domingo, 10 de mayo de 2009

this and that !

Happy Birthday Gramsssss!! I love you!

I had a great weekend. I went out.. of course. 2nd to last weekend in Lima! Have to! We went out for a while on Thursday night, as we don’t have classes on Friday, and I got a couple free shots for turning 20 at midnight, then we just danced for the rest of the night in Calle de las Pizzas (Lima’s discoteca scene). Then Friday Pilar, my host mom, wait.. back up. Dad called me at, I believe it was 6:35am, which I answered to, and said, “Happy Birthday Molls! Were you sleeping?” no.. who sleeps at 6am – I’m always up! Lol, but it was nice anyway even tho the hour, then Mom called me at nine minutes til 9, which I still wasn’t awake for, lol. I woke up and Elisabeth, my maid gave me a big hug and so did Pilar. I went out to eat for Chifa with Pilar for lunch. , their version of Chinese – it really is the best, a lot healthier and just better and they know it too and talk about it all the time. We had arroz chaufa with chicken and this beef cut thing she likes and some really yummy vegetable chicken dish, along with won tons. I was super full, of course, like every meal, and then she ordered these little mini oranges for me.. which I hated, but I had to eat them because she ordered them for me. Mini oranges in like thing sugary goo-like syrup sauce that’s spicy and you take them with a tooth pick and put them in your mouth.. I don’t know why anyone desires to eat these! But it was very sweet of her and she also got me real silver dangly earrings and a silver bracelet to remind me of her when I leave because she always wears a lot of silver bracelets. I feel very lucky to be with her. Some people are having problems with their host families and Pilar and I are getting along better than ever before. Then I talked took a nap and talked to Paige for a while then tried to call Grams to wish her, but got the answering machine a couple times, and then called Mandy cause she had no way of getting a hold o me and I knew she wanted to talk to me :) lol. Kind of funny… I called HER so she could wish ME a happy birthday lol. And she made me and grams a super cool video on her blog of Presy, which I have not yet heard in sound yet, but I am very excited to! Then I got ready for the night again. Us girls, Chelsea, Amanda, Kia, Bethany, and Ashley, met in Sofa Café in Larcomar where they have these amazing deserts, which I got a “Waffle Forest”.. that has “natural” waffles, and chocolate waffles, stacked of like 5 of them, with raspberries (ohhhh I can’t wait for our raspberries this summer!!) and blueberries and snazberries and berry sauce and powdered sugar and a big scoop of ice cream on the top then a whole cup of chocolate sauce to drizzle all of over it. I have pictures. These waffle tower was impressive. And we indulged and enjoyed (I had help eating this, don’t worry) and then they went and bought me a huge happy birthday balloon at Vivanda (I have no idea how it made it home with me, but I woke up with it this morning! Score! You don’t know how obnoxious this balloon turned out to be lol) went off to this acoustic bar we really like by Parque Kennedy and we got some drinks and they told the waiter it was my birthday… and he brought me a flaming shot! My first flaming shot of the night (there were more to come, I guess a flaming shot is the norm here for birthdays! Come to Lima to do it big!) and I had to suck the shot through a straw (completely completely disgusting – I don’t know what is in these flaming shots, but more than one type of alcohol). And then my girls ordered me a tequila shot and we took that together and then we were off to the next bar! Lol… I got a little obnoxious after that. I basically wanted.. well.. everything free that night, and I asked for a free ice cream cone at Bembo’s (there version of McDonald’s) and they said no.. and I asked for a long time, and they still said no, so Ashley told me to say “Fine, we’re going to McDonald’s then,” … so I did! Lol “Vamos a McDonald’s” with a horrified look on my face and I also did the ssame thing in Burger King.. hmm.. wonder why American’s have the rep they do….:) No ideas. Then we met up with some of our Peruvian friends and we walked into another bar, got me ANOTHER flaming shot! Danced for a little bit, then went on to the next. The