Friday, June 29, 2012

i earned these calories


Chilling in my room, listening to Wale’s 90210. I’ve got class in about an hour. Making pizza for my host family for dinner. It’s a pretty relaxing afternoon.

  • I’ve forgotten to tell you all one of the most important details of my current life! Alison Elizabeth Mendoza Flores! That’s right, my host mom had her baby girl and I got a namesake! She is the most precious, amazing, little, bite-sized angel. She weighed only about four kilos when she was born but she’s growing quickly. Here’s a pic if you missed her on facebook:



  • I’ve started up some clubs for the kids in my town. Today is the first session with the secondary kids… a lot of them work afterschool in their houses or chacras, so we’ll see about the turnout. But I’m really excited about the primary school session. The first day 18 kids showed up. I’ve started a rhythm that I feel comfortable with – icebreaker/improve games to start out, read a storybook aloud/do a little bit of learning, then do a craft project roughly related to the book/lesson. I’ll be sure to take pictures to share with you.

  • I run the marathon on SUNDAY! Ah! I am too nervous to write anything else about it.

  • After the aforementioned activity I get to rest on the beaches of Pacasmayo and Huanchaco for Fourth of July vacations. I am super excited to see some of my favorite volunteers, eat pizza, get sunburned, and go TO THE MOVIES with my training partner-in-crime-and-stupidity (stupidity being training for a marathon at 9,000 feet).

  • I think there is a chicken in my room… is there a chicken in my room? Wait, I’m gonna go check… Okay I don’t see anything… Weird.

  • I never really told you guys much about Carnaval in Cajamarca, did I? Well, that was a mistake. Because it was AWESOME. One of the craziest experiences of my entire life, hands down. Imagine thousands of people storming the streets of a major city, throwing paint and water at everyone in their paths. No one is spared. People walk the streets in gangs, usually accompanied by a marching band and everyone is dancing and drinking and playing. It is a whole day event and the entire city gets into it. If you ever have a chance to come to Peru in March, you have to check it out. Plus Cajamarca is beautiful. Definitely going next year.


After the paint war.

 Cajamarca is super green.

  • THIRTY SEVEN kids ended up showing up to that primary art and reading club class. WAY too many. Success or fail? Erm...

That’s all for now folks, love you all.
Wish me luck on the marathon - I'll need it!

-Ali

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

can i please get some ethiopian food?

Okay, I gotta stay off foodgawker.com and write this blog post. But seriously, homemade beer ricotta cheese and/or smore stuffed French toast? Come. ON.

I’m considering changing my blog title to peruADHD according to the following bullet-point format which I hope to continue to use… what do you guys think?

 • I’m still training for a marathon, who knew? The marathon is the Pacasmayo Marathon and is July 1st meaning Keren and I have a month left of training. This week is the peak week (mileage of 40 this week!) and then we get to start tapering – yay! I’m actually really looking forward to this week’s long run of 20 miles. The long runs haven’t been so bad lately, actually they’ve been kind of good, but I think Keren and I are starting to burn out and get bored. Training for a marathon really is like a part-time job. Whatever. I’m training for a marathon at 9,000+ feet. Baller.

• I have a feeling that my parents may have already told many of you guys all about this, but they came to visit! IT WAS INCREDIBLE. First Cesca came (!!!) and since she’s been to Peru before and her current job is amazing, we were able to just relax and hang out in Lima together for the weekend. It was perfect, we just lounged around at hostels and walked and ate a bunch around Miraflores for a couple days. Lovely, lazy, vacation with a bestie. Perfection.
I took Ces to the airport and waited for my parents to arrive. I think I waited somewhere around 9 hours, but I was surrounded by Papa Johns, Starbucks, and wifi, so… yeah. I had told my parents that I’d be waiting for them at the hotel, but was going to surprise them at the arrival gate. Even before seeing me they came out of the gate with huge smiles on their faces, even after a long international flight. I tried to yell to them but my tears choked me up entirely, I had to run to them and could barely muster a “mom” or “dad”. I was bawling - it felt so good to be back in their arms. I’m pretty sure all the Peruvians at the airport were staring at the three of us gringos crying. It was SO incredible to see them. We spent the week in both luxury and adventure. I’m asking them to write a guest post, so I’ll let them share their experiences. It was a trip I will never forget, and I was so happy to share my life here with them. I miss my family too much.





 • I’ve been really missing friends lately. I don’t know if it’s because its almost been a year away (June 9th!) or if it’s because many are together again, or because of my birthday, but I miss you guys. A lot. I’ll be visiting in November and I so hope I can see you all.

• Speaking of my birthday. My friends here celebrated with me and it was awesome. Even though original plans were completely thwarted because of a national protest and an abundance of road blocks, it turned out to be amazing. To paraphrase: really awesome long hike, bacon egg and cheese and huancaina sandwiches, hash browns, mimosas, French toast with cream cheese glaze, triple X, trece buho’s last night, potato gift, and a live chicken that now follows my host mom around like a dog.

• Still in love with my host family. Tomorrow I’m going to be my host sister Meche’s ‘madrina’ (godmother) for her inauguration as a school officer. Excited. She’s the best. Last night my host family and I stayed up after dinner for a while as my host mom and dad told me stories of the ‘virgencitas’ and the lakes around where we live. Apparently the lake above us will speak to the town when there is danger of it flooding and creating mud slides (a serious danger in Peru). It would warn my host grandmother in the past and she would take my host mom and the fam up to the surrounding mountains to sleep. There are also two ‘virgencitas’ that my host family strongly confide in. Virgenes are like saints, they are different images of the Virgin-Mary and each has special qualities. The two my host family reveres are the Virgencita Mercedes and the Virgencita Lourdes. I’m a little scared of Mercedes because apparently you can ask her to kill off your children and she’ll do it. But Lourdes is tight. She cures you when you’re ill and is apparently a good friend. Loads of other good tales from where we live. I’ll write up some more later.

• My dog died. Technically its my host family’s dog, but she follows me everywhere and I take care of her. My amazing, adorable, little puppy named Canela (cinnamon). A ton of dogs around us were poisoned (its pretty common in Peru for your neighbors to poison your dog), but I didn’t want to believe it until I saw her body for myself. On my birthday hike we were 4 hours hiking straight up from my site and a small dog ran up to me. I immediately started bawling. It was Canela!!! She wasn’t dead, someone had stolen her! She recognized me and started crying too. It was unbelievable. So I did what anyone else would do, I stole her back. It was the best birthday present I could ever get. I love that little nugget so much. Oh and sorry I tricked you and said she was dead. Gotcha.




• I still am really, REALLY craving Ethiopian food. UGHHHHH I want it so bad. Other than people, its probably what I miss most about the states. Fatkidsrule. Love you all, miss you. Come to Peru!