Rachel Schmidt


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El ultimo blog!

Posted by rachelschmidt18@yahoo.com on April 18, 2012 at 5:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Can't believe this is going to be my last blog update for my trip here in Peru!  I'm so excited to get back home and see everybody.  Not too much has happened in the past couple of weeks, but I'll fill you in!

Last weekend we went out to the clubs for our peruvian friend, Brian's, birthday and we also had a last going away party for Adriana because she was headed back to the states today.  We also went to a thing called "La Candelaria Peru" on Saturday where they had tradtional dances.  It was a pretty exciting time and I'm glad I got to be a part of it.  We did all of this before the week of finals week and I started to get nervous about getting everything done, but I'll make it work.  A few of us went to a soccer game here in Lima as well and apparently it was two big rivals in Lima who were playing, I didn't go, but I got to hear about it and it sure sounded scary.  They take their soccer teams pretty seriously and received death threats and such.  When they first got there, they would split up the fans to avoid riots.  Crazy!  A couple of them got interviewed as well which was pretty sweet.  In a way I wish I would've gone, but then again, I would have been peeing my pants being so scared.

This week has been pretty stressful since it is the last week of classes.  We actually didn't have classes at all except for our finals for Literature and Grammar.  So that's pretty exciting, but definitely stressful.  We had our last visit to help the high school with English this week as well, so on Monday, I got up bright and early to sit through classes for about 3 and a half hours.  It took me so much effort to try to stay awake because of how crazy a weekend we had and how stressed I had been.  We took our final tuesday and it wasn't so bad and afterwards we went to a movie with some friends and Adriana at 11:30 at night.  I was debating whether or not to go because it was so late, but since she was leaving I decided I should probably go. :) I'm glad I did too because we had a pretty good time. 

When teaching at the schools I have definitely realized that I could never become a teacher.  We would be in a group witht he kids and we would have a specific assignment to do with them.  The students never get their assignments done and always talk in Spanish, and I would try my hardest to ask questions about the assignment but they just don't answer my questions or just say they don't know.  I certainly don't have the patience for something like that so I just got irritated.  The only time they would talk to me was if they asked me about a party or a discoteca.  It just blows my mind how incredibly rude these students are.

Other then that, I've been enjoying my last few weeks here and have been very happy with the change in the weather.  It has been more windy and cloudy so it isn't AS hot as it has been, but I'm still sweating, haha.  Only about 12 more days! 

3 more weeks.

Posted by rachelschmidt18@yahoo.com on April 10, 2012 at 9:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Wow, the past few weeks have been going pretty quickly.  We only have 2 more weeks of classes left and I only have 3 more weeks before I get to come home!  Even though all this time has passed, not much has been happening that is rather exciting, just living life each day at a time.

One weekend we went to the beach house and spent a few days trying to catch up on reading for classes.  It's crazy how much you can get done when you don't have so much access to the internet. ;) While we were there, Amelia's host family had boughten a jet ski so I took a chance and went out on the jet ski in the ocean.  It was so much fun and so calming and beautiful.  The only scary part was when we had to get over the waves into the ocean, but it was definitely exciting!  The whole weekend we pretty much just took it easy, it was nice to get away for awhile.

We started doing this thing for class where we go to high schools here in Lima and assist teachers in English classes.  These schools are public schools and the first thing I noticed when we were helping was how bratty the kids were.  The teacher was getting so frustrated with these kids because they didn't do their homework and they never listened in class.  I was getting mad and I wasn't even the teacher.  Another thing that I noticed was how well these kids spoke English, and with that, how most of them looked as if they were from Europe and not Peru.  Many of the kids had lighter skin, green eyes, and sometimes even blonde hair.  Some of the students weren't even from Peru though, I talked to a 15 year old girl who said she was from Paraguay I think it was.  There's also a big house with a pool and such on the campus of this high school, and when I asked about what it was, the students would tell me it was the house of the person who owned the school, and that they remodeled their house every 3 months.  That's crazy!  Another wild thing that I learned was that when these kids would hear the words "United States" they only think about the major cities like Orlando, Miami, New York City, and Los Angeles.  When I told them I hadn't been to any of those cities they were alarmed and asked why haven't I because I live in the United States.  It took me by surprise in a way, maybe not surprise, but I was a bit disappointed that they were unaware of the other parts of the U.S, but then again I would be the same way about other foreign countries I suppose.

