Tuesday, May 18, 2010


As most of you probably know, I am home. I have been home for over a month now. AFS recieved a recomendation from the doctor saying that I needed to return to the USA, so here I am. It all happened very quickly, I only had a day to get all of my stuff ready and to go shoppoing and to do everything that I wanted to do, of course I was not able to do everything or to say goodbye to everyone. Leaving was one of the hardest things that I have ever had to do in my entire life. It was like I was torn from everything I knew and thrust back into the unknown. Just like when I first got there.
I will never forget my experience. I have made life long friends and I now have connections in an amazing country. I have learned a language that I am now fluent in. I have seen places that most people can only dream of or see on post cards. I have learned things that I will need for the rest of my life.
I do not consider myself to be fully American anymore, becuase I know that I am and always will be part Peruvian. Peru has become part of who I am and who I will become.
Since I have been home I have become very busy. I am doing camps, working 2 jobs, taking summer classes, getting my drivers liscense. But I am also starting a fundraiser, it is called Adopt A Desk, and it was set up to help the second school that I went to, Maristas. To learn more about it, please visit the website at adoptadesk.webs.com which should be up and running by the weekend. I will keep everyone posted on that.

So as soon as I got to Peru I started thinking of how I would end my blog, the end of my time in Peru, and I have found a suitable quote that I think sums everything up.

I came, I saw, I conquered - Julius Ceaser

Monday, March 29, 2010

sorry it took so long!

what an....adventure. I am so sorry that I have not posted anything for a while. I was pretty sick so I had to be hospitalized in a clinic for about five days. I must say, it was not the horrible experience that I imagined it would be. I did not enjoy it, but I did have cable TV and the nurses were really nice to me, so I am not complaining. The doctor said that I had an infection in my throat and the effects spread to the rest of my body.. Not quite sure what that means, but I had blood drawn 6 times, 4 shots, 2 IVs, and one biopsi, so it ust have been bad. I am much better now, I left on Saterday and I am currently staying with the AFS president in Huancayo until I am fully recovered.
I am very excited because I start a new high school tomorrow. I am not changing schools because I did not like San Juan Bosco (my old school) I just want to have some new experiences and get to know some new people in my last few months here in Peru. I am going to a school called Maristas. It is a new school, it just opened 2 years ago, so it is still very small. About 50 students. Or thats what I heard at least. I have actually not been there yet, so tomorrow is going to be very exciting.
I am also beginning to think that I am going to be changing families...again. But that us still up in the air, no one really knows what is going to happen yet.
I can not wait to tell you all about my first day in my new school!!!!
Love you guys!!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010


I am so sorry that I have not written in a long time. At the moment I am sick and I just want to sleep all day, so I am not going to write that much. As soon as I get better and get back in school I will give you a very long update, but right now I am going to the doctors.

I love you guys!!!


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

see with your eyes closed

Close your eyes and look around. What can you see? Black? Black with those little squiggily lines? Look more carefully. Can you see what I see? I see faith. When your so far away from everything you know, that is all you can look for and if you are very lucky, then you can find it. Now, you may be thinking, what does faith look like. I can assure you that is not an easy question to answer.
It is that feeling that is inside of you that is so strong you feel as if you can see it just as clearly as you can see your hand in front of your face.
The act of knowing that you are not alone even if there is no one around for miles.
The beautiful song that fills your head when the world is silent.
The warmth that comforts you in the cold air of that Andes mountains.
The feeling of security in a world filled with violence.
It is the still calm that comes over you, when you do not feel the need to do anything, only the need to just be.
Have you ever seen a stranger go out of their way to help a person they have never met before. It is a beautiful thing. It is what we all hope to see everyday. But why do we sit there and watching hoping to see a true act of kindness when we could be the people doing the acts and setting the example.
Have you ever heard the lines from the well loved song "so I keep on waiting, waiting for the world to change" ? What a stupid song. We all keep saying that the world needs to change, and then we sit around and wait for other people to do it. Why arn´t we the ones making the change, one person can make a huge difference.

