Voluntaria en Peru

Buenos dias, like many of you may know I have been shitty at posting since returning home from Peru. I had gotten myself into such a routine of writing and coming up with ideas and when I came home, I had gotten out of that routine that I just didn;t write, at all. However, my 5 weeks in Peru were some of the best weeks of my life and I really do want to share what I did while I was there.

This post is going to be centered around the volunteer aspect of the trip (why I went) but since it was basically the same every day, I’m not going to make post after post about it. So, enjoy a brief intro into volunteer life in Lima

In Lima, there are 4 different volunteer programs; Child care, Teaching, Medical, Construction (summer only). I, and most of the others volunteering were part of the childcare program. I wasn’t really educated on the other 3 programs, however, within the childcare program, there are 5 different orphanages, Divinos Jesus (‘functioning’ children ages 0-9), Esperanza (special needs 0-9), San Migitas (special needs 9-18), Renacer (special needs 18-65), and Vidas (teen mothers and their babies).

At Divinos Jesus (my placement), Esperanza, and San Migitas, people are given some children to look after (at Divinos Jesus it is consistent but at the other two it can change depending on the needs that day). At Divinos Jesus, you play with the children, feed  them, put them to sleep, etc. I was in the room with babies ages 0-6 months, we were giving bottles, working on motor skills, and putting them down for naps. At Esperanza and San Migitas, there was quite a bit of physical and hydro therapies, along with feeding. At Vidas, it’s mainly talking to the mothers and then taking care of their children so they can have classes and try to be normal teenagers. And finally at Renacer; all of the childcare volunteers go there at the end of the month for a big fiesta to celebrate all of the birthdays from the month.

I love babies so being in that room was so much fun (yes even when I got thrown up all over). I loved all 6 of the babies and I give so much credit to moms of multiple children and moms in general. I definitely got too attached to the kids, one in particular, so I do miss Roberto, Fredy, Valentina, Estrella, and Galeska, but I miss Belen the most. I am not allowed to post photos of the babies or anyone at any of the orphanages because it is a government owned facility, but trust me, babies are SO CUTE.

We did that everyday from about 8-1, so most afternoons we had free. However, on Monday and Wednesday afternoons we would head out to La Punta to volunteer at a halfway house for girls from ages 12-17. We would do a daily game, english lesson, and craft. I loved seeing how the girls progressed from the time they got to La Punta to when I left and seeing the girls leave was bittersweet because I loved them and it was so nice getting to know them, but on the other hand it was amazing because they were making progress in their lives. Some of the girls were so funny, some more reserved, but all of them were genuine, sweet girls who just got mixed up in the wrong crowd. While I loved the babies, these girls were the highlight of volunteering and when I left, tears were shed from both the girls and I, and I really hope they all get out and make progress to live their best lives they can.

Alicia

Liebster Award

Hi everyone, look at me posting two days in a row. I’m working on planning out some more posts for July (life and some Peru since I suck) and then some back to school posts in August. Once I start school, I’m not going to guarantee too  many posts (especially in September) with getting acclimated to a new place and homework and I’m not going to clack off like I somewhat did in San Diego, but I am going to try.


Okay, enough for an intro, let’s get into this award.

A few weeks back Jewish Thoughts nominated me for this Liebster Award. Thank you so much for the nomination! I love doing these 🙂

Rules

  1. Acknowledge the blog who nominated you and display the award.
  2. Answer the 11 questions the blogger gives you.
  3. Give 11 random facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate 11 blogs.
  5. Notify those blogs of the nomination.
  6. Give them 11 questions to answer.

11 Answers

  1. When did you start blogging?

June 2012 I think

  1. Why do you write?

It’s my way of getting what I’m thinking out of my brain so I can process it

  1. What is your favourite holiday or festival?

Christmas

  1. What is your greatest ambition?

Graduate college

  1. If you could have any one thing what would it be?

A stable decently paying job

  1. What was the best day of your life?

The day I was able to see Machu Picchu

  1. What is your favourite season?

Fall

  1. Do you enjoy reading?

Yes!!