Recently in our classes here at UPC, we have been learning about racism in Peru and the definition of a "cholo."  For our grammar class, we had to interview some students and get their input on what a cholo was and racism in Peru.  A cholo is someone of the indigenous culture who transforms their ways when they come to Lima by speaking Spanish and dressing like a Mestizo.  Some people think that "cholo" is a racist word, but others don't see it.  It's interesting and I'm still learning more about it so maybe when I actually know exactly what it is I will talk about it again. :) 

We made a big breakfast for supper with french toast, bacon, eggs, apples, and banana smoothies also.  It was by far the best breakfast I have had since I've gotten here and we ended up eating all of it!  It was fantastic. We also had 2 bonfires again on the beach int he past few weeks as our last full get together in our group that came here to Peru.  It was most definitely an awesome time and there are so many memories that I'm not going to forget.  We went to a beach that was about 2 hours away in Cerro Azul where our friend's host dad had a restauraunt.  It was a pretty awesome time and I'm sure his host dad appreciated all the business he got from us.  

Rain in the desert?

Posted by rachelschmidt18@yahoo.com on March 18, 2012 at 10:40 AM Comments comments (0)

I have most definitely been counting down the days of classes, I cannot WAIT for them to be over.  Too stressful for me at the moment.  The past few weeks have been filled with stress, frustration, and unforgettable moments.  First, I had been waiting for a package from a friend back home since February 21, and I was beginning to wonder if I would ever get it,  Second, I have felt as though it is getting to be the end of the semester because I see myself slackin' a bit in the studying department. . oops. ;) 

Last week we went to the beach to try to attempt to have a bonfire, but I almost bailed when I heard we would be staying the night there (these are the times when I wish I had my car, and there wasn't any traffic so I could come and go as I please). I'm so glad I didn't though because we all ended up having a pretty good time!  First, there was a group of about 24 or so of us, and it is always hard to get enough taxis for us, or to decide what combi to take and whatnot.  So, we actually got to buy a whole bus to take us there, which was pretty awesome because we were all together and it wasn't so crowded.  It took a good 45 minutes to get there if I recall correctly, and when we got there some people played in the water for awhile, and some of us played some sand volleyball before the sun went down.  After the sun did set, we started the "bonfire" (which consisted of a few pieces of wood boughten at a grocery store) and made s'mores with nutella (YUM) and cooked a few tiny hotdogs and just sat and chilled for the rest of the night.  I didn't get to sleep very well because despite what I expected, the sand was most definitely not comfortable and there were a few bugs biting at my ankles.  The ocean waves were really loud as well, but I'm not complaining. ;) When we finally left the beach, it took me about 5 hours (I may be exaggerating a bit but that's what it definitely felt like) to finally get home.  It was so hot and all I could think about was taking the longest shower of my life when I got back to the apartment.  So. Much. Sand. 

The next day, I just chilled and packed up my stuff to get ready for our last trip to Ica.  We had to be at the bus station at 7:00 a.m. and of course, I didn't get to bed until about 2 a.m. so I was tired.  I was pretty upset that I wouldn't be able to listen to music on the 4 hour bus ride to Ica.  My iPod is deceased after we spent that night at the beach, not sure how or why, but it just won't turn on anymore (could be due to the fact that I've had it for 5 years. . and I've dropped it a few times. . .).  I am thankful to have a friend to let me borrow his for the trip though. Very thankful.  The bus to Ica played some pretty entertaining movies though like, Arthur and The Switch.  Although, I only got to see the last half of the second movie they played, because once we got on that bus, I put my headphones in and passed out.  I really enjoyed that bus ride though because it was super comfortable (surprisingly) and I enjoy road trips.

When we got to the resort we were staying at in Ica, we got settled into our rooms, and a few of us decided to get into the pool.  To be honest, I couldn't stop talking about swimming in a pool, so maybe it was just my idea.  We played in the pool for about 2 hours and then decided to go into town to get some cheaper food and go shopping for a bit.  When we walked out of the resort to find a taxi, our taxista Margarita took us to the mall and tried to tell us all of the different things that we could see in Ica.  As we were driving there, it started to just down pour and she was so fascinated by the rain that she had to hold her hand out the window and she was just so amazed.  When we got to the mall, we sprinted all the way to the doors to try to avoid as much of the rain as possible and when we got there, everyone inside of the mall was crowding around the doors, standing in awe just absolutely fascinated by the rain.  I found it funny.  The building was definitely not ready for any type of rain like that either because it was raining inside of the mall.  There was water everywhere and when we finally got our fix of Burger King, I noticed that most of the food places in the food court were losing their power.  After we ate and such, we went back to the resort, got ready, and sang some karaoke and called it a night.  We had a big day ahead of us.

