21 April 2012

yesterday today and tomorrow

Oh, life.

The past several months we have gone from...
coast to jungle to countryside.
mild heat to extreme take several showers a day heat to bitter cold.
surrounded by friends and transplanted family to surrounded by family to surrounded by family and building new friendships.
scared of the future and holding onto the present to speeding through the present to clinging to memories and making new ones.

I miss my ESL students like crazy but love the little kids that I get to hang out with now.
Julton misses the clinic like crazy but loves the next step in life that studying 8-10 hours a day for an exam is going to bring him. 

Oh, life.

new t-shirts and a 2nd anniversary

Today it is pouring rain, lightly. If that is possible to imagine. And I love that it is just warm enough to sit slightly bundled on a porch swing just out of the rain's reach. With coffee.

But I still find myself feeling bittersweet because half of me wishes to be beachside eating ceviche just out of the ocean's reach. With Cusqueña.

                                                                              Source: piccsy.com via Julie on Pinterest

01 April 2012

blogs and contests oh my!

Although I don't blog nearly enough, or consistently... one thing I have been known to get a little addicted to is.. reading others blogs. Julton doesn't like to hand me the computer before breakfast... because that means that breakfast... will be a while. 

And recently I've taken to entering contests. Today's is for homemade granola!

So go check out this guest post from After His Smile! at the blog See The Skyline!

09 March 2012

A laugh, a smile, a hug.


So, there's this boy.

And he's so cute.

For the longest time he called me ha...ha...HA! with a smile and a sparkle in his eye. I didn't realize that I laughed enough around him for him to associate that with my name. Now he calls me by my name and I love to hear the way he says it. He's the kind of kid that you just want to hug and not let go. And send a hug with him for good measure. But he doesn't really like to be touched. He likes to do things in his own, unique way. That gets messy but you realize you don't know how to fix the messiness without making him very upset. Then you wonder just how much of the messiness needs to be fixed. He has no idea how big of a smile he gives my heart. Even if he did just manage to get ricotta filled lasagna on top of my freshly washed hair.

I got used to him not wanting me to hug him as much as I wanted to give him a hug.

Then today as I was sitting in a rocking chair it happen. He came up and crawled up into and curled up in my lap. And it was just me and him and the ABC song as he sang broken pieces of it to himself. Then after a short few minutes passed he, content, walked away still singing the ABC's and I sat there with a heart more shocked and thankful that he was willing to share a little piece of himself with me than he will ever know. 

He decided that he needed a hug so he took one, and I had no idea how much I needed a hug, but received one. 

Source: tumblr.com via Julie on Pinterest

08 March 2012

rain rain

It's raining and raining and I'm finding that I quite like listening to it when I don't have to worry about it seeping into our kitchen from the open air laundry room that we had. But the rain is very fitting to my mood for the day. It's just one of those days. There's not really anything that stands out that makes it bad, just one of those days. One where I'm missing Trujillo and friends and one of those days that I didn't realize I was going to have... where I am missing Zanax so much. Is it selfish to say I hope she misses me too? We hear lots of updates about her, she has become a great butterfly hunter. 

But today the tapestry went up. On a day like today, I needed "the tapestry". I should really come up with a name for it. 

I was never really one for antique malls, thrift stores I was down with, but antique malls? I just never really got into it. But for some reason several years ago now on a trip from WV to SC on my way back to college, I decided to stop at an antique mall. It could have been the several billboards beckoning to me that made me curious. And there I found something that has taken up the space where shirts could have gone in suitcases, ever since. A $25 fabric that was made by who knows who and who knows when, became mine. It has been put up everywhere I have lived since its purchase. And I just realized today after Julton put it up on the wall for me, and agreeing to move the Peruvian flag we had had there to a smaller wall so there would be space for it, that "the tapestry" kind of represents home to me. I feel that Julton and I have been in transition since we got married, and for that matter I feel that I have been that way since long before that. Going to Peru was supposed to be where I "figured out life" then came back home to do it. After we married we never really settled down, because we knew we shouldn't since we were planning to come to the US for a while. Now in WV... there's still a sense of "don't get too comfortable" because we don't plan to stay... after we know where we will go for school. 