  1. What is your job?

Student/Nanny

  1. What is your favourite recipe?

Cinnamon roll pancakes (100% vegan of course)

  1. What makes you want to wake up each morning?

Work ($$)

11 Facts

  1. I miss Peru with every ounce of my being
  2. I cannot wait to go to Ohio
  3. I love back to school shopping
  4. I don’t want kids but I think I would have them just to take them back to school shopping
  5. I want to learn French, Italian, Japanese/ Swedish
  6. I dyed my hair again
  7. My dog is laying next to me and being adorable right now
  8. I don’t leave for Ohio for 4 weeks but I’ve already started packing
  9. Febreze and car heaters give me headaches
  10. I have always wanted a chameleon
  11. My only motivation for getting a job is so that I can travel and go to concerts

11 Blogs

Rosie Culture               Enette’s World             Experiences De Javu         Ciarra Lorren    Pirate Patty                  Simple Serenity            The Book Raven              Live Life Lightly                              Out N’ About                      BeaFree                 Our Little DIY Corner

11 Questions

  1. What is your favorite time of day?
  2. What show are you currently watching?
  3. Why did you start your blog?
  4. When are you the happiest?
  5. What one item can you not live without?
  6. Do you love what you do? Why/Why not?
  7. What is your favorite article of clothing?
  8. Do you have any pet peeves? What are they?
  9. What is your favorite scent?
  10. Do you have a favorite household chore? What is it?
  11. What is your least favorite movie?

That’s all, hope you enjoy this and that those nominated choose to do it!

Alicia

A new addition

No.. I’m not pregnant but my family did recently adopt a puppy! A little over two months ago, we adopted Kizzee (now Poppy), a one year old Border Collie Spaniel mix from Second City Kanine Rescue. She is the sweetest little pup who has taken my whole heart.

A little bit about this sweet baby; she is all black with some salt and pepper on her stomach and paws (the Border Collie) and has the fluffiest ears and tail in the world. She looks like a fox and she already has too many nicknames to mention. She’s got a bit of a barking problem but with some training and lots of cookies I’m sure that’ll be fixed in no time.

We adopted her from a rescue here in Illinois but she came up from Alabama, after spending over 6 months locked away in a kennel (wonder how that barking started), where she also contracted heartworm. For now, we have to restrict tiny dog’s activity (heartworm treatment) and we have a dog pharmacy on our counter(also heart worm treatment), but once she is heartworn negative this little dog will be bounding all over dog parks, beaches, and people.

Now, while Poppy and I sit here patiently waiting to get that dang blood test, please enjoy a plethora of pictures of this sweet, cute, and tiny pup.

Until next time

Alicia and Poppy🐾

OU, Oh yeah!

Hello friends. Sorry for my terrible posting habits I have created since returning from Peru. I sort of forgot about time management and my blog in general. However, over the coming weeks I do have quite a bit to share with you all about what has been going on in my life since returning from Peru and becoming reacquainted with my old routine.The first thing I want to discuss is college. As I mentioned a few posts back, I committed to Ohio University, in Athens Ohio. No, not Ohio State, just Ohio. Anyway, last week was my orientation (June 19th and 20th) so Sunday morning, bright and early, my dad and I made the 7 hour drive to Athens.

The first thing I want to discuss is college. As I mentioned a few posts back, I committed to Ohio University, in Athens Ohio. No, not Ohio State, just Ohio. Anyway, last week was my orientation (June 19th and 20th) so Sunday morning, bright and early, my dad and I made the 7 hour drive to Athens.

