sábado, 31 de diciembre de 2011


I am ready to ring in the New Year with a group of great new friends. After spending the holidays in the land of mustaches, aka Mexico with close and extended family, coming back to Peru felt like coming home. I am feeling excited to be in this country and to finish my service in Amashca-there are new prospects on the horizon. The coming of a New Year is always like the shedding of a skin, leaving behind the unnecessary and carrying forward the new lessons learned and the strength to put our growth into action.
At this point there are many unknowns, but I welcome them as I welcome the sunshine.

sábado, 17 de diciembre de 2011

La Chocolatada

This title refers to Peruvians favorite pastime during the holiday season: hot chocolate with paneton, a type of Christmas bread that comes in a box. In the mountains the weather has become rainy and the morning fog and evening clouds cover the snow capped peaks for most of the day, it's all very "North-Westy."

Many volunteers are traveling for the holidays visiting family and friends back home. I too, am fortunate to be traveling to Mexico for a visit to the familia. I look forward to seeing my grandmother and eating copious amounts of tortillas.

The last several weeks have proven to be fairly productive, with the close of the "Amigos y Libros" program with the local high school seniors in my school. For our finale, they put together a puppet theater production for the elementary aged kids. On December 21st they celebrate their graduation and release into the wide world. Some will continue their studies, some will stay and work the family land, others will head for the cities in search of work...usually in a factory of as a domestic. I'm proud of these kids.

Come New Years I will have about 7 months left of service, which will go by fast. These are the last 7 of the 27 total months. I will have many decision to make. Should I stay a 3rd year? If not, what next? Grad school, NGO work? Where to live? There are many uncertainties, and the situation in the US right now is somewhat scary economically. I think of all my friends back home and wonder how they are doing a midst all the unknowns that they also face.

Missing home is definitely a feature of the holiday time, so this goes out to all of you in Oregon, in Canada, in the Ukraine (I know someone out there is reading) and wish you a happy holiday season. I'll be ringing in the New Year back in the Peruvian Sierra and will send a big shout out from the mountain tops.


P.S. Papa, I made stollen again!