29 December 2011

rain rain rain

After finally having rested up from our bus ride, I´m realizing and remembering why I love the jungle or at least Moyobamba so much. 

So many fruits. So many foods. So many trees. So many nice people.

A pijuayo is a fruit from the amazon jungle and this is the first time that I have tried it. The trees it comes from are very tall and skinny. And it is difficult to eat. I don´t believe that it gets eaten raw. You have to boil them first. Then peal and eat the fruit that tastes a little like nuts and a little like something I can´t put my finger on. It gets made into drinks and ice cream too!

Aquaje is another amazon jungle fruit. It has a hard shell that resembles fish scales that have to be picked off first. It is a little messy. You can eat it raw plain or with salt or sugar. It also gets made into drinks. It´s pretty delicious. And apparently good for female health.

We have been eating a lot of pijuayo and aguaje. Amongst a lot of other things. And Julton has beein going between his parents house and his grandparents at each meal time... which would explain his stomach ache!

Yesterday we went to visit a smaller city just outside of Moyobamba where Julton has some relatives. One of the daughters is studying tourism so she took advantage of the opportunity to show me around. I learned a lot. Including that there was a legend that there were dwarves that would come out of the river to make people disappear into the woods, at one place we were visiting. As I looked around she said, but not anymore!!
It rained on our way back and I woke up last night to hear it raining heavily oustide. Zanax doesn´t know what to make of that. She is still hiding under the bed. She tried to catch the birds in Trujillo but I think the quantity of birds in Moyobamba scare her. Julton´s sister´s kitten is so curious about Zanax´s litterbox and likes to play in it, which she doesn´t like one bit. The poor little guy really wants to be friends with her but Zanax won´t have it. 

Today Jultons mom took me over to the stadium to meet her niece that works there and to let me go into run. But the running didn´t work out so much since it rained so hard last night and the track is made of mud. So Julton took me out to the other side of town to a tiiiny concrete soccer field , where I could run. I nearly crushed a frog in the process and was nearly trampled by a horse since the soccer field was literally in a field where horses were grazing. 

So far I am loving our trip in Moyobamba. As always. It´s so easy to relax here. If you don´t mind getting rained on. But the rain is a good thing, since that means there will be water to take a shower. This is the second time that I have been here and the water has been turned off for one reason or another, so it is either bucket showers or wait until it rains! Or go to the thermal baths, instead!

28 December 2011


Christmas this year for us was very fun and special.

A few weeks ago we had sold our Christmas tree/decorations since we knew we would travel right after Christmas. Then about a week before Christmas we had everyting boxed up and sent to Moyobamba, early to make sure it got there with no problems. 

So we were sure that we would spend Christmas in an empty apartment, eating whatever food we could find in the supermarket since we didn´t have a stove anymore. A far cry from last year when we cooked Christmas Eve dinner for ourselves and a friend that couldn´t go home for Christmas. 

But we have such generous friends and this Christmas was more than we could ever have imagined.

Saturday evenign we went to a special service in our own church to celebrate Jesus` birth. Everyone shared in paneton (a special christmas treat made of bread with a few pieces of fruit) and chocolate milk while we watched a fun presentation a friend made for the kids with puppets and lots of characters from around Peru and the world. 

We then went over to visit the service of the catholic priests that I have been teaching. It was a very interesting service for me. The music was beautiful. 

Then we went over for the midnight Christmas dinner with a friend, Rosa`s family. We loved spending that time with them, getting to take part in their traditions and food! As the clock struck midnight we all hugged each other to say Merry Christmas, and drank hot chocolate and eat paneton. then we set off fireworks.

The next day after going to church we went again to a friend´s house, Jamesson´s, to have lunch with his family. And later got together with the missionary families for a Christmas dinner. 

That was a lot of food! And we loved every bit of it. We are so thankful to have so many people that care about us. It was a really special and unforgettable Christmas.

The trip begins.

Safe and sound in Moyobamba. 

I`m not sure how to reflect on the bus ride here yesterday. It was the craziest that either of us have taken. 17 hours. +2 more of waiting for the bus to actually arrive. Julton and I were the only passengers getting on the bus that origionally came from Lima. And since it was 3 am, the bus station was closed and dark. Thankfully there was someone there to let us in to wait. So it was us, a sleeping caretaker, Zanax and a creepy soap opera playing on the TV while we waited. 

