27 January 2011

Iron & Wine


i much prefer listening to iron & wine live than from a cd. if only he would come to Trujillo...


zanax turns out to be the name that stayed with her (sorry mom!)
shes makes our home a little more peaceful lively and at times crazy. she knows that shes not supposed to sleep in our bed but she sneaks in when she can, especially since when i was sick and julton felt sorry for me and her both, resulting in her getting used to it. she sits on my lap when i work at the computer, she plays at my feet when i cook, she tries to scale the tapestry in the living room, carries around a catnip fish everywhere she goes (which is probably the reason shes scaling the tapestry... and probably the reason she likes to chill in her litter box... which i completely don't get... at all.) and i'm getting the impression that she understands when i'm about to leave the apartment, because in the precise moment that i start to walk to the door is when she decides its time to play... attacking my calves but not too fierce, then stopping to stare as if she's saying ' what do you mean you would prefer to go out in that world than to sit here and play with meee?' 

and she still likes having her picture taken.

26 January 2011


i was pretty excited about our lunch on saturday. it involved a packet of ranch dressing and baked "fried" chicken. i have had pictures of it... but.... i'm not posting them. i even deleted them from my camera and computer and am incredibly trying to erase them from my memory. you see, i got sick on saturday... and am just now getting over it (i hope). i don't know if it had anything to do with that food or not... Julton ate the same thing and didn't get sick. all i know is that at about 3 AM sunday morning... i was remembering that chicken like i never wanted to. enough said.
since then i've been a little fragile. its a funny and strange thing. one of my students had been sick with the same thing a couple of weeks ago... and his doctor told him it was because of the weather recently, it was making everyone sick. ...i've heard of the weather causing colds.. but a stomach illness?? i'm not convinced.
i am convinced however that ginger helps. to settle your stomach that is. because i gave it a try. i have always heard that ginger tea helps, but its been hot and i wasn't in the mood for tea. so i tried... a green smoothie. and no it wasn't green because it had kiwi in it, although it could have, it was green because it had spinach in it! fresh ginger, a handful of spinach, one lime, and fresh pineapple. it looked a little something like this: 

i found this recipe a while back and it interested me... but i never got up the guts to drink it. some people say it looks good... i'm not one of those people. i just couldn't get over the idea of drinking spinach. but after i tried it... i have to admit it is pretty tasty. Julton took one look at it and told me to take it slow! I've read on another blog of a lady and her daughter that drink them (green drinks aka smoothies or fruit juices with some leafy green added) everyday. she says she hasn't had a cold since. and her daughter is healthier than ever. i've read on lots of blogs that drinking the green smoothies helps them to feel better. i'm still not quite sure, i'm going to have to do some more reading. but today so far so good! (and that's better than i can say for yesterday)

sidenote: i was seriously considering going out to the beach today to get in some quality time between me and the sun, because today is such a beautiful sunny day... but have decided against it because i have several things to do at home and for planning my classes since i've been sick the past few days... i hope its this beautiful later in the week so i can have another chance!!!!

22 January 2011


the courage to be imperfect.
we can't treat other people with compassion if we don't treat ourselves kindly.
the wholehearted have and are:
willing to let go of who they thought they should be in order to be who they were.
the willingness to say i love you first, or do something where there are no guarantees... to invest in a relationship that may or may not work out. -fundamental.

vulnerability issue: it's kind of the core of shame and fear and our struggle for worthiness. but it appears that it is also the birthplace of joy, creativity, of belonging, of love.

you are imperfect and you are wired for struggle... but you are worthy of love and belonging.

BrenĂ© Brown, Ph.D., LMSW is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She has spent the past ten years studying vulnerability, courage, authenticity, and shame. BrenĂ© spent the first five years of her decade-long study focusing on shame and empathy, and is now using that work to explore a concept that she calls Wholeheartednes.

taken from her website: 

 I ran across this from another website and found it incredibily thought provoking. Any thoughts? I would love to hear what you think.

