Friday, September 4, 2009

Week 2

My second week: this week I’m taking Spanish classes and living at a homestay organized by the school. Everyone in my homestay family is very nice and I get to eat home cooked meals, which is good especially when travelling. Spanish is quite necessary here as almost no one speaks English even in Cuzco and the students’ English is very beginners’. Most have expressed their desire to improve their English though, and a lot of them want to also learn Japanese and French. There is a funny story during one of the interviews a student told me that he wants to study Japanese, and when I asked him why, he said because most of the technology comes from China these days and that he wants to be up to date with the technology. When I told him that Japanese and Chinese are not the same he seemed very surprised, and we had a good laugh about it.
The rest of the time Ashley and I were conducting and videotaping individual student interviews. I don’t have many pictures from this week as I was just videotaping the interviews. I can’t upload the interviews here as the internet is painfully slow in Peru and takes hours to upload just the pictures. However I hope that I will be able to upload them once I’m back in Canada.

So this week has been really busy, with Spanish classes all morning and interviews with the students all afternoons.

The interviews went really well, some of the stories were really heartbreaking though.
The students were very comfortable in front of the camera and were willing to discuss a lot of things. For example, one student named Adrian told us a story of his family, where his mother had to escape to the jungle for 5 years because his dad was an alcoholic and was beating her badly. Adrian and his two younger brothers were left alone with their dad, who continued to beat them. Adrian was saying that he was very grateful to escape the violence by participating in Mosqoy, but was worried about his two younger siblings who are still in Ollantaytambo with his dad. Another student, Marleni, started crying during the interview (and I had to stop videotaping) because her mother was very sick and she was very concerned about her mother. Another student told us that she’s been living alone since she was 10 years old as both of her parents died and she’s been living with random foster parents since then and working as a maid in their houses. She too was very grateful for the opportunity to study and become a professional. Another students´ parents abandoned him when he was very little and he was raised by his grandparents, and does not have any contact with his parents.

The students shared their dreams and hopes, likes and dislikes, and I’m hoping to translate the interviews and upload them once I get to Canada with subtitles as all of the stories are absolutely amazing. The students were so sincere and open, each one with a unique story. So far I have 14 interviews completed, some of which are the Education Generation students, and I think I should be able to complete most of them before I go back.

There were some funny interviews as well. Jonathan Guerrera, when asked whether he had a girlfriend, said that he thought that girls can be annoying sometimes, constantly asking, ¨where are you, what are you doing, why didn’t you call me (this is a direct translation of what he said) and he added that he didn’t want to deal with it now. There’s a student named Alex who, in addition to studying computer science, reads philosophy books of Plato and Aristotle and currently his favourite book is ¨Rich Dad Poor Dad¨. A few of the male students, when asked what they didn’t like about living in a house with everyone, told us how the girls in the second group don’t always get along with each other and fight from time to time, which was really funny, because they were describing these typical cat fights among girls.

Some of the students had pretty impressive plans for the future. For example, Jonathan Medina and Ivanhoe (both Education Generation students) want to start up an eco-tourism company and had a detailed description on how they wanted to go about it. Dora too wants to work for a couple of years and save up some money to open up her own travel agency.
On Tuesday this week we went to visit the Americano Institute, where most of the Mosqoy students are studying at. We attended a class on administration and sat for the first 2 hours of it. The Institute is pretty small, with small class sizes of about 20 students and small classrooms like in a high school. There’s a library and a computer room, but the computer room can only be used during a computer class. The students have exams next week and some this week. I ran into one student Elvira who seemed very upset and when I asked her why she told me that she had an English exam that evening and was worried about it.

This weekend I’m going to check out Lake Titicaca and the floating islands, so more updates to come next week!
The students' schedule
The computer room
One of Mosqoy's students in a classroom


  1. Thank you for this wonderful blog! I really enjoy reading it! And it is great to learn some more things about "our" students. :)

    Best wishes,

  2. On behalf of Education Generaiton and all the students I would like to thank you for your continuous support!