30 December 2009

small town comfort

Queen Bee:

I'm convinced that you use Broughton chocolate ice cream AND Broughton chocolate milk in your delicious chocolate milk shakes. If you do, I commend you, very wise decision. The more Broughton the better, the more chocolate the better. Don't listen to those people that tell you to put chocolate syrup in vanilla ice cream, they speak nonsense. If you don't, please don't tell me, I'd rather not know.

At first I was a little hesitant about the looks the girls working inside gave from the window... but later settled cheerfully into my booth with my milkshake as I realized that everyone else besides myself and my cousin had appeared to be regular customers, so they were probably trying to figure out who the strangers were. It's okay, I understand.

PS your onion rings are fabulous and completely satisfied my year long onion ring craving.


28 December 2009


are the grandest!

i hope i look as pretty as her when i am her age one day


they look so pretty when i sleep.
-jack johnson

ive been scavenging through my old room tonight.


lots of things i forgot and things i wished i had forgotten. i practically burst of giggles when i found the box of fun patterned blankets and tapestries that i had forgotten about. it was like christmas round two. i never knew i could have so much emotional attachment to things i picked up at thrift stores, put in boxes and picked up a year and a half later.

i found lots of pictures, lots of just random things... the boots im surpirsied my mom hasnt thrown out yet... my grandma's (that has passed on) bag of makeup that still smells like her... rings i hid because i was afraid to take them to peru for fear theyd be stolen...

art journals and scrapbooks i never wanted to call scrapbooks that reminded me of even more, and made me smile ear to ear... i dont know why i stopped doing that. i used to save every little receipt, card, letter, piece of scrap paper, i mean everything and then put them into old school photo albums. i should start doing that again. sad part is that now so many things are electronic plus i dont exactly live in a convenient distance to receive many paper things.

i even found the girls! i refer to the girls as a couple of pictures i drew in college. my first day of classes, calculus scared me out of a business major and into art. i spent a semester in that and still have some fun stuff. the girls are special to me, even though one is sunburnt from an unfortunate car ride experience with too much sun.

ToWriteLoveOnHerArms ....the shirt karrie got me ages ago, (it feels like) its so going back with me. who doesnt need to be a little scene every now and then? my point exactly:

im trying to make sure i grab some things to take with me to peru... its hard to tell when will be the next time i get to dive into those boxes again!

23 December 2009

starbucks meltdown

dear starbucks:
i love, truly love your coffee. im a sucker for the chai latte and i do love your baked treats especially the pumpkin loaf. really i enjoyed eating it and the general atmosphere of your franchised globalized establishment.

but saturday you were not my best friend.

please dont make me wait until i get back to peru to fix our friendship.


saturday my uncle dropped me off at a starbucks after first asking me if i was sure i wanted to spend 5 dollars on a coffee when there was coffee at the house. :) i replied with a yes because i could use my laptop there to get all my internet...loading photos/making phonecalls/blogging/emailing needs done there.

well i almost ate my words. i spent i dont even remember how long making trips back up to the counter after biting my pride about asking for help, to ask the cheerful staff to help me with my internet access.

my first question? sir there is wifi here correct? i cant connect? his response? oh we partnered with at&t so you need an account... or buy this.. or buy that.... i got really confused in the three minute conversation that we had... and finally just said... okay so uh... what do i need to do to be able to use the internet today? he looked at me like have you listened to anything i just said? to which i thought in my head... i wasnt even sure if you were speaking english...
we spent too long discussing it and on my last trip back to the service counter they just told me to call the starbucks hotline.

now mind you in the meantime of all this madness, i was getting flustered... i just wanted to get online and talk to my friends... tell Julton that i was still alive... and i just couldnt understand why it wouldnt work and all i could think about was if i were in the starbucks in trujillo this wouldnt be happening.

so when he told me to call their hotline i looked at him almost in tears because it seemed like i just couldnt understand anything enough to fix it and it was confusing me because it was in english! and i said "but sir.... i dont HAVE a phone!!!!!!!!!" probably a little more emotionally than he expected because he practically threw their phone at me.

eventually after punching numbers on a phone that seemed like it wouldnt end... i got it fixed and i got to talk to katy... well... after she set up her webcam and we got though giggling excitedly i realized i couldnt hear her voice.... diego (remember the kid that had been throwing stuff at me?) broke her microphone. oh diego. so much to learn my little friend. but she got to hear my voice and i see her face.

im still carrying that starbucks incident with me... you caught me off guard starbucks technology culture shock .... im going to be better prepared next time.