night started getting a little blurry after that, I got a couple more tequila shots… a couple more drinks from random people. Like safely.. don’t worry rents. The waiter or bartender always handed them to me. The balloon was a very good idea on my girls’ part because that’s how I got my free drinks. I’d walk in, wave my balloon around to let everyone know. Lol. It was very obnoxious. As you can probably imagine. I made a lot of friends that night tho and a lot of free drinks. Someone read my palm and.. it was a good night. Very very fun. My doorman asked me this morning when he saw me, “What happened to you?” lol!! I told him I went out last night. And tonight doing it again.
I feel so blessed and so lucky! The question of the night was “what do you wish for!” and I really didn’t know because I feel like I have everything! I have an amazing family that calls me at 6am, the time Im born, and 15 other times to wish me, brain waves sent to me so I knew to call another (mandy), amazing people at home who sent me so many messages to wish me and tell me they miss me, and amazing people here that when I said I didn’t want a big fuss about my birthday were not going to let that happen. Our Luther group is so great together. We get along soooo soo well. It’s really cool because none of us knew each other before the trip and now we know each other like the back of our hand. We’ve been through so much together, been through the good times and the hard times, been sick together and stayed out all night together. We all bring something different to the table and our group dynamic could not be better. I will miss them of course when summer comes, these are the people I see every single day! They know everything that happens to me good and bad, fun and not fun! But it’s so cool because we all get each other when we get back to college. There are some downfalls to our program, but this is a huge huge benefit.
I have 12 days left, it doesn’t seem real! I’ve been being touristy and taking pictures of my beautiful city for everyone to see. The places I’m at every day, the center of the city, my house, my room. It’s all so beautiful here. I neeeeeeed to start packing. I don’t know how all this stuff is going to get back. I really really don’t. It’s not going to. It’ll be a miracle. I’m getting excited for stuff. Not feeling sick all the time.. we all get sick so often, just like random stomach problems from the water or food, or head problems from always changing altitudes, or extreme sickness for no apparent reason lol. I didn’t even believe in being sick before this. To feel good for at least a whole week at a time! How different it will be! And food… as good as it is, I’m sick of Peruvian food. I’m sick of it. I never ever want to see rice again. We have rice with everything.. no matter what. You have rice. I’m never eating rice again. Im ready to eat when I want, how much I want, and whenever I want. I want to go back to my snacks and snacking and not eat meals anymore. That’s all I get here.. is meals. That seems like a normal thing.. but for me – it’s completely not! And meals that I don’t even know what it is.. and then rice. And I have to eat a lot of it because I don’t want to waste it. I’ve straight up started telling Elisabeth when it’s too much and tell her that it’s just going to go to waste cause I can’t eat it. And major break through today. I straight up did not touch this casserole stuff I don’t like. I didn’t even try to pretend like I tried it. I’ve been doing this for 4 months now – I’m sick of eating food I don’t like and eating when I don’t want to and stuff I don’t want to and not having my snacks. Lol. Sorry mom, I will be used to eating meals but I just don’t want to when I get back. I haven’t eaten one of my moms meals since.. like when.. like forever just because it’s my way to just snack and that’s what I like doing and I can’t wait to go back to it!!!!! And wheat bread. I can’t wait for wheat bread. It’s basically unheard of here. I hope nobody thinks that I’m going to be this slim Peruvian version of myself.. I’m like a pudgy bunny. Lol it’s true – we are all forced to eat so much, and we get like surprise things like “oh I made this especially for you” or “I saved this for you” lots of our conversations start with, “omg my host mom made me eat….” or “my maid served me 