Today was my first day of my trial week of classes. I woke up at 5:50 a.m. in order to get ready, eat breakfast, and head off to the university for my 8 a.m. class. First of all let me say, that all my classes were good today and there weren't any that I absolutely hated. My first class was Comunicacion Social. The class is mostly about different forms of communication and how they relate to society. Today we talked about what communication is and the different types (oral, symbolic, etc.) The professor was pretty nice and funny and she made the whole class laugh with me. Turns out I am the only foreign student in the class and my name wasn't on the attendance sheet because the exchange students don't register until next week. So when the professor asked if she was missing anyone I raised my hand and told her my name and explained that I wouldn't be on the list. She asked my last name and she gave me a funny look (as always, even in the states :)) and I started to spell it for her and then she said "Okay, just Andrea." The whole class laughed, including myself. It was great! I also spoke up once in class, too, which felt pretty good. :)
My second class was a required CIEE class Realidad Social Peruana, which I don't really know how to explain, but it's mostly just learning about all different aspects of Peru. We really didn't do too much learning today, but I can tell that I am already going to like the professor a lot! After this class,I had my first school lunch rather than lunch from home. I had chicharrones which is just fried pork or chicken or something. :) They were good. Also, I spent my lunch period trying to figure out where to travel. I think in two weeks I am going to go to Nazca, but we'll see! Hopefully!! After lunch, I had another required class, which is just a Spanish writing workshop. We will mostly just be writing and working on grammer in this class. Today we wrote about why our majors are important in the world.
Finally, my last class was Etnografia Amazonica. This class is about the Amazon as well as the people and cultures that exist in the Amazon. Today was a little boring because we just talked about the different parts of the Amazon, climate, etc., but I'm sure once we start talking about the cultures it will get a lot more interesing!
Now for a few interesting things. The regular paper here is larger than 8 1/2 by 11. Now you wouldn't think this would be a big deal, but all of my papers that I got today stick out the top of my spiral and it's kind of annoying. :) What a silly thing to be annoyed by I know, but I just found it interesting. So rather than actually asking someone (which I should've done, I know, I still can) I "googled" it. Come to find out the majority of the world uses this paper size expect for the United States, Canada, and a few other countries here and there. Apparently the U.S. isn't trying to conform with their paper standards. :)
Next fun fact, there are no clocks in the classrooms, luckily I have a watch, but what if I didn't. Three of my classes today were two hours long. That's a long class time to not know what time it is. I guess the fact that there's no wall clock has it's advantages and disadvantages though.
Also, many of the streets in Peru have different names! It used to be that each avenue had it's own name and each block on that avenue had a name as well depending on what was on that block. If fishermen lived on the block then the street would be La avenida de pescadores or something like that and it would change if those fishermen moved away. Then, finally the streets were given actual names, but at some point in time (Sorry, I don't remember the year) a majority of the street names were changed, so some people call them by there old names and some by there new names. For example, one president named a street Wilson, after Woodrow Wilson, but the next president didn't like it so he changed it to Garcilaso de la Vega. It's funny because our professor was explaining that the street is known by both names, but Peruvians don't know who either of the people are. ;)
Lastly, one thing that I need to continue thinking about. Ever since I arrived here I've heard the question "¿Por qué Perú?" (Why Peru?) more than once. I really haven't been able to answer that completely since I've been here. All I can really say is "well, I didn't really want to go to Spain." Or maybe, "Well, the dates of the program were perfect so that I didn't miss my sister's wedding." I wish I could better answer this question for the Peruvians. Although I may not be able to answer this question right now, I do know that in four months from now I will be able to answer the question "Are you happy that you chose Peru?" I can kind of already answer that question now, "Yes!" :) Sometimes you just have to go with your gut and hope for the best or if you don't "get the best" than what you do is be positive about every situation that comes you're way. Stay positive, don't miss out, and remember to smile!