Marquette Meets Peru: Gabrielle Wroblewski

This summer, seven of our undergraduate teacher education students and one intrepid faculty member are spending a month in Peru studying the educational system and discussing their own philosophies of education. They are writing and reflecting on their journey, and we are following along! Read on for excerpts and blurbs from Dr. Gibson and the students’ blogs. You can read more on Marquette Meets Peru and check back for updates here.  

Gabrielle Wroblewski

I really try to understand what is being said, and I can understand some words here and there, but nowhere near to having a full understanding. Needless to say, it has been a challenging and learning experience with the language barrier, but I hope to expand my knowledge of Spanish while I am here.

On the plane ride to Peru from Miami, I sat next to a woman who is from Lima, so I was able to learn a lot of tips about Lima from her. She told me about the social class in Lima and said that there is becoming more of a divide between the wealthy and the poor in Peru. She said that when one goes out at night to bars, for example, one has to dress to the nines otherwise they will be looked down upon by others and be thought of as not good enough. This was interesting to hear from her because one of the readings talked about the social hierarchy in Peru, so I liked being able to get an actual Peruvian’s perspective in person. This social hierarchy was not something that I had experienced the last time I was in Peru because when I was on vacation, I mostly only saw the first-class part of Peru. The trip catered to my family and the fact that my grandparents had the money to pay for the trip. Since it was known that my family was able to pay to come here and to travel five stars, then we were shown the best of the best parts of Peru. I even remember the tour guide talking about how there was no crime in Lima, and obviously that is a very inaccurate statement because there are very poor and crime-ridden areas in Lima. The tour guide just wanted to keep a “mask” over Lima, instead of showing what it really is like. My family knew that the tour guide was lying because it is impossible not to have crime in a city, especially with over 10 million people, so being on this education experience, I am able to actually see the different parts of Lima, and see what Lima truly is, without having a “mask” over it.

In Pueblo Libre, I was surprised to see how many green spaces and parks there are in the city. I had assumed that there wouldn’t be a lot of them, and that only the very wealthy areas had them, so it was a pleasant surprise to see all the parks. In addition to the parks, I also have noticed, of course, all of the traffic (that is in Lima in general), but also the advertisements have a lot of white people on them, such as models for hair. I thought this was interesting since the majority of people in Peru are not white. This was something that was talked about in the first orientation class. I also noticed that all of the people I have ran into do not speak English, or if they do, it’s only a little bit. This is also contrasting to when I went on vacation last summer, because those who are in the travel business and are associated with five-star places, must know English, or at least have a pretty good understanding of it and are able to communicate relatively well. Having to live in a house with the host parents not being able to speak English was very intimidating, and it still is challenging because I do not know a lot of Spanish. I really try to understand what is being said, and I can understand some words here and there, but nowhere near to having a full understanding. Needless to say, it has been a challenging and learning experience with the language barrier, but I hope to expand my knowledge of Spanish while I am here.

The food here is as good as I remember it! On the first day I was here, Caroline and I walked around Pueblo Libre to get a lay of the land, and during that time, we had lunch at a local restaurant. I was nervous eating there because when I am on vacation my family and I don’t eat at the local restaurants, so it was a new experience, but it was a great one. The food was great, and it was the first time that I had chicha! I wasn’t in love with it, but I didn’t hate it either. Every dish just has such good flavor it is impossible not to not like everything. The food isn’t the only thing that I love, I really enjoy just being able to see how the people of Peru live day-to-day because I never got to experience that while I was on my trip last year. Like I said before, it was a very one-sided, sugar-coated perspective of Lima that I was introduced to while on my trip, so I wasn’t able to see how people actually lived, or what Lima is really like. I think it is important that when one is on vacation they realize that they most likely do not “know” a country, they’ve only seen a certain side of it. During my family’s Peru trip, my sisters and I really wanted to just walk around a town to see what life was really like in Peru, and to get to know a town, but it is hard to do that when there is an itinerary, so finally being able to see a country from both perspectives is something that I have always wanted to do, which is why I am so thankful to be able to participate in this program.

 

 

 

 

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