3 weeks

„When does the class end? Can I go when I’ve finished the exercise? Do you know Fortnite?“ These and more phrases of curious little primary students have accompanied me for the past three weeks. Trying to teach them the basics of the German language in a summer school program wasn’t always how I imagined it to be but at least I got to learn lots of jergas, Peruvian slang.

Despite the varying motivation, I got surprised by two heartbreaking goodbye parties where the students wrote letters to me, expressed personal wishes and took lots of pictures.

To officially end my voluntary work, I had a goodbye breakfast with my coordinators and the director of the Max Planck College where we discussed the past five months and shared memories. I’m retrospectively really grateful for the experience and got assured that this isn’t a farewell but a see you soon again.

The melancholy just intensified with another goodbye, now at my taekwondo school here in Trujillo. After having taken classes every evening, I finally felt more than comfortable in the group and felt like I was just leaving at the wrong moment. Listening to the stories of the Venezuelan trainers or laughing with my partner about our terrible technique – I’m really going to miss this routine!

How else did I spend my seemingly endless freetime? Unfortunately mostly alone as all my flatmates struggled with their opposed schedules so I barely got to see them. Sleeping in late, exploring all the cafes and bars nearby and visiting the enormous local market counted as main activities.

Now I can proudly say that I have mastered another Peruvian dish – Tallarines Verdes (basically pasta with pesto) that is pretty easy to prepare so I’ll definitely try it in Germany too.

A special mention goes to my trip to Paita, a city a night bus drive away from Trujillo, where I supposedly was going to spend a weekend at the beach. Turns out the city is a rather small and dirty fishermen town with the port as the only attraction worth a visit.

Also, I went there on my own which in the end was more dangerous and uncomfortable than expected as Paita isn’t touristic at all and therefore even more exposed to abusive sexism. However, I managed to spend a day at the highly recommended beach of Colán where I coincidentally met other people from Trujillo. The rest unfortunately was quite a deception but I got to enjoy a beautiful sunset and met an amazingly friendly photographer from Argentina whom I talked to for a while. All in all, it wasn’t too bad but I was relieved after arriving back home after the two days.

As there isn’t much more to say, I will end this entry right here in anticipation of a way more interesting time – 10 days in Córdoba/Argentina visiting a friend I got to know in Israel. Crazy, but definitely something to look forward to!

~ Jenny

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