Upon arriving that afternoon, we checked into the dorm room we would be staying in, grabbed dinner, made a Walmart run to get some breakfast for the next morning, and tried to avoid being soaked by the pouring rain. The dorm we stayed in was quite large, about twice the size of my dorm in San Diego, it even included a sink so I could brush my teeth and wash my face without leaving the room.We went to bed super early because we had to wake up just as early as we had the day before to be ready for orientation (and my two placement tests).

We went to bed super early because we had to wake up just as early as we had the day before to be ready for orientation (and my two placement tests).

5:30 Monday morning (4:30 Chicago time) I hopped right out of bed, showered, ate breakfast, and headed out to check in and then made my way over to 2 different buildings to take my Spanish and Chemistry tests. I ended up scoring in the highest possible grouping for Chemistry and was 1 point away from getting to the highest possible Spanish placement. I won’t have to take anymore Chem classes (I hope) but I will be taking a bunch of Spanish.

After I completed both exams, I met back up with my dad who spent his free time walking around a resource fair. The rest of the morning was a blur, with so many speakers I couldn’t keep up. We were then separated from our parents and took a campus tour (my third), listened to more speakers, and then finally got a break for lunch where we were reunited with our parents. The food selection at Ohio is vast and they have tons of vegan options (the campus is ranked in the top 10 vegan friendly universities in the US). However, all good things must come to an end and the next 8 hours were torturous. We were placed in rooms that were far too cold, and then rooms that were far too hot, being forced to participate in group activities that we had all already done at our prior institutions (it was a full transfer student admissions day so no incoming freshmen were there to questions shower shoes and communal bathrooms), and we had to socialize. The socializing wasn’t horrible and I met some pretty nice girls who I hope I’ll be seeing more of in the fall.

Once we finally finished all of these mandatory (if we didn’t attend we would be unable to register for classes the next day) informational sessions, we had the opportunity to meet with our academic advisors. My academic advisor was less than helpful but it’s a good thing I’m self sufficient and can plan classes on my own (the rest of my group wasn’t as lucky).

When we were finally released for dinner I was able to reunite with my dad and we discussed all of the sessions from the long and tiring day.We retired for bed early again that night because we had to be out of our dorm by 7 the next morning, so after planning out my schedule and reading the piles and piles of information I was given that day, I called it a night.

The following morning, we showered, packed everything up, checked out of the dorm room, and then made our way over to the Union for another couple information sessions and then to register for classes. I had an hour between the sessions and my registration time so my dad and I used the free time to explore downtown Athens.

At around 9:45 I had to trek across campus to my advising session and my dad stayed back to write a letter to me and talk to the campus doctor. When I arrived at McCracken Hall, the home of the college of Education, I saw a sea of people all waiting to have their meetings. There were two people ahead of me still so I had a seat and talked to some of the girls I had met the day before for the next 45 minutes.

At 1030 (my appointment was at 10 but the company was nice so I couldn’t complain) I was able to schedule my classes. I am taking 6 classes: an intro to Psychology, Calculus, Spanish, Teacher Technology, Teacher Education, and a transfer course. I am pleased with my schedule and I have no classes on Thursday so hopefully I can get a job and work that day.

During my advising meeting, my advisor notified me that Ohio didn’t have my AP scores and the credits I completed simply weren’t there, so instead of graduating in 2.5 more years it could be as long as 3.5, so my dad and I rushed over to the admissions office to discuss this issue, only to find out my scores never sent, so I had to resend them. We then walked around campus a bit more, checked out my dorm, before finally making our way back to the car and returning to Illinois.

Now, there are about 2 months until I move in, and I have made a list of what I need to bring, contacted my suitemates, and am more than ready to start this new chapter in my life. OU Oh yeah!

Alicia

19

A year ago, I posted something about how turning 19 was irrelevant. That the 19th revolution around the sun was a pointless one separating the enticing year of becoming an adult  and getting out of your teenage years.

If a year ago I told you that 19 would have been the best year of my life so far, I would have laughed in your face. But here I am, a whole year later, reflecting on my 19th year on this earth.

