Monday, November 21, 2011

Don't take things for granted

Here is kendrea coming back from forget how easy things can be at home.

Guinea Pig!!!

Well it finally happened....for years trying to avoid it and trying to find the courage to try it.  Guinea Pig is a delicacy here in Cusco and the locals are very serious and proud about it.  A few weeks ago a local preschool near the site came to ask if we could donate some Christmas toys for the kids, since we agreed and in order to show their appreciation they returned with several roasted Guinea PIGS with local steamed potatoes.  When I first saw them come I ran....making sure my family stayed behind to not be disrespectful, I hid in one of the rooms for about 30 min.  Then Jared(my brother in law) came up to find me and brought with him a leg to show me, the feet had claws still.  After playing with it for a few minutes, he got me to try a bit of it....I am not going to lie, it was very difficult to keep in.  But after a few minutes (and after the ladies had left) and went back down stairs and took my time taking a few bites of my plate.  It really wasn’t that bad, it tastes like chicken..ha ha , not really but the presentation is the hardest thing to get over.  If you can get passed that…the flavor is really not that bad.  I brought the little leg home to show Kendrea.  She really didn't appreciate me pinning her down and putting it really close to her.....she actually got mad, but it was fun. Maybe she'll try it next time.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Spanish Class

Today , Oct 11th was my 2nd day of spanish school.  I am enrolled in a program at maximo nivel on Avenida del sol.  This is a well known program to the natives here for learning english but they also teach spanish as well for tourists.  It is at the main plaza in cuzco where you see all the tourists.  I go everyday for an hour with my private tutor, Ana maria.  I am really learning a lot being immersed in the culture and taking lessons are really going to help me even more.  They have other programs that are more intensive and expensive, but with the little ones this is the best I can do for now.  I will say that i can get around  by myself pretty well. I know enough to go to the lavanderia, supermercado y otro lugares:)  how great it will be to come back and have a conversation with  my grandparents:) 



Thursday, October 6, 2011

Giselle First day at School

We enrolled Giselle on Monday, Oct 3rd into a bilingual school called "time for kids".  It is about 5 or 6 blocks away from the house, so it is walking distance from our apartment. Tony drops her off every day before he goes to work at the hotel and I usually pick her up. We went and looked at 4 different schools before we decided on that one.  We wanted her to attend a preschool where she can learn spanish and some english.  She is in a great school that goes from 8 am to 1230 pm monday to friday.  She is taught 1 hour of english a day and then the rest spanish.  They have a great program and they even send her home with homework and a book that explains how her day was and whether she ate lunch or not.  We pay a little extra and they have a chef  that comes in and cooks lunch for those that pay.  We pay about $175 a month ( 390 soles) for the school which is less than what I would have paid in the states and also she is there longer than she would have been in the states.  It was so hard to send our baby away to school especially in another country, but this has been really good for her so far. I am so happy that she will leave back to the states pretty fluent in spanish.  I will upload pictures soon of her school.

Arriving in Cuzco, Monday Sept 19th

On Monday Sept, 19th 2011 we arrived at our final destination, Cuzco Peru.  We moved into a nice area of Cuzco, in a brand new buliding.  We are in a gated apartment with a private guard.  Everything is within walking distance.  Our first day here we tried to unpack as much as we could to get settled in.  Some stuff was already set up for us as far as the basics since his family lived here for a month prior to our arrival. One thing that broke my heart was when I pulled our our wedding picture and giselle noticed it it she said, "I want to go to my home".  I said, We cannot right now and she said, "sure we can get on an airplane and go".  I had to explain this is our new home for a bit and then we will go back to our home again soon.  There are some downfalls to not being in the states and there are also some perks too.   I will say the #1 downfall is the shower.  The water pressure is weak and we have to wait a while to even get hot water out. I really miss my shower especailly since it is cold here...and quess what?  I was told we are in Spring not winter..OUCH!!!  Did i mention, no heater!!!  So we bundle up well and we are getting use to things. # 2 downfall...I miss target . I cannot believe how hard it is to find things I need to settle in.  We went high and low to try to find organization bins and still have not found it.  But, we did spend our first week shopping for furniture and were able to get a couch and dining room table, a bed for gia and a little kids eating table for giselle and a high chair.  We paid $ 414.00 for all including tax.....actually there was no tax for those things. One of the many perks is that everything is for less here. I get hair cut, wash and blow dry, flat iron all for 11.00 with tip and looks like I did for 100.00 in the states.  Everything Labor here is inexpensive, everything american here is expensive. We also eat out at some amazing places for about 3 to 5 a plate.  We usually would pay like 40 to eat at a sit down restaurant and here it is like 10 or 15 dollars.  So, the first week has taken some adjustment, like anything new but I am sure things will get better as we learn the environment around us.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Urubamba, Sept 13th 2011

