Monthly Archives: June 2012


today. i am sick. actually, i have had a sinus infection for the past 3 days. awesome. the funny part is that my mom has required me to wear a scarf everywhere i go…because that makes a lot of sense. proof of my sickness:

this is where i use the internet. in a cave. with a peruvian man singing in the background.

while all the other volunteers headed back to lima for another adventure, i opted to stay home where i could readily blow my nose without embarrassment. however, i could only stay in my house for so many hours. so i went on a solo excursion to the plaza vea in santa clara (read: mediocre outdoor mall with a movie theatre). one of comforts from the states was going to the movies when i was sick…so this was my feeble attempt, however i did not receive the memo that movies don’t start until 3pm…womwomwom. however, i did enjoy independently riding the combi and taking in the sites. i have decided that riding in those makeshift vehicles, are the times when i feel most in peru and a part of their culture and daily lives.

inside the combi.

the view from the combi.

here is a quick video of the combi ride…i am sorry that you can’t here their clown horns…but the delightful music is brought to you by my combi chofer:



heaven on earth.

the usual.

thank you wilson phillips. and thank you lima. while in miraflores, i happened upon a pinkberry, and it made me the happiest girl in the whole, wide world. see???

pure. joy.

freaky deaky.

while in lima, zach and i decided to attend the inquisition museum. this proved to be quite fascinating.

where the original congress met in the 17th century.

i loved the original wood work on the ceiling.

i found the displays to be more disturbing than the history itself…almost…

zach heading down into the chambers to see where the prisoners were kept.

an even deeper and creepier chamber.

a typical chamber where people were kept.

historically interesting, but freaky deaky.



this past saturday, my language class traveled to lima for the day…in particular, we explored miraflores and the centre del lima. i only got to experience just a microcosm of lima…i guess i will have to go back…oh darn.

cat, i found a church that housed stray cats aplenty.

la iglesia de miraflores.

rebel skaters…hell yeah.

el parque kennedy in miraflores.

i found a popeye’s in lima…who knew…

language learners.

la plaza del arms.

kg y yo.

i just really liked the old man.

changing of the guard at the palace.

the sun finally decided to come out.

inside the peruvian museum of literature.

this statue apparent was not important enough to include in the mercado.

see you again soon, lima.

things to mail me.

i am positive that as you have read my previous blog posts you have been wondering, “wow, it sure does look like erin is having a blast, but i am sure that she is need of some items, but i wonder what those are…” well, don’t you fret, i am here to furnish you an entire list of items that my heart and my cravings yearn for…

  • peanut butter (though, if you send it to me it is best to send in the individual servings packs)
  • nail polish remover (my sister and i paint our nails once a week…)
  • listerene total care mouth wash (that stuff will kill any germ in your mouth…and if i buy it here it will totally kill my pocket book)
  • anti-bacterial gel
  • american anything…candy…chips, whatever. i. want. it.

it is important to note that my address is listed in the “about” section on my blog. and also that it is best to send everything in a no bigger than 1.1 lb padded envelop, and it is best to claim everything you send me to be worth almost nothing and to claim it to be paperwork, or something along those lines…otherwise customs may keep it and i may have to travel a long distance and then pay to get it out…if they haven’t already “lost” it. somehow the peruvian post has made the usps look better…who knew that was possible…


al parque de chosica.

my language class took a morning outing last week in the neighboring, much larger town, chosica. it was quite nice to walk around and talk to the municipality and to the police chief.

they even have their own giant statue of jesus.

practice. practice. practice.

the team getting ready to start.

on wednesday i had my first tech practical. i was in a group of three and we had to teach three 45-minute classes on self-esteem to middle schoolers. i was pretty nervous, but i got all the kids to say “howdy,” which helped me feel right at home. and though i accidentally said “i am drunk,” instead of “i am joking” (fyi the words are pretty similar in spanish…at least in my head), it went really well and was a lot of fun. it reminded me of why i am here, and that though i am still catching up on the language portion, i have a lot of other strengths in the classroom.

teaching about the characteristics of high and low self-esteem.

the kids writing all sorts of nice compliments to me. one day i will translate them. one day.

my hood.

hauscaran from above.

the above is my hood. it looks a little rough around the edges. i blame it on the cloudy day and on the unfinished houses. all the houses here are unfinished on the outside, but mine is quite nice on the inside. it came complete with tiled floors, a toilet and a shower…which only has one temperature…cold.

i went to my ward for the first time on saturday, and made a new friend, jonathan. he helped translate sunday school for me and offered a ride home. he had never been to hauscaran, but upon entering my barrio exclaimed, “THEY LET GRINGOS LIVE HERE?!?!” i laughed, because really my barrio is quite quaint and friendly, and have met some great people that i can really only understand about 15% of what they are saying, but they are patient with me.