The next day we got up super early, ate our breakfast, and got into a van.  That day we had to go on a tour to some islands.  I wasn't sure what to expect for that day because we never really got a schedule of what we were going to do.  When we got there, we stood in line to get into a boat.  There were pelicans everywhere!  When we got into the boat, we put our life jackets on and we were on our way.  We saw a number of things on the tour and there were so many birds and sea lions!  It was pretty awesome to see and I'm glad I got to do that.  I also haven't been on a boat for years so that was really fun.  There were also penguins just chilling out on the rocks.  When our tour was over I was so beat, and ended up napping all the way back to shore.  Pretty peaceful, I'd say.  After that we got back into the vans and went back to the resort.  Spent the day at the pool getting our tan on and attempting to nap, we also played a few games in the pool.  We went to get changed and came back around the pool to eat some supper and go dune buggying in the sand dunes.  When we got into the dune buggy, our driver gave us some goggles and helmets and we were off.  It was absolutely fun and crazy.  When we got to the sand dunes, I just felt like I was all of a sudden in a totally different place.  There was nobody there, except another dune buggy, and so much sand!  It was incredible.  We stopped and got to sand board for a bit too, and when we got back to the resort I went to go take a shower to attempt to get the sand off of my body.  I had an unpleasant surprise when I went to get my clothes out of my backpack.  I reached in to get my clothes, put them on my bed, and a huge cricket just jumped out from my clothes.  And me being me, I freaked out about it.  I still get the shivers just thinking about it.  After my shower, I took a nap for about 2 hours and then we were on our way to sing some more karaoke for the night.

On our last day in Ica, we just hung out by the pool for awhile and tried to recover from all of the events that we did from the couple of days before.  It was definitely a relaxing 3 days and I did not want to go back to Lima.  I was pretty tired too, we left in the afternoon and I got back to the apartment at about 8 p.m. and just was absolutely tired and dreading going to classes.  I always complain about going to class, but if I really think about it, I don't spend too much time in my classes.  But who am I kidding?  Of course I'm going to complain, it's school. ;)  

On the issue with my package, we went to go get it at some place where we had to take taxis, combis, and the metro.  It took about 1 hour to get there and it was just so time consuming and frustrating.  When we finally found the post office they didn't have my package and it was sent to another post office closer to my apartment.  I was deifnitely disappointed and upset about it because I needed some things that were inside that package.  So my host sister told me we would leave the next morning at 9 a.m. to go get it.  I wanted to get some laundry done too because I had a ton from Ica and such, so I woke up at 7 a.m. to get all of my stuff done.  I couldn't wash my clothes because somebody was already doing so, so I did some homework and waited for my host sister to wake up.  She didn't wake up until about noon, so I was kind of angry at that.  So we went the next day in the morning and I FINALLY got my package.  It was awesome.  I have been having some headaches recently and pressure built up inside my head, so I was worried that I was getting sick, but it feels better now.  I just wish I could go to walmart and buy some Dayquil.  We celebrated St. Patrick's day by ourselves since Peruvians don't celebrate that holiday and spent the night watching a few movies.  Pretty good week besides the whole package deal.  Don't forget to check out my pictures on facebook!  Thanks for reading about my experiences and I can't wait to get home to tell you all about it.

Machu Picchu!

Posted by rachelschmidt18@yahoo.com on March 5, 2012 at 12:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Wow, it's most definitely been awhile since I have blogged!  I have been super busy with our trip to Cusco, and this past week we had our examenes parciales (mid-terms) so I was pretty stressed out!  But the tests are overwith now so I can calm down and relax a bit. 

