Sunday, May 31, 2015
my dad is great, he is like my dad at home. he watches the same (with respect to country differences) tv shows, walks around in his underwear half the time, talks fast and mumbles, and gives bear hugs that make you feel like there is no bad in the world. my mom, from the beginning, has been one of the most caring individuals i have ever came in contact with. she treats me like a prince, and it means the world to me. when i was lost, she was the one that was looking for me on her bike, while everyone else was waiting to hear where i was. that really makes me feel like part of the family. my brothers are great too, they treat me like part of the family and do everything in their power to make me feel as comfortable as possible, and even speak english to us if we need help.
we just ate a late dinner of pizza, at about 11.45 pm (peruvian pizza is strange. the meat lovers had bologna, hot dogs, ham and salami, strange) and talked quite a bit. we talked about things from psychology (why someone drinks and does drugs. my dad was strong willed about it, and said he does not like them at all, and that makes me feel better because i do not like drugs either), to cultural differences from the united states, like kids, tvs in the bedrooms, how kids are raised, family sizes (my dad has 17 siblings and his dad has 18; holy fuck, no thank you!). it was great to talk about it. my parents talked about how they love to learn about other cultures, and i love to learn about other cultures too, so i am eager to talk more about the peruvian culture!
after the (extremely late [11:50]) dinner, i talked with my mom while she washed the dishes. she said she hasn't seen machu picchu, nor ica, and many other hotspots across the country because she would rather let her kids have the opportunities. that sounds exactly like my mom. i love my mom more than i love myself, so when there are parallels to her, it really speaks to me on a whole new level. my dad then came in and said he was going to bed and gave me the best hug i have ever gotten. i hope that isn't weird, but you know what i mean.
the moral of the story is, i love my host family so much, and i cannot wait to see what these eight weeks have in store for me.
second, it really sunk in how fortunate i and so many others are compared to other people around the world. this morning, i read andrea's blog and it said "that's when it hit me. in two hours, no matter how much or how little progress we made, i could walk away from that ditch. id soon be eating lunch, and then returning to my host family's very nice first floor apartment. just seven weeks after than id be back in the united states; drinking water from the faucet (what a luxury), being able to drive myself around instead of taking crowded, noisy public transportation, and using an air conditioner again. but those, kids [from mundo libre, the rehabilitation clinic, and many others like them], thats their life. they don't get to wash their hands of all that work and hardship (at least not until they leave_. if we didn't get that canal cleaned, so what, wed be leaving either way. for them, though, that wasn't the case. they didn't have a choice; if they want better living conditions they'd have to continue. thats how they'd have to continue to do things every day. yet, the children seemed so happy and positive." i know that was long, but it was amazingly worded and really sunk in. how fortunate am i to be able to do the things i am able to do; travel the world, attend an amazing university, live in a free and amazing nation, have a family that cares for me with no limits, have friends that would take a bullet for me, and even things like drink from the tap and walk down the street without the fear of being mugged or raped or even murdered. we are so caught up in our own lives that we forget what the rest of the world is like. living in a city like this, it really shows me how good i, and so many others, have it. we do not realize how much different things could be. we do not realize how bad things could be; and we do not realize how good things can be either. we take things like: a breakup, a broken phone, a flat tire, a failed exam as the worst things in the world. they are not even close; we could live in places, like parts of lima, that people do fear walking down the street, who do not have anyone who cares for them or people who even sell their own family members into prostitution or cartels or to anyone who wants to buy them, just to make a profit, those who do not have clean drinking water, those who do not have food, those who live on the streets or under a bridge, or those who even die because of different voids in their life. everyone should take a step back, breathe, and think about how fortunate you are to have the luxuries that we, every day, take for granted. and also to think about how much different things could be, and how bad or unfortunate things could be.
we walked through catholic churches that were from the 1500's, think about that. that is before america was even founded, and far before america was even a popular destination. it really puts things into perspective. we are just a tiny piece of sand in the beach of life. we walked through amazing avenues, with amazing architecture, beautiful streets, just everything was beautiful.
well, i do remember this, it was the door for a royal family and the door had to be gigantic in order to let the carriages in because the women in those days were not allowed to be seen outside of their houses, so they did whatever they had to in order to not be seen. of course, i had to take a picture with it because it was gigantic.
