Alejandro Fernandez y la musica romantica

Since the moment I arrived here I have been introduced to possibly the most romantic music I have ever heard.  First I listened to el guapo, Alejandro Fernandez.

Then I was introduced to the father of this strapping man, Vicente Fernandez

The women adore the two of them, especially Senor Alejandro. I have noticed that it is not only the older women that adore romantic music, but the kids too.

While I was at work today a little girl came up to me Miss” (sounds more like Meees) she said. “Puedes traducir este cancion” (Can you please translate this song for me?). As I sat down to read it over I realized it was yet another heart throbbing love song. Most of the lines went something like, “Until the end of the world I will always love you,” “Nothing in this world can seperate us,” “Please come back to me I love you.” I told her that when I was done translating this she was going to know the most romantic phrases in the English language.

As soon as I finished one song she handed me another that was just about the same. Afterwards I had her sit down  and try to read it. Most of the girls know the basic sounds of the letters. We went through a couple words such as “you” “world” “it” “because” “love” and I had her practice them to familiarize herself with them. She started to try to read it on her own and did a fantastic job. After she read her first line all the way through she got up, jumped around and screamed, “Puedo leer en ingles!” I translated that for her and she started yelling, “I can read english! I can read english”

The other girls ran over and have already started preparing their songs to be translated for next week. One girl opted out to using a Spanish song and wants to go straight to learning to read the lyrics for Michael Jacksons, “Thriller” (her request).

With all this romantic music it was time to bring in a little something new. Today my host mother and I went to the large market, El Molino (like a swap meet) and picked out some new music.

We returned to the house with a complete collection of Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and Queen.

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Sunday, Monday, Happy Days!

The main reason I came to Cuzco, Peru was not just to see famous ruins like Machu Picchu. It was because of a place called Hogar El Buen Pastor. This is an orphanage in Cuzco that has children of all ages.  While I am here I’ll be teaching English to girls from ages 12-17 every day of the week.

Today I had my first day at Hogar El Buen Pastor. When I walked in there was a long path covered in flowers of all different kinds.  The girls here are taught many skills such as gardening, sewing, cooking, etc.  On the other side of the garden were huge stalks of corn.  Maria Elena told me that the girls are taught how to grow their own food and then prepare it for meals.

Within minutes of meeting the girls I had a couple of them attached to each arm as we made our way to the classroom.The girls were chatting back and forth in both Spanish and Quechua.

Where do I begin to start teaching English?

I started to ask the girls things they liked, “Justin Beiber” was a popular answer along with Senorita GaGa! I could see they were getting very restless. Un Cancion! (a song!) they said. Days of the week was something that also came up as something they wanted to know so the only thing I could think of to sing was a slightly altered version of the opening song to Happy Days. They loved it!

The girls would not stop singing it. Then Mother’s Day came up and they wanted to sing something to their mami, the women that take care of them in the orphanage. Since I did not want them to get overwhelmed we sang a new song to the Happy Days tune, however this one went

“Mother, mother I love you! Thank you, thank you for being you! Mother, mother I love you! Thank youuuuuu!”

For the next couple of hours they would break into this song singing it over and over again.

In exchange for teaching the girls English I was told that I had to learn a song in Quechua. It’s posted below. Try to see if you can say most of it. I sure couldn’t at first.

llau llau puka polleracha (x2) Imata ruanqi saray ujupi (x2) Mamayquimansi Willara musag. Taytayquimansi Willara musag. Saray ujupi qospaskayquita (x2).

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Art and Sleep

Here is a little glimpse of my little and humble abode. It just about fits a bed, a nightstand, a desk and a closet. Not too shabby.

For the last couple of days the festival of the Cruz Velacuy has been going on, which is a festival of the Catholic crosses. The city center has been filled with beautifully decorated crosses and I have fallen asleep since I arrived to the sounds of big explosions (fireworks) in the mountains.

Last night I went to the city center in Cuzco for unas bebidas (a few drinks). First I went to a very authentic…Irish Pub to watch the Barcelona soccer game. Then we went to a Pisco bar. Little did I know that Pisco is a very popular and delicious Peruvian Liquor.  Pisco also means, “little bird” in the Incan language of Quechua.

This morning we went back to the city center to get all my travel plans in order. While we were walking around I saw a zillion women Indigenas (the women you think of in Peru with the long skirts, fedora-like hats, and babies tucked into the brightly colored shawls on their backs). I was taken back by how much culture they still have and the many traditions they still follow.

While we were walking down the street I saw this beautiful mural by Juan Bravo.

It is huge and spans the history of the Incas and la lucha against the Spaniards. I know I will be back for more photos to get the whole thing. It is filled with so many colors and passion for the Inca culture.

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I have arrived!

Greetings from Peru! I finally got my personal internet working and can start blogging.

The last 2 days have been quite eventful to say the least. On May 1st I flew out of from LAX to Lima, Peru at 9pm.

Silly me, I thought I would sleep on the plane. That didn’t happen. After I arrived in Lima I caught another plane to Cuzco, Peru which took about 45 min.  Somehow I slept through most of that.

As we started to land I looked all around me. The entire airport was surrounded by mountains.

Everything felt so hidden and everything was so beautiful and green.  Living in Los Angeles I definitely do not see too much of that.

Waiting for me at the entrance of the airport was my new host mother.  She had a sign with my name on it and a bright smile.

Hola, como estas? Como era el avion? Estas cansado? (I apologize for the poor Spanish punctuation, have not figured it quite out on this blog site) Questions began to pour in and I had to remind myself that I was going to have to change gears completely for the next month. I tried to put some words together. Enough to say, “Hello, it’s beautiful here and I’m exhausted.”

Once we got to my new house I immediately felt at home.

Maria Elena put no pressure on me and told me most volunteers pass out for the entire first day. I did just that. Oh! And right before that the house cook prepared a delicious meal called Arroz Cubana (Almost the same idea as fried rice) with a toasty fried banana.  Finished the meal. Drank some Te de Coca and passed out for the rest of the day.

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