On Thursday February 23, we all got up and around early to leave for Cusco, I was so excited that I didn't get to sleep very well, and I ended up being a little later than I expected at the airport so I started to freak out a little bit.  When I arrived at the airport, my host family kind of just dropped me off and then I was off on my own.  I was really nervous because I don't usually fly a lot, so I was hoping for the best when I went up to check in my bag, but it wasn't even a big deal.  After that, I found the rest of my group and we began our journey onto the airplane.  The flight was only about an hour long and when we got there it was so beautiful!  There was so much green and I was so excited to actually be able to wear jeans and a sweatshirt.  The climate up there is colder, and it is currently the rainy season.  So when we would walk around, it would be sunny and warm for one minute, and the next it would just be pouring rain.  It was very different but I loved to see actual rain instead of being in Lima where it is always hot and sunny.

When we first got to our hotel, they gave us coca tea to help with our altitude sickness.  Because of how high we were, most of us had headaches and needed to rest before continuing our journey.  At that moment I definitely regretted going to bed later than I had intentionally planned the night before.  I enjoyed the coca tea and then tried to take a little nap before our tour began.  We went to various different places in Cusco that dealt with the Incans including a cathedral that was absolutely beautiful.  I can't imagine how the Incans managed to do all the artwork and arquitecture that was in that cathedral, it took my breath away.  We ended up ending the tour a little earlier than expected because people were getting light headed from not resting after being so high up.

The next day we went to the Sacred Valley of the Incans, and it was a pretty chilly day.  It was a full day of traveling but it was most definitely worth it!  I loved being up in the mountains where there was so much vegetation.  We also went shopping at a place nearby wherever we were, so most of us got to spend some money.  We got to try some bread from a bakery that we vistited too.  There were indigenous people everywhere around the tourist spots, so we managed to get pictures with the cute little girls dressed up.  It was a little bit sad though because right after we took a picture with them, they would hold out their hands and expect money, but being the good person I am, I just kept handing out all of my soles because they were just so gosh dang cute.  This reminded me of our discussion in our Conversation class about social classes in Peru and how there really isn't much of a middle class.  Also, I took a reading quiz today for my sociology class and we are talking about Global Stratification and how South America is more on the poor side than with other countries.  I can see how that is now that I have been here for two months because it is definitely not what I'm used to back home.  Just the way that everything is here, it's interesting.

The next day was the best day of my life so far.  We had to get on the bus for Machu Picchu at 4:00 a.m. and then after the two hour bus ride, get on a train for another two hours and then one more bus ride up the mountians to Machu Picchu.  It was my first train ride too so that was pretty fun.  When we got to Machu Picchu I was expecting the weather to be chilly and rainy like it had been the past few days we were there, but it ended up being sunny for most of the day and super hot!  It was nice, but it did get really hot.  Seeing Machu Picchu, again, amazed me so much.  How long did it take the Incans to build the community?   Why build it there on the mountain?  Just so many different questions that set me in awe ran threw my head.  I'm so happy I got to experience that feeling and I would love to go back again sometime.  We went up and hiked to the Inca Bridge which was a bit terrifying because of how high we were, but nonetheless it was worth it.  The Incans were absolutely crazy to not have fear of walking on the side of the mountains with no ledges, it amazes me that anybody would ever do that.  We spent the whole day up there and then finally got some food.  Everybody was totally beat so almost everyone ended up passing out on the way home.  We took the train home and then the bus, and we got back around 11:00 p.m. so it was definitely an eventful day.

The next day we went to the airport to go back to Lima, to be honest I really wasn't ready to return to the climate of hot and sunny every day, but it was good to be back in my room.  Our flight had been delayed an hour and that was pretty annoying and I was pretty frustrated with the next week too because we had our mid-terms.  All and all it was the best experience of my life and I hope I was able to share as much as I could in this entry!  Don't forget that I have a whole album dedicated to this trip on my facebook, so go check it out! 

Real Felipe

Posted by rachelschmidt18@yahoo.com on February 20, 2012 at 10:30 PM Comments comments (0)

This passed weekend we went to Real Felipe which is a fortress that was built during a war.  It was a lot of fun to see everything, but the whole tour was in spanish so I wasn't able to actually grasp everything that had happened and I am quite sad about that, but anyways, we explored there with Roberto and after the tour we went to a restaurant to eat some seafood.  I ordered ceviche finally (it's a peruvian dish where it's raw fish marinated in lemon and such, pretty interesting..) and then some mix of fish, and when I got my main dish, they had deep fried the fish so I was a little bit upset. . .  until I tried it, I'm so used to having all of my fried food so oily that I wasn't expecting this fried fish to be delicious and not oily at all!  I was shocked, and I feel so weird to have to say that I was shocked to not have oily food, haha.  

