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.