Archive for May, 2010

Often I get bored of writing to myself and will start to write letters to others. These letters are rarely delivered, but are useful for several reasons.
1) It lets me trick myself into thinking that other people might be interested/obligated to listen to my thoughts.
2) Forces me to ‘slow my roll’ at least a bit for clarity/a stab at normalcy.
3)Provides a more socially acceptable answer to “What are you writing?” People generally understand – or at least have a distant memory of – the fact that correspondence can be handwritten and on paper. Broad, vague “Writing” can be a confusing answer, but “writing a letter” will be let slide. Oh, and grocery lists. People always understand the need to write a grocery list.

Anyway, in lieu of an actual blog update about anything interesting, I’m going to retype a letter I wrote on the way back from Peru. Obviously most of my letters are self centered and focus primarily on my fascinating thoughts and actions, but in this case I’ve also edited the bits that might refer to the imagined receipent, who will now certainly never receive the letter.

I am so annoyed right now. So much so that I’m not even using my correct pen because even that is pissing me off. Part caused because I hate leaving and I’m leaving Peru right now, and actually that’s only the first, or really not even first, in a string of leavings I will be doing these next few weeks. Sometimes it feels like life is just a long line of leavings and goodbyes. I guess also comings and hellos, but I’m being negative right now, ok? And I’m stuck on a plane next to an agressive abuela who keeps elbowing me off the arm rest. And I’m thirsty but they threw my water away. Since when can’t you bring water on a plane? I bought it after security but before boarding but they patted us down and searched our luggageg again. What they should be worried about is the untreated wood insence I’m bringing back for x. Probably it’s extra security since we’re flying to the glorious US of A. I had to get out dollars to pay the airport tax and I was grossed out by them. And by how much everything costs all the sudden. And the first time through security they opened up another lane so I ducked under those elastic belt rope things to get to the front of the line but they made me go back to the end of my line because the new line was only for national flights. When I was waiting to check in the drug dog got in a fight with a little purse dog and a kid got scared and spilled 1000 legos. Those things did not annoy me.
But no one told me I was supposed to keep this card they gave me when I flew into Peru and I had to get in a different line and pay 5$ to get a new one even though I think I probably have it in my backpack but if I unpacked my pack I’d likely cause several deaths from the stench of my hiking boots and probably never get it closed again.
I barely got any sleep last night because my phone is dead and I had no alarming time keeping device so I just slept with my light on and woke up every 30 minutes so I wouldn’t oversleep. But somehow I managed to have really terrible dreams and you were in it and sister, but that wasn’t part of the terrible. I messed up the sodoku in hte newspaper so I tried to write it in my notebook so I could do it right but I couldn’t satisfactorily draw the board and ended up tearing out three pages and that made me even more mad so I gave up. Also, cereal. I miss it.
My “window seat” doesn’t even have a window that’s really mine. It’s too far in front of me and I just have a huuuge plane wall next to me. I should probably use it to sleep on so maybe I’ll wake up less grumpy. I think abuela is stealing a better seat.

Ok, I found tetris on the in flight games and life has exponentially improved. I wonder how many days of my life I have spent playing tetirs. I used to be able to play just closing my eyes I imagined the pieces but I would make it difficult. That is not one of the weirder things I’ve done. What is your favorite tetris piece? If I had a stopwatch and a seat by the bathroom I think it would be funny to super obviously time everyone who went in and out and then record it with a knowing look in a official looking notebook. Alli and I are going to start giving seminars on Queso Awareness. That’s actually more funny in person, so you’ll have to wait to hear that story. They just came by with the Duty Free cart and I thought about asking “Oh, is that a special new toilet paper?” Come on.. that one’s funny right? I made a joke when we were climbing Wayna Picchu: “Well, we could climb up those rocks or use this (motioning at a ladder) but I prefer the latter.” But no one really laughed. I think it was a language problem. They should have vending machines on planes.”

And that was the end. Aren’t you jealous I don’t send you letters?

And instead of pictures, a fabulous song about cameras.. kind of.


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Happy twenty third birthday to my incredible best friend.

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hey jess, what´d you do yesterday?
oh, n2m ya know. just hiked around some inca ruins in the morning then went horseback riding around the andes in the afternoon.

i´m still not clear if the horses were legit meant for riding or if some hombre just decided to make some money off some gringos, but their brochure was better translated than the menu in aquas calientes that advertised ‘padded stuff of german nicklel´. that, plus my horse riding experience which includes (soley) birthday parties at carol´s country farm and last summer a pony trail ride at camp where i spent most of the time chatting up the guide, i felt confident galloping over rocky terrain on a possibly wild horse. took a break at some more ruins, got a great tour from our guide and ate our healthy provided snack of oreos and a chocolate bar.

i´m staying with alli´s peruvian family, and they are so kind and wonderful. every time i come in looking lost, forlorn, sweaty and generally american, their 12 year old son offers me tea. i drink more tea here than i ever have in my life. it is intense. last night the parents were both working late so the boys asked me and alli to help make rice. terrible mistake. we absolutely botched a pot of rice then decided to make grilled cheese. the only cheese we could find at the market was similar to kraft singles cheese product and we hid it from the mom, embarassed to be using such a thing. they were bewildered by the creation and we kept repeating that it was a favorite of kids (and 23 year olds) in the states. their 10 year old loved it, and the parents politely nibbled at it before cleaning the pan and making a proper dinner.

