Wednesday, October 7, 2009

What happened to september?

It has been a VERY eventful and busy two months since I have last updated my blog. You may (or may not) have been wondering what I’ve been up to, so here is my best attempt at an update, although one blog is not nearly enough for two months worth of Peace Corps adventures.

First, my parents came! They spent 17 days in Perú with me, including 3 days in my site of Tomas. I’m pretty sure they had a good time, and if not they at least had a few out of the ordinary adventures. For example, riding in a taxi (which we had rented for the day) and the driver picking up a few more passengers so that we wouldn’t feel lonely. How kind of him as we cruised on the mountain roads with 8 passengers in a Toyota Corolla wagon. We ate Ceviche (raw, delicious seafood), alcapa meat, some Peruvian fruits, and even McDonald’s (happy birthday dad!)

We visited Machu Picchu, which really is one of the seven wonders of the world. We saw some other Incan Archeological sites, some great waterfalls and mountains, and even did a three day stint in the jungle. In the jungle we were welcomed by tarantulas, spider monkeys, red howler monkeys, caiman (alligator family), a variety of birds and butterflies, and a the largest rodent in the world, the capybara.

After the wonderful visit from my parents, my friend Heather came to visit, which again was another incredible week. We did some work in my site of Tomas, including my English club with high school students, worked with a group of moms in the tree nursery, and did some general Peace Corps schmoozing with the local Tomasinos, who were all excited to meet her. Overall, it was a blast to have Heather here and it was great for my town to get to know another American.

Work wise things have never been busier. A high school science teacher has been away for a few weeks with appendicitis/ appendix removal surgery. I, as the most qualified member of the community and by far the most interested, have been teaching his share of the classes of (C.T.A., or Ciencias, Tecnología y Ambiente, or high school science and environment classes). It has been fun to get more time than normal with the students, although the fact that I have no written curriculum has been quite the challenge. Not to worry, because I have my St. Olaf liberal arts education to help me overcome this challenge. Thanks black and gold!

In our community tree nursery things are advancing nicely. We have over 4,000 tree saplings in plastic bags, including Pine, Eucalyptus, Queñal (an endemic Peruvian species), and Tara (another Peruvian species). Some will be ready to plant this December/January when the rains begin more frequently, and others will wait until Dec. 2010. I won’t even be here to plant those in 2010, how quickly time flies.

During the last 2 months, here are some brief events that don’t need much explanation.
1. I got 5 stitches in one toe on my left foot.
2. I’ve completed one year in Peru. As of now, less than 14 months to go (is that enough time to get my projects done?)
3. Travel continues to be dangerous, as a mini van on its way to my town fell into the river and 11 people died (including 3 from my town).
4. I became an Uncle! Elsa Jean Lee was born on October 3. Can I get a shout out to Liz and Tippy for that!
5. Last night I watched the first half of Monday Night Football here in Tomas, Vikings vs. Packers, because I talked to the municipality about changing one of our two channels on the Direct TV satellite. They gave me from 7:30 to 9:00 pm. It was amazing…

Well, that is what I remember as of right now, although I’m sure I’m missing a few things. I hope that all is going well stateside, and I hope that you’ve enjoyed this update!


Now, for your viewing enjoyment

Mom and Dad eating "Pollo a la Brasa", a Peruvian treat.

The Yauyos volunteers at a training in Lambayeque

Doing some tree nursery work with the Mother's Club

Dad and I at the Parque de la Indentidad in Huancayo

Parque de la Reserva in Lima. Great lights and fountains.

My two families combined in one picture. Great.

My parents and I exploring around an alpine lake in Yauyos. (near where I live)

Cruisin' in a jungle canoe.

Machu Picchu with the family. Christmas picture?

1 comment:

Mark Forsberg said...

Packed taxis, ceviche, and McDonald´s taking over the world...I feel like I´ve lived those moments.

Congrats on uncle-status!

Yes, I´m finally catching up on blogs a month after the fact.