21 January 2011

a flute playing politician and his friend the motivational speaker

this past week we have had our first visitor staying with us in our apartment. (other than my family before the wedding... but that was, like i said, before the wedding) Jultons dad has been staying with us this week. He's a teacher also, in a university and he has vacation right now. Its been quite interesting for me... I'm cooking a lot more! At least I like to do it! It has also made me realize just how poor my own eating habits are sometimes. Usually I make Julton's lunch for him in the morning to take with him. And I'm not talking a ham and cheese sandwich, thats dinner around here. I'm talking rice and meat and veggies (he'd probably prefer not to have the veggies). So I make all that in the mornings, and we don't eat much for breakfast, just a little. Then usually lunch for myself... I eat whatever we have at home. But this week! It's not just me for lunch.. so I have had to be a little more thoughtful. And.. I'm tired! Between classes and cooking... I'm ready for a vacation! haha. And it's only been a week.

We also went to a conference this week. A motivational conference. 

Yes, You Can!

One of the political parties here invited Miguel Angel Cornejo to speak in the soccer stadium. I didn't really know what I was getting into, and actually Julton and I didn't stay for all of it... we had previous plans and since the tickets were freely passed out by the political party they were promoting ... we didn't feel so bad about leaving early. Except all the looks we got from everyone we stepped over on the stairs (becuase it was that full) looking at us like... you're LEAVING???!!! oh, okay i'll take your seat.) We only listened as far as him saying how important education is. And that you should go after one thing that you are good at, and give it your all. And that everyone should go sit on a rock this weekend for their homework and think until they've got that one figured out. Basically. 

But my favorite part.... you may or may not be surprised by this... was when the politician running for president got up to introduce his 'close friend' to speak... he himself shared with the crowd a little flute solo. It was nice and slow at first, he only went off pitch quite loudly a couple of times... then the music got faster and faster and he was moving to the beat.. but what crucial flute playing part was not moving? his fingers! the stage was actually to far away from everyone to see him.. .but he was being shown on two very large screens... on which it was more than obvious that he was not moving his fingers to play anything more than one long note... much less all the notes that we heard! I was so shocked... that he didnt' try to cover that up better! If he was going to pretend to play... I would have imagined that he would have at least wanted to really give it a go. wow!
 we got there on time.. and thankfully early enough to get some seats with backs.
 filling the bleachers at 6 pm...
 7 pm...
 and 8 pm.
no one was allowed to sit on the soccer field, only on the track around it.

christmas in late january

i've got a bone to pick with the post office. and thats the first time i have ever used the words i've got a bone to pick, seriously.

they've not been the nicest to us recently. first were problems about them wanting us to pay taxes until the guy finally actually saw the package and said oh.. well.. this can't possibly be worth more that $100 can it? (we had been trying to tell him that for 3 days) 

then this week we finally figured out what happen with the missing package that my aunt sent... it had been sitting in the post office because they goofed up our address and we never received our notification!! okay, thats just fine and understandable. but... wait... they charged us a fee for the package sitting in storage (since Christmas!) even though it wasn't our fault it had been sitting there!
oh, well, in the end it was well worth it :) Julton said the lady acted surprised when she saw christmas ornaments in the box (as she was checking it to see if we needed to be taxed) to which Julton responded... it got here before Christmas.. remember? such as this lovely ornament:

17 January 2011

I am curious...

have you seen this or heard of it?

"Pray the Devil Back to Hell" tells the remarkable but little-known story of a small band of unarmed women who risked their lives to bring change to Liberia. Reconstructing the moment through interviews, archival footage and striking images of contemporary Liberia. Armed only with white T-shirts and the courage of their convictions, a coalition of Christian and Muslim women confronted cruelty and corruption, taking on Charles Taylor and the warlords and bringing peace to their country after decades of war. Their demonstrations brought about the exile of Charles Taylor and the election of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa's first female head of state and mark the vanguard of a new wave of people taking control of their political destiny around the world.  (from their youtube summary)

I have read about the women that this documentary is of, before. But I haven't seen this documentary. I found it on their website, which I found through a personal blog of a fashion designer raising funds to go work with the group Amani Ya Juu in Africa. You should check out their blog, I thought it was fascinating.

a scarf or a kitten a kitten or a scarf...

a new fur scarf or just an extremely affectionate cat? 

she never did this when she was a baby... she always followed me around to every room i went... and still does, but now anytime i sit down she crawls her way up to my shoulder!

