The first Tupac Amaru was not a rapper in L.A. but the last king of the Inkas. He fought against the Spanish conquerors but lost and was executed in Cusco, 1572. The saying is, that he threatened before his execution to come back and revenge the injustice done. This made him a legend and symbol for equality and racial rights movements. Today his name can be found all across Peru as well as in western pop culture. The parents of the Californian 2pac were members of the Black Panter Movement.
Tupac Amaru is also the name of the school in Trujillo, Peru, where I’ll be teaching English during the next two months. The English classes we teach to the primary school kids, are on a very basic level, as none of them ever learned English before. Government laws restrict the volunteering at each school to one year maximum, trying to be fair to all schools. I am glad that we are two volunteers per class, as the 25-30 kids per class can be a bit hard to handle. Even though it does take some energy, school days are rewarding to the most. As we gringos are a rarity, every break we are surrounded by children shouting at us words to translate. After the classes we are kissed and hugged by teachers and students. Altruism is selfish in the end, this is so much fun!
Trujillo is the city with the second largest population in Peru, after Lima. The five volunteers of us are housed near the school, in the Florencia de Mora district. The people in the district live a simple life which contrasts the bohemian city center. We are surrounded by little shops with funky mixed offers. The store across the street is called “polleteria” which means chicken shop. When I saw the little glass vitrine with baked goods in front, I was sure the shield was out of date. I entered the shop and hey, there they were looking at me from their counter (lying there openly, no cooling) next to the toothpastes and sodas. That little apple tart I had spotted was now clearly out of question. As the elderly lady was cutting the chicken for the customer in front of me, holding it with her bare hands, I settled on a soda, I mean it’s in a can, right… As she grabbed my soda with her chicken hands, my facial expression must have given away my feelings. With the sweetest smile she starts wiping my soda with a napkin, touching it all over while she explains to me that there is a lot of dust in her store. As polite grab the soda as polite as I can, with two fingers and hurry home to sponge and soap, thinking about how the first symptoms of salmonella would show.
I am happy to experience life away from hostels and tourists sights. Another great place near our housing is the big market. It holds countless fruits from the amazon region which I have neither seen, nor tasted before. A whole hall is full of bananas, making it look like a genie in the bottle wish of a monkey. Every now and then, I have to hold my breath and look quickly the other way as a table of sheep heads or skinned pork appears in front of me. On our Saturdays grocery stroll one of the boys from school calls us and waves exited. In his hand he holds the ball he sells on his week end job. The image makes me sad but at the same time I am aware that he is still lucky he gets to go to school at all as there are so many children not having this privilege.
#Travel #Peru #2pac