Friday, September 23, 2011

Good Times at the Dorm

September 11-15, 2011

Sunday back at the dorm was the start of a great week. We spent the afternoon watching all the videos I took at the school on Thursday. The girls
all crowded around my computer and wanted to watch them over and over. We did work on a little math homework and ate dinner together as well. The girls also got to meet our new volunteers from Connecticut. It is a mother and a daughter team who are going to live and volunteer here for nine months! They brought a ton of technology and have some really good ideas.

Monday I headed over early to help Maria put up the volleyball net I bought over the weekend. My mom donated some money to buy the girls things that they needed or wanted, and that was at the top of my list. Girls in Peru LOVE volleyball. If you remember, the junior team beat the U.S. earlier in the year, and is ranked second in the world. So yeah, the girls were so happy and have been playing ever since. It was a great donation! That night I wanted to catch a little Monday night football, but I spent the evening on the phone trying to set up a two week volunteer trip next June for a Spanish club from Chicago. Now that I am in a routine, I have started to organize student clubs around the country to spread word and put together fundraisers. I hope we are able to raise some money and finally build our own dorm. It is frustrating having to constantly worry about where the girls are going to live next year. I suppose a long term goal would be to create a string of self-sustaining dorms dotting the landscape of the Sacred Valley. How cool would that be to have a generation of educated, independent, healthy young women in the valley? But we are definitely a ways away from that.

Tuesday was more tutoring and time spent making flash cards. Considering how much math is done without calculators, I think that memorizing basic multiplication, division, powers, and roots is very important. I made a huge poster with everyone’s name on it, so we can time them and watch improvement.

Helping Nohemi multiply binomials

Dina and Lisa (volunteer from Texas) working on English

Wednesday was the big day for the diagnostic test. I created a 20 question test using their trimester tests and what I thought they should know, in Spanish. Not only will we get an idea of where they are at, but we will give another one at the end of the year to track improvement. The first years took it first. They did alright, but we definitely have a few things to work on. It turns out they all got a monster homework assignment that day as well. It was 15 extremely difficult fraction story problems, luckily due the following Tuesday. At least we have a week to work on it. Helping these girls makes me appreciate my teacher training back in the states. They seem to get random assignments all the time with no rhyme or reason. And they have not been taught how to do them or even steps on how to get the answers! We started from the beginning of how to work with fractions, and they learned very quickly. It reminded me of volunteering in Harlem way back in college. I taught fractions to a woman there who was trying to pass the NYC bus driver test. So I guess people all over the world struggle with fractions. Haha.

Thursday we gave the test to the second years, played more volleyball, and of course worked on a few more problems on the fraction homework. During dinner I pulled out the guitar. The girls had been asking me to play for a week, so why not. I played my go to song in Peru, “The First Semester of Spanish Love Song”. I think I need to learn something else in Spanish.

I did get a very nice, encouraging email from Marcy Grayson, a math teacher at my high school. And yes, finally someone solved my problem from earlier. (1,-2,3) Nice.

Also, I finished a book written by my friend D. Miles Martin. It is his first novel, a horror story written with a Stephen King type of feel. Even though horror hasn’t been my style since high school, I enjoyed it. It is a good book, and it takes place in Grand Haven. It is the type where you really get involved with the characters and can’t put it down because you want to find out what happens. So, why not read a good book and support his work? It is easy. I downloaded the Kindle app (free) on my iPhone, and went to Amazon to purchase it ($1.99). Buy it here.

Cultural Immersion

September 6-8, 2011

Tuesday morning
I awoke knowing that on the other side of the world in a small town in Michigan several thousand kids were winding the ir way through the halls of a high school after a long break, some for the first time ever. Many are kids that I will not meet or know for another 6 month s. I knew that teachers would be welcoming them at the door, shaking hands, and probably have some sort of cool assembly at the end of the day. It was a very weird feeling not being around for the first day of school for the first time in 12 years. I logged on to my teacher email account to kind of get a feeling of what was going on. There was a first day Bucs’ Blade, early dismissal for band students to go to the assembly, and Mr. P was absent because his kid was sick. Well, that is another world for now, but I miss my colleagues, students, sporting events, Interact, and just being around. Go Bucs! But I am glad I am here and wouldn’t change it for anything. And it is comforting to know that life goes on just fine without me.