2 plates of…..” So I’m excited for eating when I want, eating what I want, food I like, and snacking. And I can’t wait for my night powerwalking! Completely can’t do that here – way too dangerous for a gringa to be out walking by herself at night, so I’m excited to get back to my routine. And don’t expect me to be tanned just because I live in Perú. It’s winter here. Which basically means 70 and snowpants. It is a little bit colder tho – I can tell, it’s probably like Iowa summer tho, but people wear like boots and scarves and big winter jackets and it’s for real 70 to 75… maybe 65 on a really really cold day. I’m prepping you so you won’t have false expectations about me when I return.
I’m also thinking of burning the clothes I have when I get back. We all have each other’s wardrobes memorized, when we get something at all new, whether it be jewelry, a shirt or a bracelet, we say “is that new!” just because we are used to seeing each other so much and we know every article of everything that we own. I’m sick of wearing and looking at these same clothes I have.
Sometimes I can’t believe that I’ve survived here. This is a huge city and.. I did it! It’s crazy. And I know the city.. people actually ask me questions now. Someone came up to me the other day and said, “you look like you know your way around, do you know where this is.” We know the combi and micro bus system and traffic codes and I have my street lights memorized by Larcomar I’m there so often. We know how much a taxi charges for certain locations and what prices are absolutely absurd. We know which taxis to take and which to stay away from. We know how to bargain for not only taxis but shopping as well. We know the exact time we have to leave so we don’t hit rush hour.. the time that you will be on a micro for 45 min, and the minute past the time when you will be sitting in it for an hour and half. I know rush hour like it’s not even funny. We know where the best spots are and where people get shot in the city and which parts to stay away from, or absolutely not get lost in at night (San Juan). I feel like I know this city and I love this city. I can get around, I can go places, I can be alone in this huge city and be OK. It’s a cool feeling. I will miss this city a lot. All my security guards who keep me safe that I was so scared of at first because I didn’t know why there were so many and all the cat calls that I detested at the beginning. Now when I get them I think it’s funny a lot, some of the things they say are just ridiculous, or when they try and speak in English and say “baby, hunny love” I laugh and think “that’s very good English – impressive,” or it’s funny when they just saw “wow” they will just stop and stare and say that or “como estas amor” – and I will reply to myself, I’m quite fine, thank you for asking. I’m used to creepers. Creepers are a part of every day life and I can handle that now. And there is always someone to help you here. People are watching out for you. There are dangerous people and there are good. We have seen the bad and we have seen the other side too. The people of this city are so very nice. Very willing to answer a question or help you with directions or tell you where their favorite Sushi bar is or dancing discoteca.
I’ve actually learned to chill out about time, if anyone can imagine that at all. Here, 1pm means 2pm, I’ll be there in a little bit can mean 30 min to 2 hours. Peruvian time is at least 15 mins late at the very least. I don’t wear a watch (had to lose that when it pointed me out as a tourist!) and most of the time if I’m not in class I have no idea what time it is – crazy I know! I’ll probably go back when I get to the states of course, life revolves around the clock there, but I know if I am late.. it will be ok and it will not be the end of the world. It’ll be kind of weird to go back to a place where nobody cares about you lol. Well of course the complete opposite, but where people aren’t yelling at me all day and whistling and asking if I want anything all the time and getting into clubs free and all that. I won’t be a celebrity in the states! Lol. That’s what it is – if you want celebrity status you come to Perú.
Ok – enough of that! Hope everyone is doing well! I miss you! I love you! I will see you super soon! (crazy huh!!!!)
So much love from lima!!!


