Tuesday, July 27, 2010

El Centro de Lima

Peru is an incredible country full of loving people, interesting culture and delicious food! I can't even begin to describe everything I have seen and done so I will just write about a few things. Basically, life is good. My family is so kind and welcoming that I feel completely at home in my house. We have a little dog named Chiquita and I am starting to learn the customs and rules of the house. I got to go with mi papa to buy bread from the panederia this morning. It is super close to the house and the little rolls are both tasty and cheap. Each one is .15 nuevo soles. More or less 20 rolls for a dollar! :) Yummm Yummm me gusta pan! We also played basketball this morning at a court near the house. Anddddd I got to go for my first (short) run in Lima!

So, we have gone many places in the last few days but the most exciting was to the center of lima. We took a taxi to the station and then rode the bus down town to central Lima. The bus is a new public transportation system called the metropolitano and it is free until July 28th. Thus it was FULL of people! Actually, Lima in general is full of people :) about 9 million of them. So, we (my aunt Juani, mama, Ale, and Adriana) walked around and looked at all of the shops and old buildings and churches. Peruvians have gorgeous handicrafts so I bought some super cool little bags and bracelets and a peruvian hat (only 1.50!). Then we ate lunch and toured an ancient convent/museum. It was a guided tour and I was super excited because for the most part I understood everything the lady said! We also went down to the catacombs and saw tons of bones from the 1500's. One thing I love about Peru is that it has so much culture and so many artifacts from long ago. The US completely lacks this type of history... And my aunt Juani knows a lot, loves to talk, and it a great story teller so she made a perfect guide. I certainly don't understand everything in Spanish but I get enough to converse and listen to stories :)

Tomorrow we are going to Ica to visit family and enjoy Fiestas Patrias. We are leaving at 4 in the morning to avoid traffic and staying until next monday. Yayyyyy!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Goodbye Wenatchee, Hello Lima!

Well, it’s really happening! From this point out I am flying solo. I had to say goodbye to mama and Skye at about 6:00 and I’ve been by myself ever since. This is my first experience traveling alone and to tell you the truth it wasn't too bad. I got to make all the decisions and didn't have to wait for anybody. Communication was flawless since the only moving parts were me, me and me. I did however get to experience the awkward shuffle dance of trying to fit my rolling suitcase, laptop carrier and backpack all into a tiny bathroom stall. The big downfall of traveling solo is that you are stuck with all of your luggage all of the time… No laps around the airport or yoga in the hallways. Still, everything went really smoothly throughout all of the trip. They fed us with cornflakes, ravioli, and turkey sandwhiches and all three were relatively tasty. My only complaint is that we had enough trash to fill an entire landfill with all the plastic dishes and wrappings in the meals. They had these really exciting little touchscreen entertainment centers on the back of each chair so I got to play chess, laugh at Devil wears Prada, and watch Pocahantus in spanish. :) Yep thats right I went for the comedy and disney...

My host family is pretty much the best I could ever ask for. They met me at the airport with huge signs that said "Bienvenida Chelan" and they have welcomed me into the family with hugs and kisses. Not only this but it is a HUGE family! Alejandra and I sat on the floor this afternoon and spent an hour drawing out a family tree so I could start to learn. I have cousins and aunts and uncles galore and it seems like about half of them came over to the house this evening for a birthday party. After all of the greetings I am finally getting the hang of kissing on the cheek. And I feel like my espanol is improving already although that might just be an illusion. My dad doesn't speak a lot of English so he is great to practice with and the rest of my family is good about using mostly spanish around me. When we were out at the store and market visiting with family I learned lots about the Peruvian culture. Luckily they love to talk and tell stoires and are very welcoming so my vocabulary is going to expand REALLY fast!

In just 24 hours since I arrived I have already experienced soooooooooooo many new things! We went to a restaurant for almuerza which was at about 2:30 and I tried squid, octopus, civiche, snails and a yummy sweat potatoe/crab dish. All of it was quite tasty and my seafood loving friends should be very proud of me! On the drive home from the airport last night there were jugglers trying to earn money at the stoplights and one little boy even had his batons on fire.

Well my eyelids are pretty much dropping off right now but I'll right more later and try to post a few pictures soon! I have a VERY busy next few days because today is the 30th birthday of my twin sisters. We had cake last night and tonight and a party tomorrow. Right now I have two little girls rolling around and dancing and giggling in spanish on the bed next to me. I have a feeling I am going to spend a lot of time with kids under the age of 5 which should be fun! Adriana, Macarena, and Alejandro are 3, 2, and 2 and they are the kids of my siblings. They speak slowly, have lots of energy, and never tire of doing the same thing over again so I'm sure I will learn fast.

Hasta luego!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Mi Familia

Mom = Edith
Dad = Julio
Hermano = Ben (34)
Sister = Cristina (29, far left)
Sister = Claudia (29, far right)
Sister = Alejandra (14)
Niece = Adriana (3)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Nine days till take off...

It's finally starting to sink in. In 9 days I will be sleeping in Lima, Peru. The southern hemisphere... far far away! I am going to have a new family, new friends, new house, new bed, and most importantly a new LANGUAGE! I have so much to do and so many goodbye's to say that it doesn't quite seem realistic. But, the explosion in my room is very definite evidence that I will indeed be leaving soon. 100 pounds of luggage sounded like oodles and oodles more than I would ever need, but for some reason it isn't. My mom and I have spent the last few days attempting to pack, squish, and stuff a years worth of clothing and gifts into two already bulging bags. In fact, I have taken to sleeping on the trampoline because my bed is otherwise occupied as a packing center and in no position to be used for its primary purpose (sleeping).

So... the countdown begins and my next post will probably find me 12 hours away ready to embark on a new adventure!