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Why are you in Peru?

 
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 9004
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 10:33 pm    Post subject: Why are you in Peru? Reply with quote

I was asked by a friend why I'm here, so here's my story. I hope you publish yours as well.

While living in China I was trying to decide whether to continue Chinese studies , but full-time at a university, go to Romania, or finish up my Spanish studies. I was open to going just about anywhere that spoke Spanish, but was looking at Costa Rica, Chile, and Argentina in particular. My biggest worry was getting a visa. I knew that I could simply show up and getting a teaching job, but I wanted a visa. On an online forum, www.eslcafe.com , I found a girl who was teaching at UDEP in Piura. She gave me the contact info and I applied. A couple of weeks later I had an interview and got accepted. They would give me an OIM volunteer visa, not residency, but I could legally stay in the country for a year.

I didn’t know much about Peru when I got the job, but it sounded good. My reasons for going were to finish learning Spanish so that I could adopt kids at age 30 and teach them Spanish and English and live in China. I had no desire for a boyfriend, husband, or anything like that. I only wanted to learn Spanish well. Before I left China, I had applied to La Trobe University in Australia and was to start there in Feb 2006. I planned on spending a year working for UDEP and then going to Guatemala to study Spanish for six months. I had my whole life planned out and I was only 21.

While most people’s parents don’t seem to be keen on them going to Peru, mine couldn’t be happier. After all I had been in China for a year and a half and most of that was during SARS. I flew to my parents’ house in July 2004 and got ready to go to Peru. My dad had gone to all the local libraries and gotten all the travel books on Peru. I looked and looked and could only find a couple of pages about Piura. But that’s ok, I had avoided big cities before and preferred the smaller towns because you could get more into the cultural.

I arrived n Peru on 5 August 2004, two days after my 22nd birthday. Everyone always says I seem young, but I’ve been living away form home since age 17, graduated high school and university early and had just spent the past three years working and studying in Spain, Scotland, the Czech Republic and China.

My first impression of Piura was that it was clean and green! The city where I was living before had just gotten a grant from the government to re-do the majority of the city, so about 60% of it was under construction. Also, it was so close to Russia that there was snow for eight months of the year, so Piura was a paradise.

Things went well, classes were organised. It was different teaching older kids, I was in a kindergarten before, but I liked it. I had problems with Spanish. I had studied Spain-Spanish and people couldn’t understand me, so that was frustrating, but overall things were good.

In January 2005, I went to Soltimbu disco with my friend from work, she was the secretary of where I worked. I’m not a big drinker, or dancer for that matter, but it was still fun. We went as a group of about five and met others there. Across from me there was this short guy who kept smoking and drinking like a fish. And had problems looking me in the eye. People went to the dance floor and started to dance and thankfully he left too. And there at the end of the table was this guy with a water bottle. Not drinking or smoking and understood how to look women in the eye. He talked about his travels through Latin America and finally asked me to dance.

Of course, Piura’s small and everyone knows everyone and on the dance floor one of my students spotted me, ran over and shouted “Miss! How are you? How was your vacation?” Since he asked in English, I responded in English. My husband later told me that at that moment he thought “Great, she doesn’t speak any Spanish”.

So it was one dance and that was it. On Monday I told my friend that I thought this guy was great. She told me not to worry and that he was interested and would call. Well, he didn’t. Not Monday, not Tuesday. But on Wednesday, as I’m finishing my class and lugging my huge CD player back to the Centro de Idiomas, I see him sitting outside the secretary’s office with a CD of mix songs. He gave it to me and told me to practice dancing, then asked for my number.

I talked to my friend and she told me that she was sure we’d go out dancing that weekend. She also said that he would ask me to the beach and that I should say no and play hard to get. Maybe I should mention now that my friend was also his ex, and later one of our witnesses when we got married.

That Saturday we went out dancing, supposedly in a group, but it was just us. And he picked me up on his motorcycle. We danced and I was a typical “dura” stiff gringa. But he’s a good dancer. Like my friend said he asked me to the beach, and I said no. However, I ended up going with my friend and some others to the beach and getting burnt.