we went to a very old church, where we took a tour. it was awesome, but we weren't supposed to take pictures, but i couldn't resist. . . oops. the church was amazing; amazing architecture, painting, just everything. there was this dome made of wood and it was awe inspiring! i was mad i didn't get a picture of it. after touring the church, we went into the catacombs. this was awesome! there are roughly 73000 bodies down there, and there are many many chambers that hold the bodies. there have been excavations so the bones have been separated, and some areas renovated. the picture above was a 10 meter pit that was filled about 2/3 of the way with bodies. so cool, but also extremely creepy at the same time.
this was a great day, lots of information, touring, and great sights that were awesome to see! this (below) is one of my favorite pictures from today, it was a ceiling of a theatre and it was huge, about 30 feet across, and all different colors. today was awesome! i know it will just keep getting better from here, and i cannot wait to see what is in store for me. one week down, eight to go. it is going by too fast! instagram - robin_stark1114
Saturday, May 30, 2015
we were having so much fun, lots of laughs. after we finished, we went to help the other group with the rest of the boys. we had to clean out a drain because it was overgrown with weeds and mud. now that was tough work, my hands still hurt from pulling the sheets of mud and weeds out of the gutter. after, we went inside and had some time before lunch, so we talked with the kids.
Friday, May 29, 2015
Thursday, May 28, 2015
a little about the customs, now. peru, is how do i say. . . different. they are a culture of old fashioned persons. one of the most different is they do not have a personal bubble. in the united states, most people like their personal space and do not like it to be popped; no such thing here. the closer the better. people will hug or just stand close to you, even if they have never met you. another difference is, you do not smile or say hi to people on the street. that is not normal. natives will give you the scariest looks and they will immediately know you are a gringo or foreign. another obvious is the greetings. no matter how many people there are in the room, when you enter, you give all the women a air kiss on the cheek and the men a hug or strong hand shake, even if you do not even know their name. and you do the same if you leave. if you and all your friends go to someones house, you do it all again, for everyone. the driving, is, as i have previous mentioned, chaotic. like schools of fish or flocks of birds; always moving wherever they want but (almost) never running into each other. another funny (more scary than funny) thing, the stoplights are more of a suggestion than a law or ordinance or norm. that is just a little about peru as a whole, i will write more when i know more, and also the norms and habits of the natives will change when i go to places like ica or cuzco or iquitos.
now about my day. i woke up, ate, and my mom drove me to class (i don't think she will ever let me go anywhere alone because of my. . . mishap of getting lost yesterday. oops). class was extremely long, but i could understand well. after class, i came home, ate and took a nap. these siestas are going to get to me, or not. i love naps too much. miguel, my isa brother, wanted to see a movie. so, dan, cesar, miguel and i went to "la plazareal"to see "mad max" but we missed it so we walked around the mall, which by the way is extremely fancy and new. so, we walked back, ate dinner, and now its time for homework.
thank you for reading, i hope i keep you interested. if you want more of my photography and adventures, follow me on instagram @robin_stark1114 - thank you!
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Monday, May 25, 2015
after our orientation, we got a "bus tour" where we basically got on the most crowded bus possible and rode it for about forty minutes to the amazing district of miraflores (pictured at the top). we walked around the amazing bluffs, and then walked to the amazing mall on the edge of the cliff and to a park that was infested with cats (i mean an infestation, hundreds). then we got on a bus to take us back to the isa office and accidentally left someone in miraflores, oops; well she will soon become accustomed to lima. . . at home, i met the housekeeper and cook, she was extremely nice but talked a hundred miles an hour and i only caught a little bit of it. sitting at home is nice, my family is amazing, and my mom took me around downtown lince (my home district). i am excited to see what this city has to offer and to start classes tomorrow. thank you all again for following, i hope you keep visiting my blog.
Sunday, May 24, 2015
Saturday, May 23, 2015
hi, everyone. i am currently sitting in dallas/fort worth international airport. my flight for lima, peru leaves in about three hours, and i am starting to freak out. these next eight weeks will be a whirlwind of emotions, but i know i will have the time of my life and will become all the more cultured. i hope you follow along with me in these weeks to come and your support helps so much.
Friday, May 22, 2015
i recently read the memoir, "a work in progress" by connor fronta, and it has inspired me to follow my passion; photography. "the future is as bright as you let it shine. don't be tricked into seeing it dimly. don't be fooled into believing that this, where you are right now, is all you get. your potential is endless. just act. act now. right now. leap. live. love." and that is what i plan to do. tomorrow, i leave for peru for the summer, and will try to update my blog daily with my adventures and experiences, good and bad. i intend to let my future shine as bright as possible.