Well I recently decided to scrapbook my Peruvian Adventure while it is still semi-fresh in my mind. And since I didn't write a blog post about my last week I thought I might as well whip one up to include in my scrapbook but also let everyone know about the awesome last trip I took before coming home! Since the blogs were for class it got so crazy after school that I never got around to writing this- so here it goes... (sorry it's so long! I have a short life update at the end about now) :)
The End of School
With our class, we went and visited a local school. None of us really knew what to expect so we were just thrown into talking in front of the entire school. We told them where we were from and what we were studying. They all sang the Peruvian national anthem for us and then we were told we had to sing ours for them...that was interesting haha! But we got some good Peruvian snacks while sitting around with some of the teachers. That was during our finals week- which was pretty stressful having to go back over everything while trying not to think how I was leaving this beautiful place in just a few weeks. Buuuut they were my last finals ever (!!!!) so I sucked it up. :)
All the students waiting for us
Our snack table!
A few days later was our Last Hurrah! Mariah and Emi were heading to the airport the next day, so it was our last time as a whole group- so depressing! So obviously we chose to hold it at our favorite place, The Gringo Bar! Starbra were both there, as were both our teachers Rob and Josue! Starbra talked to us a bit and gave us all windmill pins (it's there thing- very sweet) then we laughed the night away. It was so much fun, but also very sad with it being our last group outing in Peru! :(
Watching the sunset before the Last Hurrah!
We found a really good wing place! (Of course right before we leave)
Then my dad came to visit!!
He was only there for 3 days, just like my mom was, so I showed him some of the highlights of Lima- mainly the food and drinks though! We went to the see the fountains, and Barranco, met my family, and walked around the shops quite a bit! We also got to go see the ruins in the middle of the city. That is something so weird and cool to see. There were these ancient ruins with so much history and skyscrapers all around it. Could you imagine living in an apartment and having a view of ancient ruins while also being just a block from your local bar and grocery store?? So crazy- sounds perfect to me!
His first Pisco Sour in Peru!! Of course we go get some right after his flight gets in :)
Walking around the city
This was the BEST ceviche I've ever had- glad I got to share it with him! :)
The infamous water tunnel
The ruins with a nice view, or vice versa...
It was pretty tall for being in the desert!
I can't begin to describe how lucky I am to have two parents that both made the very long trip just to come see me for 3 days! I got to share a huge part of my life with them, and got to show them things that my descriptions would never do justice. My dad ended up liking Lima a lot more than my mom did, it was similar to New York- which he always enjoys traveling to (and has taken me to visit a lot throughout my life)!
The Last Trip
The day after my dad left, Ahnika and I hopped on a plane and headed to Arequipa (the city my host dad was from)! It is a very historic city that is surrounded by mountains, even from the airport it was beautiful! When we got to our hostel we received some bad news: the whole city was out of water for 24 hours. But in Peru, we knew 24 hours could always turn into much longer- which meant no washing hands and no showers. :( We survived on hand sanitizer and showered the next day (don't worry). We met some really cool people in the hostel from all over the world! The first day we just hung out in the hostel and explored a little bit to acclimate to the altitude. But finding a restaurant that was open was tough (due to the no water thing), but we did end up finding one- not the best place but it was food. We then walked around a famous monetary: Monestario de Santa Catalina. It was seriously so cool to explore on our own time and look in all the rooms and read the history. We easily spent a few hours there just wandering around and making sure we saw every last part (it was a bit confusing); it's also still a functioning monastery so we were also trying to see the current nuns and figure out where they live at. That night we ate enjoyed some pizza and wine by the fire of this little restaurant.
Arequipa's Plaza de Armas was the most beautiful I had seen in all of Peru- by far my favorite!
The main church all lit up at night
During the day it was pretty grand as well
The monastery's gardens were beautiful
The view from the rooftop of the monastery
I climbed every staircase to see if we could go up- most of them were closed though
I wouldn't mind walking down this every day
The next day we headed to Colca Canyon- the deepest canyon in the world (yes, deeper than the Grand canyon)! We got up at like 3:30 and waited in the lobby of the hostel. Some drunk/weird guy was still up and started talking to us and woke up the front desk worker for us- even though we didn't need anything. Very odd. So we rode this bus for what seemed like forever and couldn't feel my toes the whole time. You may have gathered from all my hiking posts in the past that we did not pack well for cold climates. Yes, we are used to Nebraska's changing weather but at 3:30 am in the mountains is beyond freezing (literally). Around 6 we stopped for breakfast and gobbled up all the food and tea trying to de-thaw ourselves. We saw a volcano and waited for the condors. Condors are Peru's national bird and they are huge. They live towards the bottom of the canyon and usually at about 9am they start flying up around the top of the canyon. Along with hundreds of others, we waited patiently hoping we get the chance to see one. They started soaring around and I took hundreds of photos. They were so majestic and mesmerizing to watch- it was so amazing! The number they usually hope to have their tours see is like 5...but if I remember correctly we saw 14!!! There were so many of them flying back and forth that I just watched and watched until it was time to go. We drove around for a while longer and saw a lot more of the mountain side (and a lot of alpacas! Yay!!)
