Lima Update

My husband and I have been back in Lima for 40 days, and it already feels like I’ve been here for months… time goes very slowly during the days, but it seems lightyears since we were in the States.

We found and moved into a new place within the first 5 days of being back in the city, which was a huge blessing! After visiting 6 different apartments, we decided the last place we saw was the winner… and basically we had to act fast so the owner wouldn’t give it to anyone else. (rush back to our hostel, gather all our money, eat lunch, exchange money, rush back to the apartment)

Moving in was a doozy because we’re on the 6th floor. And there are no elevators here. Thankfully, my brother-in-law lent us his truck, and we got everything packed on there! Welcome to moving in Peru! :) When we got to our new place, we unloaded everything and then began the move to the 6th floor. We did it floor by floor… move stuff from the 1st floor to the 3rd… from the 2nd to the 4th… finally up to the 6th! At one point, we have stuff on each floor of the building, haha! And did I mention that it was just my husband and me? Because it definitely was. And it took us an HOUR. #gous

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everything we own in the back of the truck!

Our new neighborhood is nice… there’s a big park one minute away, there’s a security station there too, and we have the best view around! It’s great, and it already feels like home, despite the lack of artwork and pictures on the walls. (we’re working on it)

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90s style artwork… I really wonder who would buy this?!

We’ve found the cutest markets… one right in front of our building, and one a few blocks away, and we love buying fresh produce from them rather than the actual grocery stores. The second market we found had some really cool fruits from the jungle, including camu camu! Can’t find that in a regular store ;)

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As far as readjusting to life in Lima, I’m pretty much a pro. Yes, I am yet again used to the long lines, the people complaining about the bus getting stuck in traffic, and the crazy stares at this gringa walking down the sidewalks. I am used to the food, the water, and the loud car alarms that go off every 10 minutes it seems. I am used to the buses and determining which ones go where, used to always having change in my pocket to buy water or a snack, and keeping pepper spray in my pocket. It basically feels like home again.

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a stinking hot Saturday in March and my Jamberry nails 

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so good eating at our favorite restaurants again!

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a simple (delicious) meal for us… rice, lentils, avocado, scrambled eggs!

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This is what happens when your husband is a crunchy peanut butter lover…

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new kitchen stand!

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our “we just got an apartment!” faces :)

 

 What has your life been like lately where you live???

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Cool Mornings

I woke up around 7, and immediately put on socks and a robe before sneaking into the kitchen. Husband was still curled up in bed when I tip-toed out of the room, hoping not to wake him. I boiled some water and made instant coffee, holding the cup a little longer than usual, just to warm my hands.

The mornings here are chillier and cloudier, and fall has most definitely arrived in Lima. 

Outside is quiet… there are only a few cars out on the roads, the schools are closed, and the normal hustle and bustle of Lima life is in slow motion today. It’s Feriado in Peru, a national holiday for Holy week/Easter. Certain businesses & banks are closed, buses charge extra, and taxi drivers are in abundance, driving people to visit their families and celebrate.

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It seems as if this weekend is the “last summer hurrah” in a sense, before summer is officially over in Lima. Kind of like the American equivalent of Labor Day… last weekend to wear bright, summery colors, sundresses, and enjoy the sunshine.

I’m not ready to say goodbye to summer and the hot sunny days that leave you sweaty and sun-kissed. Or put away my shorts and tank tops, that haven’t gotten enough wear out of them the past month. You see, I haven’t had a proper summer since 2013 in the States, and now summer is leaving Peru and I’ve only been able to experience a mere month of it.

When we first got back to Lima after two months in the States, I soaked up every bit of Lima sunshine that I could. In fact, I got sunburned on our second day back! When we moved in to our new apartment, I spent hours outside sweating reading in the sunshine and breathing in the summer scents of city life. It’s my afternoon ritual… sitting outside for an hour and reading after lunch. The sunshine refreshes and energizes me and I love it. I’m definitely not ready to say goodbye to it for 7+ months!

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It’s so weird to me how the seasons here are opposite from those back home. While my family & friends are enjoying the newness of spring and wearing sandals for the first time in months, I’m experiencing colder mornings and starting to slowly rotate my summer clothes out of my closet. I kind of wish it were summer all year round in Lima!

As for my plans for the “last summer hurrah” this weekend, I hope to spend as much time outside as possible, visit our family, make carrot cake, worship at church this Sunday, and enjoy another McDonald’s mocha frappe.

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What are your Easter plans? Has a new season officially arrived where you are?