So I sugest that you stop looking with your eyes open and start trying to see with your eyes closed.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

2 gringas en Chincha

WOW!!!! I am so happy that I decided to take a little break from Huancayo and come to the coast to visit my friend for a while. I am currently in the city of Chincha. It is not a city for tourists, not at all, there is nothing here.
My first day did not get off to a very good start. Within the first 3 hours my cell phone got stolen and then a truck full of boys dumped water on us and we got soaked! This was very refreshing, but at the same time it was very annoying. Luckily we were coming home and not going out.
But my friend Nicole and I are sleeping on the roof of her house everynight because the sky is just so pretty. It started that we were just going to sleep there for the first night, but that changed as soon as we layed down, the sky was pink and blue and purple. WE just sat there and stared at the sky. It is so fun because the clouds always make the most interesting shapes, we have seen letters and a cross and a flag and a guinia pig and other cray stuff like that.
It is all very funny because we are playing the very popular game of Carnival (with the water). WE stand on her roof and throw water at innocent people passing by. The funnest people to hit are the ones riding by on motorcycles. After we throw the water we duck down so that the people can not see us, which makes it even funnier because they are all looking around for where the water came from. Now I know that this might sound cruel, but its just so much fun. You should try it sometime.
yesterday was my best day of my entire year in peru so far. Nicole and I got up early and we took a 2 hour bus ride to the city of Ica. First we went to the mall. A real mall, with 3 floors and more then 10 stores! I was so excited. We went shopping and I got my hair cut for the first time since I have been here ( I feel like I am 10 pounds lighter). We bought some really cute jackets that say Peru on the front. Then we took a taxi to a lagoon that is in the middle of the desert. It was so beautiful, but the best part is what we did in the desert. We went sand boarding!!!!! We took a buggy (like a tricked out jeep) far out into the sand dunes. It was like a roller coaster, sometimes we were driving on verticle walls of sand. Then we got to the top of a very large hill of sand. We layed on our stomachs on these boards that looked a lot like snow boards and then the guide would push us off down these almost verticle hills. It was one of the funnest things that I have ever done in my life. And what was great is that Nicole and I got a private buggy so it was just us two and the guide ( who was also 17). When we finished we went back to the lagoon and tryed to shake off all of sand that now covered us. Eventually we managed to get mostly clean and we took a taxi to the movies. We watched a really good movie about rugby in south Africa.
After all of that we were so tired so we slept the whole bus ride back to chincha. We finally got home and we took a shower and went right to bed-on the roof.

Lots of Love,

PS- pictures will be coming when I get back to huancayo

Saturday, February 20, 2010

More Pictures!

Ok, The first two are from pole dancing. Then there is me on the steps in my house in Lima. and then there is my wonderful, amazing family in Lima that I stayed with for two weeks. And filally, another picture from prom of me and my friend Nele from Belgium.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Hand-washing clothes

I hate to say it, but Americans are spoiled. Now don´t even try to deny it because we all know that it is true. We take so many things for granted, like washing machines. Such a simple little thing that as Americans, we all have. Well in these past few months I have had to emotionaly deattach myself from this glorious machine. I have had to do the unthinkable, the unheard of, I have had to wash all my clothes by hand *GASP*!!!! Yes it is very shocking, I know, in the beginning when my family told me what I had to do I just looked at them with what was probably a very stupid expression.
Now I know what you all must be thinking, "Lindsey, its not that bad, its so easy". Well that my friends is where you are wrong.
To start, you have to find the perfect size bin to put your clothes in. To small and not all of them fit, to big and your water to clothing ratio is off (yes, math is very much involved, who knew). Ok so we have the clothes in the perfect size bin, now you have to add the water. You have to put just enough water in so that you can push all of the clothes under, but you have to leave a little bit of space so you can still have the space on the top to scrub your clothing. Water, Check! Now as you all may have guessed, it is time to put in the soap. I am proud to say that I now have this down toa science, but my first few times I suffered deeply. I made the two most common mistakes, to much soap, and not enough soap. If there is to much soap it will take you, no joke, and hour to rinse one article of clothing. If you are infortunate enough to not use enough then your clothes do not get clean and when you are scrubbing you can rip them. Now, not having enough soap is very easily corrected, UNLESS, you add to much more and then you are stuck with the first problem that you were trying to avoid in the first place! OH NO!!!! Although those things may sound dramaticaly serious, they are not really that bad.
So we have a bin, we have water, we have soap, and lets hope that we ahave clothes or else putting soap and water in a bin would be very pointless.
The act of washing the clothes is actually the easiest part. You just use a brush and scrub away the dirt, you you dont use a brush and you use the clothing itself to clean itself. But there is a hidden danger. The brushes here have attitude problems and sometimes like to leave bristles stuck under your skin, not a very fun expearience and a pain in the butt (or finger) to get out. It took me like ten minutes because this bristle had to be difficult and keep breaking in little parts.
ANYWAYS! So your clothes are finally clean, YAY! But now they are full of soap.
Simple, dump out all the soapy water and fill it with clean water over and over and over again untill all the soap is out. Or you can rinse each article of clothing individually, which ever you prefer. Then you squeeze out as much water as you can so they will dry faster. And in Huancayo you want your clothes to dry very fast because you are always racing with the rain.
If you use the clothing lines as part of a grid and you line up the grid with the position of the sun and use points to represent articles of clothing then you can pinpoint the exact locations that will dry clothing the fastest and the slowest ( I told you that math was involved). But only losers would actaully take the time to make a grid and monitor the position of the sun, so I just hang up my clothes and move them around until they are dry. Both methods work just fine.
I hope that you all have learned something new.

