Saturday, October 2, 2010


So it's the end of the second week. The honeymoon is over and this is now feeling like real life. Summing it up in one word: awkward. Like a turtle. 

General awkwardness part one: Spanish. I sit at dinner with my family and they talk and talk and talk and laugh and I sit there desperately hanging on to my limited vocabulary. My Spanish shuts down at about 7pm, so I feel pretty dumb around the dinner table. I can't communicate and it sucks. I had a moment the other day where I felt like it would never come. But everyone keeps assuring me I'll be ok. I imagine what it would have been like in Africa where no one knew the language and I feel a little better. It's not my fault most everyone else in my program knows Spanish and studied abroad in South America and I didn't. Why the hell did I take Japanese? I can't remember...

General awkwardness part dos: Food. My family feeds me boiled chicken and rice for every meal. I eat fruit, but I've been suffering from the problem that comes with no vegetables and very little instant coffee.  Yeah. It sucks and it's hard to communicate health needs with a vocabulary of a child. But I'm using my own funds to buy fibrous food items. Wish me luck.

General awkwardness part tres: Clothing. I have to cover my tattoos, which can be hot. And I was told by the PC people that my knee-length skirts are kinda short. Gross. I'm not sure what I'm going to do about that since I hate pants and can't bear the thought of wearing sweaters and leggings when it's 80 degrees in the sun.

General awkwardness part cuatro: My host sister. The one that's 12 does not find me amusing. She won't talk to me and it's really awkward. I try to practice my Spanish and she looks at me like I'm an idiot. And she mumbles so I can't understand her whatsoever. I think she's over having volunteers living in her space. And what sucks is that I think she's actually pretty cool but she doesn't want anything to do with me.

Anyway, I had a rough week but things are looking up. I don't think I'll ever be able to get used to freezing cold showers and my coping mechanism to that is ghetto baths from the sink and letting the dust  just penetrate my skin. It's really dusty here in the foothills. Training is tough- it's 8 solidly packed hours a day of hard thinking and engaging. I go to bed at about 9-10pm every night and sleep till 7. Except when I wake up to the goddamn feral street dogs communicating all night.

I went out last Saturday night to a discoteka with a bunch of PC kids. The beer was really shitty but better than nothing. Since I can't have good beer, I've been running almost everyday to find a buzz. I guess that's not a bad thing.

I was gonna upload photos but I guess my camera needs to be connected to upload through iphoto. Next time. The color is beige. The texture is dust. 

My address here till Thanksgiving is:
Los Cedros 647
Lima 08 Peru

Thanks for the comments and emails :) Miss you and hot showers. juliet


  1. I think you took Japanese because you were attracted to the lettering. Plus Japanese is not mainstream... Just like you!

    You will be a master at espanol quickly. Plus you aren't having to unlearn Americanized Spanish.

  2. My poor Boo. You are a fighter and will make it through this initial awkward stage. 12-year-old girls don't find anything amusing, but I'm sure that you'll win her over in the end.

    I hope that this week goes well. You're in my thoughts. Don

  3. Culture shock is kind of like the awkwardness of going through puberty again, no? But have no fear, soon you will grow up to be a beautiful swan!

    Also it will be AWESOME once you are fluent in Spanish. It will take some time to get there but you are pretty much a professional student so I have much faith in you.

    Keep working on your hermana! She will warm up to you eventually :) you should start writing your was a funny scene you painted in this entry.

    Look forward to your pictures!~Chelsea

  4. Oh man, I wouldn't last a second there. No hot showers, the same freakin food every night, a snotty teenage sister, wearing lots of clothes in the thanks. I miss you dude. Real hard. Can't wait to hear where you'll be after this family. Can't wait to hear all the funny, private details you wouldn't say in a public forum. Tee hee. Also, Aubrey said she'd go to Dresden Dolls. Yahoo! Another instance of you helping me make friends. I'll be looking for more posts soon. Hang in there. Luv, Lindsay

  5. Sorry things have been awkward there with and that you've had a rough start to your amazing journey. Please know that things will get better and that new situations (especially cultural ones) take lots of time to get sorted out. With your wonderful personality and outlook, I know that you'll be able to overcome all of this. In regard to the 12 year old girl, try to ignore her for now. I'm sure she's going through alot of changes along with the puberty/adolescent crap. Try to put yourself in her shoes and imagine how you'd react in the same scenario, but don't try too hard-lol. You're a great person and hopefully she'll recognize that.

    I want to send you some of my herbal laxative pills, but I don't want to get you thrown out of the country. If there is a way I can send you some, send me an email. Hang in there. Miss you sooo much, V.