i think my dad is a little worried that i am going to fall in love with a peruvian and never return. probably because i threaten to do this every time i enter a country. not yet, but i still have two more days.

and then five days in dc, possibly ny, five days in sugar land, ten days in austin, then four in bonnaroooo.

shout out to my cousin teresa and future cousin in law mark for graduating college. hollaaa

hm i had more updating to do, but i am also currently on a conference call re: my summer employment and eating my second chocolate bar, i´m a little distracted.

still to come:
– Why I Am Officially One of the Coolest People You Know: The Story of Salkantay
– Tipping: Bad for Cows, Necessary for Humans
– CER = 24

and while you wait, you can get a feel for how my hike probably went based on the only other long trek i ever attempted here. and thanks uncle jerry for the advice on linking 🙂

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Quick Pic

Dirty backpackers after 5 days of trekking. Relaxing atop Wayna picchu enjoying the incredible view. Machu Picchu in the background.

In Ollantaytambo now, off to see the free ruins cause you know I cant afford things that cost money. Horseback riding later today. Do I have to come back?

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Tomorrow´s the big day. The bus is coming to pick us up from our hostal at 430am. Beeejeezus that is early. Then it´s five days and four nights of trekking and camping and mountains and rainforests and llama and finally Macchu Pichu. !!!!!!
Here´s a link to our tentative schedule:

I feel very dissappointed in these blog updates. I might have to come back and add pictures and humor and maybe glitter so it´s a little less boring and a little more Jessie. I´ve just been exhausted with all the running around and haggling for south face jacket and pretending it´s someone´s birthday to get free drinks and and understanding spanish but responding in Spangtalish and eating a lot of cheee sandwhiches because I´m scared to eat much else since 80% of conversations here revolve around gatronomical and intestinal health or distress and I don´t want to be able to contribute any cringe worthy stories. Also I´d rather be outside than on the computer.

Sitting in Las Plaza de Armas today writing in a ¨journal¨ which seems to be some sort of primitive blog, I met a man who had walked from the airport – more than 10 miles – and was 76 and unemployed and poor and hungry but a really sweet old man and he had a sweet blazer and greeted me with a secret handshake that included ´pounding it.´ It´s kind of sad a lot of times here because it is such a poor country. Kids walk around in traditional dress with llama so tourists will take picture and pay them. Annalise was our sales woman in a market today and she was 11 and kids younger than 7 run around shining shoe for coin in the plaza. My first day here I went to an internet cafe and the gentleman running the store told me the price which of course I misunderstood because numbers and math and comprehension is enough of a problem in my own language, but i held out a handful of coins that he could have easily taken all of with me just feeling confused and possibly taken advantage of, but he just took the right amount. He was six. Lots of factors there, including my inferior intelligence to six year old, but also there are a lot of good people here. Not so many good toilets though. Be thankful for the freedom to dispose of your toilet paper IN the toilet.

Happy Mother´s Day to my beautiful, wonderful, supportive, loving and all around amazing Mom. I LOVE YOU 🙂

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Peru Day Two

So the band last night was a little different than anticipated. The connection was someone´s boyfriend, but it was the boyfriend of the host grandma of one of Alli´s friends from the volunteer program. Completely not what we were expecting, but mucho divertente nonetheless. Afterwards we got to go on stage and take lots of ´thumbs up´pics with the bands. Such groupies. Then it was to some reggae club with a disco ball, a rock band singing about pot and best of all DARTS. Except there was no score board so I lost interest quickly without a means to determine a winner. Tried my first pisco sour, which apparently has whipped egg in it. Nom nom nom.


I can´t figure out how to make links work. And we have to go talk to a bunch of travel agencies to get our Salkantay/Machu Picchu trek booked. I´m going to try to change my ticket – or better yet Dad do you want to change it for me? – so that I´ll just stay in Ollaytantambo with Alli and her Peruvian family until Thursday or Friday and then just fly in and out of Lima. Ok. Í´ll do a quick update tomorrow again, then Monday it´s off for four or five days of TREKKING.

The wilderness must be explored!!

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Pic poppa snapped as I was going into the airport. Looking a bit crazy at 5am knowing the 26 hours of travel ahead of me. I´ll tell the story of the haircut soon.

I´m finally here in Cusco! I guess I´ve actually been in Peru for almost a day, since I arrived in Lima yesterday at 6pm. But spending 12 hours in an airport that has a Papa Johns, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks can make you loose track of what country you are in. The Starbucks was rather convenient for curling up in a small arm chair and attmepting to sleep in 45 minute bursts so I wouldn´t miss my flight. Made it to Cusco at about 730 this morning, skipped baggage claim since I brought a ridiculous small amount of things and was able to carry them on, then proceeded to take a taxi to the hostel where Í´m meeting Alli soon. Pretty sure I got a little ripped off, but totally didn´t care because there was a soft bed waiting for me. Slept pretty much the whole day and didn´t feel one bit bad about it. With daunting days of 7 hours of trekking ahead, I think I´m allowed some time to recover.

Forgot my camera cord but at least I have my charger. I´ll have to go back on these posts and add pics later. Or rip what I can off the internet.

can´t figure out how to save the image but here´s what the hostel looks like. so adorable. plus alli and her friends like to splurge a little whe they come into cusco so there´s even hot running water! hollerr love it.

Going to wander a bit before Alli gets here in a few hours. Apparently she has a friend who has a brother in a band we´re going to see tonight. I knew Peru would understand my language.

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