After another adventurous flight from lima to Cuzco, we headed down to Urubamba.  Since Cuzco is 11,000 plus in elevation, we headed to the sacred valley to a small town called Urubamba. The elevation there is 9000.  We were lucky to have a friend there that owns a beautiful 5,000 square foot house that he uses only on weekends, so he let us stay there for the week to get acclimated to the altitude.  The first night  I got altitude sickness. It started with a head ache and then escalated to difficulty breathing to a panic attack and  then vomiting .  I got scared because this was a small town and it is pitch black at night and we had no phone or internet.  Tony was great, he left at dark and hunted for oxygen and other things for me so that I would get better.  The next day I felt better.  Luckily, I have been the only one to get sick this entire trip( Travelers Diarrhea in Lima by the way).

We just relaxed, went sightseeing and Giselle played with the local girls. Did I mention that I was almost chased down by two bulls that were about 10 yards from me. Luckily, I was not wearing red...haaaa haaa

Gia's Birthday

We got to spend Gia's first birthday in Peru.  We had a little something at Carlos' house and invited some family.  It was a great time and are glad we had a good turn out.  We have been able to relax and rest here.  Tony's dad is so nice he gets up early every morning makes us breakfast and cooks us lunch before going to work.

The Flight

We had a total 7, 50 pound bags, 4 carry ons, 4 personal items, 3 plastic bags, a double baby stroller a foldable crib and two laptops, though most was checked in we still had the girls, the double babystroller, portable crib, the 3 plastic bags, 2 carry ons the four personal items ( backpacks) and the laptops which was a real nightmare!...having to go through security and taking off your shoes, belts and jackets for all of us, the computers out of their cases and coordinating on the go who would go first to then get the girls settled collect our bags and get dressed was terrible.  Poor Tony carried so much stuff including carrying Gia and Giselle at times.  Once we made it to our gate Tony realized he had left a folder at the check in counter on the other side of the security check point so he left us to go get that.  During the time he was gone they started calling for our boarding, I had to struggle with all these items until Tony showed up and gave me a hand, I was stressed, tired and the girls not cooperating.

Keeping the girls quiet and entertained was a challenge during the flight, specially Gia, who seems to have turned less patient and more active during these last few days.  Tony and I took turns and we managed to get about an hour of sleep each.  Funny thing, Tony took Gia to a diaper change to a restroom with no changing table, after a long while he came back more tired and wet because Gia had peed on him while maneuvering the diaper change. ha ha

We arrived in Lima at midnight and after struggling to gather all our luggage and Giselle asleep off of the plane, we put all of our luggage on two carts and even used the baby stroller for additional items.  We however could not find anyone to help us with the carts and stroller, so we had to use Giselle to push her sister while Tony and I struggled to keep her on track and our luggage from falling.  Finally before leaving the airport, there is a button one has to push before making the exit, if the light is green you are free to go and if the light is red you have to unload all of you bags and put them through a scanner once more, guess what light we got? RED!!!!! Which meant Tony had to unload it all and load it up again.

This night we went to bed by 4 Am again because once we arrived at Tony's Dad's house we realized we had left a luggage on the plane!!!!! Tony and his Dad had to go back to the airport to try to find it.  Luckily they did find it the next morning and we could finally rest a bit.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Getting Ready to leave

WOW!!! Tony now agrees with me when I said " this is not going to be easy". After a month of moving little by little trying to avoid the mess of last minute packing and storing, we couldn't avoid it. This was probably the hardest thing we ever had to orchestrate individually and as a family. Without exaggerating, the last two days before leaving we slept about 3 hours. Luckily the girls were with their grand parents during these days and we got the most done, however this also meant that they would be .502FULL OF ENERGY during our 8 hour flight to Peru and Tony and I on very few hours of sleep, not to mention very sore bodies...haha.
The day before leaving we were moving at a moderate pace thinking we had it all under control but I don't know when things went wrong, we had rented a van for one last trip to our storage unit and to drive us to riverside to meet our girls and to get a ride to airport from my parents the next morning, however we lost track of time and the storage facility closed before we could make it there. We were left with a van full to the last inch and nowhere to store it. We arrived at my parents past midnight, unloaded the van and went to bed around 4 am having to wake up at 6 am to get ready for the airport.  We are so grateful for all the friends and family that gave us a hand during this time and specially during the last few crazy hours.  We also could not have done it without the help of my mom and dad, thank you for all you do for us.