The next Monday he came to the Centro de Idiomas again and saw that I was bright red and thought that I had said no because I didn’t want anything to do with him. But that couldn’t be far from the truth. Luckily he’s persistent and asked me out again to go dancing and to the beach and I said yes for both things.

The following Thursday he texted me and said he wanted to talk to me. So we went to a park and started talking and he was nervous. But there was a group of annoying people there, so we went to another park and it officially asked me to be his girlfriend. Which was strange for me, because usually this is something that’s done when you’re 12, not 22. And then he kissed me for the first time. It was 10 Feb 2005.

After dating for about a month, I told him that I wanted to talk to him. He thought I was breaking up with him. But I wanted to tell him that I had to decide whether to stay and extend my contract or leave and go to Guatemala and then Australia. He told me to stay, so I did.

On 24 April of 2005, he asked me to marry him. Just the two of us, no family, no ring, but an honest question. I said yes and shortly after he called my mom and asked for my hand in marriage. We planned on getting married in August, only to find out that it’s a real chore for foreigners to get married in Peru. So we said Aug 2006. So in October, I went home for a wedding and started to get all the paperwork. We finally got everything on 9 Feb 2006 and I asked him if he wanted to get married now. He said yes, so that same day we went to the munipalidad and according to law had to wait 15 days, so we were going to get married on 24 Feb 2006.

We had tried to keep it a secret from everyone. Because of where I worked we couldn’t live together unless we were married in the church, and his family wasn’t too keen on us getting married either. However, as you know, in Peru, you have to publish it in the newspaper, so his family found out and wasn’t happy to say the least. So a week before our marriage he called it off. I couldn’t believe it. Peru’s just different from the US, my parents stopped having a say over what I did when I was 17, he was 25 and still living at home. So the next day we went to talk to his parents. They weren’t too pleased, saying we were too young and there was no reason to rush it. But if he wanted to do it, he could, but would have to leave the house. The final decision was his and he decided to go through with it.

So we told everyone and the next day I got called in to the Director’s office at school and indirectly asked if I was pregnant, after all we were getting married in a week. And told that we weren’t allowed to live together. That was no problem, he was going to Lima on 3 March to study, so we wouldn’t even be in the same city.

On 24 Feb 2006, we tied the knot and it was shocking. A five minute speech and then we were married. My family didn’t come, but my mom asked for someone to watch her class at the time we got married and went into another room and cried.

After getting married I could feel everyone watching me to see if I was pregnant, but of course I wasn’t. WE lived apart for five months, then I moved to Lima in August of 2006. Over time, his family has accepted me, has seen that I’m not a typical gringa, I work, blend into the culture, and love him. We’ve been in Lima since then, except for this summer 3 November 2007 to 3 February 2008, when I went to Korea to work. I just needed a break from Peru and the school that I was at.

We’ll be in Peru for a while if not forever, we bought a flat last year and are slowly remodelling. I’ve been promised a little yippy Pomeranian for my birthday in August. We have no kids yet, but I’d like to soon, now I just have to convince my husband. I’ve adapted to Peruvian culture. Of course there are things that still bug me, but nothing’s perfect. In November I apply for citizenship and in doing so hope to prove that I’ve come to accept Peru as my home.
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miamimaestro



Joined: 25 Mar 2008
Posts: 18
Location: UNITED STATES

PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 2:46 am    Post subject: FINDING A SHORT TERM GIG IN A UNIVERSITY Reply with quote

Nature Girl! Nice to meet you! I'm a fellow American who has family that lives in Peru. I usually fly to Peru one or two times a year. I've been working as an ESL Adjunct in Miami for several years. I usually take a month vacation every time I go to Peru. Do you know of any schools or Universities that would give me a job for that month. I'd like to network and make some money while I'm down there. Where do you think I should start? I'd appreciate the info? Thanks!
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 9004
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 4:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For a month? NOpe. You could do privates though.
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Luna Chica



Joined: 04 Sep 2005
Posts: 177
Location: Trujillo, Peru

PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I ask myself that nearly every day. Jeje
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gabyespinosa



Joined: 06 Feb 2008
Posts: 2
Location: Colorado

PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 5:13 am    Post subject: Hi and this is my story Reply with quote

Hi everybody

I'm new to the board, my name is Gaby.