During our lunch, Roberto asked us if we had gone to Asia to the clubs or anything yet.  Amelia and I have, so we talked about how we went to the club when we went to her host family's beach house one weekend.  Then Roberto told us that he just asked us because there are many clubs there that really discriminate against people who are "beautiful."  He said that in their society here, they believe that anybody who is white or whiter than the average peruvian is considered beautiful and gets the advantage of everything.  He said for almost 6 years or something like that, that he had not been let into any clubs because he was so dark.  They would tell him that the club was hosting a private party, when in reality, they really weren't.  This was a little bit shocking to me because we had just finished reading the I, Rigoberta Menchu book and in that book they were discrimated because of how dark they were.  People would know that they were indians because of how dark their skin color was.  The "ladinos," or the white people, would treat their pets better than their indigenous maids.  It just really made me think about how even to this day people are being discriminated about the same things that Rigoberta had mentioned in her book, and that was back in the eighties.

Thinking about all of this has made me wonder why in the world our society is like this.  Why do we have to have a specific model, why is it that just upon looks, someone is accepted or not accepted into a specific community.  Sadly I don't think that is ever going to change, but I do wish it would.  Sarah also told us a story about how a German man was working as a garbage man back in Germany and ended up marrying a Peruvian woman.  He was in need of a job so he applied to be a garbage man because he didn't have any education to do much of anything else.  The company would not hire him though becuase they cannot have a white person working a job such as that because it is a poor job.  But he didn't have any other education to get a better job, so he was just out of luck for a job.  That's so crazy.

All in all, I've had a lot to ponder about for this week.  I'm headed to Cuzco Thursday to go see Macchu Picchu, CAN'T WAIT. 


Posted by rachelschmidt18@yahoo.com on February 15, 2012 at 9:10 PM Comments comments (0)

The past week has been filled with so many unforgettable memories again.  This weekend I chilled here at home and Friday I went to the Indian market to buy some peruvian artifacts again, and Sunday I went to the zoo with my host family.  I got to meet another part of their family, their aunt, uncle, and 2 little cousins.  It was a fun time, but there were so many people there and it was super hot.  I also got to try picarones finally, they were delicious.  It kind of tasted like a funnel cake, but they look more like donuts.  The syrup that was on them too had a honey taste to them.  The zoo was absolutely beautiful.  You could see the Desert part, the Jungle part, and the Coastal part.  It was a lot of fun and I'm glad I got to go.  

Also on Monday I was sitting in my room getting prepared for my classes for this week, doing homework and such, when suddenly I heard the strangest noice that was like rumbling.  I didn't think much of it, I just figured it was like an airplane or something, when all of a sudden my desk and everything just began to shake.  I didn't know what to do or think but my host siblings came knocking on my door saying stuff in spanish and telling me what to do if there is one that is worse.  I'm guessing I had the look of a person who just witnessed something very bad because they kept asking me if I understood what they were saying and if I was okay, haha.  After that my heart was pounding for about 3 hours.  It was very intense, but I'm happy I got to experience it!

where's my coffee?

Posted by rachelschmidt18@yahoo.com on February 9, 2012 at 9:40 AM Comments comments (0)

I have been overloaded in homework still, I can't believe how much homework we have.  I feel like we have more homework in these few classes we are taking here than I ever get back at home, but it keeps me busy I guess.  We went to the beach house again this weekend and celebrated El Dia de Pisco and got to watch some traditional dance thing with a horse and a girl.  It was pretty cool to see!  I also actually went into the ocean and had a fantastic time.  Amelia and I also got to share our first discoteca experience and it was pretty . . fancy haha.  I definitely stuck out there, but I don't mind. 

I'm still tutoring and helping out during an English class and it's pretty fun.  Yesterday, a girl asked me what the word "dawg" meant, like what Xhibit says on Pimp my Ride.  I couldn't help but laugh. :) The other day I went to take a shower, but the water wasn't working at all, and so I asked about it but she couldn't tell me exactly when the water would work again, so that was a new experience.  I've also been getting along with my host family a lot more than I had been and actually talked to Liseth about many different things, and she asked me when I was going to Cusco, and when I told her we were going to go in about two weeks, she informed me that December, January, and February were the worst times to go up to Cusco because it rains there all the time.  She said because it rains so much there, it is very dangerous to be there because there are accidents, like floods, that happen and wipe out houses and fields.  This took me by surprise, because why would they take us, kids who have never traveled to Peru, to Cusco during the worst and most dangerous time of the year to go?  She informed me that I should say something about it because it isn't safe for us to go, so I tried.  Also, she said since it is so rainy that we probably wouldn't be able to enter some of the ruins and such.  Didn't the people who make our trip know that it was the most dangerous time of the year?  I also told her that we were told our last class was April 19 when we got here, and we were told it was April 28 before we came, and she told me that she was informed that my last day of class was also April 28, and she couldn't believe that they didn't tell us the exact date before we got here, because she understands that most of us do want to go home as early as possible.  All in all it was a good talk to have with my host family.