martes, 5 de mayo de 2009

machhhhhu!!! picchuuuuuuu!

Ok So, Machu Picchu – simply aMAzing!!
So cool! I was worried that I wouldn’t think it was as breathtaking as everyone said it would be… but it was – it so was! We left for Cusco on Thursday morning at 6am and caught a plane… where everyone was wearing masks for the swine flew! Super scary! Then we took a bus to Pisak to see some ruins there, which were pretty impressive, but nothing compared to Cusco, then we took a bus to Ollantaytambo and slept there for the night and got up at 4am to get up early to catch the train to go to Aguas Calientes and then on to Machu Picchu. We went super early because we wanted to be there in time to get in line for this mountain that has the best view of Machu Picchu, Wayna Picchu Mountain (the biiig mountain in the background of all the Machu Picchu pics - should look it up, I was on that!!) and only the first 200 people get to go on the trail, and we made it! And so we started the hike up this huge, steep mountain at 8am. I thought I was going to die. It was soooooooo hard! It was so sooo so so steep and added with the altitude and getting higher and higher, it was extremely intense, and I suppose a little dangerous, they told us that someone hadn’t died in almost a year now, so that was comforting! Lol. It was really really steep tho and some of the stairs were like half of a length of a foot and if you stepped in the wrong place you could definitely just fall off the cliff. They had arrows in this extremely odd places like at the ends of cliffs? Like really, I’m not supposed to jump off the cliff? We were thinking those were the areas where people fell off and so the arrows were there for “liability”. Liability what? Really no such thing in Perú I wouldn’t think. Anyway, we made it to the top, and it was amazing. It was cloudly all morning but just started to clear up when we got up there so we could see the amazing view of Machu Picchu, which we hadn’t discovered yet, only the distanced view. We stayed up on WaynaPicchu for about an hour, snacked, took pics, then started on our trek down… which we decided was how people died – going down not up. Going up was intense, but going down was downright scary!! If you leaned a little to far one way youd fall on your face all the way to the bottom.. and the half foot stairs.. harder to go down then up! But we made it down and cheered on all the people attempting to go up behind us, telling them they were almost there and that they wouldn’t die, because it definitely seems possible! There were people from every different country. We heard sooo soo so many languages there – it was sooo neat. People from all the continents, I wouldn’t doubt. We had just received an email from Luther telling us not to travel if at all possible because of the Swine flu, and if we do travel, to stay away from large, touristy groups. Really – Machu Picchu is like the capital of the tourist world so.. yeah.. swine flu here we come! Anyway, we made it down and signed in our names – you have to sign in when you leave and the time, and when you get down and the time because at 3 everyone has to be off the trail so they can look for missing people or see if anyone hasn’t made it back or… didn’t make it at all. But we made it! Lol, then Bethany and I made the trek to the bathroom after that… all the way outside of the park! We didn’t realize it was so far away! So we rewarded ourselves with ice cream for 8 soles (a little on the expensive side, you can get Bembo’s ice cream for 2 soles (like their version of McDonalds) and ice cream from Gelatería for 6 soles, but of course this was the tourist capital of the world, but we decided we deserved it, 8 soles = about $2.40 – funny we comment how 8 soles is expensive, but it is for here! I don’t think I’ll make it when I get back to the states and the prices there.. for real!) Anyway then we all went on a tour of Machu Picchu and.. it’s incredible. I’m not really a ruins-type I’d say but, you can’t help but be awed and amazed at this stuff. It seems impossible, and how they did it is just… out of this world - which is probably why there’s that big hoax of, ‘Aliens Built Machu Picchu.’ Then we climbed to the top of the Machu Picchu ruins (everything seemed sooo hard after our WaynaPicchu hike.. my legs were like jello after that – so hard! But worth it) and we hung out just laying around, napping, snacking, chilling out on Machu Picchu – was the coolest thing ever. Just hanging out at Machu Picchu. I just chilled at Machu Picchu. Probably one of the coolest things I’ve done. Then after a while we caught a bus back to Aguas Calientes, showered, got some coffee, then ate – this delicious pizza with dulce de leche, peaches, cherries, and cheese – sounds awful, but was soooo good! Then we went out for drinks after that – man I will miss that. I can go out for drinks.. and buy them.. and drink them.. all in the same place at the same time. They’d see us and be like ‘deal deal – 4 for one’ and we’d be like ‘well theres 5 of us’ and then they’d say ‘ok 5 for one’, so it was 5 drinks for 20 soles, and sometimes 15, which is about $6 – 5 drinks for $6 – unreal! Pisco sour, chicanos, cuba libre, and some of them were so strong we couldn’t drink them. The idea was probably to set us down for one deal and then we’d stay.. but we’d bar hop and find our next deal. And it takes about 2 drinks to feel it hit ya in that sort of altitude. Then we got up, took a bus, saw some ruins (nothing compares to Machu Picchu), went to a huge market, then got back to Cusco and hung out there for the night. Cusco is soo cool – we all wished we had more time there. It’s very Spanish, of course from the conquistadors, but more so than other cities in Peru, and all the streets are made of stone and they have the Incan wall there which is like the stone at Machu Picchu – which is just amazing, and then the Spanish copy cat right next to it trying to duplicate it, but it doesn’t even come close. Cusco is very very touristy of course too, about half the town is tourists they said, but a very beautiful town with very beautiful churches, architectures, everything. Then we went out – got some crazy food we hadn’t tried, chupe de camerones, alpaca meat, wine, then went back out and got a drink in this up scale bar in Cusco and hung out in bean bags and played games for a while, then got home and of course… no excursion and trip can ever fail… I got sick that night and was like death Sunday for the travel back home. Was very painful, thinking from the food, the hits of altitude so fast switching up and down so much, bus rides, the works, but now I’m perfectly fine and no clinic or IV in me this week! :)
This week holds a lot of work… a lot of going out – we only have 18 days left! So crazy! Hope everyone is doing good! And I hope I talk to you super soon! Love and miss you all! You have love from Lima!!
- Un beso

lunes, 20 de abril de 2009

the amazonas

And this one is for Krista K, possibly the only one of my gfs who reads my blogs.. and likes it J lol.