24...11...13... its all the same anyway right?

this christmas peru/ga/sc/tn/wv trip story... is made possible by an incredibly hilarious 7 year old i met last week.

Gillian and I had gone to visit our awesome friend Baily (recently married Congratulations!) which is where the magic happen.

After I asked the kid running around on the floor his age... a few times... his older cousin looks up to answer for him and says "oh hes two" i said oh fun, and how old are you? ...i didnt know the weight of what i was asking...

he shyly looks back and tosses his head along with his eyes inot the back of his head and says... 7!
then looks very oh so very seriously at me with this intent look on his face and says "how old are YOU?"
i laugh and gillian speaks up and says... older than you!
the 7 year old laughs to himself and says huh... i thought youwere 11! and his older brother speaks up and says i thought she was 13!

everyone had their laugh.... and throughout the night and the 7 year old repeatedly crawled up under the coffee table where i was sitting to stick his head out and practice his crazy faced tongue out 7 year old flirting techniques on me. it was quite hilarious. he never heard my real age... i think he still thinks im 11...

asheville is for spirit fingers


yes i did just post for your viewing pleasure 7 fairly similar photos... BUT if you look closely.. its progression. you see from thursday night to saturday afternoon i was with at last cassie diana gillian and melissa, nearly all of that time. and on saturday we took a road trip to asheville so that i could go on with my aunt and uncle to tennessee ... and well.. it was nothing less than an adventure! just like old times. i personally enjoy each and every one of these pictures.
the fun started with me putting the camera on the sidewalk in a very hard to find dry place.. for all the snow. took the picture of our feet and one of the bystanders waiting for us to finish so he could continue on his journey down the snowy wet crazy street of downtown asheville actually offered to take a picture of us. i naturally flinched as the rest of the girls chirped yes ... since where ive been living you let NO ONE and NO ONE touch your stuff unless you know them their address their mothers maiden name and their blood type. because it will get stolen. luckily this guy wasnt in the camera stealing business he was just in the im going to offer to be nice and use my photography skills for these girls. hes a photographer... what luck! so after he took the first picutre... he goes... "nice... its pretty but lets get some more emotion where are your hands?" we were like uhhh.....?? so the next picture is of us hesitantly raising our hands... and then it continues into a party of spirit fingers.
diana piped up and asked if we could have a picture with him and just as someone said should we have someone take a picture for us? he says let me show you girls a trick... and stretched out his long arm to take a picture with the five of us.

asheville memory?

18 December 2009



random fact: Julton and I watch an anime show together. in japanese with spanish subtitles. he gets pretty into it, im just at the edge... i think i just get more excited that i can understand the subtitles. we actually sat down one night replaying the theme song so that we could cpy down all the lyrics and learn the japanese song. dont ask me why we didnt just look them up.

i'm in the states!!!!

for the first time in a year.... i'm here with my friends in south carolina eating and laughing and remembering memories and making new ones... its good to be home... and its good to be eating cheese. ha and its cold!!!! good thing i bought boots, gloves, a hat, and a coat just for this

i dont have any of my photos loaded up to my computer yet but i wanted to share some from right before i left peru with you!

moes and his family asked me not to leave.... and asked me my phone number so they could call me.... i said... but what are you going to say to my mom she doesnt speak spanish and you dont speak english! they said... we will call and say... yuli?.....yuli?.....yuli?

moes and i after a few photos that i had convinced him to smile big enough to show the camera all of his teeth:
his aunt kathia and i, singing feliz navidad together, for their family. (her the spanish parts and i the english parts...with swinging arms and lots of giggles) her family likes to hear me sing in english, i guess if you dont understand english you cant hear how bad i sing? you can all me to book a performance :)

Merry Christmas! Feliz Navidad!!!! .... you should get in touch with me if you are in the states so i can make sure i can see you!