The actual ride was annoying in that it was very informal and everyone just sat down wherever they wanted or could, ignoring their tickets. So Julton was forced to the back and I to the front. That was hard since we were on a mission to keep Zanax quiet and somewhat comfortable. Thankfully later we were able to sit together. Zanax did better than we expected. Although we had to get her out every six hours to give her a few more drops that the vet had given us to keep her calm. She rode for a while in my lap and was very content. Until the end of the trip when a little girl though that it would be fun to meow at her to get her to meow back. Then she started to get a little anxious. 

I lost track of how many stops our bus made to drop off passengers and pick them up. The majority of the trip was in the day so it was a hot and sweaty trip. Thankfully our window opened. Although the one behind us was shattered, because we later learned that the bus had nearly been robbed as they left Lima. Someone threw a rock at the bus shattering the window, but they didn´t rob the passengers - only the driver. Nothing like hearing that the bus you are on was just robbed to help you settle down into a long bus ride. Thankfully nothing like that happen on our leg of the trip.

The guys sitting around us at first began to complain about the cat, saying that it smelled (which she actually didn´t). But after Julton offered them cookies (that we had brought so that we wouldn´t have to buy anything to eat/probably get sick) and one of the guys some medicine for his nausia (and later a ton after everyone figured out that he was a doctor and a walking pharmacy) they were all buddy buddy with us. And after one little girl got sick and we offered her some wet wipes, they all decided that we had everything anybody needed. 

Oh but the view! I`ve only ever taken night buses to the jungle and since this one was in the day we got to see all of the beautiful views that Peru has to offer. Coming from the coast was passed through farms and then through as far as you can see dessert. From there we went into the mountains, the kind that are bare and mostly rock and have lots of goats. I lost count of all the goats. Then we passed through lots of rice fields. Then huge mountains somewhat covered with trees. Then even bigger mountains covered in thick green. At one point we were on the top of one mountain looking down on another and the river winding between the two. In and out of fog, rain and sun we went until we arrived.  

Because there were so many people getting on and off the bus I didn´t take my camera out, but I don´t think that the pictures would have done it justice. 

Now we are relaxing in Moyobamba, making plans about how to take advantage of our two weeks here. And trying to get out to the thermal baths as soon as possible.

Zanax is a little less than comfortable. It is her first time out of the city, and she has lots of new friends to make that she is a little less than pleased about. She sits on our bed hissing at anything that dares to enter. She spent the majority of the night under the bed though so it is an impovement that she has come out. Then the rooster that crowed scared her and she went back under the bed. I`m glad that we have some time to be with her while she gets used to everything. Right now the only thing she doesn´t hiss and growl at is her litter box. 

23 December 2011

the processing process. of feelings.

I think that I have pretty much accepted that I am a terrible blogger. Once again, sorry for the lapse of time between blogging. If you are reading this and have read before, you should probably just sign up to receive email notices of when I actually do blog instead of checking. Sorry!

But I do have a reason. Certainly not an excuse but a reason. As to why I think I haven't been much for blogging as of late.

Blogging requires processing feelings. And I haven't been so into processing feelings lately. It's painful. Julton and I will be moving to the US soon, and although I'm excited for that adventure and seeing family and friends, I'm so not so happy about all that I am leaving behind. Things change. People grow. Trujillo will be completely different one day when we see it again. And although both Julton and I are from more rural areas and not so used to a city, Trujillo is where we have made our life together so far. And it holds a lot of people that we care a lot about. People that have been irreplaceable as friends and mentors and for some helping us get through the first chapter of what it means to be married. 

I'm not really into processing all of those feelings about how I'm going to miss all of these people. But I am trying. Because when you don't process feelings... weird little outbursts start to happen. Like being in the market and emotionally breaking down on the lady that has been there for you day in and day out selling you veggies. She gets confused and you embarrassed. 

It's awkward.

Or just randomly spurting out a confusing mix of words to someone that you're not sure if you are going to see them again but you want them to know how much they mean to you although you don't want to have to tell them goodbye. And you are confused about if you are able to speak any language at all. 

Then you do it again the next time you see them.

That also gets awkward. 

So, here we sit in a nearly empty apartment. No stove, that we excitedly bought after having been married nearly a year. No washer that we were so thankful for after many a day and night trying to keep up with washing laundry by hand. Just some clothes and each other. Oh, and a cat :) all waiting to go to the jungle for a visit before we leave. I can process how much I appreciate the ability to have all of those things. And that it is going to be really weird to use a dryer to dry my clothes. But the people part, that's harder to process. 

But this morning I officially finished my last class with one group of my students. And the processing process has started. 
I'm really going to miss my students. They have kept me humble, made me laugh a ton, and I learned a lot of the English and Spanish language right along with them :P

Julton and I will be spending Christmas here in Trujillo, then we are on our way to the jungle for New Years and then off the the US!


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