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Saturday Snippets

Buenos dias! It’s still morning here in Lima, and I am feeling motivated to get things done today, hence the random blog post ;)

My husband was gone all week, so basically I’ve been alone and bored and on the computer a lot…

I’ve been binge-watching Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Modern Family, and Arrow! And I also finally watched Jurassic Park (decent movie), Anna Karenina (I still have to finish that book…) and The Good Lie (highly recommended!)

One of my goals is to visit more UNESCO World Heritage sites in the world… starting with Peru! So far I’ve been to 5, but I’m hoping to add to that list this year. Have you been to any UNESCO sites?

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Machu Picchu, Sept. 2013

In honor of International Women’s Day last Sunday, I found this article: 39 Stunning Images of Women at Work All Over the World. Truly stunning and beautiful. I love the diversity shown in those images! And there’s even a picture of women in Peru… the gold miners… amazing.

I watched The Good Lie this week, as I mentioned, and oh my goodness I sobbed. Not only because of the storyline, but because I’ve met and worked with refugees- from Sudan and all over- and their stories were swimming around in my mind as I watched the movie. Refugees are such incredibly strong people who have seen so much more than my eyes will ever see. After watching, I did some research and read up on some articles about the movie & actors… Meet The Lost Boys, the beautiful Kuoth Wiel shared about her life as a refugee, How UNHCR saved Ger Duany’s life, Journey for Survival with Arnold Oceng, and there’s a TED talk about the music of a war child- Emmanuel Jal.

7 Delicious Enchilada Recipes… because who doesn’t love enchiladas? Now if only I could find tortilla shells for less than $7…

I’m trying to narrow down my Jamberry wish list from the new catalogs! I love these nail wraps!!!

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#ArrowJN #PunchyPuffJN

I bought a packet of Peruvian lemonade mix yesterday that makes 3 liters… and I’ve almost drank the whole thing! It’s soooo good and tangy and the perfect summery drink for the hot afternoons we’ve been having lately.

I have about 50 pages left in The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, and I just found out there’s a MOVIE!!! Guess who might be renting it on Amazon tonight? ;) Also, I challenged myself to read 22 books this year, and I’m only reading #3 now… guess I aimed a bit too high?

24 Diagrams that Make eating healthy easier… pretty interesting graphics!IMG_8227

Our new apartment is on the 6th floor and has awesome views of the city + sunsets. It’s like a daily show that I always try to catch!

What have you been watching on Netflix lately? Have you seen the movie The Good Lie?

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Visit to the States by the Numbers

Whew, long time no blog. Partly because, well, life has been too busy to write about! But now I’ve caught a break, so here’s to starting to catch up…

My husband and I spent two months…. TWO MONTHS in the States from December to February. We flew into North Carolina on Christmas afternoon, and spent a wonderful evening with my family, eating and catching up. A few days later we drove up to Maryland to spend time with my in-laws, and then went back down to NC for the remaining time.

Here’s our trip to the States by the numbers!!!

2 college basketball games attended : UNC & Duke

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5 museums visited : Smithsonian Air & Space, American History, Holocaust Memorial Museum, NC Museum of History, The Duke Homestead

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4 trips to Old Navy.

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states visited: North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, South Carolina

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7 Snickers bars eaten.

5 delicious Peruvian meals prepared by my mother-in-law

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2 dentist appointments, doctor appointment

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15 visits to Chick-fil-A

2 epic games bowled with friends

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11 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzles put together

snowfalls

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Chickfila cookies & cream milkshakes consumed

7 packs of bacon eaten

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5 different cars driven

3 churches visited

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2 trips to Bill Ellis Barbecue in Wilson, NC

1,000’s of pictures taken!

3 full racks of ribs eaten at Texas Roadhouse

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6 visits to Costco for samples/walking around

1 amazing haircut! (that’s already grown way out)

5 delicious donuts eaten from Monuts Donuts in Durham

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freezing cold day (9*) spent at Arlington

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2 Jamberry manicures on my nails

5 hikes to the Eno River State Park

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30 reviews written on TripAdvisor (still have more to add)

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4 phone calls made to Lima

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countless snuggles with my littlest brother Max

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7 yummy cake flavors that friends made for us!

1 trip to IKEA

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3 games of Chicken Foot played with my parents

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5 coffee dates with 3 different friends

4 cans of cinnamon rolls eaten and snarfed down :)

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lots of encouragement and love from friends & family

1 “Celebrating the Salazars” party hosted by my party-loving mother, and my chef padre.

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Huaca Pucllana

I’m a sucker for historical sites & ruins, and enjoy seeing the various sites that Peru has to offer. I had never really known about the history of Lima itself, other than the fact that the Spaniards pretty much dominated the culture of Lima. And I knew there were some sort of rocky ruins in the Miraflores district, but never got the chance to visit… until this past June when my family came!

