Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The good, the bad, and crying in public is ugly

This week I made a trip out to visit my first host family in San Juan.  I find the trip to be stressful.  It is about 3 hours of bus travel to get from Tacabamba to Bambamarca and from Bamba I waited for over an hour for a truck to fill up so we could ride up to San Juan.  However, once I got there it was a great relief.  I was greeted so warmly by my entire host family.  It felt amazing. 

I brought Witman, Eduar, and my host sisters (who weren't in town, because they are in University in Cajamarca) University of Michigan t-shirts.  The boys were so excited.  They wore them around the whole time I was there.  We walked in the rain to my previous sitemate's site to deliver something from Nate and Kelsey.  It took us about an hour each way, because of the mud.  We baked a chocolate cake.  I helped my host mom Dalila, host grandma Niceda, and some other neighbor women make tamales.  We ate a big family dinner.  We laughed, danced, sang, and were generally very inappropriate.  It was great. 

The next day I stayed through lunch.  After lunch I took Witman and Eduar down to Bambamarca with me to teach them how to use email.  We parted ways and I headed to the home of one of the nurses that I used to work with in San Juan.  She always invites me to her house.  Doli was very close with the previous 2 volunteers that lived in San Juan and she briefly host mom to a small business volunteer Josh, but he had a site change after a year.  Doli is a very kind woman and someone I really enjoy spending time with.  I didn't really get to spend time with her this visit, because she was frantically working on finishing the 2012 end of year reports for the health post. 

It was kind of an awkward visit, because I felt like I was just by myself in her house.  I hung out with Roymer her 5 year old son, but watching him play plants vs. zombies got old quickly.  I made a pizza, because she and I had talked about making pizza together.  We didn't eat it until 9pm.  The next day when I woke up her co-workers were back and I was sitting by myself in the kitchen again.  I decided to leave earlier than we had planned.  I just didn't want to sit around waiting, I felt like I needed to get back to site to get things done. 

So I guess writing this blog post isn't exactly getting things done, but it makes me feel  better.  It is a big effort for me to go visit Bambamarca; time, money, and it is sort of stressful bouncing from house to house with my stuff in a plastic bag.  It is really difficult when I am leaving San Juan and every one's response is to do this whiny nagging 'don't go, you only just got here,' and 'just stay another day, come on.'  It is nice to know that they love me, but it is hard when they do that to me.

I got to Chota today and I was really excited to finally call this woman from the admissions office at University of Illinois medical school.  She had called my parent's home phone on Friday last week saying that she needed to speak with me.  I tried calling her on Monday and Tuesday with no luck; she wasn't in the office and the second time the Internet was not strong enough to support a skype call.  Today when I called her I found out that all the urgency was about her needed to tell me that I would not be receiving an interview.  I was crushed.  I had worked myself up into the giddy happy fantasy that she was trying to get a hold of me to let me know that University of Illinois wanted to interview me when I will be home in February. 

I sent an email to all the schools where I applied to let them know that I would be in the U.S. in February and I was still very interested in an interview.  I thought I had gotten a bite.  I was so upset when she told me that my application was incomplete, because I only had two academic letters of recommendation.  When I was in school I didn't realize I need three and I got two; one from my biochemistry teacher who I really liked and one from my physics professor (because it was one of my only pre-med science classes that I got an A in and I was pretty surprised myself that I liked physics so much). 

I was kind of rude to her on the phone.  I was crying in the internet cafe, not a totally new thing for me-it's happened before.  Although, it has happened it is always humiliating.  I asked her why she couldn't have just emailed me the information.  Instead I was hanging on to this idea that I had an interview for 5 days and I had been trying to contact her for 3 of those days.  It just seemed unfair to me that it was so hard to get a hold of her when I am the one riding in a bus to get to the internet.  This lady probably has internet on her phone and she couldn't email me back Monday in response to the email I sent her on Friday.  (*this is what I think whenever anyone in the U.S. doesn't respond to an email quickly, "that person probably has internet on their phone what gives??)

So I cried for a while, bought myself a coca-cola and a chocolate muffin.  I feel better now, but worried.  I am so worried that I won't get in anywhere and that will mean that things won't go as planned.  I guess if Peace Corps has taught me anything it is to expect that nothing you plan will work out how you planned it to.  So what if I don't get into any of my schools?  I will deal with it and things will work out in a different way.  It is going to be okay. 

I am so lucky that I have such an amazing family and great friends who make me feel strong.  I am so lucky also, because I will get to have an interview at Central Michigan University in February.  Now, that one will go as planned I'm sure of it-I got a confirmation email itinerary and everything.  Sheesh the U.S. advance email itineraries are wonderful.  On the other hand coca-cola in Peru is made with real's pretty wonderful too.

Thanks for reading.  Chau for now,
*lots of photos of San Juan visit to come, I forgot to pack the cord for my camera-whoops.  Plus, my old person health class is on friday-I think it's going to be great!


  1. Just keep thinking positively and make this your mantra: "I will deal with it and things will work out in a different way. It is going to be okay."

    If it doesn't work out you can be my doctor. We'll get prescriptions from Canada and I'll pay you under the table.

  2. Be strong! I'm sending you lots of love