Danielle in Peru

Danielle is a junior majoring in Spanish in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, with minors in elementary education and psychology. She was awarded a Maguire and Irby Family Foundation Public Service Internship for summer 2013 from the Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility at SMU, and also is participating in SMU’s Engaged Learning program. She is volunteering in a kindergarten for underprivileged children in Cuzco, Peru.

Exploring Lake Titicaca

Lake Titicaca As I sat at the lunch table in the tiny adobe home of an indigenous family on the Island of Amantaní on Lake Titicaca, I had an internal conversation with myself as to whether I should eat the purple potatoes sitting on the plate in front of me. Digestive issues are common for foreigners in Peru. and these potatoes still seemed to have dirt on them. Although the house where I would spend one night was technically a “certified hostel” for tourists visiting the lake, the thought of possibly digesting parasites or other bacteria that would make me sick was a difficult thought to face. I also took into consideration that this would be the only [...]

2013-08-05T19:56:35+00:00 August 5th, 2013|Danielle in Peru|

‘Shuff up!’

Recently, the teacher in the 4-year-old classroom at Kukuli has been trying to incorporate as much English as possible in every aspect of the kindergarten. The other day the kids were goofing off as usual, and the teacher quickly said “Cállense,” which means “Be quiet” in Spanish. She then started saying “Shuff up, Shuff up,” and she looked at me to clarify that she was directly translating “Cállense” into English. I realized that she was attempting to say, “Shut up”; I explained that in the U.S. we wouldn’t use this phrase with children and instead the command would be “Be quiet.” Although in the moment, I thought the teacher’s confusion was a little funny, the truth of the matter is [...]

2013-07-26T16:15:20+00:00 July 26th, 2013|Danielle in Peru|

A typical morning in Cuzco

Although I set an alarm every night before I go to bed, I don’t wake up to the “typical iphone alarm.” Instead, I usually wake up to either exploding fireworks or never-ending car alarms. As an American, I generally associate fireworks with holidays such as July 4th or New Year's. In Cuzco, though, it is common to hear fireworks in the morning, in the middle of the day, or at night. When I first arrived, I heard fireworks during the day and was afraid because I thought I heard gunshots. However, I learned quickly that the noise was simply Peruvians “having fun.” The coca leaves on the breakfast table that I put in my tea every morning. On [...]

2013-07-19T22:09:24+00:00 July 19th, 2013|Danielle in Peru|

¡Let’s Celebrate!

A Peruvian recently told me, “We celebrate here when it’s your birthday and when it’s not your birthday!” Obviously, Peruvians like to celebrate everything. The month of June though, is especially important to Cusqueñans. June is full of daily celebrations, from groups of students dancing in colorful clothes through the Plaza de Armas to nightly parades and concerts. However, the celebrations climaxed last weekend; Friday was the festival for the winter solstice and Monday was the Inti Raymi. Celebrations in the Plaza de Armas On Friday, a huge parade began in the early evening and lasted until early morning. UBELONG, the program that has arranged my volunteer work, partners with Amauta Spanish School in Cuzco. Amauta had reserved [...]

2013-07-05T16:17:12+00:00 July 5th, 2013|Danielle in Peru|

Teaching kindergarten in Cuzco

Danielle is a junior majoring in Spanish in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, with minors in elementary education and psychology. She was awarded a Maguire and Irby Family Foundation Public Service Internship for summer 2013 from the Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility at SMU. She is volunteering in a kindergarten for underprivileged children in Cuzco, Peru.

2013-06-28T22:09:40+00:00 June 28th, 2013|Danielle in Peru|