Seems like I have nothing to really write about, but then I think about what I like to read in other people's blogs and I have decided that maybe I DO have something to say...
- Our visas are FINALLY ready for us to finalize them!!! Hallelujah! So we will travel to Chile (which is really a 5 day round-trip process) this week and finish the process that we started back before Christmas last year! Bad news... we are incurring an extra travel cost of $1500 because this has taken so long AND we have to do it all again in a month or so because Sarah's visa has to be done separately. Good news... we get to get another passport stamp from another country, we get to see more new places and meet more new people, and we can finally mark this off of our "to do" list!
- For those of you who have been following the story of Billy's dad... he has been moved to a pulmonary specialist hospital in Plano. They specialize in working with people in his condition and have weaned him down to 50% oxygen now. They predict that he could be up and walking again within 30 days. The best part is that they have been able to give him HOPE again and his spirits are greatly improved.
- We are loving Peruvian food!!! Everything that food in Costa Rica lacked, Peru has embraced... mainly spicy hotness! Almost everything is cooked with garlic and onions and a type of chile pepper. If you have ever cooked food from Louisiana, you have used "the trinity" - onion, bell pepper, and celery. Well, the trinity of foods in Huancayo is garlic, onions, and chile. We eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Peru is big on potatoes, but we also have rice, too. We mostly eat chicken at lunch, but have also been known to have pork and fish. We have only had red meat/beef once, when we ate in a local place down the street.
- I live with lip balm and Kleenex in my pockets. The dry, cold climate makes your nose run constantly and your lips stay chapped. At first, my hands were dried out and chapped, too, but that seems to be getting better as I get acclimated.
- Clothes... layers, layers, layers! In general, I wear tights under my pants or skirt every day, an undershirt, a turtle neck, and a sweater, and a jacket if need be. If we are in the full sun, I can shed the jacket and sweater if I'm hot (doesn't happen too often). By 4ish in the afternoon, it starts to get cooler because the sun starts to dip down below the mountains and we are in the shadows again. At night, Sarah sleeps in polar fleece footie pajamas under two wool blankets and a quilt. I generally wear flannel or polar fleece pants, two layers of shirts, and socks. Billy and I sleep under two alpaca blankets and a quilt, too. I'm thinking that Victoria's Secret wouldn't stay in business very long here!!! It's just too cold to worry about "pretty" in pajamas.
- We have met very nice people here and are enjoying getting to know the culture. We have a long discussion every day with Liz regarding random topics that lead to lots of learning on our part... education, typical marriage age, health issues, language learning, how foreigners are viewed, worker's issues and government, etc. We learn so much just from conversations over lunch in our home. We also will talk to anyone who will listen... the taxi drivers, shop keepers, etc. Billy spent an hour with an older couple who runs a corner store the other day - actually, he was walking and was "lost" and stopped to ask for directions, which led to coffee and conversation. He plans to go back and make them a regular stop on his language route.
So, those are the immediate things on my mind this morning. Billy and Sarah have gone off on a quest for Qtips... who knows where they might find those!? They aren't in the grocery store. Later we have to go get passport photos for our trip to Chile and go to Kid's Club this afternoon (Hallelujah!!! - the highlight of my week!). Just another day in Huancayo...