Monday, September 28, 2009

A day in the life of me

So I realized that what I now consider to be normal is very different then what I used to. So I am going to describe a normal day here.

1. I wake up at about 6:30 every morning and get dressed into my uniform. I put on my make-up (very minimal) and put my hair up ( which is required)
2. I go to the kitchen and wait to see what kind of juice we will be drinking this morning ( I have had, strawberry, mango, papaya, orange, and about six others that I do not know the name of) breakfast is usually bread with jelly, ham. or egg.
3. After I brush my teeth I am off to school! Most mornings my father drives me and my sister, but sometimes I have to take a collectivo (it is like a taxi, but it has a certain route and just collects people as it goes).
4. I get to school and before I can enter my class room we all have to line up into a formation were we say prayers every morning.
5. I get to my classes and unload all of my stuff into my desk because I do not ever have to change class rooms, the teachers are the ones that change. And everytime a teacher enters we have to stand up.
6. I do not understand most of my classes so I just try to follow along the best that I can.
7. Now we do not have lunch during school, we have a half hour break that is like snack time for us at 11:00. We can purchase snacks or just hang out and talk to all of our friends (this is a great time for me to catch up with the other exchange students)
8. I go back to the class room and finish up not understanding anything. But it is not that bad because I have a lot of friends that always want to help me. Before school ends I always spend some time joking around with the boys that sit behind me. Then we line up in formation again before we get to leave.
9. Then I ride in a combi (it is like a really small bus) and walk home with my boyfriend (he likes to make sure that I get home safe everyday).
10. When I get home at about 2:45, I change my clothes and eat lunch with Mama. We eat rice every luch with differnt potatoes and chicken and soups.
11. Then I help clean up and I go to the shop with them to wait for my sister.
12. At about 8 or 9 we come home and I work on my homework until dinner which is at about 9:30.
13. Dinner is always really small, we usually just finish what ever we ate for lunch that day.
14. I go on the computer and check my e-mail and finish my homework.
15. At about 10:00 I go to bed and start all over the next day.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

short, but really funny

Last Friday was just another ordinary day at school. Lots of classes that I don´t understand, lots of teachers that I don´t understand, and lots of gossip that I don´t understand. Now, I need to sidetrack for just a minute and describe the doors in Peru. The doors here only have latches on one side, so if you are on the other side you have to knock or a have a key to enter. Ok back to the story. Well it was english class and I am just chilling and helping everybody, when I notice my friend Jesus is knocking at the door. So I look around and no one is getting up to open the door for him. So I wait a second, then trying to be polite I go over and open the door for him. Now in the USA it does not mean anything when a girl opens the door for a guy, it is just polite and nice, I asumed that it was the same everywhere, silly me. As soon as he steps into the room, the whole class bursts out in whistles and screams. I am very confused. So I go back to my desk and turn to my friend Alicia and ask her to explain. What I soon found out is that in Peru if a girl opens the door for a guy it means that she "likes" him. I was embarrased for about a minute, but I got over it.

There are a few upsides to this story
1. I learned a social rule of Peru
2. It was really funny
3. It entertained all the boys in the class for about 30 seconds
4. I learned that the boys in my class are really good at whistling


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Dance practice

Ok so on Thursday, I was asked by some of my classmates if I wanted to join a competitive dance group at the school. Of course I accepted the offer. All I knew was that we were learning some type of tradtional dance. So on Saterday I walk to the school where we are meeting and I only know a few boys from my class. We are leughing and joking, then we have to start running for a warm-up. At first it was really easy, then after about 30 seconds I realized that there is no oxygen in the mountains *my pace slows*. Then at one point in time I realize that I am barly breathing, so I decide to walk, and the boys that were running with me did not want me to feel left out so they walked with me. So we are streching and everyone is amazed at how flexible I am. :) Then we start dancing, all I can think is Oh My God what did I get myself into. It was so fast with so many steps and I could barly keep up. But everyone kept encouragin me and I caught on pretty quickly. Then after about an hour and a half we had a little break. The boys were commenting on my flexibilty, so I showed them my splits, they freaked out! They were all trying and it was one of the funniest moments in Peru so far. So practice is over and I am exhausted and I have to walk back to the shop.
Well the four boys from my class decided that they were all going to walk with me for "saftey". This was also very funny because they were all pretending to be my secret service and one of them would go ahead to "clear the area"; I was very amused. But the best part was when we were getting close to the shop we decided to play a trick on Mama and I linked arms with them to pretend that I had 4 boyfriends. You should have seen my mother´s face when I walked into the shop surrounded by four boys and I said "Hola Mama, yo tengo cuatro enamorados". Translation- Hello Mama, I have four boyfriends. She just kinda stared for a second before realizing that it was a joke. Then one of them explained that they were walking with me for safety and that they are my friends. I will never forget that!
I am so excited for my next dance practice! Our costumes are going to be amazing and we are going to kick butt at competition!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