So, today after Julton pinned up the tapestry to the wall, I felt a strange sense of relief and comfort. All from a piece of fabric. Kind of weird for a person that doesn't consider herself very attached to "things". But in soon or not so soon future when we find ourselves in another city going to school, in a city where we may or may not settle down for a while, "the tapestry" is going to be there. 

04 March 2012

basketball and poetry


I have really been looking forward to Saturdays. Not because the weekdays are so bad, they are actually quite pleasant, but because however pleasant weekdays are... Saturdays are still without compare. On Saturdays Julton and I get out and explore. Figure out that I don't know my hometown as well as I thought I did. Find hopefully inexpensive ways to spend time together. I've mentioned I don't like buying gas... well after traveling 50ish miles to get to somewhere ... so that you can go somewhere ... let's just say there aren't many pennies left over to play with. 

Thankfully they advertise even free things to do in the newspaper! So even though we think we were the only ones not family members or teachers there, we went to "Poetry Out Loud" a poetry contest for high school students. Mostly because it was free. And there was supposed to be a couple of celebrities there. But mostly the free part. 

Verdict? It was fun! (Julton might tell you otherwise since I caught him falling asleep.)
But even Julton liked the part where Amber Tamblyn (who we both recognized from House) and here mother came out and did a skit of poetry mixed with singing and guitar playing. 

Overall we enjoyed it, even though we almost didn't go in because everyone else we saw going in had on suits. 

They did not list a dress code in the paper. 

We also went to a basketball game to support/surprise the son of a friend. They were 4 years old. I think you know where this is going. Hilarious! Julton enjoyed that more than the poetry. My favorite part was one little boy, the smallest of all, spinning in the middle of the court as though he didn't have a care in the world... or anybody watching him.

19 February 2012

Bert Elliot: a faithful star, rising night after night for Christ - Blog - Eternal Perspective Ministries

Bert Elliot: a faithful star, rising night after night for Christ - Blog - Eternal Perspective Ministries

Hearing the news and reading the article above, I feel so surprised. The Elliots were very good to me in the short time that I was able to know them. I attended a Bible study they had in their own house, for a while. Until regrettably teaching a class took over that hour in the week. I saw and experienced first hand their generosity and selflessness. My heart and prayers go out to Mrs. Elliot and their family, as well as the church family in Trujillo. What a sweet man of God he truly was. 

reverse culture what?

I've been neglecting blogging and spending more time (or wasting time? -debateable) on Pinterest. Laughing at this like this:

And listening to people like Iron & Wine ... Ingrid Michaelson and The Civil Wars on itunes that I have downloaded from NPR's Tiny Desk Concerts or Daytrotter. Love those.

But mostly right now I am drinking ginger tea and trying to fill up on vitamin C to help me get this cold the outta here. I've had a cold since we got here, and after it turned into an ear infection and I started antibiotics... the antibiotics are gone now and I am a little paranoid about getting sick again. Julton tells me that I am a dramatic vomiter and nose blower (that might be TMI ... sorry) so me blowing my nose during nap time at the daycare is not going so well, I wake the kids up! 

And since I have been doing things like this... I haven't even loaded or finished for that matter, the post that I started quite a while back... so here it is:

So far being back home, Julton and I have been invited to and participated in a lot of thing that I didn't even do the whole 18 years of my life that I lived here. It has been fun to experience them with Julton and see his reaction to everything. 

Monster Jam, for example.

Last night (several nights ago) we went to see a country music concert. 

Dia Frampton, the opening act, is not country. (which relieved me, country music and I are not the best of friends... but country music and Julton are getting along better than I had dreamed or hoped) She has a beautiful voice and fun songs. I loved their performance and am sad that we couldn't drive to Pittsburgh tonight to see her play again. Her record is out, in case anyone would like to surprise me with a gift :D

- the second act by the way was SUPER country and I caught him listening to it on youtube the next day.