13 December 2009



....get out of here.... disappear from my life.... get out of here!... live your life the way you wanna..... its not a nice song... but its so cheery. and we dance to it. like my neighbors. i like the song....i noticed im starting to learn it because i spend so much time on micros (about 80 minutes there and back combined to one class... eh) and they play that song a lot. i dont really understand why people get so excited about it and about dancing to it.... but then again i get a little excited too. i dont get it. but i really dont get it... and wish it would largate itself out of my neighborhood.

tonight there is a party next door. right next door. its 2:30 and i think they just had their intermission. we heard a few girls leaving and saying it was the hour and he said... but life is the hour!!! live it! i thought... live it far.. far away from my house!!!!!! gillian went to her room to maybe sleep saying that she might get better sleep on their couch. i told her at least then maybe someone would kick her in the head knocking her out and she would get some sleep.

seriously? i dont get it. and i dont understand why our neighborhood is so popular for parties. or why they are using a microphone for a party in their living room next door.

im going to have to put a boom box beside my head at night in order to be able to sleep when i go home. i cant win. i just cant. why?

ps: animeish you tube videos are super common. also karaoke videos. also the ones of the band playing, usually a guy awkwardly playing his electric guitar in the middle of the wild, with natives dancing to the video.... i chose wisely to share with you

12 December 2009

will you miss me?

this tuesday it starts. it snuck up on me... more quickly than other years. christmas.... you christmas season you... okay so christmas doesnt start on tuesday but my travel does. tuesday im leaving trujillo and thursday i will be basking in the company of friends i havent seen in a year. a year.... i cant believe its been a year. sometimes it only feels like a few days other times it feels like a few years. im divided in my feelings... im ready to see friends and family, but im not ready to leave peru (i know i know.. its only a month, but its a month... but its only a month... a month?) can we just all meet somewhere in between? ah, it was worth a try. my dreams recently have been a strange mix of friends met in peru and friends from college but set in wv... or friends from when i was a kid mixed with college friends but in peru... its getting me all confused. i guess thats me compartmentalizing my life and it screaming to be pleasantly joined at the corners of their maps and memories. ...it could make for an interesting painting.

there are lots of things i know that im going to miss this next month, people routines and food that have become parts of my life as i have spent the past year adjusting and readjusting, so this month when i crash back into life living in the states its going to be interesting to see if i miss my rice at lunch, or eating starch with starch on top of starch. i dont know. im curious. about if when i get to west virginia will i be able to sleep because it will be so quiet and dark, there wont be a taxi party going on outside my window and there wont be street lights streaming in through my curtain. im curious about if i will miss my bed ...if it will be strange to sleep on a mattress thats not actually a thin piece of foam? over wooden boards and cardboard to soften up the wood. my bed and i have gotten to be quite content with one another. when i moved to this house in September i wasnt sure about it, but over time weve gotten used to spending sleep together.

however unsure i am about some things.... im pretty positive that im excited about taking a hot shower... and not taking water from a barrel at night to flush the toilet or to wash my face or wash dishes or do anything else that requires even an ounce of water. ive gotten used to it being a part of my routine.... but im excited about it going on vacation for a month. whose house will i take my first shower in in the states? i might have to pay for your water bill. ha.

all in all... im going home! i hope its ready, and i hope i'm ready.... christmas is almost here!!!