Thursday of this week was the anniversary of the local high school, Ollantay. I mentioned last week that the girls missed some tutoring because they were working on the dances for the big celebration. I wasn’t too happy about that. This week was even worse, shortened classes on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and no class on Thursday or Friday. Apparently this celebration was a big deal.

The festivities kicked off Tuesday with the Miss Ollantay 2011 beauty pageant. I guess the festivities during the week needed a “queen” to preside over things. Elena was asked to be a judge, so we all headed down as an entire group to watch. Alex, Elena, and I were the only gringos in a completely packed, standing-room only municipal building. There were about ten students from the school, 12-15 years old vying for the title of Miss Ollantay 2011. It began with two couples (not competing) performing a traditional dance as a sort of warm-up. It was pretty cool. Then, round one was a single academic question asked to each girl while dressed in the school uniform. I think each girl got their individual question right, so it must not have been that challenging. Round two was the traditional dress competition. Each girl walked down a runway which was two tables put together in the center. They had to step up on a chair to get up, it seemed a little unsafe to me. The traditional dresses were really interesting, and the girls were asked another question after the walk. I recognized some of the attire from the villages we worked in over the past two summers. The final round was the formal gown competition. It definitely is not something I could ever see happening in the states. We do have the Miss Coast Guard Pageant, but it is not a school sponsored event. Alex and I left after the traditional dress part, so I didn’t see who won or how that went down.

Wednesday the girls were back at the dorm earlier than usual, and had to get ready for the big parade that evening. So that evening the two girls who go to a different high school (Nohemi and Maria Elena) and I headed down to catch the big parade. I gave them my camera and told them to go crazy, take as many pictures as you want. All the kids from the school lined up outside the main square and then proceeded to walk around twice. Each grade had a special, select group of dancers all decked out in traditional costumes. Four of our girls participated in the dances. As they came around the second time, the principal was in the center of the plaza talking into a microphone introducing each grade. They then performed a shortened version of their dance. Wow. It was really cool. One again, the plaza was packed, but this time there were a bunch of tourists watching as well. I wonder if they knew the reason for the celebration. On the way back to the dorm, Nohemi and Maria Elena were messing with the settings on the camera and accidentally erased all the pictures and videos, so I don’t have any from the pageant or the parade.

Thursday was the big day, the official anniversary of the school. Elena, Maria, Anatoli, and I headed down to the high school at 11:00 a.m. When we arrived, all the seats lining the sides of the cement courtyard soccer field were filled, and people were sitting on the ground or standing along the edges. But the principal saw us, made people move from the center chairs, and seated us as the guests of honor. Right next to us was the huge statue of the patron virgin (saint) for the school, and on the other side sat the staff and Miss Ollantay.

Patron saint of the school from our VIP seating

The principal announced the first group and the dancers lined up. The music was live, and it consisted of two flutes and a drum (a guitar joined later for the older groups).

It. Was. Awesome.

I didn’t expect to see such colorful routines, upbeat music, and skilled dancing. There were about 12 routines in total, each lasting about 10-15 minutes. Each grade told a story with their dances as well. I went from extremely upset about all the missed class time, to a little more relaxed as I watched this tradition of the Andes unfold before my eyes. But there were still a few things I stayed mad about, like being served checha (traditional alcoholic drink) while sitting there in the schoolyard watching in front of all the students. Unfortunately, the battery on my camera died just before the last and oldest group danced. They had recorded music instead of live, and are the ones that everyone stays to watch. The costumes were intricate, black, colonial Spanish ones with bells on the legs. They were incredible. And our four girls did a great job as well, I was proud to watch them perform. (Videos are coming as soon as I get reasonable internet.)

One of the routines


The dancing lasted from about noon to three in the afternoon. After the dancing, we were invited to the VIP dinner, which was set up in one of the classrooms. All the school officials and teachers were invited. There were about 30 people in the room. The lunch was exactly the same as Gabe’s lunch at the Loayza’s. It was roast pig with tamales. But, once again, the after lunch was exactly the same too. They came around and handed everyone a 12 oz beer at first. Then, we saw them coming around again but this time with the big 1 liter bottles. We managed to escape, but upon exiting the classroom we saw a mountain of cases of beer. I found out there was no school on Friday simply because the teachers would be hung over. They all got plastered on Thursday, at the school, with all the students still there, on the school’s budget. Interesting. Hopefully my principal is reading this, any chance we could miss several days of school and drink on the school’s budget? And, as it turns out, do it multiple times a year any time there is any kind of reason? Yup, doesn’t seem to make sense to me, but welcome to Peru.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Beautiful Scene and... Raw Onions

