jueves, 1 de octubre de 2009

Runner’s High (9/27)

We went to the National Agrarian University in La Molina last Saturday to get our hands dirty with some gardening and learned about the different plant life present in Peru. It’s incredible the rich diversity existing in this country, and disconcerting how the people predominantly turn to potatoes and rice for daily consumption. Two weeks in and I’m already sick of potatoes, white rice, and white bread… I am definitely a vegetable and fruit lover. Upon entering the agricultural scenery of the university, I was in food Heaven. From what I gather so far, a decent array of fruits and vegetables are sold in markets, but the majority are exported and are too expensive for the local populace to consume - unfortunately, it proves more feasible to sell the nutritious foods rather than consume them. This isn’t to say that fruit and vegetables aren’t apart of the diet at all, but rather they aren’t consumed enough… my opinion so far - and judging from the region where I live... I live with those from lower SES (socioeconomic status), and it’s coming to my reality the missing educational piece in nutrition and sanitation. I’ve been witnessing the lack of separation between food handling and dealing with feces, etc. - I’ll spare the details.

We’ve had a few talks already about the guarantee of having diarrhea if we haven’t already, and quite a bit along the lines of categorizing the severity - again I’ll spare the details. I’ve never so openly talked about this topic, and with such a large group of people, in my life. It was comical at some points, but we all kind of laughed nervously…

I finally sort of had a day off today which was rejuvenating. Besides hand-washing clothes and cleaning, I was able to escape for a run along a small canal toward the bottom of Yanacoto (the pueblo where I’m living). I feel like it’s so easy some days to be excited about my surroundings, and at other times, I can just feel down and out, and want to retreat to find solidarity. Running always helps put things into perspective and always serves as a foothold to discovering something new. I was surprised to find some community gardens around some homes or rather, shacks. There was some green amongst the dry loose, rocky dirt of Yanacoto! Wahoo!

I’m looking forward to my Spanish improving so I can start striking up more random conversations – I’m hoping to co-teach a yoga class in Yanacoto with another Peace Corps volunteer. I taught my first yoga/tai chi/pilates class to Peace Corps volunteers last Monday and I think it went pretty well:)

Well, there’s so much to do and learn that I shall never fall short of things to do- although balance is always key…

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