Monthly Archives: December 2013

Return to Amedica.

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As my time here draws to close (literally today), I have to say I’ve learned so much about the language, the culture, the people, and even, myself. It has really been the cliched experience of a lifetime.  I will never forget the pretty, incredible places I’ve visited, wonderful people I’ve met and all the riots I’ve started (okay, that’s not true, but I have been to a few protests…accidentally). I intend to post more of my thoughts about my trip when I return because apparently I don’t blog often enough to keep up with my brain, but this post seems most appropriate given my flight back into the States is today. So with that, we will commence with lists (I love lists!) about what I will miss in Peru and what I’m excited to about in Amedica.

The Miss List:

  • Choclo: So all this is is really giant corn, but I love the way it tastes and I’ve never seen it back home.
See, just giant corn that mutated when the aliens came down and built Machu Picchu.

See, just giant corn that mutated when the aliens came down and built Machu Picchu.

  • My host family. My host brother is hilarious as previously mentioned, and my host mom and dad are some of the sweetest people I’ve met. Plus, my host dad makes the most amazing fresh juice for breakfast every morning.

    1/2 of my host family. My host mom didn't want to take a picture that day, but she's beautiful.

    1/2 of my host family. My host mom didn’t want to take a picture that day, but she’s beautiful.

  • Also, fresh juice for breakfast.

    I have no idea what I was staring at, but the juice was fresh and amazing. Photo credit: Anna-Carina Tschörner

    I have no idea what I was staring at, but the juice was fresh and amazing. Photo credit: Anna-Carina Tschörner

  • Being called reina (queen), in the non-creepy, non-hit on kind of way. One of my friend’s host dad called us this and I’m not going to lie, I like it.

    Hahaha it's public domain! And it's pretty.

    Hahaha the picture’s public domain! And it’s pretty.

  • Kisses on the cheek. Granted, physical contact use to make me very uncomfortable and I still can’t figure out hug etiquette (it’s harder than it looks) but it’s a sweet gesture. If I kiss you on the cheek in the U.S, here is my apology in advance (preapology? anticipapology?), it’s just habit right now. I’ll break it some day…some day.

    This is almost exactly what it looked like, except no one was that white. Just like Jesus.

    It looks so natural for everyone else, but me…

  • Babies in hats. I haven’t done much travelling, and please don’t get offended if you have a baby because I’m sure it’s adorable too, but Peruvian babies are probably the cutest babies I’ve ever seen in my life. Ever. Especially when they wear hats.

    So adorable. Also there are two reasons why I did not take any pictures of babies in hats to show you. 1. I'd feel awfully creepy, if I had to say Hi, I'm gringa, can I take a picture of your baby. 2. Sometimes they charge you for it!

    So adorable. Also, there are two reasons why I did not take any pictures of babies in hats to show you. 1. I’d feel awfully creepy if I had to say, “Hi, I’m gringa, can I take a picture of your baby.” 2. Sometimes they charge you for it!

  • Llamas everywhere. In the streets. In sacred archaeological sites. Everywhere.

    Binders full of llamas.

    Binders full of llamas.

  •  Walking. I get to drive a lot in America and walking to places is a nice time to think, pray and just enjoy being outside. Except in torrential rain, then you run.
  • Hearing Spanish all the time, everywhere. Yes, I know I live in New Mexico and tons of people speak Spanish, but it’s not a requirement. Truth be told, y’all speak a lot of Spanish slang too (see what I did there?? huh? huh?). Excuse the language, but this is pretty accurate.
  • The amazing people I have met. I’m not an experienced traveler by any means and the opportunity to meet so many beautiful people from a variety of different countries is wonderful. They bring their own language, customs and beliefs. I have learned about countries I never paid attention to before (Sorry! I blame it on the U.S. being so big that I’m still trying to figure out New Orleans, well that and the entire East coast). Also, I realize that New Yorkers are basically from a different country (but I jest!).

    Wonderful, amazing people. That is all.

    Wonderful, amazing people. That is all.

