Thursday, October 6, 2011

A New Family & the Beauty of Peru...

After intense lesson planning and couch-bonding with the volunteers while we watched laugh-out-loud children's movies such as Rio, as well as inspiring independent films like Even The Rain, we truly had the chance to become a family during our stay in Peru. From corner store runs to stock up on sweet treats for the night, to 3-5 hour combi/mini-van bus hopping, it was definitely an experience getting to know each other: where we come from as well as where we're going in life.

Fortunately, we had amazing day and overnight trips to nearby locations around Lima and other provinces. During these trips is where we really established friendships and lifelong connections.
First weekend day trip to the city of Lima

Convent of Santo Domingo, in Lima

Parque del Amor (Love Park) in Miraflores, Lima

Enjoying a brisk morning in Miraflores with some of my favorite ladies!

Right by the coast of Peru (Ruins of Pachacamac)

Walking the tiny streets through Matucana, craving some trout for dinner.

Matucana looks like the midwestern US... (even though I've never been)

A short rest, about halfway through our hike towards the Antankallo waterfall in Matucana.

Arriving at the waterfall for some deserved ice cold popsicles
(Volunteer Jesse P. photo credit)

The girls in Huacachina, a desert oasis, in Ica, Peru

First-time sand boarder!

This picture was definitely worth the numerous takes.

We missed the sunset, but there's the moon!

The oasis.
Huacachina from above. Volunteer Christopher T. braved it for the rest of us and hiked up some steep sand dunes for some exploring and this amazing shot.
In front of the Trujillo Bridge in Central Lima
as I say goodbye to my dear friend Holli S.
Last day in Lima, view of the city from the high cerro (hill) San Cristobal.

- - - - -

Enjoying even more sights and spending time with my HUGE extended family was also a PLUS from this trip. It had been 5 years since I last visited Lima, so it was such a joy to be so close to them and see more of the beauty that is Peru, as well as enjoy the deliciousness of Peru's authentic cuisine...

First day out of Huaycan and my cousin treated me out to this amazing seafood restaurant where I tried Tiraditos for the first time, an appetizer of raw fish in four different sauces: red and yellow spicy peppers, olive sauce, and traditional ceviche sauce (leche de tigre) with sweet potatoes and Peruvian white corn in the center.

My cousin William and I at the Museo De La Nacion, Peru's National Museum.
Pottery and ceramic storehouse in the Museum of Larco Herrera

Piqueo Criollo, basically a little bit of many different traditional Peruvian appetizers: Stuffed Rocoto (spicier version of a stuffed pepper), Anticuchos (cow heart or chicken on skewers), Papa a La Huancaina (potatoes with a spicy yellow pepper creamy milk and cheese sauce), Chicharron (fried pork meat), Yuca Frita (fried cassava), and more...

With my godmother, cousin, and nephew in La Plaza de Armas, the main square of Central Lima.

On Peruvian Independance Day, decided to go hiking. We figured we'd get some strength for the trail and looked up and down the tiny streets for an open restaurant. But even better, we found a woman cooking up some yumminess and selling it on the sidewalk. Traditional portion of a Parillada (Grilled food/BBQ) It was SOOO tasty.

And when we asked for forks, she told us it's tastier with your fingers. And she was RIGHT!

I became the tour guide taking my cousins, the locals, hiking through Matucana.

Our ritual Huaycan fruit salads, yogurt and ice cream for a $1.oo US dollar. (2.50-3 Peruvian Soles)

Traditional Pollo a la Brasa (Peruvian style roasted chicken) with fries
Of course I got to see a Llama, named Nuubi, as it said on it's ID card.

La Punta del Callao, The Point of Callao,
a strip of coastal land jutting out into the Pacific Ocean.

With my aunt Elena on the beach at La Punta.
Absolutely no sand, just soft eroded stones.

La Punta, Lima

Cemetery in Lima

Visiting my grandmother's grave before heading back to the states.

The most difficult goodbye was to my grandfather. He was proud of the work I was doing with the kids in Huaycan, and became very excited when I would bring other volunteers to meet him. His memory is poor, but he remembered me evertime he heard my voice...Singing tangos from his time and coming up with rhymes to everything I told him, helped turn the goodbye into a "see you next year"...


  1. Hi There,
    I’m a new follower, just wanted to say thanks for this post, I’m hiking to Machu Picchu this year and I enjoyed your great photos of Peru!

    Best Wishes

  2. oh wonderful!!! hope you enjoy your trip to Peru as much as I did. Cuzco will hopefully happen for me this summer and I will definitely be adding to this blog since I'm returning to volunteer in Huaycan as well.

    1. Brilliant, I'll look forward to reading about your new adventures! :)