Monday, January 13, 2014

Yet another year is upon us

At the end of each year, I know most of us reflect on the year we've had and we are either thankful for the many blessings we had or are thankful for the beginning of a new year. I, thankfully, was the first, I was thankful for the many blessings I had.

I began the year with a new found awaking on teaching. I worked in an especially demanding school and I finally woke up and decided to go to school each day happy to see my students and stop dwelling on the negative. I also had an upcoming trip to Peru and Bolivia, which seemed to serve as medicine for my traveling heart.

But not all can have their cake and eat it too. South America was eye opening, in the silliest way. The two words I associate with my summer spent in South America was: cold and freezing. I don't think a bead of sweat ran through my body till the plane ride home when I realized I would be starting a new job the next day.
But I soon realized I had been given the dream class and each day was even more joyous then the previous.

And of course, at my side the whole time has been my amazing and super handsome boyfriend
Magdiel. We made a decision last year to move away from beautiful Colorado, so he could go to grad school in New Mexico. We both took on the challenges of moving to New Mexico: saying good-bye to beautiful Colorado and hello to brown New Mexico. We are still learning to like brown!

Luckily there are always things to look forward to. At times I think a pending trip can be a curse. You sit and daydream about all the things you are going to do, where the trip is going to take you and who you might encounter. As usual, I found myself daydreaming about my return to Honduras. This would be my first Christmas with Magdiel and his family.

But each time I return to the little town that I got to know so well, memories rush back like a flood gate has been opened. I find myself walking through town, smiling and almost laughing to myself about all the little things. The memory that makes me laugh the most is when you drive in and out of town, you can see my old house. The patio that surrounds the house was our hangout, which also doubled as our clothesline to dry clothes.  When I see our house I hear Magdiel say "your underwear is flying in the wind!"  Little did I know that not one Honduran wears thongs and practically the entire town was talking about our "chonies" flapping in the wind. Oh the beauties of living out of your element.

As the town grows and changes, I will still see the memories of my first year in Gracias Lempira, Honduras.
But luckily I have new memories.

Alejandra and Luis Mario enjoying the ride. 

It feels so good to be back!
Back on the bus.........
Police Checkpoint: serious business

Marvin Saul is catching a breeze. 

It is officially coffee season, which means it smells like vinegar!

Christmas dinner: You should feel jealous! Tamales, and pork...the list goes on.

And of course no celebration is without fireworks!

Headed to Copan Ruinas in the bed of the truck :)

2nd year of our multicultural Christmas:
Carlos, Matep, myself, Magdiel, Radi and Alejandra

I love this man. 

It is the essence of Latin America: laundry hanging
to dry, with chickens and a cock running around.

Remember when you got frustrated with the
line at the bank? Well this one is 2 blocks long!

The amazing children of the Goodwins. Such precious people.

Bags of coffee wait to be transported. 

Don't worry, Magdiel is just fixing the water
pump on top of the cheese factory. 

Captured Luis, the artist talking to us about his art.
What a talent!

The best dog ever, Toby

Magdiel doing business with one of the cheese

As my year passed by I found the happiness in the little things; eating dinner with my parents each night, my friends faces after sharing yoga time or a delicious meal, watching Magdiel do business for the cheese factory in Honduras, speaking Spanish with Magdiel's grandmother and actually understanding her, and the smile on my students faces when I read to them. 

I am lucky to have so many blessings I can't count them. Happy 2014, I hope this year is filled with as many blessings as last year. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

The good, the bad and the ugly

As many of you can imagine time comes and goes before we even realize it. As I left South America I told myself and Kristin that I would post about my trip once I got back....did it happen? Uh no. So here I am 2 months later and a few days after my 30th birthday sharing a few of my favorite moments from Peru and Bolivia.

Let the adventures begin in Peru.

It is so cold in South America. I WAS FREEZING!!
Drinking a traditional Pisco Sour in Lima.

Just a little gizzard, cow heart and the unknown.

Making ceviche at the Sky Kitchen in Lima.

The amazing Plaza de Armas in Cusco.

No big deal, hiking next to a llama.

Don't try and cross the street or he will come very close with his whip!

Kristin and I got suckered into the traditional dress of the Incas.

I am about to eat a guinea pig. Wanna know how it tasted? Awful.
After spending some time in Cusco we decided to head to Machu Picchu.
But first we had to get there. The sign says "It is prohibited to pass on the bridge".....

Well there was no other way!

Up at 4 a.m. for our hike up to Machu Picchu. Cool headtorch Kristin!


But the adventures did not end there!
Lake Titicaca, on the floating islands.

Getting dressed in traditional clothes from the floating islands.

Our special friend who dressed us in traditional clothes.
Watching the sunset over Lake Titicaca

Best friends!

More traditional clothing, this time on the island of Amantani.
We said good-bye to Peru and hello to Bolivia
The amazing view of Copacabana, Bolivia

This is the breathtaking view as we walked down to Copacabana at sunset.

Laguna Verde, can you guess why?

We were standing on salt.... okay we were jumping off salt.

Laguna Colorada, the most amazing red lake caused by an algae.

Stone tree in the Bolivian desert.

Flamingos liter the lake below an extinct volcano.

Salt Flats, Boliva

Freezing to death in the Bolivian desert... get me a heater ASAP!

Hanging out on Luci's hands.

AAAHHHHH falling of a Pringles can.

Tiwanaku statue

Yes those a dried llamas. We went to the witches market in La Paz
Once again I have been blessed with these crazy adventures. It was an amazing summer filled with lots of laughter, lots of bundling up and complaining and there was a lot of coca tea. Until the next adventure.....