  • Cheap things. I can buy dinner for $2 American. I can buy food cheaply. I like that.
  • Being tall and blonde. I am by no means tall, but here I can actually look over the heads of some people, even while the women are wearing heals. Also, I am not blonde, but my hair is so much lighter than the local populous that the kids at my kindergarten persistently asked me why I had blonde hair. I told them that I ate too much yellow jello growing up.

    Clearly tall and blonde...

    Clearly tall and blonde…

  • Movies in Spanish, without subtitles.

So apparently I’m going to miss a lot of things, but home is where the heart is. And I’m not referring to that random Natalie Portman movie from 2000. I’m not pregnant and I will not be giving birth to a baby in a Wal-mart.  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0198021/. Alas, I am distracted…

American Wish List:

  • My truck. Haha that last statement renews my American citizenship and confirms my Canadian heritage in two words. I can’t wait to see it and drive it again. I realize I said walking is nice, because it is, but I like that freedom that comes with my truck. UHmerica.

    This is almost exactly my truck...without actually being my truck.

    This is almost exactly my truck…without actually being my truck.

  • Green and Red Chile. This is food. Does it need anymore explanation?

    red and green chile

    Same picture…just to make sure you remember where I’m from.

  • Being able to throw toilet paper in the toilet. It’s the little things, man.

    I'm not going to lie, I really just wanted to put a picture of a toilet in my blog.

    I’m not going to lie, I really just wanted to put a picture of a toilet in my blog.

  • The Gila and the Organs. I want to be able to hike all over these again.

    The bestie and I in the Organs.

    The bestie and I in the Organs.

  • English! Finally, a language I’m good at, although, I can’t spell anymore to save my life and almost every word that ends in tion, now ends in the Spanish ción. Oh, and sometimes I forget the English word for something.
  • Cooking. I never realized I would miss the freedom to prepare my own meals.
  • Salad, real salad.

    Salad! Salad! Salad!

    Salad! Salad! Salad!

  • Tap water. I can’t wait until I can drink tap water again. It’s a staple of my childhood.

    Tastes just like Tucson...and chlorine. Well maybe Tucson just tastes like chlorine.

    Tastes just like Tucson…and chlorine. Well maybe Tucson just tastes like chlorine.

  • My credit and debit cards. I lost them while I was here…
  • Pancakes and bacon. Should I be worried that so far four of the 10 things I’ve mentioned on the list are food related? Nah.

    I feel like that dog in that commercial.

    I feel like that dog in that commercial.

  • More clothes, so I can go back to doing laundry once every month and a half.
  • My church and RUF families. Cannot wait to be reunited with some of God’s beautiful people.
  • My friends. What a glorious reunion that will be.

    I need to take more pictures with my friends...this is the only one I could find that I don't mind stealing. Photo credit: Cindy Lee

    I need to take more pictures with my friends…this is the only one I could find that I don’t mind stealing. Photo credit: Cindy Lee

  • My mom, dad and sister. It would be easy to say family, but each one is so important to me and blesses me in a variety of different ways that they all deserve their own recognition. Excited to once again be reunited with the love and wonderful spiritual guidance of my mom, the wise and intelligent conversations I can have with my dad about politics, world events and sports. And of course, my sister, who understands me better than anyone in the world, and loves me regardless.

    My smiling family. Well maybe smiling. I can never tell with my dad's mustache. And my dog, I don't know about him either.

    My smiling family. Well maybe smiling. I can never tell with my dad’s mustache. And my dog, I don’t know about him either.

Can’t wait to see you all.

Photo credit: choclo-http://www.fullmercado.cl/tienda/index.php?act=viewProd&productId=242, kissing photo: http://www.newlifeinspain.com/2011/11/kiss-on-cheek.html, babies in hats: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/bolivia/la-paz-lima-2288/itinerary truck: http://www.cardomain.com/ride/3391931/1997-chevrolet-silverado-1500-regular-cab/ toilet: http://www.1dental.com/blog/2011/08/08/flush-toilet-toothbrush/ salad: http://spoonerdelivery.com/deliver/salad/ tap water: http://spoonerdelivery.com/deliver/salad/

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I Don’t Always Go to Machu Picchu, but When I Do…

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I spent a grand total of one beautiful day in Machu Picchu. And while that is enough to see the main part, it’s not enough. Do the Inca Trail, People! Just do it! You won’t regret it. I should have, but now I just have an excuse to come back to Peru. I was a little worried about posting a bunch of pictures of Machu Picchu because eventually, they all look the same. But these are my pictures, with my memories, and I’m in some of them, so no one’s ever taken pictures like this before. Enjoy your vicarious vacation to…Machu Picchu (cue The Price is Right music).