To close... just a few or not so few random thoughts of things that I have noticed since coming back to the USA. A friend of mine asked me a few days ago what was the hardest thing to get used to in Peru... and to be honest it was hard to answer because I could only think of things I am having a hard time adjusting to now! I finally came up with not having things like mixes and sauces readily available to buy or that canned foods were more expensive... but after a few years I got used to figuring out how to make my food without all of that boxed and canned stuff and realized how much healthier I was for it... which means that since being back in the states and experiencing fresh food being more expensive... let's suffice it to say that my body and I are not happy. Thus more ginger tea for me. 

1. We are currently living where I grew up, which is miles from anything and in the middle of the woods. It's fun for Julton because he feels like he is in Moyobamba again ... except for the fact that it is so cold right now. Ironically Julton hasn't felt bad at all, I've been the one with the cold. But the cold and this cold that I have have both made it hard for me to get out to run. Thankfully Julton agreed to go out with me yesterday when the weather was prettier. Apparently the neighborhood isn't as safe as it used to be and I'm not supposed to go out running alone. Coming from our neighborhood in Trujillo, I did not see that one coming. 

2. Everyone is on a diet!! At least most people that I have met. And to be honest, diets annoy me. Or at least confuse me. Or maybe it is just the word. I think that if you are going to change the way that you eat, that is great... but make it permanent. More a lifestyle change than a temporary fix. 

3. I miss walking everywhere. And I don't like buying gas. And by the way I think that Julton is still a little shocked that I can drive.

4. In orientation for my job someone asked me if I had any gum, and in church I see candy and lotion passed around. And it just made me think that the only thing I was ever asked for in Peru when I was out in a crowd or in church... was for toilet paper. :) (You usually have to carry your own for the bathrooms there.) Not a bad difference, just a difference that I noticed. 

5. I do not express myself well face to face in English. I start to ramble because what I am saying doesn't make much sense. It makes sense in my head but not when it comes out. Thankfully the people this has happen to have been very patient with me. But it makes me start to think, if it is like this for me... what must it be like for Julton? Although I guess that I understand his fight with English because it was/is like my fight with Spanish. But me fighting with English? Ugh. Sometimes I feel like people look at me and think, isn't she supposed to be a college graduate?

6. Someone told me before coming back that I would remember things the way they were but they would have changed and that would be difficult for me to adjust to. Okay, That two way street is no longer a two way street. But what they didn't tell me was that I was going to pretend to remember things and get them completely ridiculously wrong. Then do things like go into blockbuster and expect to be able to rent movies as if it were the library. When my reaction to the guy asking me for money was "What? I have to pay??" I'm pretty sure he thought I was either sarcastic or just weird. 

7. And choose your own ingredients style restaurants like Subway or what we most recently tried Qdoba? I wanted to tell them just to pick out the ingredients for me and surprise me. The food was great but I'm not used to having so many options. 

8. I think my face gets a little red when I get called honey, darlin, sweetheart etc. Because I am used to being called names (I'd rather not hear) by guys on the street that usually are a little distance away anyway and you can pretend you didn't hear it. And maybe hearing "hija" (daughter) or "amiguita" (little friend)...but not honey from someone that is giving me the total of my order or refilling the water I told them I was done with anyway. 

9. People really like to buy things. Things they don't really need. I like to "go shopping" but usually don't actually buy anything. I would like to say it is because I don't have any money anyway, but it doesn't seem to stop other people.

10. I miss having friends close by. to be able to call someone and say hey see you in 5 minutes at..".."  In Trujillo I lived just a few blocks away from some of my closest friends. Here the closest one lives 2 hours away... TWO HOURS! After our visit this weekend, when leaving I thought to myself that it was way easier to live another continent away from her rather than so close yet so far away. That's just torture.

*Please note that Im not trying to sound negative if it sounds that way. I'm just noting some things, Julton and I both are having good and bad days with "culture shock". 

I also... really miss my cat. She is having a blast living in the jungle now, but wow I miss her. Even if she was crazy. 

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