Upfront confession: This post is a result of me finishing some of my more immediate projects at work and wanting a break before diving into more. (In less b.s, that would translate to “I’m procrastinating”).
So, here I am with the clock ticking down, and I thought I’d provide a little more information on the trip I’m about to take. The program I’m going with is actually through my school, Indiana University, although what that really seems to mean so far is that my credits will transfer back directly, grades WILL go twoards my GPA, and other than that, I seem to be on my own. Unlike with Jordan, I don’t think there’s any real sense of a “program” once I head off to Peru. All students are arriving individually, living with different families (or in apartments), and we can take any classes we want to within our university in Lima, so I’m not thinking I’ll really be running into any of the other 15-or-so IU students too often.
As a side note, the name of the university I will be attending is PUCP–Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru (Pontifical Catholic University of Peru)…excuse the lack of accent marks on the Spanish, I’m using a PC and never really bothered to learn all of the codes to type them in on these… whoops. Anyway, it’s the oldest private school in the country with quite a good reputation.
There’s no real guarantee of what classes I’ll be taking when I get there–Apparently enrollment involves standing in RIDICULOUSLY long lines early in the morning to get in and sign up for what you want. (So says the Spanish department advisor, anyway.) They also do a nice 2 week “shopping” period, where you can go sit in classes you’re interested, before final enrollment. Which is cool. However, to get the kinds of credits I need, I’m hoping to take a couple of Andean anthropology & archaeology classes, a class on the more recent history and cultural/political situation on Peru (took a similar class in Jordan and when it ended I felt like I understood Jordanians better than Americans), and recently entering the playing field is the possibility that I will take a Quechua class, which is one of the main languages used by the indigenous peoples of the Amazon, and was the language of the Inca, if my memory serves me right. While I would do this partly because I’m a huge language nerd, since I’m also hoping to do some research focusing on indigenous peoples while I’m there, I thought being at least able to say “Hello” in their language might go a long way for a show of good intent.
However, it also might fry my brain. No big deal.
I’ve been in contact with my new language partner, who is a guy (this would be raaaather haram in Jordan!) and appears to also be a huge language student, which means we should have a peachy ol’ time together. He’s promised to help me get to know the real Lima and I’m going to make serious efforts to see him a lot more than my partner that I had in Jordan–I was always so busy I never really got to know her or learn from her like I should have. I’ve also made contact with my host family, although I was only given contact information for one woman, so I have no idea if it really is just her I’ll be living with or if she lives with family/has kids/or how old she is. I do know she is a sociology graduate of PUCP though and currently works for them, and lives in an apartment with an ocean view and internet, so currently I’m thinking this could be quite the stellar set up for me.
I do believe that’s more than enough rambling for now though, so time to put my head back down and be productive once more!