Those lines on the street? Just a suggestion. And the one-way arrows? They must have been painted in the wrong direction!
I spend an hour every morning mesmerized by the traffic. Cars, buses, taxis, and mototaxis weave in and out of the lines, speed up and slow down as they please, and miraculously stop just at the right time. Every day, we travel about two-thirds of the sprawling city of Lima, watching the neighborhoods change while dancing the traffic waltz. Sometimes I plan out my day during the commute; other times I just stare out the window, hoping to take it all in before I'm gone.
Sometimes I’m combing my hair in the mirror when the bell rings. Other times I’m in the kitchen, snapping the lid on the Tupperware I bring for lunch when the call comes: 6:50 am, my ride has arrived.
I arrive at the office at 8 am and prepare the lesson plan for the day with my supervisor. We run programs at the community center from 9 to 11 am and again from 3 to 5 pm, working with 12 to 35 kids. The youth health promoters provide support in daily activities, in addition to designing trainings for children and their parents about health-related themes.
Every day at snack time, we sing the champion song for the kids who finish all their food. I extended the meaning of "championhood" to all small victories in life. For example:
- I was picked every single time in "heads-up seven-up."
- I managed to eat fried liver twice for a snack, and convince my school-age companions that not only is it my favorite food, but they also love it!
- Small children jump up and down and scream my name whenever I walk through the community, “Cory MORY cory MORY cory MORY!!!”
I am tired at the end of the day when I get in the car to start my commute home. I watch the houses change as the city moves by slowly in the night traffic. When I step out at my apartment, only the dust on my shoes is left to convince me that this is not just the dream of a champion.