Category Archives: combi

those moments.

those moments where you share mindless conversations with your fellow combi passengers, and the ebb-and-flow of the conversation comes with great ease, and the structure of the foreign language that you could not even utter one vowel of one year previously is slipping off your tongue with incredible ease. it’s those moments, where not only does the ease of a new, acquainted friendship is formed take you aback, but also where a new benchmark is set with my language level. it’s those moments that i cherish.

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the november personal progress theme was knowledge, so i had the young women make pompoms for the scriptures and books. i bought yarn in all the favorite colors of the girls and we had a delight making pompoms!

hard at work!

hard at work!

finished products!

finished products!

unrelated note: we had zone conference, where all the branches in the zone attended in lambayeque. i loved that our tiny, little branch could fit in one combi. ha.


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i have arrived.

personally, i think the title says it all. but to elaborate a bit more, on sunday morning i arrived to lambayeque. we were greeted by other volunteers who kindly made an all-encompassing sign. then we went to breakfast and attended our first regional meeting. honestly, after a restless night on the bus, i spent my day and evening in my hostel room. it was great to finally have a moment of nothing for a bit.

monday morning, i finagled a cab to my parraderra and caught a combi to tucume. my ride to site felt like a moment out of a movie. cumbia blaring on the radio speakers, the cobrador hanging out the side door’s window trying to get more passengers and the numerous chirps of little chicks in the box on the man’s lab seated behind me.

i arrived to site by late morning, and carried my things across the park, while everyone stared wondering why the gringa had so much stuff. i walked inside my new house and it already immediately and gratefully started to feel like home. though, poco a poco i have plans to make my room home.

this is everything i own…for the next two years.

this is the essential layout of my room. i am currently in the process of furnishing and painting it.

after lunch, i convinced my really great host brother to join me on an adventure back to chiclayo (the capitol city) to help me buy a bed. little did he know what he signed up for. i brought him for help with pricing (as there are two prices: the actual price and the price they charge gringos) and transferring my bed back to the house.

we went to all the tiendas at the mercado with all only offering expensive, foam mattresses, which honestly did not fit within the budget that the peace corps gave me to furnish my room. we met up with steven, his host mom and aunt, in hopes that we could barter for better pricing since we could then buy together.

out of luck, we resorted to going to a big name store, which is usually very expensive, but we remarkably found great mattresses within our budget. now came the great adventure. moving our mattresses around town while we bought the rest of the items for our beds.

proudly posing with our new mattresses.

everyone squeezed in our small taxi.

we returned to the mercado with our mattresses, and then bought our bed frames. then had the bed frame store hold on to our mattresses and bed frames while we went and purchased sheets and pillows. then, david and i hailed another taxi, loaded up my bed, and then caught a combi back to tucume.

i have two very astute observations about peru thus far: they are the best, but craziest drivers in the world, and they are incredibly talented at tying knots. needless to say, 6 hours later made it home. david was kind enough to help me with putting together my bed. i still need to get a light blanket it for it. and the ladies at the tienda thought i was crazy for not wanting pink/fuschia sheets with flowers. apparently, that is what the ladies love here?

my new bed.

i returned to the market yesterday to buy a desk and two sets of shelves for storage in my room. my host mom was kind enough to join me, and it was incredible. i went to the market a couple of weeks ago to price out items, and when i returned with my host mom, on average the prices they told her were 20 soles less. needless to say i am incredibly grateful for her attendance. also, honestly, i was most worried about how to get the shelving units back to my house, but yet again the combi driver’s understanding of aerodynamics and knot-tying left me impressed. maybe i should take some lessons from them?


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:



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