I miss you all and I love you!!!!


Thursday, February 18, 2010


I am finally putting up some pictures! The first one is from my pole dancing classes. The next one is me in the tradition clothing from the city of Lamas in the Jungle. Then I have two from the beach when I went to Lima, I am with my host sister from Lima Jimena. And the last two are from my prom! the picture with all the people are all of the AFS students in Huancayo and the other is me, my friend Nele, and our friend José.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What a crazy few days! Well on the 14th I went over to talk to one of the AFS volenteers. She somehow convinced me to return to my first host family that same day! I was amazed that she wanted me to change that fast! So I went back to my house and I packed up all my stuff (close to 11 bags!) and I was in the other house in under 2 hours! Things were going great until the night time. I don´t know what happened but I just broke down crying for about 3 hours. I felt so bad because I just got to their house and the family had no idea what to do. I was just so stressed and I missed my family so much, I actually wrote an e-mail to my mom telling her that I wanted to come home in March. I went to bed hoping that a good nights sleep would help me out.
It did! I woke up on the morning of my birthday feeling great! I got up kinda early and I got ready. I put on my special outfit that I had picked out and then I went to my friend Johanna´s house and she did my hair and make-up. I came back to the house and I cleaned and set up the livinf room for my "get together" (not a party) that I would have that night. Then I went back to the family that I had just left because they had prepared something special for my birthday. We ate cake and hot chocolate and they gave me an adorable doll. But I soon had to go. So I said my goodbyes and I returned to my house. I called my mom so that I could talk to her a little bit for my birthday, but not to long because I had to set everything up.
And soon, people started showing up! So many more people came then what I expected! It was so much fun. I showed everyone my clothes fromt he jungle and we ate cake ( Prilu, my sister, shoved my face in it) and we danced for hours. By the end of the night I was so exhausted! I helped clean up a little bit and then I went to bed and fell asleep so fast!
I can´t believe that I am 17. I remember when I was 10 saying that I would never be 16 because that is so old. Well just look at me now! 17 years old. I guess that I am growing up whether I like it or not. But like someone famous once said, growing old is manditory, growing up is optional.

I love you all and I miss you all so much!

