Saturday, December 24, 2011


And I think at our new address letters will arrive, because the place we live at is well known! :)
Last Wednesday I went and had lunch with my host family from last year. They gave me a paneton and a lovely pair of earrings which was very nice of them! We played monopoly and caught up. They are going to spend Christmas in Celendin.
Work gave me a food basket and I was SO excited about it, thinking back now my reaction was probably a little over the top. Yesterday was our last day of work and yesterday César subtley mentioned that Christmas dinner in Peru is eaten at MIDNIGHT ON CHRISTMAS EVE. So I scrambled to get a turkey early yesterday and hope it will be thawed out enough to eat tonight! This morning we went all over the city looking for veggies and 2 more plates and cutlery etc so that our guests will have something to eat with and the traffic is HORRIFIC. We ended up walking a LOT and it was faster than the taxi.
Well, our new apartment is smaller, but it is better for us. That essentially means it is cheaper and I love the brick walls :) It is long and has loads of windows which is the best for us because we love natural light. And we can see the moutains and the whole city.
But THE STAIRS! Wow, are they ever steep! But that will be good exercise. I will take a picture of them for you sometime!
It is still a bit messy here, but the goal is to be clean and organised by the time César´s family arrives (around 10).
Well, I was spoiled by my students! I received a scarf, bag and wallet Peruvian style plus a purple stuffed elephant! :) I will post a picture another day!
Well, I have started on our mountain of dirty laundry but it is pouring down so I am not sure where I am going to dry it. We have a spot on the roof for clothes but that is not helpful in this weather!
Well, I think break time is over, time to start cooking and preparing for tonight! More pics to follow probably tomorrow!

Love, me!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A quick one

Well, just checking in with a quick note to share some pictures. Yesterday we were taking apart out wardrobe which took a few hours and César thought he was hilarious when I was trying not to break the thing and instead of quickly unscrewing it he stopped to take a picture of me. I look really sexy in it so I though I would share it with you so that you can have a laugh! I know I look amazing in César´s shorts and socks and sandals too! :D
We still aren´t at the point where we move stuff. Today César had to travel to Chilete for work, and I am going to have lunch with my host family from last year...come to think of it I had better go and buy a paneton for them. I have to go to the bank at some point but last time I went the line was like, 3 hours long and they delayed ages dealing with me because they had new staff.
In the last picture, I told César we should take a nice picture to send to my family and this is what he did. In ALL of my attempts to take a photo. So he is pretty much a younger version of my dad.
Apart from that...3 days of work left before VACATIONS And 5 days before ECUADORRRRR!
I made my students write letters to Santa which I thought was very funny and I put Christmas music on... Santa Claus is Coming to Town... while they did it. Ahahahahaha. In the end after much complaining they did it. Almost all wanted a new job although one asked for a new husband :S and another wrote that we should spend out time writing letters to God who actually exists rather than Santa Claus. That was a bitter letter full of reproach. No sense of humor there! I have quite a few ACCESS students, they are intelligent students from public schools who receive scholarships so that they study English. These are usually the kindest students who always do their homework and are a pleasure to teach. Studying English allows them to apply to public universities that they otherwise wouldn´t be able to get into because many of them have an English requirement. So it really helps them become professionals and is an important program. One of my ACCESS students wrote that he doesn´t want anything, he just wants Santa to give gifts to people poorer than him who need them more. I thought that was the best thing ever.
One of my private students dropped by my house yesterday to give me a gift as he is off to Lima to join his very pregnant wife this morning. I was very surprised to receive anything. He gave me a USB full of interesting ebooks which he had downloaded. Super cool gift idea!
Here is a link to our final presentation in Fundamentals of Psychology. It is a bit long and probably boring for you and in Spanish but imagine that we are there explaining it and then it would be excellent! Fast forward to the end to see some of the interviews, obviously in Spanish as they don´t speak English but the kids are sweet. One of them sells popcorn and everytime she sees me she says hi and it is very nice!
Well better get moving! I believe that tomorrow we will actually move some stuff, or Friday maybe...who knows!
Take care!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Almost Christmas...but no snow!

