Thursday, May 19, 2011

One Door Closes and Three Open!

What a busy couple of weeks! I had the experience of a big door being shut in my face. I was politely told via email that I didn’t get the job with Maximo Nivel. I know it’s because of my association with my friend’s company that rivals Maximo. I think it is absolutely absurd that they didn’t even give me a second interview after I received such an awesome recommendation letter from Tom, the general manager. I also think it is absurd that they thought I might share information with my friends, the rivals. I am not an idiot and I have integrity but they don’t see it that way. Oh well, I would much rather have what is coming my way behind the following three doors than be in a job that made me work almost 60 hours a week for $135 a week with bosses that didn’t trust me.

Let’s see what is behind…..

Door number 1: Pasta Mama is officially open and we are serving delicious pastas and baked goods. I personally think the peanut butter banana cake is the best. I really enjoy working with Marissa and today she was so sweet by telling me how much she appreciated my help with everything and that she really doesn’t think that it would have come together with out my help. That made me feel really good. I couldn’t be happier to have the opportunity to work with her and be a part of such a fun and exciting adventure! So far some of my wonderful Maximo friends have come by to try it out and the reviews are good so far! Yay!

Door number 2: Last week I was perusing the expatriates in Peru facebook page and saw an ad for a violin teacher in Cusco at the institute Qantu in San Blas. I didn’t give it much thought considering I didn’t bring my violin to Peru with me nor do I have a Suzuki teaching certification. Well, the very next day, Angela, Michael’s daughter (Micheal is one of my bandmates), called me and asked me if I was interested in teaching for Qantu. Of course, I was to come to a group lesson and play for everyone to make sure that I was up to par. I hadn’t found out about the Maximo position at this point but I figured why not. Even if I had gotten the Maximo job I would have still liked to teach a few lessons on the weekends if possible. I decided to go and what followed was nothing I would have ever dreamed to have happened in the States. The director explained everything to me about teaching there and told me they would be more than delighted to have me teach at the school even though I have had no formal teacher training to teach violin. I have, however, gone through the Suzuki method so I am familiar with how it works and the theory behind it. They are desperate for teachers especially since Melissa is going to Holland either in June or July and another teacher lives in Colla which is 2 hours from Cusco and she doesn’t want to continue with the commute. That leaves Angela who would have to teacher 50+ students a week if it was just her, which is insane! On top of everything, I received an email from a concerned parent who practically begged me to join the Qantu family and teach for the sake of Angela’s sanity and so that more students will be able to take violin lessons. How could I have said no?

So, I am now in the process of observing and absorbing as much as I can within the next week. I have a meeting tomorrow with the parents of the teacher who lives in Colla. We are going to chat and set up a schedule to start lessons as soon as possible even though I would love to have a bit more time to prepare and rack Angela and Melissa’s heads and notes from their Suzuki courses they have taken in Lima. We have a study session/crash course set for Monday evening. I am super excited! After observing a few classes of Angela’s and Melissa’s, I know that I am getting into a big challenge but not something that is beyond me. I know I will make mistakes and there will be flaws but my intentions are good and I know that I can give my students, at the very least, encouragement and excitement about learning to play the violin. I also have the fun task of learning all the technical terms and songs and rhythms in Spanish. ☺

One of the coolest things about all of this (not including the ridiculously good pay for the amount of time I will be working) is the opportunity to get certified to teach the Suzuki method in Lima in January of next year. Every January Qantu closes and all the teachers go to Lima to take a few methodology/certification classes. What’s really awesome is that by getting certified there, I will be able to teach in North and South America. Never, ever did I think I would pursuing violin here but my violin has always had a way of getting back to me. It happened in college after I decided not to bring my violin to school with me. I joined bluegrass ensemble and ended up having an amazing experience. Again, I did not bring my violin with me and now I have found myself in the process of learning to teach and teaching violin! Fortunately, Angela has lent me an extra violin she has. I can’t wait to get my violin when my mom comes to visit in October or November. In the meantime, I definitely want to try and get my books and a few things sent to me soon, including my shoulder rest.

Door number 3: The Experiment in International Living Abroad finally got back to me about an interview. They said they had the wrong number or it didn’t work. Anyway, they wanted to know if I could make an interview in Chicago but I responded to them explaining that I currently live in Cusco Peru and an interview in Chicago was not going to work. They responded with a thank you and a “we will be in touch with you within the next week or so to schedule an phone interview”. It has been 6 days since I received that email. Considering it took them 2 weeks to respond to an inquiry question I had about my application, I have a feeling I might have to wait another 5 days. I am not complaining! If I get this job I would be ecstatic! Qantu knows about it to and said that it is OK as long as I make up all the classes that are lost while I am gone. DONE!

Life is so good right now. I can’t complain one bit and I know that things happen for a reason. Call it God’s will or karma or good luck, all I know is that I am super happy and excited for everything that has happened and that is to come!


  1. AMY!!! I love your positive attitude... never have I seen this girl get bummed when she doesnt get what she wants- always looking on the bright side! I am so sad to leave you this week... but I know our paths will cross again, whether back here in Peru, Costa Rica, the US.... really anywhere in the world right? Also, hopefully your mom will read this comment as I am coming to Chicago in the middle of June and would love to meet her! Okay chica... hope we get lots more time in before I leave on Sunday, but I am gonna miss you SOOO much! xoxo

  2. Hi Amy, I came upon your blog while I was looking for other people who are planning on making a move to Peru. I've been reading your blog and I find it very interesting because this is exactly what I'm thinking to do. You look like you're having a blast!
    I will be in Cuzco in June and was wondering how you came about to buying tix, one way or round? I have been having difficulty explaining to my family about what I want to do and they are no taking it well.
    I already have a place to live there and have my TEFL certificate so what you have been doing is what I will do eventually. I have been to Cuzco twice already and have loved it! I'm trying to get some ideas on what to do. I wish you the best of luck on everything.