September 4-5, 2011

Sunday morning began with a lot of internet work. When I stay at Alex’s in Cusco I have decent wireless all the time so I need to take advantage. I sent out emails to over 100 former Rustic students asking them to send letters to their host families that I could deliver over the next few months. I also asked if anyone was interested in starting a club at their school to fundraise and raise awareness for the dorm or young women’s education in general. I hope we have a strong response, the new dorm will probably cost around $15,000. I got back to Ollanta around 3:00 and just headed to the dorm.

Sunday afternoon at the dorm was my favorite so far. Only the first years were there, and they didn’t have much homework. So I grabbed a deck of cards and asked if anyone wanted to teach me a game. Cliset jumped at the chance and taught me a game called “casino”. It is actually a really fun game and uses lots of math skills. I like it and will probably teach my friends/students back home. It took me one game to get the hang of it, but then it was a good time. I am sure we will play again. Later, Maria Elena asked if I would help her with math, so I told her after dinner, since I had to move my motorcycle and unpack from the weekend. When I got back to the dorm, everyone was in the main room eating dinner. I sat down and Maria (house mother) made me a plate of rice, potatoes, onions, and a little beef all mixed together.

As I sat during dinner it kind of all came together. I looked around the table, with Alex and Maria at the ends, and the girls lining either side. They were talking and laughing, eating and simply enjoying themselves. Alex would throw a few sentences into the conversation to rile them up, and everyone would laugh. It was like he was the father, Maria was the mother, and all the kids were gathered around for family dinner. This is the scene I wish I could send to people back home. There are many problems for the girls here, they struggle in school and at home. The current dorm is going to be leveled due to corruption. There are questions, money shortages, drama, tough decisions to be made, etc. But this moment, this dinner, was everything that is right about what we are trying to do here. And I know people think, “Why are so many resources being expended on 11 girls from the highlands of Peru when they could be much better spent on other things?” There are problems in the U.S. There are students there who could benefit from my help, time, or money. We’ve got budget problems at my own school, and a population of at-risk students as well. Why? Why? Why? Now, I am not saying those aren’t legitimate concerns, in fact, they are. Very much so. But I suppose Sunday night I fully understood what Paul Farmer was trying to say when he spent the $20,000 on the dying child from Haiti to receive help in the U.S. These girls are gaining so much from this experience. It is good. Yes it is difficult, and I will not argue for a moment with anyone saying that we could spend resources on something nobler or that benefits U.S. citizens. But that dinner was real, and those girls are learning and growing in a safe and healthy environment. So it became my favorite moment of the trip so far. And I am glad I was a small part of it.

Monday morning Alex, Elena, Maria, and I headed to the market for breakfast. There is a woman who serves a huge plate of rice, fries, chopped tomato/raw onion mix, and an egg for $1. It is a great breakfast for cheap. But before I continue, I need to tell another story from last year.

In Pallata , Elyse and I got to know one woman very well. Every day she would wait for us when we did our rounds and invited us in for tea, sometimes we stayed for hours. So when I found out her birthday was during the next group, I told her I would stop by and visit. So I took a night off from the last group and walked 40 minutes to her house on her birthday, bearing a few small gifts. She was so happy that I came she immediately killed 3 guinea pigs (big deal, that’s very expensive) and prepared dinner for the whole family. I sat down and half of a fried guinea pig and some potatoes were placed in front of me. I was determined to eat the whole thing to show my appreciation. I kind of put my head down and hunkered in. I ate all the meat and even the fat of the guinea pig. All that was left were the guts and the bones. Then, I heard a strange, crunching noise. I looked up to see every single plate was spotless and they were chewing on the bones. Wow. I just couldn’t do guts and bones. But I realized that when dinner every night is rice and potatoes, things like bones are at least a different flavor.

In Peru, practically EVERYTHING is covered in raw onions. I am not a fan, and have been picking them off meals since the day I got here. Well, Monday morning at the market I devoured the tomato/onion mix. Every meal I eat here is almost entirely rice and potatoes. I can’t believe I am saying this, but I now love the taste of raw onions, possibly for no other reason than it is at least a different taste. Who knows, maybe bones are next…

After doing some laundry, Alex and I headed back to Tunupa to do more work using their wireless. Once again, we were offered lunch. It was exactly the same as breakfast except there were a few beans thrown in. And yes, I took several spoonfuls of the tomato/onion mix and dumped it on.