On another note, the cousins of the family have been here for about  2 weeks now and they are super friendly.  They also have a puppy named Shembi and she is just the cutest thing, until this morning.  This morning she just wouldn't stop barking. ahhh!  I haven't really been getting a good night's sleep for the past week now because I am so stressed about. . .everything.  I'm hoping it will get better.  Last Friday I went with my familiy to get some vegetables and such, and we drove all the way to . . somewhere and where we went was like a little market thing, I'm not sure what they are called, but it is where people sell their fruits and vegetables and such and she told me that they get their food there because it is more fresh and cheaper than when we go to the grocery store.  She said that when people buy stuff from the grocery store it is the same as what they would buy at this place, but more expensive.  That the stores just clean the products and make them look pretty so you would pay more for them.  She asked me where I bought my groceries when I was home, and I told her "uhh, walmart" lol.  She didn't know that there wasn't anything like that back at home.  So I tried to tell her about the Farmer's Market but I don't actually think she actually understood me, haha.  But when we were there, it made me wonder if those people selling their food lived more like the indigenous people we read about, because they were so dark complected and about their knowledge of the food they were selling.  I don't want to be stereotypical or anything, but that is just what I have observed.  This market or whatever seemed to be in a more poor place than where we originally live.

It's too early for stress

Posted by rachelschmidt18@yahoo.com on January 31, 2012 at 11:05 AM Comments comments (0)

The past week has been filled with so many memories.  All last week for classes, we ended up getting so much reading and tests are already coming up this week.  Trying to keep up with everything is pretty tough, but I think I can manage.  

A couple weekends ago I went with Amelia and her family to their beach house and had an awesome time.  The beach there was beautiful and there was actually sand instead of rocks.  Her family has maids, so it was interesting to see how that worked with maids in the house because my family doesn't have any maids.  They seem to be more dark complected, and that gets me wondering if they are more from the indigenous areas.  Maybe indigineous people here can only get those certain jobs like being a maid, or sweeping the streets.  One of her maids was 22, so not that much older than us and then another one has a child.

Anyways, we went to the beach and chilled all weekend doing homework and soaking up the sun.  On that Saturday night we went to an english concert who played older rock music with Amelia's host parents and it was a blast.  Then I came home to do more homework and start my 3rd week of school.  Last weekend we had to meet up with our literature professor over at his house in Larcomar in Miraflores early in the morning and got a tour to see parts of Miraflores and the parks and such they had there.  We got to a place called Juaca Pucllana, the name comes from Quechua which is an indigenous language that is spoken in parts of Peru.  This place was served as a tomb and they have found remains there of the people who were buried there.  It's like a big pyramid made out of mud bricks, it was pretty amazing.  

After that long day, we went to El Parque del Aguas, which was a place like a waterpark but with a whole bunch of fountains.  Some fountains you could run through too. Since we went at night, we got to see all the lights there and it was so pretty.  There were so many people there too.

When I helped teach my first English class last week, the professor thought that I was actually in that class.  She didn't recognize me at first until I had to tell her I was Rachel, then I thought to myself, do I really blend in that well?  The class I am helping is level 5 English, which is the last level they need to graduate, so everybody there speaks really good English so that was nice.  They were learning about cultures and a certain way to use grammar.  When she told me they were going to learn the past possessive whatever, I had absolutely no idea what she was talking about.  So I told her to give me an example of that, and she said "she HAS EATEN."  Then I understood.  They were also learning about negative responses and asking questions to them or something like that, so during one point of the class I sat up in the front and everybody asked me questions about Nebraska.  The one that really made me laugh was, "what is the most popular dish in Nebraska?"  and I had no choice but to say, steak, potatoes, and corn, how original. ;)  

Sunday night after I got home from staying the night over at Amelia's, I was just on the computer talking to some friends when they were telling me that they had felt the earthquake at that moment.  I thought they were just pulling my leg so I didn't believe them because i didn't feel anything at all!  When I saw on facebok everybody talking about the earthquake, I believed them.  I definitely was disappointed that I didn't feel it, but I'm still going to be here for awhile, so maybe in that time I will feel one. 

