Ziplining in Peru

The last day in Cusco we went Zip-lining.  I flew over the mountains of Peru and met some Quechua people.  My dad’s parents were missionaries to the Quechua people and translated the Bible into their language so my dad grew up with them and was even named after their chief, Tariri. I’ve always wanted to meet those people, and I finally did! There were four guys running the zip-line, and they were talking together. At first, we assumed it was Spanish, but after a moment or two we realized we couldn’t understand it at all. Tristan asked what they were speaking and they said Quechua. I was so happy! Also, the landscape is breathtakingly beautiful.

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There were four zip-lines. The last two were longer and awesomer!

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We met these two adorable little kids. They were the children of a farmer who was ploughing the field behind us and knew the zip-line people somehow. So cute. The little girl had her shoes on the wrong feet so Tristan switched them out haha.

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I flew like superman over the valley! It was the closest I’ve ever been to flying.

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I realized that although the town was incredibly poor monetarily, these people were rich because of the breathtaking beauty that surrounded them. I would give anything to have grown up in a place as beautiful as that.

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Here we are posing with the mountains in the background. Jihoon is being a goof as always 🙂 We all stylin’ with our hard hats and harnesses!

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Disclaimer: These photographs were taken with Tristan’s camera by one of the Quechua guys. So they are not mine.

So that’s the end of our Zip-lining adventure. It was a fun time, and the beauty of the land was food for my soul.

Soon I will post about Machu Picchu and Adventures in Peru and the last few weeks in Chile.

Peace!

The Giving of Thanks

I missed Thanksgiving. I’m in Chile, and they don’t celebrate it here. Yesterday my host mom pulled the Christmas tree out of storage and it makes me sad because it reminds me of the Thanksgiving shaped void in my life right now.

Thanksgiving is my second favorite holiday next to Christmas and my birthday (which tie for first). I love the amazing delicious beautiful food that I’m allowed to gorge myself on once a year and not feel bad about my life choices. I love that my family goes around the table and says what we’re thankful for.  I love the story behind the holiday of two races coming together and celebrating their friendship and the plentiful harvest. I love that once a year, all over the country, no matter how terrible a person’s life is or how pessimistic someone is, they have a reason to think of the things and people that make their life wonderful and express that to their loved ones. I love that families who are broken can set aside their differences for just a little bit, eat an amazing meal together, and say something they are thankful for about one another. I love that when you normally wouldn’t express this to someone, you have the excuse of a holiday to tell them just how much you love someone and are thankful for them. I love that we have a once a year reminder to thank God for blessing us so abundantly and we remember all the things in our lives that are worth being thankful about.  I just really love Thanksgiving a lot!

I wish I was in the States right now. I’m missing it by nine days!

But on the bright side, I can still be thankful even from 5000 miles away from home. Obviously.

I’m thankful for my family. My mom and dad are wonderful and they’ve taught me so much. They’ve stuck together through the good and the bad and they’ve set an amazing example for what it means to love unconditionally. Rachel has a beautiful and fun personality. It’s been wonderful growing up with someone so close in age and to know I will always have someone to talk to and turn to. Lucas is funny and has a kind heart. He is a protector and I know he’ll always have my back. Jonathan is so creative and affectionate. He’s really sweet and he loves to love by spending time with his family. Even though we’ve all had our differences and we get fed up with each other sometimes, I know that in the end family is forever and we’ll always love each other.

I’m thankful for Zach.  He has a beautiful heart and a creative mind. He loves God and strives to honor Him. He is loving and thoughtful and sweet and I kind of really love him. 🙂 I’m so blessed to know him and to have dated him for the past year.

I’m thankful for my friends. Elaine, Kayla, Lauren, Caroline, Xanda, DJ, Tris, David, Jihoon, Sodam, etc. They are all beautiful people who I love dearly. They encourage me, challenge me to be a better person, and make me laugh. I’m so blessed to know every one of you.

I’m thankful for Grove City College, for the opportunity I’ve been given to receive such an excellent education, and the amazing friends I’ve made here.

I’m thankful for Chile and for the experiences I’ve had and the memories I’ve made and for the people I’ve met. I’m especially thankful for my host family, Rosy and Manuel, for caring for me and inviting me into their home and family for four months.

I’m thankful for music, and the beauty of nature, and everything else I love that I don’t have time to talk about right now.

Last but definitely not least, I’m thankful for God because all of these other things I’m thankful for are gifts from him. Even though I don’t deserve it I’ve been forgiven, saved, blessed abundantly, and loved unendingly by the creator and sustainer of the universe and that is truly amazing.

Okay so I know I’m posting this a day after Thanksgiving but that’s okay because we can be thankful every day of the year!

Also, I will be posting about Machu Picchu and other adventures very very soon I promise!

Peace!