It was then more math at the dorm in the afternoon. The girls are doing some pretty difficult problems. They are doing what I teach in my Honors Algebra II class, but some of the problems are much more difficult that what I assign. I know I won’t be able to help myself when I get home and students complain in class about the problems. “There are girls in Peru who grew up in mud-brick houses, with no electricity, and have to walk 6 hours to school each week who can do these problems!” Haha, that will get old in a hurry.

That night around 8 pm I went back to Tunupa to tutor Astri. She did a great job and her little sister sat nearby watching. When we finished her homework, the three of us sat around for an hour just chatting. They think I am crazy for wanting to ride my motorcycle home to the States. But it was fun to chat with them, and I did an alright job. I can’t wait until I can speak with ease and understand everything people are saying to me.

Tough Night, Back to Cusco

September 1-3, 2011

Thursday I got some computer work done in the morning, and then headed down to Tunupa Lodge where Alex was in town working. He was in town because he had an important meeting in the morning in Pacha with the municipality. I mentioned a while back that they were willing to donate land on which they could build a permanent dorm next to the site for a new high school. Well, it turns out the city cannot give away public land; they can only sign off on it for 15 - 20 years at a time. So this becomes a difficult decision. Should we take the 20 years, raise money for and build a new dorm, and hope the city will renew down the road? Or, will the dorm end up in the same situation it is in now, a corrupt person in power could decide down the road to void the contract and take the building?

View of Veronika from Tunupa. That is more snow than usual.

The owner of the hotel offered lunch before I left. When he found out I was a math teacher, he asked if I would come back on Monday night to tutor his daughter. Haha, yes of course. I grabbed a haircut on the way back into town for afternoon tutoring. Now, I usually have a close fade to somewhat cover my all-to-quickly balding head. Well, this woman has clearly never cut a fade in her life. About halfway through a pretty bad haircut she said, “I think we should just shave it all off.” Yup, whatever. So I now have a shaved head. I guess it is easier and cheaper anyway. This day has been a long time coming, and if Mr. Kram, Mr. Case, and Mr. Londot can make it look good, then why not give it a shot. Haha.

At the dorm, all the first years were working on science, and the second years did not have much homework. So we just sat around and chatted for a bit. It was the first time I got to sit down and just hang out and talk. I still am having trouble, but it was better. It is really hard for me to not just talk about whatever with students. But toward the end of the conversation, I got some really bad news. I was told that the father of one of the families we worked with last summer was murdered. Actually, if you remember me writing in an earlier post about the emotional story of two little boys that ran up a mountain to say goodbye, it was their family. The mom is out of the picture and the four children are scattered amongst 3 families and 1 shelter. One of the kids is staying with the family of one of the girls from the dorm. This news hit me kind of hard. I couldn’t wait to go back to visit that family on the bike, and tell them news about the two guys from the Bay Area that worked on their galpone. Now, the house is empty.

That night I decided the best thing would be to go out and meet other volunteers in town. There is an English Pub on the edge of town where all the gringo volunteers go to hang out. There is a dart board and a wide selection of drinks. It was cool to meet people from all over the world and hear about the different projects going on to take my mind away from the news I had just heard.

Friday I headed back to Cusco for the weekend. That night Alex and I went over to Raul’s house to watch Bolivia vs Peru in an international friendly. I really appreciate these nights hanging out with a bunch of Peruvians, and hopefully I will add more than one or two sentences into conversation at some point. After the game, we watched 127 hours. It’s a pretty powerful tale of survival, and it made me think about how I will be traveling alone and could end up in a similar situation.

Saturday morning I went over to Raul’s house to head to a mechanic shop to fix the bracket. The mechanic noticed my front brakes needed replacing, and offered an oil change as well. I said sure and assumed that all repairs in Peru would be similar to what I have seen so far, which is quality, low-cost work. I also ordered passenger pegs so it is easier to give people rides, which I have doing a lot more lately. I possibly could also give the girls rides to and from the dorm in order to help them avoid the incredibly long walks. We also hit up the black market to look for new Chacos. I literally walked through mine and they are done. We didn't find any in my size, but it was crazy! The products were all legit, but looked like they might be last years models. There were so many shoes, clothes, etc.