First day of school

Ok, so people may think that GCS has a strict dress code, NOT EVEN CLOSE! The uniform that I have to wear is so much more extreme! The skirt has to be 2 fingers below my knees, the socks come up to my knees, I have to wear a jacket, AND a little tie thing, that is the most uncomfortable thing in the whole world. I will post picture eventually. Anyways, I wake up early on monday morning, and get dressed, then I eat as much breakfast as i can handle, i was really nervous. When I got there I waited for about 10 minutes before the other exchange students showed up. We had to get introduced to the whole school, and then, SURPRISE, we have to talk infront of the entire school! And guess who had to go first, yup, thats right, me! It was actually really funny though, because when I was walking up to the microphone all of the boys were whistling. Of course i forgot all of my spanish at that point in time and I made a fool out of myself, but everything turned out ok. So I get put into my classroom and to my surprise everyone wanted to sit next to me. I made so many friends in the first two minutes! I did not understand one word that any of the teachers said, and some of the teachers did not even ackowledge the fact that I was there, but I had a lot of fun. During this one point in time when we were waiting for our next teacher, every single boy in the entire class was around my desk, every one! It was really cute, they would all tell me their names and then cheer if i could remember one. :) Everyone is so nice! Everyone always wants to help me and to ask me questions about english. It is really entertaining, because at free time with teh whole school, I can always catch a few boys staring at me, so I stare back and they blush and turn away, It is really cute.
Yes, I did have homework on my first day, and yes, it was in spanish, and no, i did not understnad a word of it.
Each day is getting better and better, soon I will be fluent in spanish, then all of you are going to have to translate every owrd like I have to, HA.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

The market

Now when you think of the market you think of this happy little place with a whole buch of happy little people selling a whole bunch of happy little fruits. Well, the people there are mostly happy and they are definatly little, but it is no so small and the fruit is most definatly not happy. So I walk up to what I think is this normal row of shops, boy was I wrong, you enter a shop and it is like you are transported to another place full of people yelling ranbom stuff that you don´t know and a whole buch of chicken heads being chopped off. Every direction you face there is some type of different activity going on *what did I get my self into*. Mama is watching me, waiting for any type of reaction. Waiting with anticipation and then...just when she thinks I am going to run home screaming.....I smile. Now this smile is not just a little I am happy smile. This is a OH MY GOSH THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST AMAZING; CRAZIEST; MOST INTENSE (just like the circus) PLACES I HAVE EVER BEEN TO smile.
I can not control my eyes, they are hypnotized by all the colors and sounds and smells. Sounds like, lound banging of chicken being cut and the heaving plodding of bags being dropped and the constant shuffling of feet going in every direction. There are so many differnt fruits and vegatable nad potatoes, every color you can imagine and even the colors you can´t imagine. Every grain, and meat and seafood and... and just everyting you could ever want to eat. So we set off into the abys *clings to mama´s arm* in search of onions and god knows what else. People stare, I am the tallest and my hair is not black. We are lost in this black hole of food for what seems like 5 days (it really only felt like 10 mintutes, but I like being dramatic). Then like a shark leaping out of the water to catch its pray, we emerge! *huge deep breath* Am I alive? I slowly look over my body to make sure that all of my limbs are attached. Feet, check; Legs, check; Hands, check; Fingers, check; Head......head...HEAD....OMG WHERE DID MY HEAD GO!!! oh wait there it is, on my neack right where it is supposed to be, as opposed to sticking out of my stomach, where it is not supposed to be. The whole experience was incredible! I hope that I did it justice, because it is really a wonderful place. *contented sigh*


On Saturday morning I woke, just like any other day, BUT, it was not anyother day. Saturday is the day that I met all of Prilu´s friends. So I wake up early and peel myself out of bed. Now normaly I don´t worry to much about how I look, but I had to look perfect. Every hair has to be in place, every eyelash perfectly coated with mascara. So it is time for breakfast. cut the bread, spread the jam, fry the sausage, WAIT, darn, I overcooked them again. GOOD MORNING PRILU, she woke up late. Now we pile ourselfs into the car, I am confident???? Anyways we drive up to the futbol field where they will be for the games today. *bead of sweat* we are here. I say goodbye to Papi and in an instant I go from nervous, to super excited, I can feel my heart beating from my head to my feet, and then POW! I am engulfed in a flurry of greetings and kisses and so so many names, Leslie, no wait, your Danielle, or are you Sophia, no she is Sophia, you are......oh well its not important I will just smile and nod. The next hours are so much fun, watching all of the futbol, and cheering for our team!My eyes can not help but to dart from place to place. Now this may sound like all fun and games, and well technically it is, but when you are surrounded by a whole bunch of people talking in a language you barely know and everyone is constantly staring at you because you are the only one with hair that is not black, things can get pretty intense (like the circus :)). *sigh* it is time to go. I honestly had so much fun, I got really sunburned, but I had so much fun!

