It’s Saturday and my last day in Zorritos - tomorrow I’m heading to Máncora for the night to finally have my date with steak. My TEFL Zorritos course has taken up most of my time and mental space this month, so for those who wait with bated breath to hear about a Latin lover in the mix will be sadly disappointed. Cramming 120 hours of study, including 10 hours of real teaching experience in one month has been an intense, mentally demanding task - yet now that we’ve all come through the other side, I say it’s been worth it.
Four of us have taken placements in various parts of Peru: Oliver heads to Chachapoyas at the edge of the Amazon (how epic is that?), Jess and Amelia (who met and formed a great friendship during the course) will continue their adventure together in Arequipa. Today Kassie is heading home to the US as she is planning to teach online, and on Monday I will soon be making my way south to my placement in Huaraz. Before then,
I hope to check out the archeological sites in Trujillo for a few days, a city which is about halfway between Zorritos and Huaraz.
My favourite class was on Wednesday night, where I taught the pre-intermediate adults class. What was the topic? Making ceviche, the national dish of Peru of course! I didn’t realise just how much Peruvians loved their national dish, let alone how passionate they were about the ingredients that is used to make it. Many can make it with their eyes closed, and they were eager to speak to teach me so I could make it for friends and family when I eventually came home. The best part? As we ran out of time to talk about how to actually make it in class, a woman would not let us leave until she talked me through how to make Peruvian ceviche. Before coming to Peru, I often joked that I wanted to find a grandmother who would adopt me and teach me local dishes - this definitely came close!
We each received our final feedback from both Adan (TEFL Course Coordinator) and Yolande (TEFL Zorritos Onsite Coordinator) before heading to Eduardo El Brujo for our end of course lunch. What a stunning setting! The dishes were more expensive, however the portions and quality did match the price tag. I ordered the arroz con conchas negras (rice with black clams) which is a delicacy in this region. The taste reminded me of a cross between mussels and paua (black abalone). It was OK, though not my favourite dish, however now I can tick it off my must-try foodie list for Peru.
Friday was also our last night together as Kassie and Oliver were leaving in the morning, so we went to Trotamundo, a place I had been to a few nights before for burgers and mocktails. I loved the decor and just think it’s the coolest bar in Zorritos. “Trotamundo” means globetrotter, and from the decor, you can tell the owner loves travelling.
This is me signing off from Zorritos as I’m heading to Máncora in the morning. What an incredible four weeks it has been - so for now, it is hasta luego to the Pacific Ocean for a few months. After a short holiday in Trujillo, I hope to get oriented with my new home in Huaraz. Peruvian life, as is “Peruvian” time will take some getting used to. In New Zealand,
I worked in an industry where time is money and everything was part of a daily schedule. Here, in a culture where it can be the total opposite, my ability to go with the flow will play a big part in how I remember this experience. Today, when the unknown knocks louder, let me embrace it even more. Choosing not to live with the fear of lack, but in the promise that better already exists - somewhere out there I’m already living my best life. Oh chica, let’s meet up real soon!
Ronna Grace Funtelar is a thirtyish storyteller, creative, writer and slam poet currently travelling in Peru. She is a hobby hiker, photography and sunrise enthusiast with a passion for mindfully helping others live beyond their comfort zone.
Basically, a shorty who knows her life purpose.