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Chile’s Independence Week

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This post is long overdue. September 18th is Chile’s independence day, but the people celebrate during the entire week. It’s a time of closed shops, flying flags, festivals, parties, drinking, dancing, and asados (aka Chilean BBQ).  I ate so much good food at so many asados!

The one I remember most was at Rossy’s house in Valparaiso. I was there for around twelve hours with no internet so it was a little boring but that wasn’t a bad thing.  The day was lovely so I got some sunshine and relaxation and really amazing food.  Most of her family was there and it was really fun to watch them interact. Rossy is seriously adorable. She was the life of the party with her hospitality, laughter, and dancing to the music.

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This is the incredible view from Rossy’s house in Valpo. The little boy in the center is Rossy’s niece’s 5ish year old grandson.  At least… I think that’s how they’re related… haha!

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I love my converse shoes.

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Another awesome part of the independence festivities are Las Fondas. It’s a huge festival on the horse race track with amusement rides, tent vendors selling clothes, art, toys, and souvenirs, as well as delicious food like choripan, empanadas, anticuchos, and churros, drinks, and artisan chocolates. So much goodness. I bought so much food and a shirt made from alpaca fur with llama pictures woven into it.

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Tris and I met some nice guys who sold us empanadas and took a picture for us!

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These are some of the prettiest things that the vendors had to sell.

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So this was from last month. Sorry I haven’t kept my blog super updated. You can expect two more overdue blog posts in the near future.

Peace!

So much blogging material

Hi Friends,

It’s been a long time since I’ve updated everyone on life! I’d like to say it’s cause I’ve been super busy with adventuring but that’s only partially true. I’ve been super busy with adventuring and haven’t been taking as many pictures AND I got sucked into a cheesy TV show about fairy tale people. I don’t even know. At any rate, I have a lot to talk about.

I don’t remember the exact days that things happened so I’m just gonna write somewhat non-chronologically everything that I can remember.

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Okay, at the beginning of September, I watched the Emperor’s New Groove in Spanish with my host parents. They loved it!

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Then like a week later I went to a club! First one ever, maybe my last. It was fun, but not really my thing cause of the sensory overload and my introverted little self.  But clubbing is a huge part of Chilean culture and it was really interesting to experience it first hand.

We started at a “previa” in which you go to someone’s house before the club to drink cheap/free alcohol and socialize.  I had some piscolas (Chile’s super strong national drink) and got to practice my Spanish skills with the Chileans who were there.

Then around midnight we took a bus to the club. The club was was small and dark and incredibly loud and crowded and I just told myself going in that it could either be really terrible or really fun so I just decided to not stress about personal space or trying to talk to people and just enjoy myself. So that’s what I did and it was actually a pretty good time!

I ordered another piscola and danced with my friends and watched the people (in a not creepy way haha!)  I got bored around 3:30 so I found someone to walk home with at 4 and got back around 5am.  Apparently, most Chileans stay out until 6 or something crazy like that.

So that was my experience of the Chilean party life!

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I went to the beach with Tristan to work on homework but we ended up getting nothing done cause it was such a beautiful day! Also I really love people-watching. There was a guy on a skateboard carrying a boombox, a little dog who rolled in the mud, two brothers in identical yellow shirts riding a weird double bike through the park, and a tiny little toddler on a tiny little skateboard.

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Chocolate Chip Cookies. I want them. I’m craving them. I have been all month! It’s crazy how you want something even more when you realize you can’t have it. It began with the number one most incredibly disappointing shopping trip of my entire life!

We went to Lider (Chilean Walmart) to buy ingredients to make chocolate chip cookies, only to discover after searching the entire store that chocolate chips are non-existent here. I mean, what kind of super store does not sell chocolate chips!?!? So we changed our menu to no-bakes and nachos. So we got the ingredients for no-bakes and went in search of cheddar cheese for the nachos. But Lider also does not sell cheddar cheese! Seriously. two letdowns so far.  THEN there was a mix up and we all left to get different things and no one stayed with the cart. When we came back … THE CART WAS GONE!  And the store was closing.  We all wanted to cry.

So we spent 2 hours in the store to get chocolate chip cookies, changed our menu, and left with ice cream, crappy empenadas, a jug of water, and our cold and empty hearts. At any rate, I still want chocolate chip cookies.

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I started working out this month because I bought a ticket to Patagonia and I want to be in shape for the four days of backpacking through Los Torres del Paine park. The college has free workout classes that you can sign up for so I went to some body combat classes which is basically coordinating kickboxing the air. I also went to a trekking class and it was death. I died. It’s freakin intense.

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I’m in the chorus at the university. And a few weeks ago we had a performance. It was interesting cause I didn’t know the songs very well and it was really chill and not at all what I expect from a chorus performance. But it was fun so whatever.

