Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tengo suerte. En serio.

As life begins to work itself out, I am starting to wonder what part of my future I have a hand in. I mean, I almost always get what I want from life. Is that only good luck? How can I have that much luck? I'm beginning to think I have a hand in sculpting my own future. I have been placed in Ancash. I really couldn't be happier. Am I lucky or was it because I expressed my enchantment with the region to my directora? Both, probably.  In real life, I was littered with exclamation marks, hippe-esque hugs and wide-open mouth expressions. I jumped around like I was listening to post-punk techno remixes while  drinking IPAs at the Bedlam or something.  However, when I type, exclamation marks seem to cheapen the experience. But hell yeah, hell yeah. Hell yeah.

My two best girlfriends, Laura and Brianna are going to be really near me. Like tens of kilometers away. Compared to the vastness of my new country, it's a stone's throw. And that southern accent is mere hours away as well. Jesus. I really can't believe what luck I have. Luck, planning, whatever. Planning, luck, anything.  So many of the personalities with whom I will be spending so much of my near future seem endless yet also beginingless. They're old souls to me in many ways so unfamiliar; territory yet to explore. I'm up for the altitude.

My trip to Ancash last week was unknowingly relevant yet fun nonetheless. I taught in schools, painted a mural, built part of a latrine and improved a kitchen. And also engaged in a hippie hug-fest. That was the most foreign feeling to me since I've been here.

Besides that fact that I had a hell of a good time digging holes in the ground, gathering good rocks and shoveling dirt, I had the most fun making mud with my bare feet with my pal, Bradley.  We needed to make good mud to adhere the adobe bricks. That involved mixing clay dirt and water. The best way to do that was to take off your shoes and socks and make wine out of grapes. We danced in mud like paegens. It was magical. I may have increased to opportunity for worms to enter my GI system, but it might be worth shitting out feets of worms.

So for details about today... finding out our sites was appropriately dramatic and fun, Peace Corps style. I'm joined with a pretty great group of folks, I must say. I'm officially in Pomabamba, Ancash, Peru. Let's Google Earth that shit, for real.  It's a really fun name to say out loud. Try it. My town is only 550 people and 110 families. I will be able to get to know almost all of them and I get to learn Quechua.  My Spanish may never get fluent but hey, I get to learn an unwritten language lost to the Andes. I'm up for it.

I took this picture. I was really there. That's my real life right now and I can't believe it. I'll see that lake every time I travel from Lima to my site. Unfuckingbelieveable.

It's been an overwhelming week and it gets more intense this week. I got back early yesterday morning from the mountains and I'll be heading back there tomorrow night for 10 days. I'll meet my new family and learn some Quechua. It's going to be brilliant, awkward and intense. I can't wait.

Laura's the one of the left, Brianna's in the middle. They're good.
Yep. Llama.

Before we started, it was a hole in the ground. I danced in that smooth mud you see surrounding the beautiful concrete surface of the latrine. Perfecto, no?

It'll be about two weeks before I get to write again but it'll be full of new stuff. Again, I love the comments and personal emails. Keep 'em coming, loved ones.


  1. Living the life, chica! ¡Me alegro mucho que puedes vivir en tu Nirvana personal! Por lo menos tienes que aprender suficiente español para actuar como mi guía turística cuando te visite. Es increíble esta oportunidad. Aprovechetelo tanto como posible.

    Te ves fantástica, pero te echo mucho de menos. Muchos besos de MN. I'm buying a mondo bag of Tootsie Rolls today on post-Halloween sale. I'll eat mNy in your honor!

    Love you!

  2. This blog made me very happy. Classic Juliet. Everything's magical. Did u get my email? Yours went in my spam folder so making sure mine got through.

  3. Hello Juliet,
    my name is Mathilde and I have been a Peace Corps Volunteer in Northwest China (Lanzhou) for almost a year and a half. I want to transfer to work in youth development in Peru and am trying to contact PCV in that field in Peru to answer a few questions but PC China admin cannot give me the Peru admin contact. Would you mind getting in touch via email so that I can bother you with my questions or get in touch with any fellow Youth Development Peru PCV? I would really appreciated. Thank you so much. Mathilde, PCV China 15 (mverillaud at gmail.com )

  4. Hello Juliet,
    I am so enjoying your travelogue! You are a wonderful, descriptive writer and I almost feel like I'm with you at times. I seem to be walking in your footsteps here lately. I am now officially the Adjunct Committee assistant and have started planning the banquet! After collecting bids, we selected Union Depot and Georgia says hello! I sent her your blog link.

    Life here is busy. The weather has been very UN-October-like, 60s and 70s and sunshine. That is supposed to change tomorrow.

    Keep up the good work - love you and miss you.

  5. AHH! My brain forgot you were keeping a blog. So much rad info on here that I have been wondering about for months. Silly Heather. Just looked up Ancash on google earth-- looks like a place i'd want to visit. I was told by someone to visit the Salar de Uyuni salt flats nearby in Bolivia (http://www.travelblog.org/South-America/Bolivia/Potosi-Department/Salar-de-Uyuni/blog-56252.html). Maybe a special trip if I get down there :)