Today’s trip to the prison was full of all kinds of unexpected happenings, leading to no class! When I arrived at the prison a new set of guards were on duty, all of whom I didn’t know. Initially, they refused to let me in, telling me that today was a holiday and I wasn’t allowed to have my class. I asked if I could at least tell the women that we would have no class and, while I waited for a response, the prison director poked his head through the door slot and told me I could enter. I’m glad I’m on his good side!
Once I entered, the female guard searched me, more thoroughly than usual, and, for the first time, took my hat! Security is very strict on holidays, I suppose. I finally arrived at the women’s area at 9:30, only to discover that they had a mandatory exercise session. Two women had somehow opted but the rest were headed towards the men’s court. They assured me that the exercises would only last an hour, but one thing I know about Peru is everything takes longer than expected. Also, even if the exercises did end on time, it wouldn’t be until 10:45 until all the women were back in the women’s area, leaving us only an hour for class. Many of the women didn’t realize we had class today, due to the holiday, and were as disappointed as I was when we realized the exercises were going to interfere.
Today’s project is the hardest yet and I realized an hour would not be sufficient time to teach the women the project. Additionally, the women learn at different paces and, although I try to keep the class together, inevitably I end up teaching in small groups who work at the same pace. If I started the class today, Thursday would be chaos, with everyone needing to learn a different step in the project. Although it pained me, I decided to postpone class until Thursday because I felt this particular technique needed a cohesive class.
Even though we didn’t have class, I had errands to run for the women. Yesterday they sent me to find three types of fabric for the product order. Two of the types of fabric I was familiar with and found easily in the market, however the third was a mystery to me. After searching the market for 30 minutes I found, what I thought, was the fabric. Today I learned I bought the wrong fabric and had to take it back to the market stall to return. Understandably, the owners were perturbed with the stupid gringa, but eventually they returned the money and took back the fabric. All other fabric stores are closed today due to the holiday. Tomorrow morning will be dedicated to searching Ayacucho for “dril”.