The Trip to Machu Picchu:

Would you like a glass of Chicken with that hamburger. I just love translation typos.

Would you like a glass of chicken with that hamburger. Sign at a restaurant while I was waiting for my train. I love typos.

I got to ride in a train. Beautiful scenery and incredible expensive. But, hey, I got free chocolate and snacks.

I got to ride in a train. Beautiful scenery and incredibly expensive. Also, difficult to take pictures in. But, hey, I got free chocolate and snacks.

Snow capped mountains on the way to Machu Picchu. Even though we were technically in a jungle by that point.

Snow capped mountains on the way to Machu Picchu. Even though we were technically in a jungle by that point.

Okay. I went to Machu Picchu. This post is officially over. But really i just took photos of this from different angles for all my pictures.

Okay. I went to Machu Picchu. This post is officially over. But really I just took photos of this from different angles for all my pictures.

Me and my wonderful travelling companion and housemate...o and Machu Picchu.

My wonderful travelling companion, housemate and I…o and Machu Picchu. It’s the same picture…

Temple of the Sun. It's beautiful...and old.

Temple of the Sun. It’s beautiful…and old.

Side angle. I thoroughly intend to post every stereotypical picture possible.

Side angle. I thoroughly intend to post every stereotypical picture possible.

Guys I took an artsy-like photo and didn't have to edit it. But really I love this picture.

Guys I took an artsy-like photo and didn’t have to edit it. But really, I love this picture.

Tres Ventanas (Three windows for all you non-Spanish speaker even if you've taken two years of Spanish...Michelle.

Tres Ventanas (Three windows for all you non-Spanish speakers even if you’ve taken two years of Spanish…Michelle.

Inti Watana (quechua), a.k.a Reloj del Sol, a.k.a Sun Clock

Inti Watana (quechua), a.k.a Reloj del Sol, a.k.a Sun Clock

Far below me, lay the picturesque Machu Picchu, shrouded in mystery and...clouds.

Far below me lay the picturesque Machu Picchu, shrouded in mystery and…clouds.

About a 2 hour climb to the top, but the view was spectacular. I can actually say I've eaten cookies in the clouds, or did I die and go to heaven for a bit. Heaven must have cookies.

About a 2 hour climb to the top, but the view was spectacular. I can actually say I’ve eaten cookies in the clouds, or did I die and go to heaven for a bit. Heaven must have cookies.

People getting their meditation on. After an extensive interview (which was really just a brief conversation about how much the mountain sucked to climb) I discovered that this women came to meditate with crystals and send her healing light into the world.

People getting their meditation on. After an extensive interview (which was really just a brief conversation about how much the mountain sucked to climb) I discovered that this woman came to meditate with crystals and send her healing light into the world.

Stereotypical "I'm at Machu Picchu, peaches!!!...I'm not sure whether you're suppose to be looking at me or Machu Picchu," picture.

Stereotypical “I’m at Machu Picchu, peaches!!!…I’m not sure whether you’re suppose to be looking at me or Machu Picchu,” picture.

I tell you, the same picture, just a different angle.

I tell you, the same picture, just a different angle. Revel in it’s majesty…well you don’t have to if you don’t want to.

No Machu Picchu post would be complete without a llama. Not a single one.

No Machu Picchu post would be complete without a llama.

It looks incredible clean and pristine compared to the original poster, must be the angle.

It looks incredible clean and pristine compared to the original poster, must be the angle.

This trip was amazing. I wanted to post every single picture, but for your sake, I have spared you…you’re welcome. My very social travelling companion helped me meets lots of amazing new people, who, just like us, were in awe of the magnitude of this place. To imagine that so many years ago, someone intricately designed and constructed this marvel is insane. But I’ve seen it now. The poster is real and it’s an experience I will never forget.