Alex and I then went to this crazy gringo hotel to play ping-pong. It is called Loki. It is for backpackers, and has all the normal things a hotel in the States would have. It has a pool table, ping-pong, bar, flat screen with US sports, whatever. I don’t think you really get a good Peruvian experience there, but it is definitely nice to stop by once in awhile. (I might have to head there to watch the Lions…) Ping-pong was fun, and we played against some Australian guys who are moving to Ollanta for a month or so. It was fun.

After a few hours, the bike was done so I went back to pick it up. The bill was very high!! I was upset. I guess I learned I should always negotiate the price before they do anything. And as I rechecked everything, I noticed the oil screw was loose! I would rather do all the work on the bike myself from now on, it isn’t that hard except bending the brackets. Heading back we stopped at the delicious vegetarian restaurant by his apartment for a late lunch of sushi. The owner found out I was a math teacher, and I am going to tutor her daughter next Friday when I come back to Cusco. Haha.

That night I was really looking forward to a special dinner with a dentist from Cusco. She has cleaned and fixed teeth for the girls at the dorm several times completely for free. This was a huge amount of time and work. Alex and Elena wanted to do something nice for her to say thanks. We ate at a nice Thai food restaurant, played pool, listened to an awesome live band with crazy pan flutes, and went to a couple clubs. It was a great night, and once again it ended around 4 am. It just seems like everyone loves to dance down here, either it is my choice of friends or it is just the culture. Either way it is a lot of fun.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Math and More Math

August 31, 2011

Wednesday finally felt like a normal routine. I got up, grabbed my fruit/veggie smoothie and headed up to the free ruins. I am planning on climbing them once a day until I am in great shape. Needless to say day 1 wasn’t pretty. I had to stop several times during the 800 foot hike up.

After that I headed down for Spanish lessons with Maria. We walked around town a little and I suppose conversation was a little easier. I decided that I wanted to find another place to eat so I didn’t go to the same place every day. I stopped in a little restaurant we went to last year with Rustic kids. They had the same menu type option but for $1.80. Nice.

I made it to tutoring around 3:30 and several of the second year girls were waiting patiently for me. They had a bunch of homework. I first helped Yessica learn the properties of real numbers. I am quickly learning the vocab in Spanish, but sometimes I still have to check in the book for what to say. Next up was Dena. I couldn’t believe it, she had the assignment involving solving a system of three equations. This is the longest and most tedious one I give to my Algebra 2 students every year. They always come back the next day hating me for how long it took to finish. Well, she did a great job but it took almost 3 hours to do all 7 problems by hand. I don’t think they are going to use matrices to solve them. Here is an example:

2x + 3y – 4z = -16

x – 2y + z = 8

-x – 4y + 3z = 16

Hmmm… since there won’t be any exciting motorcycle stories for a while, how about the first person to email me with the correct answers for x, y, and z gets a shout-out in the blog? (Yes, I'm a dork, I know.)

Now is a good time to introduce the girls! Here are links.

These are the second year girls:

These are the first year girls:

I left around 7:30, only to head over to the corner store in the plaza. Beatriz works there, and I know her from summers of buying water for Rustic students at the store. Well, Tuesday I had the math textbook and I joked if she wanted to study math. She said she actually could really use some help. So I offered! I got to the store around 8 and we worked on some tough mixed fraction, complicated denominator, addition and subtraction problems. It seems like almost everyone I meet around here and tell about what I am doing needs help in math. I may extend my services to others around town. We will see how time goes.

Finally, Tutoring at the Dorm!!!

August 28 to 30, 2011

Monday, I awoke at the Loayza’s and moved my stuff back to the volunteer house. I figured that would be a good spot to stay until I could find a permanent place. The morning consisted of an important meeting between me and Elena. She outlined the list of things that I would be able to contribute to the dorm. It was long, and I felt good about the fact that I would have a lot to do. I am used to such long days teaching and being involved in many activities at GHHS, so I was afraid that I would not have much to do down here besides tutoring.

After the meeting I had to search for my first lunch. A former volunteer Max suggested a place outside the plaza. They have what is called a menรบ. This means there is one cheap option everyday that changes. This daily option there costs $1.40. It was a huge bowl of soup, a drink, and a big plate of rice, fries, and fried trout. I was so full afterwards. I think I will be able to stay under budget if I can continue to eat like that.

