Friday, January 8, 2010

Happy New Decade!

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for…

After a three-month hiatus from blogging, I’ve re-entered the blogosphere from the Southern Hemisphere. MUCH has happened during this time, much more than I’ll be able to say in this blog. I’ll put some highlights up here and I promise (maybe I should have made this a new year’s resolution?) to update this my blog often.

1. On November 28 I completed one year as a Peace Corps Volunteer! This is a big milestone for many reasons, including the fact that I’m over halfway done in Peru. It is scary and exciting because now I’m counting down days instead of up, but I fear that I won’t have time to accomplish all that I want to here in Tomas.

2. The Peruvian school year ended. Surprisingly, that was not my doing, but it does mean that I made it through an entire school year of English club, helping with science classes when teachers weren’t around (essential I am my town’s substitute teacher), and doing a few other projects such as making micro landfills and working with students in our tree nursery.

3. I’m a Padrino! No, I didn’t agree to take responsibility of a Peruvian child as their godfather (although I am asked to do that a lot). Rather, my niece, Elsa Jean Lee, was baptized on December 27th, 2009, while I was home visiting over the holidays and I was given the honor of being godfather. In case you’re wondering, she is super cute and a ton of fun. Luckily, she’s more like her mom than her dad…

4. I visited one of my favorite places on Earth, MINNESOTA! (it really was Mjnnesota nice) I was home for 12 days over Christmas and New Year’s, which was a great time. I got to see almost all my family and many friends. The time went REALLY fast, but it was well worth the trip to the States to be back to my own holiday traditions. If you are reading this blog from the USA, remember how fortunate you are to live where you do. Peru is an amazing place that I highly recommend visiting and experiencing for yourself; although we have SO many opportunities and comforts in the states we really are lucky.

Those are the big events, although daily life continues to be busy and always full of adventure. Recently, since there are no classes and it rains every day, this is what I’ve been up to. I’ve been teaching a new set of English classes, this time to anyone who wants to come, not just students.We are working of planting some 4,000 trees, which involves finding places to plant and people to do the work. We are starting compost piles with a few individual families, and I’m even learning the tricks to cultivating potatoes (hard work, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!)

I promise it won’t be another three months in between blog updates! Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Peace and Happy New Decade, Jared

And for you viewing enjoyment...

This is my families dog, King Kong, climbing into the sink to look for food scraps. He only goes in there when he thinks nobody is looking. Unfortunately for him, I caught him from my balcony.

Heather and I on our first official date. Ice skating in Rice Park, St. Paul.

Who's excited about being and Uncle/Godfather? This guy!

A teacher in my town: "Yared, can you be Santa to pass out these gifts?"
Me: "why don't we have a fat person play Santa?"
Teacher: "Because Santa is white."
Honestly, how can I go against that logic?

My family's new puppy, Oso (means bear), which I convinced my family to keep because he is SO cute.

Some other PCVs and I on top of Volcan Misit, a volcano 19,119 feet above sea level, which we climbed the day after Thanksgiving. It was tough, but a worth it.

This picture is the kindergarten graduation. I took their pictures. For some reason, if you put gowns on a 5 year olds, they behave like little angels!

The primary school kids took formation for Tomas' anniversary party on October 16th.

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