Time is flying!! We are past the month mark in Peru and it feels like just yesterday I was enjoying Papasito’s brunch with my friends in Texas. This week was all about the Peace Corps goal of sharing U.S. culture in Peru, so to start the week our class spent a morning making chili for our language facilitator. By “our class” I really mean Craig (with a little help from Shalin), because all of the ladies in the group don’t know the first thing about cooking. Yes… I’m talking about myself. Haha, it was a much-needed taste of home! Friday of week four happened to be the 4th of July and I happen to be the President of our Junta Directiva (essentially a student council), so my week was spent organizing the 4th of July festivities. To start our patriotic celebration Allie’s host mom decided to throw a 3rd of July pre-party! The girls in her neighborhood and a few of us from Yanacoto met at her house for a night of laughter and DELICIOUS food. We played charades with her parents and grandma… the highlight was when Allie’s host dad picked the word perro and got down on all fours and started barking. Allie’s mom loves to have volunteers over to celebrate 4th of July, so she whipped up some guacamole and a huge turkey dinner. One of the fascinating things about Peruvian culture is the act of sharing a meal together. It is considered one of the most sacred things if a woman invites you to share a meal or try some of her food. As a volunteer who is not picky, I love this cultural norm because I get to try new foods all the time. In this case even though we had all eaten dinner, we still finished the plates that were handed to us (quite easily… it was amazing) because it is only polite.
The festivities continued with a morning of games, pulled pork sandwiches, and a dance competition! On the 4th of July our classes were canceled and we held the “Patriot Cup”. Our group was divided into five teams: “We’re #1”, The Green-gos, “We’re #3”, The Angry Grandmas and Bryan, and Belle’s Babes. The Patriot Cup consisted of 10 games, including Red Rover, water balloon fight, water flip cup, ultimate charades, and my personal favorite… musical chairs. I never would have guessed that 40 adults could have SO MUCH FUN playing musical chairs! Everyone was crying with laughter. The games ended up with a four-way tie, so of course we settled it with a dance off! Each team had a minute to dance and the winner ended up being The Green-gos.
While we were playing games Reesy and a few other people were busy in the kitchen. The festivities ended with a feast of American food! We had chili, pulled pork sandwiches, potato salad, chips and guac, apple pie, and a huge American flag cake.
The highlight of the day was singing the national anthem as a group! This is my second 4th of July abroad, and I have to admit I always feel more patriotic celebrating in another country. It’s a nice feeling to take time to celebrate your culture when you’ve been so busy trying to learn about a different one.