Sunday, June 28, 2009

Moving Math

59 boxes packed up and taken away

5 hours from start to finish

3 efficient packers

2 boxes needed to be ripped open - one to take out REALLY IMPORTANT documents for our Japanese visas and our appointment at the Japanese Embassy, the other to take out a bunch of toys that were going to be recycled - the half chewed/broken ones.

1 missing card reader - which means I guess we packed both; which also means I can' t post pictures and I'll have to buy a new one in the states.

4 things that I wished I packed but can live without

and now, 5 more days until we leave...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I HEART Peru(vian Food)

Foods I'll Miss The Most, I Think.
  • Aji from Pardo's (it's a sauce made from the aji pepper that you dunk your roasted chicken into - or drink with a straw, whatever)
  • Mangos & Grenadilla & Pineapple & the Fresh Orange Juice - oh, the fruits I missed growing up in Connecticut
  • Anticuchos - grilled beef hearts - done right with the perfect marinade - delicioso!
  • Mate de Coca & Lemongrass tea from Machu Picchu Santuary Lodge - unfortunately I can't travel with coca leaves for obvious reasons, so this one will have to wait until we return to MP!
  • Pulpo Bebe a la Parrilla (Grilled Baby Octopus)... Mmmmmmmmmm, especially from Laeñe
  • Tacu-Tacu - a mash made from rice and beans, then lightly fried
  • Papitas con Huancaina sauce (potatoes with a creamy, peppery? sauce)
  • Choclo con queso in Ollantaytambo (corn with a salty fresh cheese)
  • A good empanada (but not with the powdered sugar, I don't like the savory/sweet mix)
  • A GOOD Pisco Sour (until I drank too many one night - and haven't had one in 2 years!)
  • Lucuma ice cream
  • Cusqueña beer (some people complain about the Peruvian beer and/or lack of variety - I love it - especially on a hot summer day!)
  • The fantastic fresh fish and cevicherias
Really I could go on all day. The food here is, in a word, AMAZING! It's fresh and best of all, cheap! I knew nothing of Peruvian cuisine before I moved here. I thought it was like a lot of other Central and South American cuisines with rice and beans and a little kick. While there is some of that, it doesn't define the food here. I'm not sure I could do it justice by trying to summarize it in a sentence, so I won't! Come down here and experience it yourself!

What would have made this post SUPER special is if I ate all of these things this past week and took my own photos of them... Unfortunately, life has been horrendous and my to-do list can't include go to different restaurants, order these foods and take photos. But, now, I'm hungry and wish I had AND wish I could eat all of these one last time or maybe two or three more times in this next week. Maybe there's still time!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

My dear friend, Anne, gave me this great idea: A Father's Day book. Every year, I'll include a picture of Max (and any other children that come our way) and let him write a message to his dad or decorate the page. I also created pages for 2007 & 2008.

the cover

first Father's Day - 2007 - a 4-D image a few weeks after Father's Day

2007 - almost crawling!


Maximo's hands and his art work!

It Has Started

The movers come this Friday and are supposed to pack and take away everything... We made a decent dent today.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Fun Times

WARNING: This is just another blog entry with a shameless amount of photos of Maximo. So if you are not a grandmother of this dear boy, you may want to check back later.

Max has been really fun lately - have I said that before? Now, we can really do activities with him strike>and oh, the real teacher in me is coming out. I enjoy reading parenting magazines and blogs to get ideas for fun activities. There are many arts and crafts projects that I can't wait to do, but there are some fun EASY activities that we've been experimenting with:
1. Painting - I don't always enjoy the mess and struggle to keep it contained, but he LOVES it!
2. "Fake painting" - all this kid needs is a paintbrush and a bucket of water - he paints the car, the house... I always pull him away kicking and screaming!

3. Cleaning - give the boy a broom! Just like his daddy.4. Flashlight Fun - fun for Flavius too!5. Chase - He loves to be chased. He squeals with delight when he's being chased and loves it when you roar too.

Notice none of these are toys? Max has toys, though not piles and piles of them. But, he'd much rather play with outside or doing something artsy.