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The next day Rossy came into my room and said “¿lista?”, which means “ready?” and I was like, “Ready for what???” Story of my life. At any rate, she said we were having “onces” (which is like a small snack of tea and sandwiches and a pastry) at the family restaurant. So I went with them.

It turns out it was Rossy’s birthday party! Most of their extended family was there and the food was really yummy but they talked for forever. You know how when adults get together they talk about people and things that you don’t know or care about so it’s really boring? Well it was that, but in Spanish. So I tuned out and read Sherlock Holmes on my iPod. Finally, several hours later, people started leaving so I walked back home. It was fun but unexpected and too long.

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Apparently, my host family has a bird! The other day I was eating my lunch and noticed that the window was open. And through the window I saw a bird cage with a little blue and green parakeet inside. I walked over to look at it and noticed that it was acting stressed and panting. It had water, but I realized it was in the direct sunlight so it must be hot. I placed a blanked over half of the cage and it instantly went into the shade and spread out it’s wings like birds do when they’re trying to cool off. Poor thing! A little bit later it started singing and I realized that I’ve heard it all along but didn’t realize it was a pet bird singing! haha.

Okay so that brings us somewhat up to date. I still have to blog about this weekend (Chile’s independence week) but I have pictures for that so I’ll make it a separate post.  Stay tuned!

Peace!

Sunny Sun Days

Sunny days are holidays here. Two Sundays ago, Sodam, David, and I went to the beach to enjoy the warmth and the atmosphere was reminiscent of the 4th of July or something.

Vendors and artisans line the boardwalk along the beach. Kids run by shooting bubble guns at each other and dodging the grownups. The smell of ocean and churros (a delicious Chilean pastry) fills the air. Street musicians play guitars, drums, and strange instruments and a little further up a puppeteer puts on a show.  A spray paint artist demonstrates his talent as people gather around watching in amazement. Families and awkward couples lounge in the grass of the park next to the ocean and kids take turns rolling around inside of huge inflatable balls that someone brought.

The smiles and laughter and sunshine and festivities are contagious and I can’t wait for summer.

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This cutie came over to us and she was so cute I couldn’t even. She stole Sodam’s Coca-Cola and grinned at us for like five minutes and talked to us in baby Spanish which was better than mine.

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Her mom is super pretty and looks like one of my cousins. She told us the girl’s name and it was really unique but I can’t remember it now unfortunately.  She also traded Sodam’s Coca Cola for a water bottle when the girl wasn’t paying attention. Mom Power!

After the little girl grew bored with us, she ran over to the boy playing soccer (fútbol) and stole his ball. Super mom, the boy’s big brother, and us onlookers got a good laugh out of it! Mom gave the ball back to the boy and then bought a yellow inflatable ball for her girl.

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Fútbol boy and his big brother played in the grass in front of us almost the entire time we were there.  The little boy was so freaking cute! With his little curls and fancy footwork I could tell he’s definitely gonna be the World Cup champion years later.

Being in Chile is a humbling experience because the three-year-olds are better at fútbol and speaking Spanish than I am.

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This little girl is a princess from a fairy tale.

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I really like my converse shoes.

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The beach at sunset glows golden. It’s beautiful and the picture can’t do it justice.

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Hollidaysburg

The other day I hung out with my good friend Katie Conrad and we went to Hollidaysburg. We stopped at a cute little coffee and crepes shop and a cold girl with a tattoo sleeve sold me a mocha frappé and a brownie with walnuts and chocolate chunks in it. They had fresh blueberries out front and  I bought a pint, shared some with Katie, and ate the rest of them within the hour.  I also saw a guy who looked like Kip from Napoleon Dynamite.

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Here is a picture of me eating blueberries and drinking a mocha frappé.

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We also found a super awesome bike.

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And a Church which says “Worship God” on the front of the building.

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And an ominous prison.

I wanted to take blueberries to the prisoners but Katie was against the idea.

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We hiked up to Chimney Rock Park and climbed on the chimney rocks. Here is a picture of Katie conquering the mountain.

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This is a very small part of the incredible view which can be seen from the highest of the chimney rocks.

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I am standing on the edge of a cliff pretending to be a queen surveying her domain.

Call me Queen Converse cause I like converse shoes.

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Here’s a little more of the view. Stunning.

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Katie took all of these super awesome pictures 🙂

Peace!

Desk.

Yesterday I accomplished something and I’m really proud of myself. I carried a desk from our storage building into the house and maneuvered it through three doors and a flight of stairs into my bedroom. All by myself. Yeah dude. I got skillzz.

Also, I hide the cords on my desk inside of a converse shoe box and it is awesome.

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Now instead of slouching on my bed all day I can watch my TV shows at the desk yay for good posture and being an adult.

I also stuck a hair claw thing in my hair to keep it off my neck cause it was a hot day and it ended up actually looking good so I took a picture of it.

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