Friday, September 11, 2009

fresh lemonade

Ok, so on Thursday morning I got up pretty early (which I have been doing a lot lately) and ate my favorite breakfast, fryed sausages and a pastry with strawberry jelly. Then Mama and I went to my high school to get my schedual and ask about the length of my skirt, it has to be BELOW my knees!!!!! I almost died! The best part of my day was right before lunch when I went to the market for the first time, I thought that it was huge, but according to Mama and Prilu it was tiny. We had to get fish and the lady cut the fish in half, length wise, including the head. While we were waiting for her to clean the fish Mama and I played with the shrimp that were there (they still had all their legs and eyes and everything) and made little shrimp puppets that talked to each other; people laughed at us :). Then we came back to the house to prepare lunch, I got the most important job, to make the lemonade.
Now, this lemonade is not the silly stuff that comes out of a can like in the USA, no it is the real deal fresh, made from water, lemons and sugar. So I went to work carfully squeezing each lemon to get the exact amount of juice needed. Now the lemons in Peru are not for the faint of heart, these are hardcore, little, green peruvian lemons (very sassy). So after the pain staking task of squeezing the lemons I had to measure the suger. Now you may think that this is an easy task, WRONG!!! You see, if you don´t put enough in then it is sour, and no one wants to drink lemonade that is too sour. But if you put to much in then it is too sweet, and no one wants to drink lemonade that is sickly sweet. So I had to put one spoonful at a time, very slowly; I can see mama watching me out of the corner of her eye *gulp*. Another spoonful, then another, then... STOP, no wait I need more *deep breath*. Just one more and.....BAM! PERFECTION! I had successfuly created probably the most delicious lemonade ever to exist on this wonderful plant we call earth. Each sip was heaven in liquid form. It had a taste so radiant that you were worried that once it was gone you would have nothing to live for!
Needless to say everyone loved it and I passed the test.

The rest of my day was pretty low key after that episode, hanging out in the shop, meeting Prilu´s brother, and buying shoes.
I can not wait for school on Monday, I am kind of freaking out, but I am really excited too.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009


ok, last night (Tuesday) was my best night so far. My sister, Prilu came home from school and we made dinner for ourself because our parents were at the store. When Mama and Papi came home I gave them one of the gifts that I had bought them and they all loved it! Then we sat around the table huddled up in blankets and joked around. They gave me an alpaca hat with ear flap to try on, I looked rediculous, but it was sooooo funny, of course i have a picture. Then we were joking about how at school all of the boys will line up to help me with my homework and to take me out, this is Mama´s favorite thing to joke about.
Today (Wednesday) when I woke up Mama was not here, all of her stuff was, but not her. I called her name and started to get really worried. Turns out she just had to run to the market for some fruit. Then we went to a store so I could be measured for my uniform ( I start school on Monday!!!!). And then we ran around town tying to find my sweats for PE. It was such a great morning!


Tuesday, September 8, 2009


well, today was a much better day than yesterday. I spent the morning reading in the sun with was so peaceful. Then mama took me to the high school that I will be attending, I got my text books and almost died; then are all in spanish! Then we went to all these little shops that sell a whole buch of typical Peruvian stuff. Mama bought me a little toy gymnast and she like to call him my first friend in Peru :). I think that I am finally starting to kinds adjust to living here. I honestly can not imagine anything that is more different from the USA. I want to be home so bad, but I do not want to leave. Oh well, hopefully school will make the days go by faster. I will keep you posted.


Monday, September 7, 2009

peru at last

Greetings from Huancayo Peru! The trip here was crazy!!! It was a two hour plane ride to Miami, where I stayed for one night before taking the 6 hour plane ride to Lima Peru. OH MY GOSH, Peru is soooooooo different. What is funny is that the first three resturants that i saw where: KFC, Burger King, and chinese food. It was really funny. I spent two nights in Lima where I met all of the students from all over the world that decided to come to Peru. They were all so nice, some of the countries that they were from are Belgium, Germany, France, Switzerland ( I made a really good friend from here!), and New Zealand. On sunday we drove for 8 hours in this amazing bus up to Huancayo. Unfortuanatly I did not feel well the entire time. Then when we finally arrived we met up with our host families, everyone was so excited. When I got to my house I still did not feel very well so I did not eat much dinner. I also got really homesick, i felt bad because I was crying for most of Monday morning. But my host mom made me feel a lot better. I am still homesick and I still miss the USA and my family very much, but I am a bit more excited for this next year. I will start school in a week, so everything is going to get veny crazy, luckily I have an amazing host family to help me. I miss everyone so much, please e-mail me!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

saying goodbye

Wow. These past few days have been CRAY! On Saturday I had my going away party. I was so happy that so many people could come, but saying goodbye to all of them was really hard. Of course there were tears, but I know that it is all for the best. Today I had to say goodbye to the Lenahan's, that was definitely one of the harder goodbyes for me. Oh yeah on Saturday before my party we went and had family photos done before I left, it was so fun fun. We even brought Rudy with us, but he was not to crazy about the flashes.
So packing has actually been pretty easy, I went through my closest and all my drawers and grabbed the clothes I liked. It was so cool because mom told me to buy these space bags that suck all the air out and flatten your clothes, they work really well! I finally finished today and I had to weigh my suitcase ( weight limit of 44lbs). I was holding my breath, guess what it weighs, 43 pounds!
It was very strange going through today knowing that it was my last day here for a year, but the extent of this trip has not fully registered in my brain yet. I am sure it will soon. The next time that I write it will be in Peru!!!! I am so excited!! I will keep you posted!