Tuesday, August 23, 2011


I’m officially a Peace Corps Volunteer!

Today I go to my site and start the first day of the next two years of my life!

I will be living in the beautiful town of Pariahuanca (remember the h in Spanish is silent) in the department (like a state) of Ancash. Its. Incredible. I can’t even tell you with words. I got everything I wanted. I asked for green – my agricultural town is surrounded by chacra (field) covered mountains (behind which the great snow covered mountain of Huascaran peaks out). I asked for small – I only have one school and around 1200 people living in my town. I wanted campo (aka rustic) – I have pigs, bulls, sheep, a mini orchard, and a latrine! Plus Pariahuanca is pretty close to the very international capital city of Huaraz which is nice so I can come in for quick trips to the coffee shop and to pick up groceries. I can’t tell you how happy I am.

Some photos:

The view from my window:

My room (before moving in):

A couple more pics from just walking around Pariahuanca:

Yeah... how gorgeous is that?

...I’m also pretty overwhelmed. It’s been a crazy, crazy, past few weeks. Leaving behind Yanacoto (where I’ve been living), my beloved host family, and my amazing fellow trainees was really hard. So of course we celebrated a lot. We got even closer to the people of Yanacoto and to each others’ host families which only made it harder to leave.

Although I am so excited for the incredible experience ahead of me, a huge part of me wishes I could stay as a volunteer in Yanacoto – I felt like I was starting to make connections that could have made a lasting impact. I do know that I will be back to visit and that the people there will always welcome us back with open arms. But man I will miss them. I did not think I was going to cry when I had to leave my host family, but as soon as my beautiful little sister Valentina wrapped her arms around me I just started bawling. Those kids mean the world to me.

But now I'm in Ancash, and its unbelievable, and I have a crazy two years ahead of me! So excited!

Two more important things:

1) I have been trying to update this FOREVER: My first video blog (vlog)! More to come...

2) I have a new mailing address!!! Please send any future mail to:

PCV Ali Foley
Cuerpo de Paz
Casilla Postal 277
Serpost Huaraz, Ancash
Peru, South America

(And don't forget to follow all the instructions found in the previous "mail" post. p.s. I love receiving your letters and photos!!! thank you!!!)