That night we went to this french restaurant and ordered chef's surprise (he actually was french). It was pretty good, not my favorite though. Afterwards we went to a chocolate shop that I saw some good reviews on to hang out for the night- it was terrible. We both got hot chocolate and a brownie, turns out all they used was dark chocolate. So these treats were gross and not sweet whatsoever. We tried to choke down as much as we could before we had to stop and duck out of there before everyone knew we hated it.
I seriously love alpacas
I'm not sure if you can see them, but there are 4 condors flying in this one
LOOK AT THEM ALL!!!
They're both so cute!
The grandest canyon in the world!
We didn't end up taking many pictures together on this trip, unfortunately
Our hosts waiting for us
There were a lot of them!
Our only other picture together from this trip
The boat we road in between islands
The islands were bouncy/cushiony- hard to explain
The leader of this island explaining how the islands work
That afternoon we headed back to the bus stop to ride the bus back to Arequipa. We were seriously sick of busses after Peru, the busses took forever and were crowded and just-ugh. That night we just headed back to the hostel (same one as before) and ate some pb&js we had made. The next morning we walked around and bought some of our last gifts before we had to head home-home. For brunch we found this other highly-rated place that changed my life forever. I had ordered a Caprese crepe, but instead of mozzarella it had goat cheese (I love goat cheese). This is literally the best thing I have ever eaten, and I am writing this three months later and I still think about it often. Haha! Pathetic but so so good. Ahnika and I played some dice game she taught me for a while until we went back to head to the airport to fly back to Lima.
I want to cry just looking at this pure beauty
The Last of Lima
We only had a day and a half after we got back from Arequipa to pack up before leaving for America. It was so weird knowing that in just 2 days I would be back home. My life had changed so much that I couldn't imagine going back to what I was before. How would this experience change me in my everyday life? Would it? I didn't want to come back and be the same as before I had this adventure. I got out of my comfort zone, I pushed myself, I challenged myself daily. I had experienced so many amazing things that I felt so lucky to have done it all, and sad to have it come to an end. I didn't have to leave for the airport until around 9:00 pm, so I had a whole day and had packed most of it before I left for Arequipa. So Ahnika and I went to get some ice cream at the first place my host mom took me for ice cream. It was my first day and last day. The same place. A different me.
That night my family all gathered and sat at the table talking until I had to leave. My dad took his car to the shop the day before and hadn't gotten it back yet. So me and Ahnika got our last taxi and watched Lima out our windows. It was sad, yet exciting. I was going to be home, with my best friend waiting at the airport for me, I was going to graduate in 3 days, and start my full-time job in a little over a week. SO many mixed emotions.
I love my whole familia so much!! I'm so happy I got to join their family for 4 months <3
I have now been working for 3 months at Habitat for Humanity of Sarpy County as the Development & Special Events Coordinator, and I am really enjoying it! I am getting comfortable in my role and figuring out how to best do my job to improve our organization! I have let my Spanish sort of fall through, unfortunately, so I need to pick it back up so I can continue to improve! I'm really starting to miss the constant adventure of living in Peru and am trying to curb my wanderlust by finding things to do and places to go, but it seems I'm the only one of my friends able to travel right now so I'm just waiting. Not that I'm this grand, ole-wise adult now, but I've come to a lot of realizations within the last few months: about myself, my friends, my life, my future. Now that I'm not busy with school, I have free time so I'm learning about myself- what I need, what I deserve, and what I want. It is really refreshing!
I have decided to make this scrapbook since I have been missing Peru lately, so hopefully I will relive it a little through my pictures and my blog! I want to thank everyone for reading my blog posts all this time (especially this really long one) and supporting me through this journey. My schooling and my Peru is finally coming to an end with me writing this final piece.
<3 Chau mis amores <3
Officially an adult. Thanks to my amazing parents for providing me with a world of opportunities and endless support in anything and everything I want to do. There's no way I could've made it to where I am today without the endless positive influences you have made throughout my life.
I love you both.