Right now I am in bed recovering from the Amazon. We left on Thursday night and took a plane to Iquitos. I feel pretty much pro at taking planes now… I have taken like.. 6 since I’ve been here, and my fear is pretty much gone. I do think the plane will crash only like once a trip now (Mandy) not every 5 min :), although there was some discomforting turbulence which gave me good reason this time.. along with engine problems. Man I love getting on planes with engine problems. But all is well and here I am back in Lima! We stayed in Iquitos for the night, my most mom told me the town was feisima! – which is true, it’s a very very ugly town, with old run down buildings and such.. we couldn’t figure out if they were poor or of that’s just how the lived.. given they of course aren’t as well to do as well, ‘normal’ in the states, but ‘normal’ for Peru, we couldn’t figure out. Anyway we got on a boat early Friday morning to start our trek to the jungle.. and we boated on the Amazon to the Sinchicuy Lodge, our lodge for the weekend which was quite outdoorsy.. no electricity and basically outside with just mosquito like net/walls to protect us from the night. Then we dropped our stuff off then boated down the Amazon again to a tribe called Yague, that wore no shoes and grass like outfits, like you see in the movies, and they spoke their own tribe-like language, along with Castellano so they can trade. We were trying to figure out if they really lived like that.. and we think they do, we don’t think it’s just for show. They had very different mannerisms. After that we met a doctor, like a jungle doctor. His name was Marley or Marlo and he used elements, seeds, flowers, and other natural things from the jungle to heal the town and we got to try a few of his concoctions, except for one we weren’t allowed to try by ISA that makes you hallucinate, but it’s supposed to be their ‘mother-plant’, that heals major things or something. Then we went to another place and trade pure sugar cane this other plant from the area, tasted like cotton and sugar mixed together around this plant. I think it was camu-camu, or maybe cocona, not sure. Then we got back for the night, had supper, then got back in the canoe again to go on a night ride to listen to all the selva sounds and look at the stars, which are amazing amazing, and we saw the southern cross and it’s sooo pretty and sooo bright. Then the next day we went out on the amazon and went dolphin watching. Like normal dolphins, and then these pink dolphins – they’re really pretty and really pink too. It was mating season so they were all over the place. Then we walked through the jungle with our guide for the week, Jorge, basically George of the Jungle… he was crazy, a true jungle man, and a very good guide. Anyway, we walked through the jungle… hottest experience of my life! Soooooo soo hot and humid, almost unbearable, and we saw the biggest ants in the world… that are quite harmful if they touch you, good thing we were a whole foot away! Huge termite nests, pretty butterflies, huge huge huge trees – they were so cool, big gross tarantula’s, and with my luck, a snake – that I almost stepped on, freaked out, and Jorge to the rescue, ran back and caught it. It was actually a harmless snake, one of 3 in the jungle, it was the rainbow snake and it changed colors in the sun – was really pretty, I was just glad it wasn’t a boa constrictor, which is another of the 3 that are in the jungle! Later we went fishing for piranhas! Weird huh! I was the only one to catch one, showed you proud, dad, and all my years Wisconsin fishing! Was the only fish caught of the day, and the hook ruined his teeth or something so we had him for lunch, and he was quite tasty. Then we went swimming in the Amazon! The river in the part we swam in was bright black, except clear when we looked under water – it’s not because of pollution, unlike every river in Iowa, it’s because of all the erosion around the river. The next day we went to an island and we saw monkey’s that came up to us and played with us, baby ant-eaters, a crocodile, a toucan, a tarantula (ick!), and a boa constrictor, where they keep orphaned animals and put them back into the jungle after a time – it was neat. The trip was fun and intense and HOT, and I got really really sick the last night and didn’t sleep at all I was so sick and laid with a towel by my side for when I threw up.. so the last day of traveling was absolutely miserable, by boat for about two hours, by bus, and by plane, but I am feeling better so I am hoping that it’s not some jungle disease or malaria! And.. I’ve decided.. Peruanos have very different remedies.. you should hear the list of things I’m not allowed to eat… like.. juice.. fruit or vegetables, milk, cheese, bread, butter.. basically anything except this weird concocted soup my Elisabeth whipped up for me. When I had a cold and couldn’t talk I wasn’t allowed to touch anything room temperature or cold, and especially ice, that was “deadly”. I could only eat.. warm and hot things. I’ve been recovering today and watching a lot of Peruvian TV, I lovvve tv here. I normally don’t watch it at all at home. But here I love it! It’s like a learning experience, I’m such a nerd I know lol, but if something is in English (a lot is – sometimes it’s hard to find stuff in Spanish!) they have subtitles, which I’ve learned to read, and the other times they have really good dubbed movies. And they have cool channels too like Cosmo and actual Channels with music videos on all day long. Anyway – hope everything is well with everyone. I heard Pres babe rolled over all the way! Yay! Lol, Hope the IC formal trip was fun girlsies, can’t wait to do it next year! This blog was kinda boring Krista :P I’ll post a new one soon for you! Update me on your lives! I love and miss you all sooo much!