A year ago I thought I would be attending Arizona State University, majoring in chemical engineering, and living with my aunt.

But here I am, after taking a gap year, getting ready to start school at Ohio University, going to school for secondary education.

This year I did a lot of things, but if there’s one thing I did that I’m most proud of, it’s making my own decisions. I had always been a go with the flow kind of girl, always trying to please. In July, however, I made a tremendous decision to not return to school in the fall, something that  recieved a bit of backlash for, people saying I would never return to college after my break. After I chose to take a break, I was able to leave a toxic job that I wasn’t comfortable with. Normally I would’ve continued with both of these things because that’s what was expected of me, but I did what was right for me and that alone made my entire year.

After convincing my entire family, I was able to volunteer in Peru for over a month, working in an orphanage with some of the cutest babies I had ever seen, and travelling and marvelling at the country as a whole.

This year for me has been the best so far, and I hope it only goes up from here. Now, as I continue to get ready for a new school and a new year, I hope you all continue to live life as I am, pulchritudinously.

 

Alicia

Also Happy Birthday to me !

Hello June

Well, well, well. I’m alive and well and back in my cozy home, perched on the couch in my living room, writing for the first time in forever.

My initial goal was to blog 10 times while I was in Peru, and only ended up blogging twice. I will discuss Peru in later posts and share photos and all of that jazz, but now I just wanted to write. I wanted to share a bit of a life update (sans Peru) and talk about my summer, my college decision and just how life has been thus far.

Let’s get started with college. After another visit to Ohio University, I finally decided to make myself a part of the Patton College of Education at Ohio University. I am extremely excited to start school and become a teacher. I have orientation in 2 weeks and then I wait until the end of August for move in. I am living in the dorm I wanted and have already found out who my roommate and suitemates are. I haven’t been in contact with them yet but I have stalked the ones I found on Facebook and Instagram, which is basically the same thing. Go Bobcats!

Now onto my summer. Can we talk about babysitting? I am sitting for one family on Tuesdays and Thursdays and then another family on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. I am also walking the Tuesday/Thursday family’s dog on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays when I’m done with babysitting. Also, I’m walking everywhere, so my new Fitbit and my body are going to love me at the end of the summer.

That’s it for now, I’ll talk about college, Peru, and my summer antics a bit more in the coming post, but since it is June 1st (and the start if my birthday month AND Marilyn Monroe’s birthday) I figured I would get back in the swing of things since I hadn’t posted once in May.

Until my next post

Alicia

Warm vodka

Interesting title I know… but bear with me until I get to that story.

Whenever I am not at home, ie. college, vacation, a friend’s house, I always wake up super super early the first few days I am there. This was no exception. I woke up at around 6:30 or 7 (I don’t remember). I didn’t get up though, mainly because I didn’t want to wake any of my three roommates nor did I know how to get out of my bed.

Once my roommates had gotten up and gone downstairs, I basically cannonballed off of my bed (which really hurt) tumbled on the ground and made my way downstairs as well.

 

IMG_8576
The view from my room

Breakfast that day (and every day) consists of bread and marmalade (Peru is known for their Marmalade and it’s amazing!), and a variety of exotic fruits.

After Breakfast, all of the new girls (Marissa, Annie, Skylar, Tressia, and myself) along with Leo and Clara made our way to Plaza San Miguel to exchange money and make ourselves acquainted with the plaza since we would spend quite a bit of time and money there.

We made it back just in time for lunch which was a really yummy pasta salad, rice, and a salad. If you think that’s a ton of carbs you should wait for every other meal (everyone always complains and I just think it’s annoying).

 

IMG_8645
just a bathroom mirror selfie of a sleepy, peruvian gal

After lunch, all of the new girls squeezed ourselves into a taxi and headed to Miraflores (a very touristy area on a cliff displaying the Pacific Ocean in all of its glory). In Miraflores, we walked along Parque Kennedy, which is named after President JFK. This park is full of stray cats just walking around and doing their thing. The urge to pet them was so real, yet we didn’t because A. who knows what they had on/in them and B. they were quite skiddish around humans (no doubt due to some little kids trying to yank their tails).