Lots of Love,

Friday, February 12, 2010

My new normal

It would be very hard for me to say that what I considered to be normal is now very weird. I also realize that I now consider things to be normal that you all might think is crazy. Allow me to explain myself.
1. Washing my clothes. I hand-wash all of my clothes, we do not have a washing machine; it is very rare that families have washing machines. And none, I mean NONE of the families have dryers. I asked about a dryer, they did not know what it was.
2. Washing dishes. People here do not know what a dishwasher is, they think that it is a person that comes to the house to wash the dishes.
3. Taking a shower. Most families here do not have a shower, they dump water on them or they go to a public sauna. I am very lucky, I have a shower in my house.
4. Water. A lot of people don´t have running water. I do. But no one has hot water. If you are very lucky you have hot water in only your shower. Well hot water means kinda warm sometimes.
5. We do not have a refrigerator. We buy all of our food for the days meals and we use it that day.
6. We drink some type of hot beverage 3 times a day. Sometimes its hot chocolate, sometimes its coffee, or tea, but we always drink something hot.
7. Transportation. I can not imagine not being able to call a taxi to my house if I want to go out. Or not being able to pay 30 cents to ride a combi to my friend´s house.
Those are just a few things, to me they are completely normal. I would not even think twice about these things, they are my life now.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

*I can not think of a title for this one*

I was wrong. I was so sure that things were going to get better with my sisters, but as I have learned things do not always go the way that I planned. My older sister has made it very clear that she does not want me to live here anymore. So I have talked to AFS and they are in the process of finding me a new family. I know that I only have a few months left to make this the best experience of my life, and that is what I am going to do. I need to stop relying on other people to make this great for me and start making it great for myself.
I would like to apologize. I know that this blog is the only contact that some of you have with me and I have not been updating it very much. Like I said, I have been stressed and very busy, I will try to get a new post up at least twice week (please don´t hold me to that).
Right now I understand what it is like to be an adult. I am having a few money issues. I left my camera out in the rain. I was so sure that it was broken beyond repair. So I kept taking the battery out so it could dry out. And then it started getting better, and one morning I woke up just knowing that it was fixed and all dried out. Then I tried to put the battery in. I had been taking it out and putting it in so much that the little spring broke, how ironic is that. I had to buy a new camera. I now have to start saving my money for the trip to Manchu Pichu in the summer (we can´t go now because Cuzco is underwater). That should be super fun.

I miss you all so much. Los extraño bastante. Yo quiero regresar a mi casa y mi collegio. Es asi, yo quiero regresar a Estados Unidos, pero yo no quiero irme de Perù.

Con mucho amor (Lots of Love),

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


We are going to do what!? That was my first response when my sisters explained the "carnival" to me. The carnival is the whole month of February and it consists of dumping water on other people. This is not just done in the family or with friends; everytime that you walk on the street you are in danger of being soaked wether you like it or not. Now I imagine that on the coast or in the jungle where it is really hot that this game is a refreshing cool down. I live in the mountains, it never gets above 70 degrees. At first I refused to participate for the fear of dying of hypothermia. But I somehow ended up on my roof with my sisters and a friend trying as hard as I could to soak them; and it worked. I did not die, I did not get frostbite, in fact, I had fun. A lot of fun. Yes, I was freezing, but I felt like a part of the family and not some forgein girl that is forced to live here.

After my trip to Lima I expected to come home to warm hugs and a changed family. That however was not the case. My sisters were treating me worse then ever, they had even rearanged the room so my bed as all alone in the corner. But I was determined to make this work. So I did as much housework as I could think of so I could make a good impression, showing that I really do want to be here. And my hardwork did pay off. My sisters actually started being nice to me. Everything began to look just a little bit brighter then before. Now I am not sure if it will always be as good as today playing carnival, but I know that things will in fact be better.


Sunday, January 24, 2010


I have been in Lima for just over a week now and I LOVE it. My host family is great, just really amazing! I will tell you all what I have been doing for the past week and my plans for this week. Monday was so much fun! I got to sleep in until whenever I wanted and then Jimena and I swam in her pool and layed out in the sun. But then in the evening was the best part, I had my first pole dancing lesson! Now I know what you all must be thinking about pole dancing, but it is not at all what you would expect. I am learning the sport, not how to be a stripper, and it is actually really really hard. I was so surprised at how much strength it takes, and after i was beyond sore!
I dont remember what happened on Wednesday. On Thursday we had pole dancing again, i am so proud that I can do some of the crazy hard hanging upside down stuff that only the insturctor can do. Of course i will post pictures as soon as I get back to Huancayo.
Then on Friday we backed up our stuff and headed out to the beach house for the weekend again. And of course, I am sick. I don´t understand how its possible that I am not sick when I am 11,000 feet in the mountains in the freezing cold and constant rain, but I get sick on sea level where it is BEAUTIFUL.
Well, now it is Sunday, I am feeling much better. Last night we had a fire on the beach, it was a lot of fun. Then I slept in until about 12 this morning. I got up and I drank my fresh strawberry juice... OH YEAH, I dont remember if I told you guys. They dont really sell juice here in Peru because everyone makes it fresh. I have had papaya, orange, strawberry (my favorite), maracuya, banana, and so many different mixes that I cant remember.
I am really looking forward to this next week. Its my last week in Lima so my friends are going to take me clubbing on Tuesday and on Thursday. On Tuesday I am going to go to salsa class, that should be super fun, nad I already promised my mom that I would teach her when i get back, she wants me to have a group class, how funny would that be!