martes, 14 de abril de 2009


So, Im just trying to get some homework done before I have class later today, just sitting in Starbucks in Larcomar ... and two of the members of KISS have to come in and start a commotion and it's clearly impossible to study now... lol. Life in Lima = never normal.

lunes, 13 de abril de 2009

la selva!

Hey, it’s been a while since I’ve written! I think the last time was Máncora... and Máncora was, for kack of better words, amazing. So relaxing.. we laid on the beach alllll day, best beaches in South America, I guess it’s the vacation hot spot, and we’d see people riding horses and sometimes we’d get in and body surf and catch the big beautiful waves. We’d all cook breakfast together and buy coconuts to make piña coladas and pisco sours, we’d squeeze our own orange juice to make fresh juice each morning and basically just lay in the sun all day, then go into town at night to eat, fresh fresh fish and lobster and crab, soo good, and stay out. Soooo relaxing and our house was amzing – our living room was outside and it was about 2 and a half stories. It was sooo awesome, but while laying on the beach I couldn’t help but get excited for our time at the lake this summer, eating fresh caught fish, bluegill and bass, (that I hate catching, but always get suckered into going somehow), and playing Farkle and that one omish people card game, renting a pontoon and jumping in with our clothes on (Grams!), and going with PRESTON this year!! Oooooh I can’t wait. And he looked so comfortable in that life jacket dad got him, lol, he looked miserable! But he’ll be so good at being in the water now that he is taking baby swim lessons and can go under water! Yay for Preston! Lol.
Anyway, the next week after we got back from Máncora was basically like finals week, and I had a couple papers due along with a pretty dang hard exam, so that was fun to come back to, and then we went out.. Wednesday.. Thursday.. Friday… and Saturday. Lol. So we studied... then partied. We basically just started to explore. We are getting away from the normal places, Calle de las Pizzas in Miraflores and the normal hot spots and Barranco and going to new restaurants and little bars that are like holes in the wall and it’s so much fun! This weekend, for Easter, I got away because it’s my faaaaaaaaavorite holiday back at home – with all the pretty colors and beautiful church music, Easter egg hunt at moms (which we will never be too old for!) and going to Grams and having our Easter egg hunt there with the whole family and of course now we get Pres babe! Our Easter surprise. So I went to Hauncayo this weekend – la selva, the jungle, and to get there took a 13 hour train ride, really beautiful and they pride themselves in passing 70 tunnels, 58 bridges, and 6 switchbacks (I was highly drugged during this, so I endured it al! Lol, took some 8 hour pill my host mom told me about, and I was good for the ride!) and it’s the highest train ride in America, and second in the world, so the altitude was intense, and we got out at a few spots and it was snowing! But it was really beautiful in the mountains and all the rivers and scenery. So after our 13 hour train ride (26 hours total between the two days!!), we find a hostel, and then of course go out! We went to a discoteca for just a couple hours at 12 because we had to get up at 4am to catch a bus to the jungle, fun stuff. We toured the jungle all day and ate fresh oranges from the trees and drank coconut juice and swam under waterfalls, then we got to another hostel, showered, then went to a discoteca, then got up and did it all over