Essentially, every day the girls return to the dorm about 2 pm. They relax and eat lunch. The volunteers arrive around 3:30 to help the girls with their homework and lead extra classes. Also, some days during the week paid tutors (teachers) arrive and help them with reading and writing.

I will obviously be helping the girls with their homework on a daily basis. Besides that, one of my first tasks is to create a diagnostic test to see where the girls are at. After administering that, I will teach a remedial math class several times a week to help the girls with their basic skills. I also am going to work on a business plan to possibly build and maintain a galpone at the dorm. There is an organization that will pay for it, but they need a well put together document outlining exactly what that looks like. Haha, this is exactly what I have done with Rustic over that past two summers, I know a little about building and maintaining one of those. The goal is to get the dorm to start generating some money on its own and not have to rely completely on donations. In addition to those tasks, I am going to support students from the summer (and Interact as well) who expressed interest in creating clubs at their own school to raise money for and spread the word about the dorm. Hopefully there will be Skype conversations and pen pals in the future.

So, that afternoon was my first day there. Right away I helped Noami work through a few questions on her second trimester exam. It is a very important exam that covers all the classes that the students take. One problem we did was how to turn a repeating decimal into a fraction. It had been awhile since I had done that because my students have a magical little button on their calculators that does it for them. So right away I learned that the students down here do EVERYTHING without a calculator. Interesting. Mr. Quick would love that. I then helped Katy with her English homework. She had to translate a bunch of words and write them over and over. Some of the words in English were spelled wrong, I am not sure if she copied them down wrong from the board or if the teacher made the mistakes. All in all, it was a productive first day. I left around 7:30 and fell asleep soon after. I was still tired from the crazy weekend.

Tuesday I got up and headed into the plaza for breakfast. I want to get a daily routine started, so I needed to find a cheap breakfast place. The upper floor of the market is going to be a great place for me. I can get a freshly blended fruit and vegetable smoothie for $1. And that buys four glasses of it!! It is a meal in itself. After that I really needed to lock down where I was going to stay for the next four months. It turns out I heard back from the owner of the volunteer house and it is a reasonable price for the time I will be here. So that’s it, I have a new home. The plusses are many, hot shower, washing machine, kitchen, couches, DVD player/TV, comfortable bed, a balcony overlooking the ruins, and Elena has a mobile USB stick with medium internet that I can use most of the time. The cons are that I have a room with four beds, so as other volunteers come in I have to share the room. That isn’t too bad.

View of the ruins from my balcony

View of the street from my balcony

My new room

I also started my Spanish lessons with Maria. She is the house sitter who lives at the dorm during the week and takes care of the girls. She lives in Cusco but comes Sunday night through Friday morning to work. When the girls are at school she has free time to chat. So it looks like every morning around 11 am I will be improving my Spanish.

Tuesday is when the language tutors come for the first year girls. I sat in on the class to see what they were learning and to see how the well the tutor worked with the girls. There was a problem though, only two girls were there!! It turns out the anniversary of the school is next week, and all this week and next the students only have half of their classes and the rest of the time is spent learning dances for the festival. Hmmm, not cool. The girls are never supposed to miss Tuesday tutoring, but someone from the school wrote a note that if the girls missed dance practice they would be given zeros in their classes. Whatever. Following tutoring I helped Elizabeth find all the prime numbers from 2 to 100. I actually learned a few new tricks about how to discover what numbers can divide into things from the textbook. After that, we read a few books in Spanish aloud to work on reading comprehension. We actually read through a bit of The Alchemist (in Spanish of course) as well, since it was a higher reading level. She did a great job.

As the other first year girls eventually showed up, I asked why none of them were asking me for help in math, but the second year girls were. I assumed it was because they don’t know me yet and were shy. It turns out their math teacher stopped showing up last week and might have quit. There isn’t a replacement available. Really?

Tuesday night I plugged in my portable DVD player and watched a movie for the first time since like February. They sell any movie you want down here for $1. I started with Transformers 3 which I bought earlier in the summer the day it came out in theaters. It obviously is bootlegged and illegal to bring home, but I figured it was a cheap rental to say the least.

So far my first impressions are that I will be very busy and be doing very fulfilling work. Life is good.