And this... Cute and sad...approximately 5 seconds passed between these two photos

Friday, June 12, 2009

Top Ten Most Memorable Experiences in Peru

  1. Teaching English to the workers and forging some amazing relationships
  2. Getting locked out of our house and becoming a neighborhood spectacle (this is our neighborhood on a good day)
  3. Amazon Jungle trip
  4. 10-day Huayhuash hiking trip through the Andes, though it wasn't always fun
  5. Going to Paracas and Islas Ballestas with my mom and sister (though Carrie got really sick)
  6. Every visit (4) to Machu Picchu and Cusco - I hope we'll get to go again
  7. Having and raising Maximo here
  8. Traveling to Cuba, Argentina and Colombia(I know that this is not Peru, but living here made it easier to go)
  9. Language School with home stay in Arequipa then traveling to the Colca Canyon
  10. Social gatherings with friends - Halloween parties, Game Nights, Galas, Despedidas, Dinners... (I know these events make us seem all glam, but most nights I'm in bed by 9. These events are spread out over four years.)

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Sayonara Saturday

We are finally close enough that I can see the end and I can finally say "Only 'insert days/weeks' left". Actually in four short weeks, we'll already be back in the states visiting friends and family. YIPEE!

We are very very excited for our move. We know it'll be stressful, especially doing it now with a little one and we'll have to work extra the first year since we're teaching different courses and because, well, we're MOVING TO ANOTHER COUNTRY ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD!

BUT. The goodbyes are difficult. What's really surreal about some of our goodbyes is that they are just that - goodbye. We may never see some of these people ever again. They are not on the internet. They don't have mailing addresses. If they leave FDR then we'll have no means of contacting them. These are the people we said "chau" to on Saturday, friends who we will keep in our hearts forever.

Yesterday, we were invited to a lunch provided by a couple of workers at school. Pedro caught us during the week and invited us for anticuchos (skewered grilled beef hearts - YUM!). We arrived at school when they were done working on Saturday and had a really special, heartfelt lunch with some of our favorite people from school:
Pedro - the head gardener at school and probably the nicest human being I know.
Marino - a custodian at school, who is funny and goofy and has an infectious laugh
Connie - a soft spoken custodian at school who is so kind and always asking about Max
Marcos - the custodian in the high school, who is young, hardworking, has learned English with exceptional proficiency, and who just had a beautiful baby daughter, Luciana, whom we got to spoil with some of Max's baby clothes
Erasmo - the courier for the school. I love Erasmo. He's this cute little man who rides a motorcycle around town, sometimes sporting a little mustache and he has time after time helped us get packages through customs and to our door.

We taught them English in a class offered on Saturdays for workers two years ago. It was a really powerful experience for us. We got to teach them English, learn about who they are and their families, share ourselves and our customs. I don't know how we would have been able to get to know them well otherwise. Our Spanish has gotten better, so we can communicate, but we're often just passing by each other on campus, so without this class our relationship would have remained just polite hellos.

They have become tias and tios (aunts and uncles) for Max. They love him. Truly. They are constantly asking about him and were in class when I was first pregnant and were very concerned when they heard about his birth. They always have kisses for Max when they seem him and let him play with the hoses or Pedro lets him sit on the tractor when he has it out.

Here are a couple of pics from our lunch yesterday. It was a fantastic time, one we will cherish. (Thought the weather was HORRIBLE - wet and cold!) Max loved his first anticuchos, as you can see. He's definitely a little Peruvian boy.

Monday, June 01, 2009


As we begin our last month here in Peru, we barely have down time. We've had a major "to do" list. Somethings have been checked off, some are dancing around our my mind during the wee hours of the night, and many seem to get added daily.

  • Find a temporary home for Flavius HALLELUJAH!
  • Buy a new baby alpaca jacket Wasn't originally on a list... but oh, it's so purty!
  • Make appointment and go to dentist
  • Make appointment and go to dermatologist for weird foot thing
  • Buy Peru paraphernalia for Maximo for next few sizes
  • Close out Peruvian bank account
  • Get Luciana to tailor a few items and make Maximo a Halloween costume.
  • Start Packing and "organizing"
  • Sell things we don't want
  • Help our maid and nanny find new jobs
  • Buy odds and ends gifts
  • Sell car
  • Complete paperwork for Japanese visa
  • Get medical records - especially explanation of "incompetent cervix"
  • Renew Georgia teaching license - yes this is half crossed out for reason - don't ask.
  • Say many goodbyes

The title is as such because my students and I have fun sometimes speaking in "chat" language using acronyms for everything. They think it's a crack up that I know a lot of them and I continually make them up to amuse them (note: sixth graders are easy to amuse). Whenever I make a to do list, I always start the sticky note with: TTD (Things to Do).

And this doesn't have anything to do with TTD - except maybe,
  • Eat him with a spoon: