Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Earthcakes and chocolate quake.

:) A day apart, but still. Does life get better? On Sunday, we had a 'tremor' in Lima. It only lasted fifteen seconds or so, but it was totally chevere! I was unfortunately in the least exciting place ever... my desk. Very upsetting, but it was much better than sleeping through it like the last two tremors.

Then on Monday, i went to a friends house (Sara, she's awesome!) for chocolate cake. Celebrating birthdays is so much fun, especially when it isn't really anyone's birthday. lol. First time i've actually had an "american" style dessert since i've been here. Cake here is just different... good, but different. (ok, i did attempt sugar cookies...)

Then had a fun adventure on the way home. haha... not sure where my mind was exactly, but i paniced on the combi and thought i had passed my 'paradero' (stop). That basically means that i'm in Callao, another district of Peru that is much more dangerous than San Miguel. (Callao is only about a block past my house...) So, i frantically, baja-ed as soon as I could.... only to find that i was still seven blocks from my house. lol. Being cheap, i weighed my chances and decided to freak myself out and watch for robbers for seven blocks at 9:30 PM instead of paying the 50 centimos to get on another combi. lol. I survived though. ;) Than stayed up till 3:30 reading for my control the next day...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

El Bosque

So, last Sunday before i was dying, my family took Becca and I to El Bosque. It's a private club... beautiful! And warm! :) There was sunshine! Anyway, there was a pool, a lake... you know, club stuff. So we had a blast just hanging out and all... my favorite part had to be Danielito. :) My 'nephew' is basically the most adorable thing that speaks Spanish. He's been coming with his parents to our house almost every day and he loves to visit my room. I wish i had toys or books or anything, but he seems to find things that amuse him. He loves my alarm clock (that for some reason, not sure if it's merely the battery or the fact that whatever black stuff is used to make the numbers started spreading all over the little screen, but it doesn't work anymore) anyway... he uses it as a cell phone. I think he gets the greatest pleasure from hanging up on people though. jaja. He's three though, so i've been loving the playtime!

Also was able to see my brothers play soccer for the first time. I was pretty excited to see Daniel play since that is his job. Granted, he was playing against normal people so he wasn't going all out, and his team won every time anyway... but it was still sweet! Very very nice footwork! Reminded me of Nate's team though, a little bit unbalanced. My brothers were on the same team, but Danny had half the goals and Ernie had half the goals... I'm not sure where the other people were. I think i remember there being other people on the team... maybe i dreamed them. Not sure. :)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Prayer Please!

Many of you know that i have come to Peru with a few friends from GCC. Well, if you don't know Daniel, guarenteed, you've heard me talk about him and his brother Austin. Anyway, I found out today that Daniel went to the hospital here in Lima this past week and stayed for a few days. He, obviously, was really sick. A few doctors wanted to operate and he even made it into the OR before the surgeon told him that he didn't need the operation. Daniel was in class this morning, and is feeling a bit better, but is still sick and has little strength since he didn't eat for a week. Please, please keep him in your prayers! It's tough enough just being sick in a different country, but being really sick....just pray that he continues to heal quickly and that he has the strength to continue with his studies and daily life here in Lima. Thanks all!

Friday, May 21, 2010

from visits to chillin to scrapes and bruises

With the end of Lunahuana, traveling with ISA is finished. I'm definitely not through with traveling... i still want to see alot of places, but i'm fine with not traveling for a few weeks. I really just don't want to pack/unpack again, i've done that soo many times in the past few months.

Alright, so... blog posts will either become exciting as i write more about daily life... or more boring. I guess you all can choose. I'm going to try to catch up to my present state of near-death sickness, but we'll start back a few weeks... with the visit from the boy.

So, as many/some of you know, Harry came to visit Lima. aka, to see me. Since he came, i wasn't going to tell him i wouldn't see him, so we spent at least a few hours together basically every day for a week. If nothing else came of it, i practiced my Spanish alot! He's a gentleman, no doubt about it. His mother did a wonderful job at raising him (she also, seems really really nice! I talked to her on the phone for a while one night. She told me that she had been waiting to talk to me since harry told her about me. It sort of cracked me up, but she asked me what i had done that changed her son? I didn't do anything... but she assured me that he son did not always smile all the time and definitely did not walk around the house singing before he met me. lol) Anyway, he made his feelings clear, but then said he would respect whatever decision i make...implying that he would wait however long it takes for me to know what i want. jaja, as if i have any idea.