If you check out my facebook page there are numerous pictures from the past week. Thanks!

2nd week of classes...

Posted by rachelschmidt18@yahoo.com on January 20, 2012 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Almost done with my second week of classes, today would be the last day of classes this week!  I figured I would just fill you all in on the past week.

On Sunday I didn't do anything at all, all day because I needed to get some readings done for the next day, and it was TERRIBLE.  My procrastination habit is already kicking in, ugh.  Then on Monday I went to class, and afterwards just went home so that was pretty much a normal day.  I think it was on Saturday when my host brother, Eduardo, came to tell me to close my window, but he was talking so fast that I didn't understand what he was saying.  I didn't really want to close it though because a huge bug had flown in and i wanted it to fly back out sometime because I didn't know where it was.  Anyways, he came to tell me about closing my window but he was talking really fast so I didn't understand why until I heard the word "raton" which is rat.  So, thinking a huge rat was outside I quickly shut the window because that's disgusting!  I went out into the living room because they had been making lots of noise about the "rat" being out there but I was so scared to look because I didn't want to see a huge disgusting rat.  But when I did look, it was just a mouse (still disgusting) but we watched Cheli, the cat play with it for forever and then finally take it into her mouth and walk away.  It was pretty entertaining haha.

This is Cheli, she hates me, but loves to sleep on my backpack and purses. 

Class on Tuesday was interesting, but for some reason I kept on falling asleep.  All of my old habits are coming back from Nebraska, sleeping in class, spacing off, and procrastinating,  They served me Chita, which is a fish from the coast of Peru and I loved it.  I love seafood so it was awesome, but then they told me that it makes you sleepy so maybe that contributed to me falling asleep in class haha.  We already don't have class next Tuesday, but on that Saturday we are supposed to meet our professor at Miraflores because he is going to take us around and talk about some Peruvian authors or something to that effect.  So that will be fun.


This is Chita.

After class on Tuesday Amelia and I went to a mall close to campus to do a little shopping, and the only thing that we bought were some necessities.  My family doesn't have kleenexes anywhere so I bought some of those, and also there was no hand soap in the bathroom, so I bought some of that too.  I needed some aloe vera for my sunburn and so I bought suntan lotion too, but it was so expensive!  One bottle of sunblock was about 10 bucks, and the bottle isn't very big.  CRAZY, but definitely makes sense haha.  We also got some ice cream, and I tried the lucuma ice cream, which is the peruvian fruit here, and I didn't really like it sadly. 

Lucuma is the one on the right.

On Wednesday we had a meeting with the English professors here about being tutors and teacher's assistants and I help teach class from 10 to 12 on Thursdays and There are two Thursdays when I tutor kids and this lasts until the semester starts here which is the start of March.  I'm pretty excited for that.  After that we went to James' families house to hang out until we had class and his family is from the Amazon I think it was so they gave us some Amazon cookies and we ate their food.  They had fried bananas which was crazy to me, but they were pretty good.  Class that day was incredible and 3 hours of Spanish really drains me and we only had a 5 minute break.  It was terrible.  My host mother is currently sick so sometimes when I get home from school or when I wake up in the morning there is a note about her going to the doctor.  I hope I don't get sick!

Holy HOT!

Posted by rachelschmidt18@yahoo.com on January 14, 2012 at 6:00 PM Comments comments (1)

Well it's finally been a week since I first got here!  Every day here it is sunny and pretty hot, but the breeze is cool so it's AMAZING when you find some shade.  Our classes are pretty fun and interesting so far, and the professors seem to really understand what our level of spanish is, except our Grammar teacher.  When he came into our class he was speaking so fast!  That is the only class that I am pretty nervous about.  

