It´s my last day in Piura before heading out to San Francisco to move in with my host family and start laying the foundations for the youth health promoter classes. My first few days in Piura have been perfect. Rolando, the project coordinator between MIRHAS-PERU and MEJORC, has been absolutely amazing, even inviting me into his home for a night to spend time with his wife and four insanely cute children.
Piura is a small city with about 600,000 people according to Rolando. It´s very cute and easy-going. The buildings are low, the streets aren´t crowded and it´s always balmy, sunny weather. Then again it is winter here, so I´d hate to know what summer feels like. The tourist books aren´t kind to it, but I wouldn´t have been thrilled if I showed up here as a tourist either. It´s like Matthews, North Carolina – great for living, not so much for the foreign tourists. As a place to visit once a month to reconnect and refresh it seems perfect.
Rolando and I have been preparing for the project and speaking lots of Spanish. I understand a lot, although I need people to slow down their speech. Sometimes I get lost somewhere in between the prepositions and pronouns, but I know that with the full immersion of living with my host family, Isaac, Zoila and Melissa, and working in San Francisco I will learn quickly.
The first three weeks in San Francisco will be busy, although I won´t have started teaching the classes yet. I need to meet with local authorities, the students, families, prepare to teach, etc. I can´t wait to meet my host family and begin working together with the youth on this amazing pilot project in health!