After the boy, we had midterms week... yuck! The only good thing was that we had no classes... so life was looking up. Since i am only taking three courses, I didn't have that much work to do... and my history of peru class didn't have a midterm. :) So basically, i had an entire week to study/do whatever i wanted. So i studied some, went to a bbq with a Peruvian friend Luis... met a really cool guy from Germany who lives less than 10 km from Kandern (where i was last winter), hung out with Rita (whom i haven't seen in ages!), went shopping, talked with family from home, watched a movie (ahh exciting!), wasted time, listened to muic, slept.... the list goes on. It was a chill week more or less... and definitely needed!
(here i have to insert our family trip to El Bosque, but since i have lots of pics and stuff, i'll do that in a different post.)
Now that i had two wonderful weeks, i guess balance was working against my favor cause the next two weeks were not so fun. Run-ins with guys have to be my least favorite part of Peru...and this one was the worst by far. See, i meet these wonderful guys in Lima (like Luis) who i can joke with and have a good time with. Then there are those other guys... so, Tuesdays i have history of Peru with Becca, the other girl who lives with the Maldonado family. After class we typically just go home, but today, she asked if i minded chilling for a while. She had a friend that wanted to meet up with her after class and she asked if i would come along. Sure, i'll come meet Alfonso. :) No prob. Alfonso, although a little sketchy, was quite nice compared to his friend... whose name i can't remember. Richy maybe... oh well, we'll call him that anyway. So, Alfonso has a car, a very nice car in fact... and we were chilling listening to a CD that he bought and talking. So far, so good... then Richy shows up. And we went for a drive.... Let's just say that in the backseat of a car, there isn't very far you can go to get away from someone. Thank goodness we don't live very far away, cause the looks i was getting were not "i want to be your friend" sort of looks and he already had his arm around my shoulders.
To top that... the past four days, i've been dying. Literally. Starting Tuesday night with a slight headache, i've been exponentially getting worse. Everyone blames it on the climate change which could very well be, but I don't get sick like this very often. My head felt like it would explode for two days straight, my throat swelled up, i couldn't breathe, my ears were killing me. I was basically a mess. The girl who hates pills made it a total of four hours... at 2 am wednesday morning, i couldn't take it any longer. I feel like a druggie cause i've taken been taking pills to keep me sane. And, to make it worse, I can't sleep. I fall asleep for an hour or an hour and a half max, and i wake up. I much prefer my ability to sleep through anything! I am, finally, on the mend today. I woke up and feel so much better. Now, it's like a normal cold/cough, nothing i can't handle. Well, that and i don't have much of a voice. But it's coming back... and today is Friday so i don't have classes. yay! I slept until 10:30 today... the latest i've slept since coming to Lima in February!


Totally found my favorite sign in Peru.

"Being sad is prohibited" lol. I don't have a problem with that. The fact that i'm always happy throws alot of people in peru for a loop. I can't tell you how many people have asked me why i'm always smiling. Personally, i can't imagine how utterly terrible it would be to not smile all the time. David, being the rebel that he is, just had to be sad. jaja.

Anyway... on to my day. I had a really rough time making a decision about this trip. To go or not to go... that was the question. On the up side... white water rafting. :) How totally awesome would that be? On the down side... back surgery... what would be the consequences of that sort of stress. And down side number two: the boy was visiting me in Lima this week and Lunahuana would mean an entire day out of the city. I chose to go... obviously.

And it was incredible! We had soo much fun! The three words of the day were definitely "alto, adelante, y atras" Although none of us had any idea what we were doing, we definitely had a blast! And we almost flipped our boat which was totally awesome. :) The guide asked us if we wanted to have some fun, and of course we said yes.... so he took us through the worst section of the river... It was fun, yes, but we almost died in the process. lol.

Towards the end, he asked if anyone wanted to swim it. Psh, totally! So i jumped in and almost died...again. Yeah, it was totally awesome, but i had absolutely no control over where i was going. Slightly scary, but definitely worth it! Sorry, pictures are scarce since we couldn't take cameras...

The day turned out to be great, minus the five hours in a bus for an hour and a half of white water rafting. As much as i'm growing to love boats, I'm growing to dislike long bus rides... especially when it's dark out and i can't see anything.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

final day in Huancayo

We made two really quick stops before lunch, I'm summing them up in one word each: 1. weaving and 2. bees. :) ok. can't do one word each. Teh weaving was really cool! obviously... although it wasn't quite as fascinating as the time in Cusco. Here, it seemed like it was more of an obligation to get you to buy from them. In Cusco, they were actually interested in teaching. The bees, were cool. But bees in Peru are basically the same as the bees in the states. We did get to try free honey though and that was quite tasty. :)

Lunch. lol... here's my lunch. :) I really wanted to eat the eyeball just to say i did it, but i chickened out. Sorry Randi! i might have just failed at eating everything you would... haha.

