Peru Makes Life Interesting

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Ali and I cannot believe that we are already halfway through our time with GSW. Time flies when you’re having fun! Looking back on the past five months, Ali and I are grateful for so many things about our lives in Peru, especially the incredible girls we work with. As we prepared to head to the States for the holidays last month, we reminisced about some of the things that we are grateful for in the States that are hard to find in Peru. Here are some of the things that we came up with:

  1. Headrests in cars. This blog idea came about when Ali and I got in a taxi to go to our rural school last week and were giddy with excitement that there were headrests. This is a great illustration of the fact that you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. Headrests are SO COMFORTABLE.
  2. Toilet paper. If you ever come to Peru, you will learn very quickly to carry a little bit of TP with you everywhere you go. We have to bring our own to all the schools we work in, even the boarding school. Don’t leave home without it!
  3. Other key bathroom items. I get SUPER excited if I go to a fancy restaurant where there is a toilet seat, toilet paper, soap, and paper towels or a hand dryer. It’s almost too much to handle.
  4. Seats made for tall people. The buses are made for people who are significantly shorter than me or Ali, but especially Ali.
    Ali cramming into a bus seat on our way to class.

    Ali cramming into a bus seat on our way to class.

  5. Canned beans. I miss being able to dump a can of goopy beans into a strainer and have beans and rice, black bean burgers, tacos, etc. ready in minutes. The 3-4 hour process is not my favorite on a casual weeknight.
  6. For that matter, canned anything! The process for making pumpkin pie for Peru Thanksgiving started with heading to the market to grab a chunk of pumpkin (their pumpkins are HUGE here) and throwing it in some boiling water for about an hour. At this point, I could finally get started on the pie. It was fresher and probably healthier, but also definitely more of a process.
  7. Oven thermometers/gauges. Baking is always an adventure here. We have a gas stove with a knob to turn on the gas. You can turn the knob to really hot, just kind of hot, or off. We have gotten better at estimating the temperature for baking based on how loud the sound of the gas entering the oven is and the temperature that hits your face when you open the oven, but it isn’t exactly precise. And that is on top of the fact that we’re baking at 11,000 feet.
    Our oven door broke in the middle of baking Ali's birthday cake...We made do!

    Our oven door broke in the middle of baking Ali’s birthday cake…We made do!

  8. Heat. It’s not as bad now because we are in the summer/rainy season, but it gets really cold here at night in the winter, especially July and August. Luckily, the harsh Northeastern winters have prepared Ali and I for pretty much anything so it’s nothing some wool socks and a hoodie can’t solve.

These few things make life a little bit more interesting in Peru, but it is all part of living in a different country. We wouldn’t change it for the world!