Football,Salsa and Nursery Rhymes

Buenos Dias everyone.

The last week really has been as varied as the title suggests. At the end of last week I was invited to play football with Allan and some of his friends. Being in South America, it would almost be an insult to say no, so soon we were in the taxi, on our way to one of the many footy pitches in town. As we rode, I told spoke of some of my talents in goal and how I played for my school once when I was 11 years old. Allan and his mate Luis were rather impressed, although i think this may have changed had i informed them that I let four goals in during that game and we lost 4,1!

After we had paid the driver, we entered the small stadium and I saw two pitches, both entirely made of concrete. My Peter Schmeichel dives across goal would be painful. I soon became aquainted with some of Allan´s friends and we had a simple kick about until we were invited to join a game. After some ball control almost as legendary as the great John Smith, Ave it!, we were called over and soon had a game of 5 a side going. I started on pitch and proved hopeless as the altitude once again got the better of me. Before almost collapsing with fatigue, I did manage to take one lad out and I didn´t get carded. Very lucky I thought, but the chap was fine.

With that, my team mates thought it a good idea I went in goal. It proved a wise move as i pulled off some stupendous saves, that even Peter Shilton would be proud of. If you have got it, then it never leaves you!

As we played away, I became very aware that the sky was becoming darker and darker and soon we had huge forks of lightning attacking the snow covered mountain peaks, accompanied by rumbles of thunder louder than Rick Waller´s rumbling stomach at a free giveaway in Mc Donalds.

Within minutes, huge drops of rain were beating down, before the heavens opened. I can honestly say that I have never seen rain like it. We were soon forced to take cover and after a minute or two, the pitch was two inches deep in water. With no sign of the rain stopping, myself Allan and Luis decided to make a run for it, in a hope that we might catch a taxi back home. The steep streets had been turned into rivers, with rocks and all sorts of litter being carried along in the torrent. We were all soaked to the skin, before we found a taxi driver, crazy enough to pick us up. The ten minute drive home, was quite possibly the most scary I have experienced, even crazier than the legendary tuk tuk drivers in Bangkok. Visibility was almost non existent as the rain poured onto the windscreen faster than the wipers could clear it and we hit puddles so deep that water came flooding through the floor and the side doors.
For those of you who read my diary last year will remember my experience on Bokor Hill. This was head and shoulders above it!

Thanfully the next day was a lot brighter and spent most of the morning asleep before I headed to one of the volunteer´s houses at 1pm for lunch. Her name is Emma and is from Ireland. As such, her host family thought it would be a nice idea to have a St Patrick´s day meal for all the volunteers.

I arrived with my complimentary bottle of Pepsi and tried to communicate as best i could with the local people. My spanish is improving slowly, so much so that i now know which toilet is the mens. In my first few days I did accidentally enter the ladies toilet, which proved to be rather ebarrassing!

We had a three course meal, with main course consisting of Steak in a very spicy sauce. Went down very nicely though, especially with the Peruvian wine provided. Did humiliate myself at one point, when trying to let the family know I enjoyed thir meal. I made that circular sign with my hand, the one usually used to tell someone something is perfect. In Peru however I soon learned that it has a very different meaning. If you lived in Brighton then you may use it quite often. Yes thats right, it is used to tell someone that you are gay! Oh well, you live and learn!!

Later that evening all us volunteers met up at the local gringo bar and partied away until 5am. It was a good evening, made especially good by the stunning Peruvian girl who tried to teach me the art of Salsa Dancing. I do hope the bruising on her feet has subsided!

Sunday was spent nursing a hangover, before i headed out into town with Luis to shoot some pool. I was cheated though as the pockets were a lot tighter than those in England and so it proved almost impossible to pot anything. Luis thrashed me! England got beat again, no change there then!

And now to the reason i am here in the first place. Teaching.

I have been helping out every afternoon at Fe Y Alegria secondary School and made a special guest appearance on Wednesday morning to assist with primary aged children. Already i have become a bit of a celeb, with my class of 14 and 15 year olds all asking me to sign their books. At last I am famous. One such girl presented me with a flower before saying ´´ teacher, you have the loveliest eyes!´´I was rather flattered. Almost all students are very keen to learn, so much so that i have never needed to raise my voice. They are a pleasure to teach.

The younger children have been more of a challenge in that their grasp of English is very basic indeed, combined with the fact that they have more energy than Powergen! High fiving all of the boys has become a normality as is embracing every little girl that yearns a hug!

I feel very valued at school and already feel that a career in teaching could be for me. I love seeing a child grasp something new. With my mum being a nursery nurse, maybe it is in the blood!

So tonight i am out on the tiles again to celebrate the end of the week. Tomorrow Im heading into the mountains on a bike. Should be fun.

Oh one last thing. I really hoped to post some pictures on here, but being the wally that i am, have realised that i have left all of the necessary gear in Hertfordshire. 6 months time though and i will have them all on here. Gives you something to look forward to.

Ciou for now.

Dan 😀

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