Last stop of the day was a lagoon! I love boats... I have discovered that here. Just a random factoid about myself. We were only here for a half hour because we were running late again. It seems like we're always late, but really it's the Peruvian lifestyle. That's just how it works. We left Junin early afternoon so that we would arrive back to Lima before 1 am. We ended up getting back around 11:20 or so. And! I finally got to meet my Peruvian mom! She came back from Spain on Friday after Becca and I had left. So, mis padres y mi hermano Ernie came to pick us up and we went out to eat. :) Yep... 11:45. lol.

new clothes!!!

I am so bringing the Ashaninka look to the states! jaja!

I really think it will be a big hit! Maria, i know you are quite jealous... don't worry. I bought you an outfit so that we can match later. ;) I know you are going to wear it like every day.

If you haven't figured it out, we visited a native village and they gave us clothes so that we could participate in the native dances... lol. I was impressed by the beading, but can't say the dress does much for me... it's sort of shapeless and not the prettiest color. The guy who welcomed us though, he spoke first in the native language and i have to admit, it was awesome! It sounds so cool!

Now, i know you are all waiting, so here he is! The child of the trip. I've discovered that if i were ever to commit a crime, i think it would be kidnapping. I just want to keep them all!

After the native village, we did some more driving. Seems like i'm always in a bus... and today especially! By the end of the day, i had spent more than eight hours in a bus. Talk about tiring! But as the sun was setting, it was beautiful!

We went to a butterfly sanctuary, but unfortunately, we arrived later than originally planned and the butterflies were already 'sleeping' for the night. We only got to see three or four and they weren't very brightly colored. It was disappointing.

The exciting part of the butterfly sanctuary was the animals. Ok, so i have no idea what these things are called exactly (i was asking Maria Elena a question and missed the guides speech...) I do, however, know exactly what they are! ROUSes!!!!! Rodents of unusual size from The Princess Bride! Check these things out! It's hard to get a size guestimate here, but think racoon-like... a big racoon!

Catarato El Tiro... sorry

haha, that little ripple is not the waterfall. Oops, let's try this again - Here is the waterfall!

Friday, May 14, 2010


Day two started with a three hour drive into the selva. :) Today includes an incredible amount of driving... which is quite unfortunate. Especially since i can't read on the bus. i think it's less the bus, more the roads. I don't think the concept of straight exists here...

Waterfall number 1: Catarata Cabello de Angel ... quite beautiful, but too far away to hear. and the sound just might be my favorite part of waterfalls...

Waterfall Number 2 (abajo): Bridal Veil falls (why is this such a popular waterfall name? Can't we come up with something a little different?)

So, while we were chilling near waterfall number 2, there were guys working on the next stretch of road. No big deal... we couldn't hear them, they didn't bother us, it was all peachy. But i can't lie... i was greatly amused at the differences between the states and Peru. In the states, there is a little rock slide and they close the road till it's the states, if there is more than a two foot drop, more than likely, you've got a guard rail. Haha, not in Peru!
In Peru, we've got a drop of about 20 ft... if not more. And there is no guardrail in sight. Not only that, but half of the road decided that it didn't want to be part of the hill anymore, but would rather be part of the valley down below. So, we have this brilliant idea to put up yellow caution tape on these flimsy poles so that the people realize you can't use that lane. The concept of a lane, however, is also foreign (seriously, the people here are so used to it, they probably would have stayed in the lane and just woven in and out of the parts that were missing. Regardless of the fact that the rest of it could fall at any moment). If you were trained to drive defensively in the states... don't drive in Peru.

They tell me that the best is yet to come, so i'm still waiting for the last waterfall... This one, we had to walk to... about a half hour through the jungle. :) Stupid me, i thought i could make it without bugspray... i did it in Iquitos for two days and only came home with one bug bite... here (southern Peru), aparentely, the bugs are different. I hope i don't die. jaja. The walk to the waterfalls was absolutely beautiful. I can't even begin to describe how much i love the selva. Everything is just sooo green and full of life. It's absolutely beautiful!


We finally got to the waterfall... I was climbing all over the place, and ended up taking pictures of the group 'swimming' in knee deep water. I took some pics, but then i went to get in the water too... It was sweet! So much power behind that little spout of water. It was basically awesome! I took a ton of pics, but the mist was so bad, that not many of them are clear. You can make out people and more than likely tell by the swimsuit who it is, but they are all really blurry. Here's one of the first ones that i took before my camera became so waterlogged that i got worried it would never work again. It still works though! No worries... that camera has been through everything i think. It survived 24 kids in Guate last year, it survived freezing weather in the Swiss alps, it's survived multiple falls and wettings in Peru and I'm sure it will be through more before i finish with it. :) Anyway, we got alot closer to the waterfall after this, to the point where it was hard to stand up because of the water swirling around your legs... so, it was a sweet experience, but a wet one and i had no towel to dry off... Yep. i'm that lazy, i decided i didn't feel like carrying a towel on a 30 minute hike... so i didn't. I'm sure i'll learn someday, but i'm not sure when it will click.