on the hillside we have a great view of the cemetary, which i hope to explore sometime soon. i hope to sometime soon give you a tour of my house/room.

on a completely separate note, i experienced my first earthquake yesterday. it was fairly mild, but i only divulge the first detail to better explain the second half of this story. last night, after i had just hung up the phone from talking with mike, my mom raced into the room saying a lot words extremely fast but motioned me quickly out of the house. i began to worry that perhaps there was a second earthquake i didn’t know about and was wondering why she let me talk so long if i was in such imminent danger. as we ran down the hill on our street, she was banging on doors as we ran down the street and calling other women out, which made me wonder even more. finally we reached the bottom of the hill at the park, and the entire community was there, all surrounding a vehicle that apparently had it’s breaks go out on our steep hill, and lost control of the car. the car then broke through the metal gate on our street, and tried to take the turn which then caused it to roll a few times down a 5′-6′ drop into the park, where it landed on the driver’s side of the vehicle.

don’t worry the driver had zero injuries, which still has left me perplexed. once i realized this, i laughed to myself as i was standing in the cold with the rest of the neighborhood looking at the accident. the police took about 20 minutes to arrive and the ambulance about 40 minutes. after everything was cleared that the driver was not drunk nor injured, the community was left with figuring out what to do with the car. i was quite impressed with their thoughtfulness and creativity in the removal of the car. the men began to carefully remove some of the outer parts of the car to prevent scratching more the exterior, and then the men grabbed two pipes and levied the car back on to it’s four wheels. then they slowly pushed it down the hill and back up again. really. the story left me laughing uncontrollably and impressed with their resourcefulness and creativity.

a morning jaunt.

last saturday, a couple of others from the hauscaran crew decided to hike up the neighboring “hill” (read: mountain for this texan) to go check out the view and to see the giant cross.

my fellow adventurers. with the destination up above. and a nice view of my barrio.

given that we are in a small barrio, it was a given that there probably wasn’t going to be a trail equivalent to one that would be found in the states, but we are an adventurous and resourceful group and found a dirt road leading to somewhere up the hill.

the dirt road.

after a very steep incline, the road ended and we were essentially left with a steep rock incline that bascially involved being on all fours as we climbed our way up.

the grand ascent.

michael working his way up.

the view from above.


finding our own religion.

the group.

the hike was worth it, and especially welcomed by me. the view was great, as one side of the hill was a view of a typical barrio and the other of the extremely large, nice houses of chaclacayo. it made for a great first week story. when i got home and told my mom, she thought i was a bit strange for being so adventurous, but i think at this point my mom finds most things i do strange.




in the aforementioned post i mentioned that it is common for volunteers to peru their pants (fyi, it still has not happened). this is commonly due to food and water consumption and getting used to the bacteria in peru. my diet consists of rice. every. single. day. for two of my meals. for breakfast it is commonly bread with some jam and cheese, and vasa of hot milk (peruvians due not believe in cold drinks…i am not exaggerating, this is a real thing) and a cup of freshly made juice (read: my mom put some fruit…typically papaya in a blender and then poured it into a tasa for me). though this morning was different, i was really excited because she told me that we were having yogurt with cereal, and in my head i thought plain yogurt and some oatmeal, which made me super excited. i came downstairs and it was choco flakes with dehydrated marshmallows and liquid hot pink strawberry yogurt. just a little different than i was anticipating.

typically what i eat for lunch is also what i eat for dinner, but sometimes i can get away with no dinner or some fruit or some bread. notice a pattern yet? tons of carbs. my mom’s family is from cusco, and her brother recently returned from a visit. he brought back around 100 lbs of potatoes, which is in a large pile on our roof, and some really delicious bread and cheese. i am really lucky in that my household eats dairy. other volunteers have yet to have milk or any other form of dairy, and i seem to have too much of it.

anyways, back the topic of lunch: rice, which is sometimes accompanied by lentils, and normally a type of meat….but really just chicken…or a fried egg. the highlight is always a fresh salad with tomatoes, cucumbers and avocados with fresh lime. though, last saturday was a rough one. my family had chicharrones, which was accompanied with raw red onions mixed with vegetable oil. lets say i was really grateful for the raw onions that accompanied the chunks of meat scraps that still had veins and tendons. it was a rough go, but i survived. my mom also made some delicious chifa earlier in the week.

a yummy grenadine.

anyways, the highlight to all my meals are the fruit. i eat tons of mandarins and apples and some grenadines, which is similar to a pomegranate but you eat the whole seed and is bigger.

overall the food is delicious, but i really miss froyo, chips and salsa, peanut butter, and hummus…and it is only week two….

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