10 December 2009

what did you eat today?

today... as i was seated at the table in the restaurant of my friend cindy's family.... cindy served me a plate... as i was looking around... her boyfriend and father who were with me started to eat... and well i did too.... it went a little like this:

Father: come julie come! (eat!)
Me: (i wanted to wait on cindy... but hes a pretty intimidating guy sometimes... makes you hop to do things...) ... i hopped to shove a piece of meat in my mouth that looked like asado de res (roast beefy) but... a little different..
Cindy: hey Julie.. you like? ey? te gusta... you like?
Me: si.... but what is it?
Cindy's Boyfriend: HA its better we wait to tell you after...
Me:... (uhh well thats strange.. ok...)
2 minutes later...
Cindy: its lengua!! (tongue!!!!!!!!)
Me: Bah!!!!
i almost threw it all back up in an instant.

I ate... cow tongue today.... i ate cow tongue. i really really did. it really wasnt so bad, and i liked it before she told me that, if she hadnt have told me i probably wouldnt have had that strange look on my face for the rest of lunch to which her bf said you dont have to eat it if you dont wanna, and i said no no no i do want to... but uh.... do you want this extra? im full. ha

the rest of the day was awesome... we went out to the beach for fernanda (cindys 9 month old baby) first time at the beach. rolling around in the sand and getting water splashed on her feet. it was fun to experience their family. they treat me like one of their own, even sharing their cow tongue with me. ouh.

09 December 2009

standing outside...


there he was.... there i was.... there were the waves... there were the stars (what stars exist here??!) ... all perfect right? yep it was. :) we're engaged! i've been holding out on writing about it because i wanted to include a fun 'engagement' photo. but so far that fun photo hasnt been taken yet. so you have to be content with an old one. its on of my favorites though.

i have a few comments for you... they arent really related to one another...

after i told the family of one of my friends that i was getting married the grandma goes... "nooo no te casas julie..." (dont get married) noooo no te casas. with this really serious look on her face. when i asked her why she told me it was because when i get married i won't come to visit them anymore. (shes the grandma of the friend i go play volleyball with a couple times a week)

on another day julton and i were talking to my grandma... and she said... well...(talking to julton) i never thought julie would get married... yep i thought for sure she would be an old maid! ...i had to explain to julton what an old maid is but he laughed a lot in that moment (with a worried look on his face) and more after when i explained it to him.

today.. he and i were in a taxi, taking me home... in the middle of a somewhat serious conversation when i exclaimed LIGHTS!!! (actually i was speaking at that point so mid sentence) and flung my arm across the taxi to point at the christmas lights in an apartment. (they arent exactly common here) julton laughed and said... juliieee... one day i will have a normal conversation with you without interruptions. if its no the lights its the stars if its not the stars its the cats if its not the cats its the dogs. to which i said no i dont comment on dogs... oh wait thats a lie i do.
... basically i get really excited about seeing christmas lights.... stars in the sky... and cats in the street (to which Julton always reminds me not to pet...) but not so much dogs. because i just get excited about them in the moment, even if i am in the middle of a serious sentence coming out of my mouth.

bright eyed and bushy tailed

isn't that how it goes? urban dictionary describes it as...

1.bright eyed and bushy tailed98 up, 18 down love it hate it
Excited and attentive. Reffering to squirrels.
As in 'Here is my new kindergarten class, all bright eyed and bushy tailed.' The allusion here is to the appearance of a squirrel, which with its beady eyes and bushy tail looks ready for anything.
i dont understand why we say that, i was neither bright eyed nor would have been bushy tailed if i had a tail, when i got up earlier than usual this morning. -try to explain that one to a native spanish speaker. i tell you good luck.

this morning i got up earlier than usual, for me... granted its probably normal hours for a normal working person.. 6:30? my hours happen to let me sleep in a little later. i am holding onto that sweet capability for as long as i can. ..right up until february 15th which is when the real world starts unfolding. thats when i start the new job. the new job with the normal hours.