Huaca Pucllana was inhabited by the Lima culture, from 200 – 700 AD, and then was abandoned and later used by the Wari culture from 700 – 1000 AD as an elite cemetery. To get an idea about the rest of Peruvian culture, the Incas didn’t come into the historical scene until the 13th century. Therefore, the Lima culture & Wari culture are known as pre-Inca cultures. (and there were lots of other pre-Inca cultures in Peru!)

These cultures were ocean worshippers, hence their close location to the coast, and minus all the modern buildings, they could see the ocean from the pyramids.

These ruins are where people would come to the pyramid for ceremonies. There were three ritual activities that were done here: human sacrifices, breaking of jars (a type of ceremony), and ritual banquets. These ceremonies were all to thank the divinities that the culture believed in, namely to the feminine goddess of the ocean. Anthropologists found that many of the human sacrifices were of young women, but also men and boys.

The part of Huaca Pucllana that we toured is called “Templo de Adoradores del Mar” = Temple of the Ocean Worshippers.

Price : 12 soles for adults (about $4.10), 5 soles for Peruvian professors or students, 1 sol for kids or students.

Hours : 9:00am – 5:00pm, Wednesday to Monday. (Closed Tuesdays!)

Location : General Borgoño cuadra 8, Miraflores, Lima, Peru

Tours : Available in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Japanese!

We joined a group of about 10 others with an English guide, and he walked us through the site explaining the different parts.

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pre-Incas “building” bricks

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This Peruvian dog showed us around :) – it’s called the “Peruvian dog” and has no fur!

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Ancient ruins and modern buildings

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The front of the great pyramid

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Doing my signature “pointing” pose!

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Padre & me

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The layout of the bricks was impressive!

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On top!

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Replicas of the big jars the culture made

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Offerings Plaza

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“Celebrating” with a ritual feast… with bounty from the ocean!

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What struck me the most about this site, Huaca Pucllana, was the fact that it is so big and contains so much history inside the walls. Little did I know back in June, but there are other Huacas (archaeological sites) located around Lima, including inside the zoo! It amazes me that people had no idea the sites existed, until they started digging and excavating… blows my mind that so much history is buried under and within our cities!

Also, my favorite thing about Huaca Pucllana is how the ancient architecture contrasts with the modern. Literally, modern hotels, homes and businesses are located mere meters from this site. And it adds to the history, because it shows you how we build on top of what previously existed, and sometimes what previously existed can go without being noticed… unless it’s a famous pre-Inca culture, of course! ;)

Huaca Pucllana is a historical archaeological site, that adds to the modern urban landscape. I love how there is so much culture and history right inside of Lima, that would otherwise go unnoticed if not for the preservers of the sites!

If you’re ever in Lima and want to check out some famous rocks, I suggest Huaca Pucllana in Miraflores!

Are there any ruins in your city?

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Friday Things

So, it’s FRIDAY! And I’m super excited.

This week has been a long one, and I worked half as much as I usually do. Lima has been grey and icky and sunless… and we’ve been busy packing up our stuff for our move in 5 days! Talk about a lot of stress. And to top it off, we’ve had errands to run to get ready for our trip to the States! Let’s hope that all our stuff fits into our bags…

Anyways, random post for today. My mind is going lots of different directions!

- We bought coffee to take home for friends, and it smells SO darn good. Seriously. We might start keeping fresh coffee beans in our apartment just for the smells… mmm! Do you like the smell of coffee?

- I had never heard of John Oliver until this video, and minus his potty mouth, this cracks me up! Step up, Peru!!!

- Kaelene’s post : Thoughts About Going Back Home in 10 GIFS… love it!

- I’ve gotten lots of feedback on this post about How To Get Married In Peru, and I wanted to reshare it. I’m so happy that it’s helping people!

- This week was big for birthdays in my family… my aunt, my brother, and my mom’s. Of course I did the obligatory “Happy birthday” picture post on Instagram.

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- One of my favorite bands (Milo Greene) did a cover of “Bang Bang” and while the song isn’t my favorite (at all), I love the sound of it by Milo Greene!

- My nails are officially painted RED, which means Christmas is coming up. I’m not a red nail polish person, unless it’s at Christmas or Fourth of July.

- Our neighbours were having a party the other night and this is one of the songs they were playing. We were actually enjoying their music- it blocked out the sounds of annoying Christmas lights from our other neighbours!

- Lima is decked out with decorations for Christmas, and since we don’t have a tree, I’ve loved seeing the different ones around the city. And the Nativity scenes… so pretty too! Here are some I’ve seen just the past two days. I typically don’t take my iPhone with me to snap pics, so these are special ;)

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Navidad

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Inside a travel agency from our bus!

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The paper towels get their own tree

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How has your week been?

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