Archive | June, 2012

Picturesss

20 Jun

My first week in Peru…in pictures:

my language group gals

arturito loves making barry bobble

kendra’s homemade birthday card 

happy birthdayyy kendra!

visiting Chosica, the closest city

heyy benjii

father´s day celebration at the local elementary

sniffling all weekend

lulu lives at the training center!

Things not pictured (but worth mentioning):

  • ICE cold showers.
  • I have ESPN!!
  • The neighbors have a rooster which means I get a lovely wake up call at 4:30 am every morning.
  • Arturo dropped Barry and he broke 😦
This weekend we’re going to Lima as a group, so I´m really excited!

 

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Staging and More

12 Jun

First and foremost, I am happily livin’ and lovin’ in Peru!  The last few days have been such a whirlwind, I’ve barely had a chance to turn on this ancient excuse for a computer, much less write.

Staging and Arriving in Lima

My flight for staging left Miami at 7am and good thing I headed to the airport with plenty of time because both of my bags were way over 50 lbs each.  So there I was rearranging luggage and tossing things that would not make it to Peru when I got one of the best surprises ever! (SN:  I didn’t know then, but getting the bags slightly under the weight limit made no difference, I still grossly overpacked.  I’m black and blue all over, after struggling with these bags up stairs, down stairs, through several airports, taxis and combis.) Standing there were Ramon, Cristi, Jenny and Carla for my last farewells! Thank you guys for showing up at 5:45am to send me off, it really caught me by surprise and made my morning.

reading material

Staging started at 12:30pm at a fancy hotel in Georgetown , which gave me enough time to freshen up after my flight and looks presentable.  Peace Corps has thus far emphasized the fact that at the end of the day this is a job, and professional dress and behavior are very important.  We had sessions on PC goals, logistics in Peru and personal expectations up until 7pm.  Exhausting but exciting, if that makes sense.  Then I met up with Danny and Anne to watch the Heat dominate game 6 against Boston.  Thanks to my hometown team for sending me off the right way!

poffle!

On Friday we checked out of our hotel at 5:30am (staying up til 11 pm to watch the game was worth it, obv) and headed to Reagan Airport in two chartered coach buses.  Our flight wasn’t til 11am but PC likes to be extra prepared.  After a quick layover/delay in Miami, we were finally on our way to Lima at around 6pm.  I was lucky enough to watch as the plane descended onto Lima at midnight (or 1am or even 2am. Im not quite sure, I was exhausted and then factor a time change somewhere in there and I just have no idea when we actually landed) and was able see the coast with beautiful mountains in the background. One thing I have to mention: As we walked out of customs with our luggage, we were greeted by members of Peace Corps Peru staff excitedly waving American flags, holding signs and cheering.  I’ll never forget the effort they put into welcoming us that night.

 

more like 6pm, but ok.

From the airport we headed to a retreat center where we spent the next two days going over more procedures, asking questions, meeting our training team and current volunteers.  A lot of information but again, exhausting and exciting.

gorgeous.

Host Family

After we wrapped up the retreat on Sunday afternoon, Peru 19 headed to our training center in Chaclacayo where we met our host families! My family lives in Yanacoto, a neighborhood near the city of Chosica (about two hours away from Lima).  I have a host mother (Mamita Elena), father (Papa Nestor), two brothers (Alan, 30 & Nestor, 22) and two sisters (Kenia, 35 & Grecia, 17).  Kenia, my older host sister has two young boys that also live with us (Efrain and Arturo). We also have two dogs, Daniel and Benji.  Even with a full house, I still have my own room which is perfect for some alone time.

After taking all of two minutes to meet my whole host family, Nestor and Grecia invited me to their friend’s cookout.  We all watched the Peru v. Uruguay game and then I sat in the kitchen while Nestor, Grecia & co. cooked up a feast in about two hours.  What they say is true, Peruvians are really welcoming.  I learned two new fun games “TODDI” and “3 limones” which I can’t wait to teach everyone back home. Although I was beyondddd tired, I appreciated the fact that my host siblings were so eager to include me in their plans.

my favorite at the bbq.

We started training on Monday and it is quite the experience so far.  I’ll post some more about it as soon as I get a better feel for it.

-Betty

P.S. – Around here, they know who Beyonce is (yayyy) but no idea about Kanye West (I’ve got some work to do.)

Packing

6 Jun

I’m back in Miami for last minute details.  My car is sold (gonna miss that piece of scrap metal) and my bags are packed. Tomorrow’s the big day.

 

i spy barry!

 

I’ve looked over other PC blogs for packing list suggestions and I meant to share mine as well, for future volunteers…but I packed the notebook that has it. Woops! I’ll try to post it here once I get settled somewhere.

 

 

Last Stop of the “Good-Bye” Tour: Austin

6 Jun

On Wednesday, my dad and I left Atlanta and headed to Austin to visit my older sister, Nancy.  She’s been in Texas for over a decade, as a reporter for the local Fox affiliate (how cute is she?) With my mom in Miami, my dad in Atlanta and my sister in Austin, we’re pretty spread out but we make it work.  All of us do more than our fair share of traveling, hopping all over the country to see each other.

My dad and I both go to Austin several times a year, so this trip was more of a lazy vacation.  A lot of errands and eating.  More eating than anything, really. TexMex is my favorite thing on the planet, so no complaints here!

More from my trip:

we had ourselves a little craft night

Ever since I joined Pinterest, I’ve been trying new crafty things.  Working on projects helped to calm my nerves in the weeks leading up to my departure.  Best of all, I found these amazing gift ideas to make for my mom (similar to this) and dad (this is actually it) before I left.

Another highlight of the week– watching sports together 🙂 . We watched all the NBA playoff games and a World Cup qualifying match between Colombia and Peru. I always want Colombia to win, but hooow fun would it be to be in Peru with the team in the World Cup too?

colombia vs. peru (colombia won!)