again the next day, except a little bit more intense. We were gone all day in the jungle, through trails, and we climbed about… 6 or 7 waterfalls, was crazy! When the trail ended, we were like, "Where do we go?" and the guide pointed up at the waterfall and we were like.. no way! We climbed these crazy strong waterfalls when the trail would end, then hike up some more soaking wet, then do it again, then run into a cliff.. the tour guide would throw a rope onto the tope - then we'd pull ourselves up - was scary!! Then we got back and took a 2 hour bus ride back to Tarma, where they have a huge Easter celebration. The Easter celebrations in Peru are like carnivals. We got there and it was crazy – tons and tons of people outside, caramel apples, selling stuff everywehre, we left our stuff at a hostel, and then made a deal for them to pick us up at the carnival at 4am so we could get to the train station at 6am for our train at 7am.. so sleeping wasn’t in the game that night, but well worth it. They have bands all over the street… about 8 of them, all playing loudly with people dancing and drinking in the street. We got this really strong hot drink called Calentito with Pisco and herbs in it, and passed it around and took shots of it until it was gone.., and then we did it over again. Then we danced in the street for a while, then they had an amazing fireworks display for about an hour. Then we went into the street to eat… all this amazing food, for one sol! Crazy. Food made right in front of you, hot sandwiches with fresh pavo and pollo, cornbread, panqueqes, yuccas, caramel apples, anticuchos, papas, hot chocolate, coffee, soup with choclo and herbs, basically all the Peruvian food you can think of, and all ridiculously for one sole. One sole is about 30 cents. That is really cheap – it’s different in Peru, they don’t jack up the prices when they know that’s the only place you can get it. Like the prices of stuff on the train, it’s the only place you can buy water, but it’s still cheap. Then after we ate – we went and danced some more, then it started raining, and we danced in the rain. At about 3am we went to a discoteca until 4am for when our hostel was taking us to the train station. Then… I basically slept the whole train ride, woke up and was miserable, so then I fell asleep again. Cold, wet, and tired. Longest train ride of my life. Then I went to the internet café to call my beloved fam when I got home at 9pm and it was closed. Whatevs. I miss you all very much I hope you know that! It feels good to be back in Lima tho, I miss the city when I’m gone. Especially.. staying in cheap hostels with sick sick showers. I felt cleaner when I chose NOT to shower. One thing I won’t be able to get used to is the prices in the states. Everything is ridiculous cheap. A sandwich can be from 4 soles to 10 soles, usually not more than that. So, about $1.20 to $3.00. One sol is equal to about 30 cents. Crazy! Usually a nice meal, 20 soles, $6.00, combi ride 1 sol, nails done – 10 soles, internet – 1 sol, copies or printing – about 10 centimos, hostels - 8 - 20 soles, candy - 1 sol, water and pop too, 1 to 2 soles – 30 – 60 cents, ice cream too, taxi ride, depends, 8 soles – 20 soles, never more. Clothes, cheaper, shoes cheaper, movie about 8 soles, basically everything. School is hard, the night life is good, people are great. Miss you all love you all! I’ll blog soon! We go to Iquitos this weekend (back to la selva!) and I’m gone from Thursday to Sunday – my whole life here is a vacation for real! I know. Blog soon tho!! love you!

domingo, 22 de marzo de 2009

class, then mancora!

