Peru · 73 Days · 47 Moments · May 2017

Alvarez Adventure in Peru

29 July 2017

As I sign off on this journi...I leave you with this ode to travel to this country simply to eat their food would be reason enough to justify your trip...although my trip has been mainly for the purpose of education, history and learning the language, I have tried to explore the food when I've had opportunity...and I've been amazed at the myriad of new foods, spices and combinations of flavors... Knowing there is still so many foods I haven't tried here...I look forward to my return.

28 July 2017

Last day touring is Peruvian Independence Day...but we found the city to be void of people, cars and the normal hustle and bustle of everyday life...a perfect day for a walk to the beach...where Elaidys decided to plunge off the cliff and parasail over the Pacific...I was not brave enough to try it...maybe a different day... Later we found where everyone was hiding...Plaza San Martín...streets closed off for parades and and dancing. Lines for street food so long we almost missed out on our Picarones!

27 July 2017

Futbol!!!!! Alianza Lima vs Aurich, Chiclayo! We had 2nd row seats for an exciting game of to witness a very loud stadium including a few breakout fights😝 Earlier we did more sightseeing of Lima...these kids are all pooped out!!!

26 July 2017

Celebrating Peruvian Independence Day today in Cusco...2 days early. Impressive show of military, music and marching around the center square...

25 July 2017

There are no words for having finally arrived at Machu Picchu...the journey has been LONG! This morning we left by train from Cusco but were delayed on the tracks for 3 hours + due to protesters who were pulling up the railroad ties!!😫. I thought we would never make it...but then we did....and it was worth the planes, trains, buses, altitude, and hiking to see this breathtaking place...unlike any other experience! Once again my camera cannot possibly due justice to the magnificence of this place!

24 July 2017

Our morning began at 28 degrees but climbed to a sunny 70 ☀️by the time we made our way over the winding mountains to the Sacred Valley...breathtaking views of the Andes mountains, so much history in one place...I cannot take it all in...the ancient villages built on these giant mountains, beautiful craftsmanship of cut-out rock, still so well intact! My mind is blown at how people built such complicated communities on the sides of cliffs! There is now way I can capture the beauty of what I was seeing with my camera.... We topped off our day at this amazing restaurant cut out of the cliff...I don't believe I've ever eaten at a place with such an amazing view...

23 July 2017

Arrived in Cusco this afternoon...definitely feeling dizzy and short of breath...but such a charming town, we can't wait to explore! Some women walking around with their pet llamas drew our kids in immediately...the cutest baby llamas and SO soft!!

22 July 2017

Touring Lima with Pablo & Elaidys...and my two nephews!!! A fun way to end our adventure in Peru...although we had tears the day before, the kids have been looking forward to this vacation with great anticipation! Visited the Monumento al Soldado Desconocido, y Cristo Del Pacífico, Muelle de Pescadores...a beautiful sunny day in Lima!☀️. Tomorrow...Cusco!

21 July 2017

Goodbyes and tears today as the kids finished their last day at school...
Goodbye to the sweet 1st grade classroom I've been working in for the past 2 months...I will miss the children...not so much the chaos and the cutting paper😜

20 July 2017

A surprise party for Emma and Kate by their sweet friends...I'm grateful that they have formed such great friendships...

8 July 2017

Kids are happy to have their grandparents back...and we are back to visiting new places...

3 July 2017

Waiting on the street this morning so I can drop off my laundry... posted business hours don't seem to correspond to the "actual hours of operation". Watching the street wake up...a man is cutting and watering his roses outside his restaurant, some are running to catch taxis, and the local garbage truck drives by ringing a giant bell and people rush out to throw their garbage into the back of the truck...some men are riding in the back organizing the seems almost surreal that I am living here!! As I was waiting, I met a young man who has recently immigrated to Peru from Venezuela, in an attempt to make some money for his family...he was telling me of the struggles his family is going through, and how thankful he is to be working in Peru right now...I just kept thinking how fortunate my life is...