PS... she is getting huge.

16 January 2011

baby... bebe.. shower

i was invited to another baby shower this week. i don't think that i posted about the last one that i went to out of sheer embarrassment, or was it to save Julton's embarrassment? the last one was for couples and or anyone. And we played games.. involving the three married guys at the party getting to be the babies and their wives changing their diapers and feeding them bottles. I won't go into detail. But this week was different. A friend of mine, whom I met as being her teacher a long time ago and we stayed connected (she has helped me with a ton of stuff in Trujillo, she's an awesome friend). She introduced me to her hair salon, her sister did my nails for the wedding, and she stuck by me when I was independently doing private english classes, she and a couple others and myself would get together in a local mall food court and conversate.
She's having a baby very very soon, and I am so happy for her! She got past all of the "when when when" that everyone here asks right after you get married, insinuating when are you going to give me a nephew?? She and her husband have been married for 10 (11?) years.

That beautiful lady in the middle is the mom to be, and that cake above? Just styrofoam wrapped in cake mold... that I was waiting to be able to eat all night. Since the only other baby shower I had been to involved a lot of games I was waiting and waiting... but it just never came... we ate a lovely dinner and just as I was wondering when the cake was going to be served and if there was going to be something special about cutting it... we received lemon pie. And I put 2 and 2 together, because I forgot how common it was. To have a pretend cake. Even at weddings. Is that a common thing anywhere else?

12 January 2011


it's pretty late for me to be posting but....
it's pretty late for me to be up in general, so what the hey.

i used to drink a lot of coffee. lots and lots. the stronger the better. then over time the caffeine started making me a little too jittery... then the caffeine made my heart rate too fast... then... the kitten that is quickly earning the name cat for her constant consumption of food and waking me up meowing outside the bedroom door at 6 am for another serving... that kitten... jumped onto the shelf where the french press was... and pushed it off with her big booty. we were at war for many days after. so, all that to say.. i don't drink as much coffee as i used to. but today... a sequence of events left me with two cups of coffee, a sample caramel frappuccino, a free coffee tasting, and a chai latte. all within about 5 hours of each other. explanation: in my tuesday and thursday afternoon class we drink coffee together (1) today i had another class about an hour after theirs so i chatted with another student that waited with me and drank another coffee (2) next my student called me asking if we could move the class to starbucks because of his schedule it was more convenient (read: when is starbucks not convenient?) hehe... i almost said no because i knew i shouldn't drink more coffee... but off i went having decided that i would drink none. alas when the moment came, and my student had invited me to a drink i heard myself saying chai latte tall before i could catch the words coming out of my mouth and say no thanks, and since evening time is hoppin in starbucks around here... there was no time to take it back (3) whlie i was waiting at a table a girl came by offering samples of caramel frappuccinos.... which i quickly caved for after seeing the coldness of the cup and remembering that i should have said iced chai latte because it was hot outside and i had just walked several blocks (4) in the middle of my class (conversation) with my student... an employee came by to offer a tasting of the coffee where they bring a french press to your table and go through the 4 ways of 'discovering' your coffee. (5) i couldn't be rude and not drink it... i mean the girl was sitting right in front of me explaining how i should taste a bit of bitterness but overall smooth with a hint of ... earth. besides i made my student translate to keep up the english in the midst of it all. 