Just another weekend in el Perú. Thursday after class we headed to our hostel in San Bartolo for the night, took a couple taxis there … bought our supply of drinks for the night, and started playing cards. The boys of the group decided we would play Circle of Death, Peruvian style, and they made up their own version.. which was completely ridiculous and funny.. and long story short we started at 9pm and we were all toast by 9:30pm. We were about the only ones in San Bartolo it seemed like and… well we were really loud and quite a sight and entertainment for the hostel owners. And we wonder why Americans have the name they do – we weren’t loud and obnoxious at all! Lol. A few hours later, after a cruise down to the beach, and after one of us was done for the night after throwing up (not me!!!), we were hungry of course after our hard night of drinking, so we asked the hostel owners if they’d cook as food and they made us all chicken breast meals (except I wasn’t there when they served it!!) lol. It was quite a night and we all got up the next morning for our free breakfast and hunt for the beach. I woke up with a huge slash across my foot – about 2 inches and ouch it hurts when I walk!! So the beach in Santa Maria didn’t do my cut any good (which is now infected!), but oh the beach was beautiful. We laid out all day in the sun then grabbed a late lunch of mariscos, ceviche, lomo saltado, and pescado. Then we headed back to Lima for our intercambio. Last night most of us went to Peter’s host dad’s concert, Ruben Florez, which was quite entertaining and interesting. We all got formal invitations and the concert was in a castle in Castallao. Then we went out for Kelly’s birthday to a club in Barranco and today I laid around and studied. My life is so hard I know! Lol. The life here is so rich. This coming week, after class, we are going to Mancora, a city in the north with the richest beaches in Peru! For our spring break. Here is the site of where we are staying and what there’s to do in Mancora.. if the sun, sand, and ocean breeze isn’t enough for you.
Pretty excited!! Spraaaaaaaang breaaaaaak baby – Mancora 09’. Very excited, but I have a lot of reading to do while I’m there! (after you see this place you will see exactly how much reading I’ll get done……….!!) Miss and love you all! I hope everyone has a good week!! Have fun on spring break gfs, - have fun in cali grams! – visiting Pres dad – in DC ma - and at work everyone else :P – and Presy with his new teefers!! :)
Besos de Peru!!

jueves, 19 de marzo de 2009

busy busy - beach nite!

It’s been a while! Sorry everyone! I’ve been super busy non-stop, trying to find time to rest lately! Last week Paige and Carly came to visit – it was AWESOME! We did well, umm…. Everything! We did a LOT! Lot lot! They got the historical view, el Congreso, la Inquisición, la Catedral de Lima, la Iglesia de San Pedro, changing of the guards, Chifa (Peruvian Chinese), chichi morada (purple corn drink, they weren’t too fond of it!), we visited Pachacamac – ancient ruins that we made up stories to because we were without a guide, they met an ex congressman during Fuijimori’s era, and the first indigenous congress woman of Peru – Paulina Arpasi Velásquez, they got the night life, Barancco, Calle de las Pizzas, Larcomar, we went to a club with one of my new Peruvian friends, Alessandra, which was a ‘baller’ time, we danced on a couple bars and got on stage at the club with Alessandra, lol. We drank and got into clubs free almost every night. We met people from England and US Southern Command Military. We ate at almost every restaurant ever in Miraflores – it felt like anyway – we basically didn’t stop eating! Lomo saltado, ceviche on the beach, inka cola, amazing peru juices, lucuma ice cream, pisco sour ice cream, pisco sours!! Cusqueña beer... they got the taxi experience, combi experience, the broken down combi experience on the highway!, the crazy peru traffic and la hora punta (rush hour), we met the good, and we met the dangerous J lol. Oh and we also went hang gliding! Really hung over too… and Carly and I both got really sick.. but still awesome! They got the fam experience and met my host mom, Pilar, and sweet Elisabeth, and Carly got made fun of in the street for being white and American a lot.. lol, and so did Paige for that matter. Was a good time. And now I have a mountain of homework to catch up on! But it was def worth it! I was really sick this weekend, probably from all my going, and I couldn’t even get a word out, but now I am better and about 98% and going at it again. School is still.. hard. Tonight after class we are going to San Bartolo, a cheap beach resort the boys stayed at the other weekend and loved it! So we are going to be out on the beach tonight, then lay out in the sun tomorrow – then come home and get ready for our weekend all over again! I love it here, I love Peru. I have a really amazing group from Luther, we all get along really well and.. we are all here for the same reason – we want to learn and explore and have the time of our lives! Which we are doing. Last night I got to watch my Presy babe roll over on Mandy’s blog! Oh he’s so big! I miss him and everyone! I love your calls and your letters, although the letters aren’t necessary you know! I’m known as the girl who has gotten the most mail in ISA history.. so thank you for all your love! J Time is flying, I can’t believe it’s almost the end of March, it just turned March! I love it here, and I think of you all very often! It’s sort of like a double negative… I miss you tho!

Besos de Peru