29 June 2017

It is St. Peter and St. Paul day today...(photo not taken by me)...a holiday in much of South America evidently...celebrating the deaths of St Peter and St Paul, who evidently died on the same day...Trying to figure out what people "do" on this holiday...but haven't quite figured it out yet. For people living on the coast...they decorate their boats and move around the saint on the water...but we are not living on the it was very quiet in this little town. No school for the kids though...and that made them very happy!

25 June 2017

I think all we've done in Lima this weekend is eat!!😊. Too many good spots to try out 😜. But it's been so wonderful to be together as a family again!!! At least we've done a little walking in between...We've missed Joey!!! So sad to see him go back home 😪

24 June 2017

Watching the sun set on the pacific...

22 June 2017

It was like Christmas this morning for us...Joey (dad) arrived after a month of not seeing him😊and brought with him care packages from friends and family...chocolate, Pete's coffee, games, snack foods we've missed and sweet messages on cards that made all my kids (and me) SO happy!!! We even received some American soil from an "unnamed" source...I think we have enough chocolate to last us awhile!!!🤣. Almost started crying...

19 June 2017

Life in 1st grade continues to be accomplishments include cutting and gluing paper...which seems to be the total estimation of my abilities as I "cut paper" I try to pick up the language from these cute kids who are always eager to stop doing what they're suppose to and get into a brawl on the floor or teach me some new song or dance they've learned, or hide in the corner when they don't want to do their work...reminds me of when I was living in the Marshall Islands.

17 June 2017

Church on campus today included discovering an English speaking church!!!😀. Was very nice to be speaking english with other hear songs I know...and be able to dialogue completely. I know it's kind of cheating...went walking with a new friend I've made, and made up for my lack of morning Spanish practice while on my walk😜. My brain feels exhausted.

16 June 2017

Invited for dinner and first invitation. Met some very nice families. Was touched by their kindness. Lots of opportunity to practice my Spanish😬

15 June 2017

The school put on a (long) performance for Fathers Day...and Andrew had a part in his classroom's performance😜! Love how he is learning all these Spanish songs!! He was very brave...he had to pretend to be superman!! 🤣 Unfortunately I can't upload videos to this log!!! The girls couldn't perform because they didn't have the "performance uniforms" 🙄😬

13 June 2017

Today marks 4 weeks of being in Peru. I can't say it's flown by...but, I made 4 weeks! I think it's a different experience...visiting a country vs. trying to integrate yourself into a country. It is humbling every day as I try to communicate and realize how much of myself is insignificant in this much who I am...who my kids are is lost in this great cultural/language/society space. It's so much more than a language barrier. The kids told me this week that the "newness" has worn off and the other kids aren't as fascinated with them being "Americans" now comes the time for assimilating and trying to build relationships... I have new respect for immigrants. Just thinking to myself...if this wasn't temporary...and I had to adopt this culture, the national anthem, the society and culture...Its something I can't quite put my head around.

10 June 2017

Walked to the beach this morning with the kids...watched the surfers and collected rocks on the shore... Peaceful.

9 June 2017

In Lima for the weekend...walked to this active archeological site this morning. "Guaca Puccllana". This is one of 100 sites located in Lima, that are ancient worship sites...however only about 8 of them are currently being excavated due to available resources. Amazing experience looking at this history being uncovered...they let us walk to the top of the "pyramid" and explained the history behind their worship and sacrifice rituals. Continue to be amazed at the ingenuity of these ancient people! Held the kids attention👍🏼👍🏼

8 June 2017

One true thing about Peru is that they have amazing food! We always find an excuse to eat!!!😊. Find a Peruvian restaurant if you've never tried it before!!!

7 June 2017

Hiked the mountain behind our apartment today because it was the first "clear" day we've had...and we wanted a better view of the mountains around us...with all the fog we don't realize all the mountains are here surrounding us. When you get up high, the view is beautiful...and you don't see any of the pollution or if only I could work to change that makes me sad to see the way people dump their garbage in the rivers and roads😒

4 June 2017

Another day touring always amazed when I find these beautiful churches!!! I toured the basilica and convent of San Francisco. The convent library alone was breathtaking...with over 25,000 antique texts some predating the Spanish conquest of the Americas! The church ceilings were made of these intricate geometric-wood patterns in a Spanish-moorish design...with frescos covering many walls and ceilings. And an original painting of the last supper complete with Peruvian items on the table, to help draw in "Incan converts". The tour also included walking through the catacombs.
Walking through the Plaza de Armas today...filled with people selling their products at market, street entertainers, a funeral service, and a military made for great people watching!!