and that... is the long story of how i ended up blogging at 1:30 am. and also the reason i happened to find these never seen by me before wedding pictures from the facebook page of the place where we were married! and why you get to see them as well :)
i am so surprised that my veil wasn't standing straight above my head in this picture! (like it is in another...) it was so windy. here Julton and I with Pastor Jaime and Pastor Wes.  I think this was during the vows. 
 Here's a before photo as everyone was preparing for the ceremony to get started. With the musicians off to the right. Our friend Ronald (who with his wife were our godparents of the wedding) played his violin along with his two oldest sons accompanying him with another violin and chello. (I think he had a friend playing guitar and piano too but i can't quite remember...)
 The dance floor and our cake, made by one of the women from church. I'm pretty sure the flower arrangements on the tables were turned over until the last minute because there was so much wind.
everything. i'm so excited to have found these pictures! small random story: the lady that took care of everything couldn't quite understand me when i kept telling her just keep things simple, but i think she did a great job! One day she told me.. Julie.. I know just what to do and what you will like. Also I think the florist did a great job, after finding one that didn't write down roses on their agenda when I said hydrangea. And except for the fact that on the wedding day they sent my bouquet of all purple roses instead of the hydrangeas that we had talked about. I don't understand why it's so hard for the florists to understand that when someone says they don't want roses... they actually mean it! When I told him I didn't want them.. he looked at Julton and said "are you sure? hydrangeas are nice but roses will make it more romantic... and weddings are romantic" Also.. another lady working on the wedding from the place we were married.. was helping my grandma and I get in line to go to the ceremony and said "wow... your makeup is so simple.... but it's nice! it fits you!!...wow"
they don't commonly have brides walk through their doors without a load of makeup and a little glitter on them. 

so, there's a glimpse into the wedding!

02 January 2011

merry christmas and happy new year!

we have had such a great Christmas and New Year... instead of going into too great of detail I'm going to post a few photos and summaries...
 we spent Christmas Eve with our friend Kenedy whom is from the same town as Julton, he moved to Trujillo this year for college, and since his university was slow in starting because they were waiting for more students to enroll... they didn't get a break for Christmas. We went to our church's Christmas Eve service. Lots of singing and lots of reading the Bible, and lots of paneton and chocolate milk. It was a great time. When we finished there we walked by the plaza on our way home. They had different Christmas trees up and decorated around, there were a ton of people there.
 after visiting the plaza we three went home and made Christmas dinner (here its tradition to wait up until midnight on Christmas Even to eat dinner and celebrate) It's a good thing we were planning on it too because since we live in a busy neighborhood, and on a corner.. there were fireworks on all sides of our home and we would have celebrated had we wanted to or not since I'm pretty sure every teenager on our block bought fireworks and invited their friends. 

 Saturday was an awesome day of relaxation, very long awaited since Julton works Mon-Sat and we have church activities all day Sundays. Then on Sunday we had a church lunch after the service... (sorry no pictures yet) then it was home to prepare another dinner. Gillian arrived for a visit in Trujillo! So we had another Christmas dinner to celebrate. Very well acompanied by the snowflake table cloth and snowmen plates my mom had sent, and cranberry sauce from my grandmother!
 For New Years we celebrated with our friends from church, hats and grapes to be found everywhere... and... Jamesson asked Gillian to marry him! The next day we tried to make our way out to the beach. It was so crowded even though sadly it was a pretty cloudy day. There were tents and kids and teenagers playing soccer on all sides.
 Apparently our lives have been full of lunches and dinners at home recently because we had another one to finish off today after church. Gillian was talking with Jacqui (in the turquoise) last night and I was so excited to see her at church this morning. She and her boyfriend work as clowns? I'm not sure what they are called.. but.. the people that walk on stilts? The funny thing is that Julton and I saw some people on stilts near our house in a park recently... then we found out it was them! They always go there to practice. Jacqui was my (and also Gillian's) student wayy back when.

So, there you have it. Our holidays have been great. Great time spent with friends and our new family. Also.. everyone should try this recipe, which I made for Christmas and was incredibly surprised that everyone (mainly Julton) liked. They are spiced/baked chick peas... delicious. Actually, I received one of the best comments Katy came with her brother for dinner and after Katy told me that her brother loved the food (typical Christmas food from the states) and wanted to know if I had a younger sister! hahaha Katy jokingly said.. she has a younger brother do you want me to introduce you?

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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