So, today, I was completely disappointed for the first time in Peru. :( So, we went to this awesome little restaurant to eat lunch. We didn't eat until like three, so i was basically famished (breakfast was at 7). So, we're allowed to order whatever we want and i open the menu and the house specialty is VENISON! I was basically exstatic. No, that doesn't even describe it. I was soo ready to order. I was going to order venison, now that is my kind of meat. I'm done with the chicken/fish that everyone eats here... it was time for the real stuff.

And then my order came. :( Who knew venison in peru is completely different from venison en los estados. It was sort of tough and not very yummy. I was bitterly disappointed... The rice wasn't cooked either. It was a very disappointing meal...well, except that we had yucca. :) That made it slightly better, but didn't make up for the venison. I think i can officially say that venison is now my favorite meat...and my least favorite at the same time.

So, i'm getting tired of dragging pictures around on here, so i'm going to post and start another one for the post-lunch adventure.

Friday, May 7, 2010


This adventure started off with a thirteen hours in a train. How totally awesome is that? My "plan" was to work on homework for the majority of the ride... and look out the window of course, but i quickly decided that I didn't really want to do that. I tried though, honest. I went back to the bar where it's in the open air and you are allowed to stand up and move around. I brought my homework, but ended up meeting a guy. :) Story of my life here...

Anyway, his name is Miguel and he was really nice, overly nice maybe, he's definitely a charmer. But, we talked for like three hours (he speaks fluent English, so we had the sweet sort of Spanglish going on) and just watched that landscape change. Beautiful! After lunch and an accidental hour nap, i met up with him again at the bar. He'd been offering to buy me a drink all morning, and i finally gave in. After two months of living in a country where everyone drinks about every weekend, i gave in to my first Bailey. He was actually quite sweet about it and bought me "a lady's drink". He worked as a bar tender for a few years before he was promoted and he promised me i wouldn't get drunk. haha. I was really surprised, but it was quite good. I guess the creme part of it covered up the nasty alcohol flavor enough that i wasn't grossed out. We hit the highest point in the trip. If i'm not mistaken, this was like the second highest railway summit in the world. It was cold!!! And snowing! Not hard enough that there was snow on the ground, but it was in the air... little tiny, almost invisible flakes. But it was there at 15, 681 ft. :)

That evening, they had a "fiesta" in the bar. Music and dancing to break up the monotony of the ride... It was alot of fun! I think we were all so tired of not doing anything, that we were all a bit loco.

We finally, finally arrived in Huancayo around six thirty or so. We met up with our guide outside and boarded the bus that took us to our hotel. Later, about ten of us met in the lobby to go out to eat. Chifa! It was so good, as usual. There was talk of going to a discoteca tonight, but we all dropped that idea in favor of going to the hotel and watching TV. haha, it's sad that we're on vacation and are all excited about watching tv, but honestly, none of us have watched tv in like months.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


The city of Cusco. :) Random pics...again. We spent our last day in the city... being Easter Sunday, I chilled in my room for a while. During the afternoon, Rita and i decided to go wandering. Everyone had disappeared to who knows where (we apparently missed the memo). oh well, we had a grand time roaming the city. The only problem was that it was hard to navigate. We didn't really want to get lost, so we tried to stick to the larger streets and walk for a while and just turn around. Well, you know how that works, you see something down this street and you go to see what it is and yeah: lost. We did make it back to our hotel though and we went with Andy (one of the ISA peoples) on a city tour. He has lived in Cusco so he knows alot of the history of the city which was really interesting!

Dinner, I went out with about seven friends and we tried cuy. :) It actually wasn't terrible. Definitely not my favorite food ever, but it wasn't bad. I can't really say it tasted like greasy chicken like everyone says. It was greasy without a doubt, but i couldn't really say it tasted like chicken. It was pretty sweet to see that thing on a plate though. Like, they give you the whole thing. Guinea pig on a plate... with french fries. :) lol.
Just for an interesting fact. Alpaca... is really good. I tried that in Aguas Calientes. That i could eat alot of. But my favorite meat by far has been Anticucho. Never in my life thought i would say this, but a month having passed since i tried it for the first time, i can say that i've had it three or four more times. Me, being cheap, decided to eat on the streets on day (spent less than 2 dollars and was so full i couldn't move). So i bought anticucho and tried it. Yum, yum, yum. Maybe it's just the way they cook it here, but cow heart never sounded very appealing in the states. Or maybe it's just the fun name: anticucho.