By this time, the five of us had all opened up about being nervous the night before and for the same reasons. We had talked about families, friends, past trips, so many things and we were really getting comfortable around each other.

By the time we had finished telling stories, we were at Larcomar, a shopping center with about the same sorts of stores that the Panama airport had. There we walked around, took pictures of the coast, talked with some locals etc.

IMG_8646
View of the Ocean from LarcoMar

Some of the other girls in the house had told us about this Incan Market that was by Miraflores. Marissa wanted a bag, I wanted to look around and see the colors, and the other girls didn’t have a preference of what we were doing so… after a 25-minute walk or so we made it to the Incan market. The market was full of colored bracelets, bags, sweatshirts and more, alpaca blankets were displayed on every wall, and so many hand-carved trinkets. It was such a sight to see and while I didn’t buy anything that day (I didn’t want to lose anything) I will definitely make my way back to the Incan Market later in my trip to get some goodies.

After Marissa bartered for a bag and we had scanned the entire market, we hailed a taxi and were on our way back to the volunteer house.

IMG_8643
The Incan Market

After dinner,  seven of the eight people who hadn’t gone out of town for the weekend decided to go to Miraflores to go clubbing. Well, the three older people (the 4 new girls were exhausted but we wanted to see what clubbing in Peru would be like… so we tagged along). Apparently buying alcohol in bars and clubs in Peru is just as expensive as the States, but buying bottled liquor is much cheaper so we walked to a local grocery store and came out with 2 bottles of $4 vodka, a knock off orange juice, and plastic cups.

We took a cab to Miraflores(where most of the nightlife happens) and started passing out the mixed drinks. (PS I am legal here so it’s all good). When our drinks were being poured and distributed, I had the pleasure of being the first sip. It tasted like cough medicine that your parents have to force down your throat when you’re little. But we had a lot of it to drink so we shoved it down our throats.

IMG_8683
We had a man from Cusco take this.

After we finished our drinks (well Marisa hid the vodka bottle in a bush), we got to the club. At the club, they played a variety of English and Spanish music and had an insane amount of flashing strobes. it was nothing too fancy, but it was nice to be able to check out the party scene of Peru.

I got home with 2 of the other girls at around 230 that morning and immediately passed out in bed, and the other 4 didn’t get home until 5. Nevertheless, we were up at 730 to explore Lima some more.

Sunday was a lot more laid back. We took a taxi to Barranco, a less touristy, more local city by the ocean. There we found a cute cafe and Skylar had her first acai bowl, and there was a very very cute Colombian barista who complimented my Spanish speaking abilities.

We got lunch in Barranco after walking along the beach for a bit. For lunch, I got grilled veggies and rice, and tried Sangria for the first time. It was good but definitely not my favorite drink in the world.

IMG_8767
Cafe with acai bowl and frozen coffee

After lunch, we went to this little sort of Farmer’s Market, called Feria, which had clothes, food, soaps, cosmetic products, and just anything you could think of. We didn’t buy anything there but looking around was really nice. A few of the booths even had fake Kylie lip kits, which I thought was rather funny.

After walking around all day in the scorching heat, we needed something sweet. We found this little gelateria called Blu, which had a line wrapped around the entire block, which made us sure it had to be good. They also had sorbet (vegan!) so I was able to indulge in an amazing banana mango mixture that was absolutely heavenly.

IMG_8841
Gelateria

We ate our gelato/sorbet in a park in Barranco which was filled with cute puppies and live music, an A+ on all ends if you ask me.

We finally made it back to the volunteer house, ate dinner, showered, and promptly fell asleep, awaiting what was to come n the following four weeks.

Alicia