semana santa.

clear, blue ocean in mancora.

clear, blue ocean in mancora.

last week was a national holiday here in peru, semana santa. everyone, both peruvians and volunteers, had the majority of the week off. to celebrate, i was originally going to go hiking in chachapoyas to a remote lagoon, but due to my needing to be back at site early and to the number of mudslides in the sierra right now due to the rain, i opted to head north with some girlfriends and relax on the largest tourist beach in all of peru, mancora.

first, i went and visited for the day at a friend’s site just outside of piura city, and we did a couple of english-teaching charlas. after, we packed our bags and headed west to the beach. the weather was warm. the water was perfect. the food was incredible. and it was nice to feel like i wasn’t in peru for a few days. no one stared at us, and the service at the restaurants were surprisingly attentive. i was there with a group of about 6 girls, and we just had a delight. we went to the beach all-day everyday, and would eat a delicious dinner in the evening, and normally went dancing for a little while after. all and all, it was incredibly relaxing. and i think, i am one of the only volunteers to go to mancora for the first time and walk away absolutely loving it…

kg, sandy & me.

kg, sandy & me.

the only notable adventure from the trip was the journey back. as mentioned earlier, i needed to be back to site a day early, which put kg and i traveling back on a big travel day. most large bus companies were already full, so we opted for a smaller company. the night of, we showed up a little early for the bus, and a guy told us that it was broken down, and was not going to show. so, while i waited to get the full story from our vendor, kg went to see if she could find another bus. luckily, she flagged a bus down that was headed to trujillo, and they agreed to stop in chiclayo for us. as they pulled up, i demanded our money back, and then accidentally took too much money back as i swiftly grabbed the remaining change in his hand, and hopped onto this bus that stopped to pick us up off the side of the road. the bus was completely booked, so we were stuck riding in the front cabin with the drivers, who basically sold us their seats for a pure profit. though i wouldn’t say we got the best night’s sleep or any sleep at all, as the driver was chewing on coca leaves, as the other drivers took swigs of liquor before taking over their portion of the drive. the sad reality, is that what we saw is not unique to our bus, but is more so common and we only witnessed what really happens on our bus trips. however, we made it back safe and sound and there was limited swerving on the road, so all and all it was quite the trip! so worth it! and honestly, i loved that delightful week with my ladies!!!

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