Last night we went to see Arthur Christmas to try and find some Christmas spirit but it actually depressed César. The movie said that all children in the world receive a gift from santa, but since he never did and millions of poor children around the world and especially here won´t the film didn´t go down too well. Speaking of that, yesterday we spent a few hours visiting César´s mother and sister. It was heartbreaking, becauase the father of César´s sister´s baby denies it is his, even though they were living together for a long time. He has gone off to Trujillo and sends her insulting messages. She doesn´t want his money but she does want him to accept the baby is his so that the baby can have 2 last names. In the traditional Peruvian culture a baby without his father´s last name is sort of ¨cursed¨ or at least seen basically as a bastard in the real sense of the word and suffers socially. Well she was in tears and César wants to go and talk to the man and see what they can do. If not they will put both of César´s sisters last names. Here a baby has to receive their identification card within a month or a long and difficult process begins. We saw the scans yesterday and she tried to show me the baby but it looked like a peanut in the picture. Then she showed me a more recent one and it was cool, I could see the spine and everything. She is due in February. César and I are trying to think of what we can do to help her. Right now she works selling 3 cent candies which isn´t exactly a lucrative business although apparently she manages to make between 5 and 10 soles a day. Which is still terrible and we can understand her worries of how she is going to bring up her baby. She is 19, but she is really young and she has no idea about her baby, yesterday se was talking about how her baby liked to stand up and mess around in her stomach. Since she doesn´t even have her primary school education, César and I were thinking that we would help her with her baby since she will be our niece on the condition that she takes night classes or weekend classes until she finishes her education. It seems like the best we can do, because without her education she won´t be able to find a better job. She lives in the room César rents his mother which is awful by the way, they had a better room before but his mother complains about everything and always moves, every 2-3 months without consulting us and then has problems. The last room she had was bigger and had windows and a wood floor and was clean. This room is dreadful, with no windows, it is mouldy and I can barely breathe when I go there PLUS she has to pay more for it...I mean César has to pay more for it. So now she is going to move again because I told them that a pregnant woman should not be in a space like that and no wonder César´s sister feels sick. Plus they have problems with the water there, lots of people share one tap. Maybe you think we should buy them things to help them out right? When César gives them nice things they a) ruin them or b) sell them for a low price. César´s mother sold their house in Huambos when César was a child for 1000 soles, that is like $300 but seemed like a lot to her. Does that make you appreciate your education?
It is a really difficult situation. Yesterday we found César´s mother in tears. One of her neighbours had called her a statue. She didn´t know what a statue was. César tried to explain that it was probably a joke because she sits around a lot but she started screaming about how she never does anything to hurt anyone etc and it was really sad. Until César asked her what she did with the backpack he bought her and she pretended she had no backpack. He asked her how much she sold it for and she kept saying she hadn´t sold it but half smiling. Really all we can give them is food and when the baby is born baby clothes. We´ll see, but the first thing is to get them into a room that has ventilation. I told César he needs to help them find a room because they don´t seem to be able to understand that if you move it should be to a better place for you. Anyway, enough about that. They are coming over for Christmas and I have to try and cook my first turkey. Oh dear wish me luck!! César´s mother doesn´t know how to cook much either so she won´t be much help! I have to try and remember Mum´s instructions.
Saturday was our work lunch and secret santa. I got a nice pair of leaf earrings :) I found out I am the youngest employee at ICPNA but 4 years!
The picture is of me dancing in the talent night.
On Friday I had my last final exam. I finished the semester with 16, 16, 17, 18 and 19. The system here is based on 20 points. So that was good :)
César and I are moving this week. We found a cheaper place which includes internet, is in a better area and although it is a bit smaller it has a much cosier feeling to it. We are sick of looking at our empty space! Now to take apart our gigantic wardrobe...
Pictures to follow. The new place has brick walls and the brick is not wallpapered or painted over, so it looks nice I think! :) We will miss our pretty stained glass roof except that when it is sunny you die of heatstroke and when it rains you get wet! haha
I have classes in ICPNA until Friday the 23rd, but now I have my daytime free. On Saturday we went out to celebrate the end of university and a girl called me over on the street. She said she saw me dance in the the talent night and was wondering if I would be interested in teaching ballet classes in her academy! Coooolll! She said she would call me this week so I hope she does!! :)
I wrote a blog the other day, but the whole thing disappeared and I was so annoyed that I didn´t write it all again. It was super long! Basically it was to inform you that the state of emergency placed on Cajamarca has been lifted. The army and helicopters have gone which is much more peaceful and all seems to be back to normal :)
I saw Happy Feet 2 and Puss in Boots in the cinema, I think I am a child again and only watch animated films.
CÉSAR AND I TRAVEL TO ECUADOR NEXT MONDAY!!!!!!!!!! I am super excited :D There will be LOTS of pictures provided I don´t lose my camera! We have to get dollars to use there.
Our friend Adriana, the new mother, has to have surgery. The stitches they gave her after they cut her open a bit to get her baby´s large head out fell out and she is in a lot of pain. Sounds awful to me. Ahhhhhh. But she didn´t want to have a C-section so that was her choice I suppose.
Well, I should probably get some cleaning down to sort out before the move!
Take care dears! :)

Friday, December 2, 2011


In the 9th day of the strike, the protesters told us that the market was allowed to open from 6-10 a.m., and that the roads would be open to allow transit for anyone but mining vehicle (i.e. every vehicle will be interrogated before entering or exiting). However, some exits remained closed, and other only open for certain times. However, Cajamarcans have had enough and everybody is working as usual, except that there aren´t classes anywhere. César and I went to the the market in morning and I can report that Cajamarca has buisness as usual, minus the lack of classes and lack of flights and mobility into and out of the city. Although the peace and quiet is gone ( I mean the peace in front of my house ) it is much nicer to see Cajamarca like this and not dead. We bought basil, spinach, and other veggies and my chef made us green pasta, it was good, except for some reason it occured to him to take the lid off of the food mixer and it went all over the walls, amazing how far it flew! Luckily he had the lid back on quick enough to save most of it! Genius.
Speaking of genius, yesterday I dropped my phone in the toilet. Luckily since César is an electrician he managed to take it apart and salvage it for me, so it still works yay!
We still have the helicopters overseeing us. But I think that people just need to work now, so they decided to. Nobody liked the whole, you can shop from 6-10 idea we were proposed yesterday, like an authoritarian infringement of human rights. I think it will be good for the protesters to see that they are not the government. However, they say that on Monday they will be back at protesting and attacking those who work. However if the people work normally in these numbers it will be more difficult for them to get a crowd going without resorting to violence. And now they have finally entered into negogiations. Things are looking up, and I get to work tomorrow! :)
César left for Chota for work, but he has to go via Chiclayo because of the lack of roads in Peru and the fact that most of the ones that exist are blocked. It should be a 3-4 hour journey but now it will take all day. That would be like going to The Pas from Brandon via Regina. Or in England, going to East Sussex from Norfolk via Wales. So clearly that is ridiculous and he will be travelling all day so I will not see him tomorrow now. But at least I have veggies and can make myself a salad! :) yay market being open! We went to the mall and the supermarket is empty of fruits and veg and fresh meat.
And the sun is shining. It doesn´t feel like December to me, it is much too hot, and I am wearing a skirt! Take care dears!