this morning i got up and left the house... grabbed my bus and headed to my friend katy's house. realized i didnt have any credit on my phone and gratefully remembered that her mom sells breakfast outside their house, so she let me in. (i didn't want to ring the bell so early) katy came rolling out of her bed (she forgot teehee) and i spent a few minutes in the living room with diego.. and ... the child whose name i can pronounce, although barely, but definitely cant write. ha. diego would lie on the couch and stare at me... then run away... run back and stare... run away... then throw things at me. one conversation between me and diego:
Diego: ha! i'm going to throw this at you!!! (something... mossy on a christmas decoration)
Me: ha...ha...
Diego: again.. ha! i'm throwing this at you!!!
Me: ha... ha.... (this went on a few times until he grabbed a BIG piece and my passivity as only a visitor and not his mom came to an end.... and i stood up for myself ... against a ... 4 year old?)
Diego: ha! i'm throwing this at you!!!!!
Me: no!!! no no no no ! don't throw that!!! no no don't!
Diego: what? its a bad idea?? its bad? (he said bad the second time because he couldnt pronounce idea)
Me: Yes Diego... don't...
Diego: its a bad idea? its bad? (still couldnt pronounce it)
he looked at me puzzled and asked me that probably 5 times, always finding difficulty with the word idea and always asking the second question.


katy went with me to the migrations office today.... we went in to find out what exactly i need to do to change my visa. you see i have a visa to stay here working with the church... but i need a visa to work in the jardin (school) and i found out today that its actually pretty easy to do.... and they also want you to pay 250 dollars to do it. pucha.
i was chewing on that a little bitterly until i got to the baby class... i was talking with the dad about it and he said... well... it costs 10,000 dollars for me to work in your country. i looked at him blankly and though huh... well... its all about perspective isnt it?

ahhhhim going to have to give peru 3/4 of my first months paycheck to work the rest of the year. argh.

when i say...

that i dont have volleyball skills... i mean i dont have volleyball skills. i stink. especially after barely playing then going for a few months without... then picking up a game. i hit the ball everywhere but where it was supposed to go, and onto the roof more than my fair share. even the kids were whispering. ha

but luckily today wasnt only about volleyball. today was kathias 18th birthday!
ive been hearing about this for the past month. its a big deal for her to turn 18, now she gets a little bit more freedom at her house. she can go out with her friends, maybe come to my birthday next year, which she couldnt do when she was 17 because it was after her curfew of 8. :S

today i went over to their house and spent.... a good.... near to 7 hours in the neighborhood and with the family. i usually go over and spend an hour and a half or so. but today kathia told me to come over at 3 for her birthday. i told her that nothing would stand in my way because it was her birthday.... and then when i arrived... there was nothing anywhere near being a birthday party anywhere near us. but just the same we had fun. well they had fun watching me play volleyball, although i dont think my team would describe it as fun.
later on we went back to the house... and eventually the party started. some friends of kathias whom im actually sure are really her 'fans' came over, and we sang an awkward happy birthday ... but well into the evening the awkwardness settled... more or less for me, and i settled in to watching family dynamics. i just love it. there are a lot of kids (grown up) in that family, with their own kids now. angie comes to church with me on sundays, and i think one of her uncles is going to accompany us this sunday. today he asked me what it was we did over there... i asked angie and she said... o... "estamos alli" ("we are there") its a natural response, which made me laugh, and i told him he should come find out for himself.

after the friends left tonight and it was just family... acutally... i;m not a part of the family, but they treat me like one.. i enjoyed watching the family spend time together. especially because their interactions are just so untraditional from what i know. usually the families are pretty broken.. but tonight all the siblings that are in peru were there with their kids... the mom and dad up in years but still together admiring the family, kathia and the previously mentioned uncle both still single but still loving on the family and all the nieces and nephews, the family whose husband and wife looked incredibly in love with each other with two healthy baby girls. they may have crazy lives... but for this night, those hours inside that home... they were just all there, enjoying one another. im really glad i got to be a part of that.

more is to be shared than stories about how horrible the new girl plays volley in that neighborhood, in that house. :)

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