3 June 2017

Travelled to Chosica today for more tourismo... a very cute little town...right before the beginning of the Andes Mountains... (in case you were confusing the mountain behind the kids to be a pyramid)...tried "picarones" street food 😜. Peruvian doughnuts made from sweet potato and squash flower served with a fig syrup...surprisingly delicious👍🏼 (scroll to see all the pictures!)

2 June 2017

Marketplace shopping...I especially like the booths selling the different sauces and many varieties of potatoes and corn
There's just something about finding a familiar spot when you've been wandering a foreign country for several weeks...

30 May 2017

My new "job", which I volunteered for, is helping in one of the 1st grade classrooms...a very loud and smelly experience so far!!😜 However, the grammar level is right on track for my learning trying to take advantage of that. Able to help the kids with their work as the directions are at my level of understanding. One little boy has already stolen my heart...and I had to help him cheat a little on his math test today...😮. I promise to do better next time....

28 May 2017

Witnessed a small celebration this afternoon...for the Patron Saint of this area...Very interesting watching the procession down the street and the organized dance, band music, and singing with the "statuette".
Tried something new today😊. (Mom, you would be proud of me!). Chirimoya...a fruit. Tastes somewhat like a ripe pear...hope it doesn't make me sick😬

27 May 2017

Visit to the local to see some animals I haven't seen before in the US
Keep stumbling upon these churches in the middle of these small town squares...with such amazing architectural beauty! With all the poverty surrounding them it kind of takes your breath away... I love that they are open to anyone who wants to come in ...

26 May 2017

When taking a taxi in's a good rule of thumb to just NOT look out the window...and maybe to close your eyes and say a prayer, or put on your headphones and listen to some relaxing music. Lines on the road are just for decorations, the shoulder is in fact another lane...2 lanes of traffic can be 4 or 5 at a time actually and traffic lights are just a suggestion for whose turn it could be to proceed...horns are actually the way in which they seem to communicate with each other...whosever horn blows the loudest gets the right of way...The lack of seat belts just ups the anti as to if you may or may not survive the ride.

24 May 2017

Proud of myself as I ventured into town by myself to buy groceries today...I hired a mototaxi outside the university and went into the nearby town. It is a bit of a culture shock...both the speaking of the language and the community itself being so impoverished... People were friendly, and willing to converse with me given my limited smells were very enticing, but I'm not ready for that yet😜

22 May 2017

Here is your authentic farm to table shopping experience...

21 May 2017

Our morning walk to the ocean gave us this beautiful view!

20 May 2017

Tourismo yesterday of Lima...plaza Mayor de Lima, plaza San Martin, plaza de Americas, Cristo de Pacifico, la Cruz de San Cristobal, y el Salto del Fraile....a very packed day or activities... I thought we might die on our trip up the mountain to San Cristobal on our double decker bus up the one lane winding cliff of a road...
Seashore and fish market...on our tour of Lima
Attended Church today in Miraflores, Lima this morning. Attendance included these questions... ✅How many studied their lesson this week? ✅How many days did you study? (7 is the correct answer) ✅How many bible studies did you do this week? ✅How many items of clothing did you give to the poor? ✅How much food did you make for the poor this week? I was thinking...I've been getting off very easy every week in the pressure to account for my "good works"🤔

19 May 2017

My water delivery service...
Hiked to the top of the closest mountain by my "house" this morning...extremely foggy/smoggy so difficult to see the view and other mountains surrounding this community...they have a watering system all the way up the mountain in an attempt to grow anything on these barren mountains. Found a lone pomegranate tree on my way up

18 May 2017

Campus Life...staying on the University Campus of Nana, Peru. Andrew has made a new friend who has taught him how to make his own board game! There is "pit soccer" during the school day and cement-soccer for after school 😜
First day of school in Nana, Peru at the Peruvian Union University