I was born in Peru, but my parents immigrated to the US when I was 8 months old and we were there for 10 years. We then went back to Peru where I studied high school and university (studied in San Silvestre and then Catolica University), also taught ESL at PUCP, ICPNA and business english for different companies.

Went back to the US to work in 1998 and met my australian husband while travelling in Germany in 1999, got married in the US in 2002 (wanted to get married in Peru but as nature girl said it was a heck of a lot of paperwork especially because my dh was divorced), in the US we just needed a $10 marriage licence and that was about it!

We now have 2 kids and have lived in the US for the last 6 years but have now decided to move to Australia. However until I get my australian papers we will be living in Peru so we can visit family and so kids and dh can study Spanish. Since our lawyer thinks my paperwork might take up to 6 months I wanted to teach english once again while we are waiting in Lima.

I was thinking of teaching English in a language institute, preferably business english. Any recommendations? My sister still lives there and teaches at ICPNA but I never did like the formality there and she's out of the loop about other language institutes.

Loved hearing your story naturegirl. Peruvian traditions and culture can be a little strange sometimes. Because I didn't grow up there I sometimes felt out of place with fellow peruvians, even family. Have no idea how it will be now because I haven't been there since 2001.

Cheers and maybe I can have a coffee with some of you in Lima. We'll be arriving mid May.
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 9004
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Business LInk
World COmm
PARI
English Life
are all good places to work at. ICPNA pays horribly
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gabyespinosa



Joined: 06 Feb 2008
Posts: 2
Location: Colorado

PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 1:26 am    Post subject: thanks Reply with quote

Thanks so much for the links. I think my sis chose to work at ICPNA because there's more stability and the extra pays and benefits but I never really liked the burocracy there.

I might until I'm in Peru to send CV's so I can go to interviews if called.

Hope to meet some of you there!
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keepwalking



Joined: 17 Feb 2005
Posts: 194
Location: Peru, at last

PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why am I in Peru?

I think I got lost.... I turned left and the right, like the guy said, but somehow ended up here.

It was actually boredom in the UK, teaching the same curriculum to teenagers who weren't interested (and who could blame them, I wasn't really either) and enduring long winter months of grey skies.

My boss told me I was crazy when I told her I was leaving for Peru and that is a sentiment that was repeated by anyone else who didn't really know me. My family were supportive as always, especially when they realised the potential for cheap holidays.

Peru is infuriating and fascinating all at the same time. I'm enchanted by it and driven to screaming fits of temper too. I love the country and am perpetually confused by the people who live in it. But, I am never bored!
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 9004
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 3:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like you'll be here for a while.
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NickImpy



Joined: 28 Dec 2007
Posts: 56
Location: NJ/PA

PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 4:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Although I am not yet a resident of Peru, I will tell you that what really hooked me on Peru happened when I was a young boy watching Nickelodeon to see my favorite show, "The Mysterious Cities of Gold." Actually, I just bought the resent release of the English version which was finally released. I'll probably only be able to watch it on my computer since it was only released in Region 2. It's being shipped to my house from Wales, so I need to wait another week I believe until it gets here. I'm not sure how fast Royal Mail is compared to USPS. When I married a Peruvian woman, that sealed the deal. After I finally got there, Huanchaco, Cuzco, Huaraz, Chavin, Chan Chan, strange mountain roads and tunnels, and the sight of mummified human remains on a beach I saw personally really just made me realize, hey, this place is awesome.
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keepwalking



Joined: 17 Feb 2005
Posts: 194
Location: Peru, at last

PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cities of Gold was awesome, wasn't it?! That and Paddington Bear got me finding Peru on the globe too. I wonder how many other people are here for similar reasons?
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