I am in love with the city of Lima. It is such an amazing city and the district that I am in is REALLY nice. It actually reminds me of the USA. But I have started to realize that the people that live here dont really travel in their country. I have been talking with all of my friends and asking them what other parts of the country that they know, and I am always surprised that I know more parts then them.

Well I am sorry, but I am going to go now. I am sure that I could sit here for another 3 hours and write, but it is sunny outside and I am at a beach house. So I am going to go lay out in the sun because it is never sunny here, the sky is always covered by clouds.

I love you guys!!!!


Monday, January 18, 2010

more traveling

Wow, I have not written a new post in so long, I am so sorry, I have just been so busy. On the 11th i had to pack up all of my things and take the 8 hour bus ride to Lima. I got to Lima at about 6 in the morning. I went to a youth hostal to sleep for a little while and to eat breakfast. I stayed there until about 9 then I headed off to the office of AFS. I just waited for the whole day until about 4. Then we went to the bus station because I had to go to the city of Tumbes for my Visa. The city of Tumbes is partly in Peru and partly in Ecuador. So what I did was I got permisson to leave Peru, then I went and I got a stamp that says that I was in ecuador. Then I got permission to leave Ecuador, then I went back and I got my new visa to be in Peru, all of this in under an hour. But the boarder was really cool, there was this really long market with a bridge in the middle. On one side of the bridge was Peru and on the other side was Ecuador, I still have no idea where the part in the middle belongs.

So then the next day I packed up my things and I took the 22 hour bus ride back to Lima, yes i did say 22 hours in a bus.

Luckily I do not have to go back to Huancayo right away, I get to spend 2 weeks in Lima with a host family here. It is a chance for me to get to know a different part of Peru, all of the exchange students are going to a different city for these 2 weeks. My familt here is wonderful, I have 2 sisters Jimena and Isabella. Jimena is 16 and Isabella is 18. They are both so nice and i know that i am going to have an amazing time. I have already been here for 3 days, 2 of those three were spent at their beach house.
I am going to enjoy myself very much.

I love you all so much and as soon as I get back to Huancayo I am going to post more pictures.


Monday, January 4, 2010

inside the thoughts of Lindsey

I am so confused. My sister and I talked about everything and we managed to work everything out. Things were great for about three days ( Yes dad, I am magical, I called that). I tried so hard to keep everything good between us, i was as nice as i possibly¡ly could be. I helped out extra, doing work around the house so that she could see that I was making an effort. But sure enough things started to go back to the way that they were, her not talking to me and just telling me what to do. I feel like they are purposely making me feel left out (my two sisters). They are constantly playing around and joking, but then if i try to join in they ignore me. All of this really amkes me miss my real sister. I mean sure she would yell at me and tell her to leave her alone, but at least she never ignored me. And besides, Kelly´s hair changes colors, how many people can say that they have a sister who´s hair changes colors.

I want this experience to be the best year of my life, but the first half has been a constant flow of one problem after another. I just want to have fun, I mean have the time of my life laughing all day fun. I think that I owe it to myself to find a family that will help me to do that. Who knows what this next half of my year has in store for me, all I know is that it is my choice.

Oh yeah, so as you all know I am in the jungle right now. I have found out that the traditional clothing from one of the cities here are amazing, so guess what, I AM BUYING SOME!! and i am learning the dance to go with it!!!

I will post more photos when I get back to Huancayo

Love and miss you all