish class in a small room of an iglesia literally 2 minutes away from where we live. it’s right across the street and we’re always late. chester, the neighborhood dog, walks us to the entrance.

my spanish class is made up three other people: jason and stephanie, two other trainees in my project, and liannette, our awesome language facilitator. she’s short, spunky, and used to be a baker. class goes from 8am-3p, with a one hour lunch break at 12, and they’re incredibly fun. jason usually tries to draw liannette away from the lesson plan by talking about how he’s casi siempre hambre, almost always hungry, or how beautiful the ticas are, or how i have a lot of secret admirers (i don’t). also, we sometimes have class in our homes. i’ve learned to make empanadas at jason’s place, cooked burgers for cafecito at my place, and played songs at rosie’s.

the rest of the day is usually relaxed. i might edit photos, finish homework, play my guitar, or help megan, my seven year old host sister, with her homework. megan is usually out in the neighborhood playing with her friends. they remind me of how fun it was to be that young. cafecito happens anytime between 3p-5p, and it’s not so dissimilar from breakfast. rodolfo, my host dad, gets home from work by 5p, and hilarity ensues. he likes to say outrageous things, most of which isn’t offensive but best appreciated in the moment. dinner’s at 7p, and on perfect nights, sleep by 11p. and that is my normal day. the end.

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