On Wednesday after classes got out at 6, we went to go play some basketball with everyone, but not all of us had the appropriate clothes on haha.  We figured out how to get some balls from the coach and then got to converse with some other students that went to UPC, and they wanted to play basketball with us.  So Thursday after class we played basketball and soccer with them and got a pretty good workout!  Also our classes don't start until 3 in the afternoon and I always end up waking up at about 8:30 or 9 every morning because either I hear the TV turn on in the living room, the sun is shining on my face, or the kids above us are yelling and screaming.  So I do need to get to bed a lot earlier than I am used to.  When I wake up at 8:30 it takes me awhile to get up and ready so by 10 I have absolutely nothing to do and am super bored until class starts.  So on Thursday I decided to go for a run, but was pretty nervous as to where I should run, or where the safest place was to run.  Then I justfigured that since walking to UPC was about 15 or 20 minutes, that running there and back would be a pretty good workout, so I did that.  My goal by the end of this semester is to be able to run the whole way without stopping!  We'll see how that goes haha.  As I was running, I ran into my professor that came here with us, so that was pretty crazy!  When I got back to the apartment, my host mom, Maria, wanted to let me know that my host sister wasn't going to be at the apartment until Sunday.  She always calls me Rachelita because when they talk to people with affection, they just add the "ita" to the end of the name.

That night Andrei was having people over at his place to hang out so I quickly went home after we played basketball at the college to take a shower.  When I got back to the apartment my host brother, Eduardo, wanted to show me this video about Peru visiting Peru, Nebraska.  It was pretty funny and after we watched that I learned more about the culture of Peru and I told them more about Nebraska.  When I told them I'd never seen the beach, they couldn't believe it.  They also couldn't believe that Nebraska didn't have any moutains, haha.  

The next day a few of us planned a trip to go to the beach at Miraflores.  I was pretty excited, but when we met at UPC I was beginning to wonder how we were going to get there.  We ended up calling a taxi and taking it to the beach but it took forever to get there!  I had never taken a taxi either so it was kinda interesting.  We first went to the mall at the side of the beach called Larcomar and had some lunch and tried to look around for a towel because I forgot one.  The only one that I found was 129 Soles which is about $50.  HOLY COW!  I wasn't going to pay that much just for a towel!  So we just ended up walking to the beach.  

This is a picture of Larcomar, the mall by the beach.  The walk down there wasn't too bad, but it was a pretty steep walk when we came back up to go home!  So tiring!

You can kinda get an idea of how steep the cliff was to get down to the beach lol.  Anyways, when we got down to the beach there were so many like vans and cars with surfboards and people would come up to us and ask us if we wanted some surf lessons.  It was pretty awesome and I'm probably going to have to try it sometime!  I've never seen the ocean before so I was pretty amazed.  The water was very salty and cold!  Instead of sand, there were these rocks that were on the shore, and when the waves would come up the rocks would move and it was so loud!  There were also these tiny crabs that were on the rocks sometimes, but they were all dead and dried out, but it was still pretty crazy to see.  

After our trek back up to Larcomar, we decided to go to a bar and get a drink.  I bought a strawberry dacquiri, but it was 21 soles!  So that was about the only thing that I bought that day, haha.  It was pretty good.  Then we took a taxi home and then I had to walk all the way up back to my house.

Today some of us met Aviles over at UPC at 10:30 a.m. to go back to Larcomar and go to the Indian market.  It was pretty cool to see everything, and I wanted to buy so much stuff, but I did restrain myself and only bought a few things.  I kept telling myself that I have 4 months to come back and buy stuff so I didn't go crazy today. :)  After that we walked a ways in the city and stopped at a Haiti restuarant and I ordered a sandwich and a lemonade.  All of their juices they make themselves, so this lemonade was VERY sour and made out of limes instead of lemons, but it was delicious!  The sandwich I got had the cheese and the chicken on top of the bread and avocado and tomato, it was definitely an interesting way to eat a sandwich haha.  After that we went to Larcomar and then over to El Parque del Amor, which is the Park of Love and it was pretty.  It's crazy how everything here is so green when the sun is out all the time and there is no rain!  How is that possible?  Anyways, I was getting pretty tired because the sun was most definitely draining me and I had a pretty bad sunburn from the beach so we took some busses back to UPC.  I didn't want to walk up that mountain right at that moment to get back home, so I stopped at the college and got a frappuccino at Starbucks and soaked in the air conditioning until I decided to push myself up that hill to get home haha.

That's pretty much all I have for this time!  Here is the link to that Peru and Peru, Nebraska thing if you are interested.  You should definitely watch it because it is pretty hilarious!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_DtQrg1Tsg


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