Your $1500 in donations got me here and let me do amazing things volunteering at this I'm trying to raise $575 to come home after 15 months! Make a donation (every dollar helps!) and read all about this unexpected adventure I've had. Thank you for your endless support!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

New plans, as usual

Alright, it's August and I am unsurprisingly with new plans. Before an update on HOOP and what I've been up to in Arequipa, here's my new life plan for those interested:

  • Work with HOOP until I find a replacement for myself. We all want professionals to be running HOOP and although we founded it (or perhaps because of it) we know we are not the best people for the jobs we are in. The person could start as early as September, but I'm thinking late Fall (Spring, here) most likely.
  • Go from Peru to Washington D.C. on January 20th to see my sister Valerie's Navy School graduation on the 25th, hang out with Val for a week on the East Coast on her off time.
  • Spend a month or 6 weeks in the Pacific Northwest seeing all my loved ones.
  • Return to Lima in March 2013 to get a job in tourism while I apply to be a flight attendant with LAN or Taca. Not sure how long that would keep me in/based out of Lima, a couple years I'm thinking at the moment.

Anticipated flight attendant job acceptance victory dance
Pretty different plan than I had a year ago, that's for sure. I absolutely love and am committed to the success of HOOP, which is why I know I need to find someone else with the proper experience to do my job while I stay involved as a board member. I also want to work in a non-development related field for a while and I figured achieving my childhood dream of being a flight attendant would be a pretty cool way to do that! Plus I think living in Lima would be amazing and I do still have a way to go in my Spanish learning. I'm not excited that I won't be able to see everyone back home very much but that just means I'll have to cram in a bunch of quality time in that window and skype a lot more :)

At HOOP, we have been developing our aims as an organization and figuring out what direction we want to take Flora Tristan English School in. This obviously seems like something you do when you start up, not so many months (years, with FTES) after, but the entire process of starting an NGO is something we have done sort of upside down.Once they are solidified, I will give you an update!

Flora Tristan Community had an anniversary celebration, which FTES attended and participated in This photo at right tells you basically nothing about it, so go to this video and see the kids do their dance to the wildly popular Balada Boa song. It's Brazilian and you cannot escape it in South America. We're not a dance keeping that in mind I think we all did a pretty good job :) If you want to watch the original choreography, here's the dance we learned

TT and me, on our visa trip to Chile

We are still low on volunteers, but that should pick up mid-September. Currently, Priya and I are staying until January/February, Li is staying indefinitely, Eddy is staying 5 more months, and in September we will get 3 volunteers who want to stay 6-12 months--including the return of Teresa!! Teresa (aka TT) was our school coordinator but went home to Austria for the summer, and will be returning in September to be our Marketing Director for a year.

FIA is seriously lacking Fisher Fair Scones
For the last 11 days I worked as an anfitriona at FIA, the International Fair of Arequipa which was like a disappointing Puyallup Fair. No animals, not enough shows, and seriously lacking on the food front. Anyway, being an anfitriona (literally: hostess, essentially a promotion girl) requires the following: smiling, wearing ridiculous polyester promotional outfits, and standing. Very challenging. BUT it pays really well and who doesn't want to get paid for standing around and smiling? I was going to include a photo but I can't find one...I'll just throw one into the next blog randomly and if we're friends on facebook I'm sure you'll see it.

I had a great birthday, thank you all for your birthday wishes. I treated myself to a weekend in Lima and had some really great seafood. I must say I am pretty glad to be where I am in life at 22, and I think this year is going to be even better than the last!

Mil abrazos,