tumbes

Peru: A Month in Zorritos, Tumbes (Week Four)

Peru: A Month in Zorritos, Tumbes (Week Four)

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, 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.



Peru: A Month in Zorritos, Tumbes (Week Three)

Peru: A Month in Zorritos, Tumbes (Week Three)

The hotel pool is peaceful at this time of the morning - there’s panpipe music in the background, and apart from the staff and I, it feels like the world is still asleep. A double-decker bus just pulled in, I guess they’re having breakfast here. Sometimes they stay a few nights, sometimes we hear the music and laughter from our rooms and by the time I come out, it’s quiet again.

I just heard the word “promociones”, which is a bit like an end of year school camp. There must be at least 70 people in the restaurant, inside and out - even the hotel manager, Cindy, is in the white Pinamar t-shirt. Feeding people is serious business in Peru. Maybe I should have had breakfast earlier!

Yesterday marked my third week in Zorritos - and I have slowly ventured away from the hotel to try some of the locals’ hangouts. I tried a new restaurant called Pollo de Anthony which serves pollo a la brasa (Peruvian rotisserie chicken) - I ordered 1/8th chicken, which was served with fries and salad for 9 soles (NZ$4). The pineapple juice pushed my meal to 13 soles (NZ$5.85). After dinner, I walked to a nearby bakery, ordered a few sweet treats to take back and share with the teachers. It was essentially someone’s house with a display cabinet at the front. The woman was so nice and patient with me, speaking clearly to explain the cost and the different portion sizes. I walked away with slices of chocolate cake and local biscuits.



Peru: A Month in Zorritos, Tumbes (Week Two)

Peru: A Month in Zorritos, Tumbes (Week Two)

It’s Monday, just before 8am and I’m writing this post poolside - there’s an air of tranquility at this time that helps me write. We’ve had more overcast days than sunshine this past fortnight, which doesn’t bother us as much when we’re in class during the week. Then as soon the sun comes out, it’s like we’re rats in a cage who can’t wait for the day to be over. Our classroom is on the veranda above the restaurant - where a cool breeze insists that we wear pants and jumpers.

Our second week brought the added challenge of teaching three night classes, an hour for each trainee. We taught primary aged students to adults at all levels, though last week I only had primary and adults. Although free to the community, they are real classes and we’re observed by our course trainers. The TEFL method is essentially total immersion learning - that means without the use of the native language. That suits me because my level of Spanish is less than most of the adults’ level of English! What’s been my biggest challenge? Getting reacquainted with grammar!



Peru: A Month In Zorritos, Tumbes (Week One)

Peru: A Month In Zorritos, Tumbes (Week One)

Zorritos is a small town in the province of Tumbes – a 2.5-hour flight from Lima and a world away from the one I was living in just a week ago. Even though Whakatane has roughly the same population as Zorritos, there is a vast change of pace and lifestyle. Where there were pine trees, I see coconuts and papayas. Not all roads and footpaths are paved, and without regular rain, dust nuisance is something you have to accept as a fact of life. I can’t say there has been much of a culture shock (except for the language barrier), because there are many towns in the Philippines that look just like this one. Maybe it will be an advantage, or it could hit me later.



¡Hasta Luego, Nueva Zelanda!

¡Hasta Luego, Nueva Zelanda!

If travel is a go to metaphor to describe how to embrace change, then airports teach you patience. Everybody and everything is in constant transition – people you meet, your interactions, sometimes, even your final destination changes. Nothing and no one in life is stationary, even if it feels like it. This blog post spans over 30 hours of travel and transit, the beginning of my planned eight-month adventure in Peru.