Thursday, December 5, 2013

Faces of Arequipa, Peru


Volleyball drills on Saturdays

It’s exam week, and I signed up to write the blog this week so the students can study.  Before I write any more, I need to say that I’m the Calvin professor for this group (and I’ve written up a couple of the exams they’re taking!).  And I want to say “Mil gracias” to each student in this group and to the group as whole, because they have made the time here truly extraordinary.  My husband Neal and I will be taking home as many great memories as they will.
But it’s not just a week of academic exams.  It’s a week full of bitter-sweet emotions as we examine where we’ve come from, what we’ve done, how we’ve changed, how we say good-bye, and where we go from here.  We’ve come a long way, faced challenges, enjoyed incredible moments, and now we ask what we will do with all we’ve learned.  And we’re looking forward to seeing family and friends back home.
                As we finish up the semester, I want to share some of the “faces” that we’ve come to recognize during our semester.  They’re so much a part of our lives here that at times they don’t appear newsworthy.  But they are important.
               First of all, here are the faces of the Peruvian profs who teach the special classes for Calvin, along with their faithful students.
                Profe Talía Pareja, with her linguistics students

                Profe Lizet Valencia with her literature students

                And Profe Juan José Lizarraga with his history students

And here are two faces that greet us every morning as we enter the university:             
                San Pablo (the Universidad Católica San Pablo is named after him)

                And la Virgen María, constantly visible from my office door.

                Next, I’d like to show you several students at their Ethnographic Study and volunteer sites.

Hannah D. and Lauren at their respective schools.  (And Jae did her ethnographic study at the Iglesia Fe Bautista.)

Michael at the Mario Vargas Llosa Library (note the face of Vargas Llosa) above the book stand.

Jamie (and also Laurel) visited the “ancianas” in the home for elderly women.

Anna D. did physical therapy with children at the Clínica San Juan de Dios.  (Leesha and Carmen B. did rounds with doctors at the same clinic.  And Hannah K. and Lori worked with Down’s Syndrome children at Unámonos.)

Lindsey and Emily S. learned about alpacas and the clothing industry at Incapalca.

Finally here are the faces of Fifí and Fufú, whom I pass every day on my way to school (though their faces are usually down in the grass).

We’re looking forward to seeing your faces soon on December 14!
                 Marilyn Bierling, Dec. 5

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