After being abroad for the last 15 months, I have a new-found appreciation for the US. Of course, seeing friends and family is the best thing about re-arriving but the following are close behind...
Top 5 Awesome Things About the US
1. water pressure - it's a little thing, but makes such a difference.
2. hot water - not only in the shower, but there is actually a handle for warm water when washing hands.
3. toilets - they're clean AND they flush!
4. cheese - pepperjack, cheddar, parmesan, oh my!
5. helpful people and customer service - this my be the thing for which I am most grateful. I really appreciate that people care to help, or at least they pretend to.
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Hey all! I'm thrilled to have created my first legit jewelry video with the help of my boyfriend, Rafa. A big thanks to him for his video expertise (Cinergia Cusco).
If you want to wire-wrap rocks, sea glass, or any other object I hope this DIY helps. Please leave a comment, thanks for watching :)
Thursday, December 20, 2012
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Celebrating American holidays in another country is always fun. Here´s what this really entails:
1 - Explaining the bizarre story of the holiday based on American history. So the history is pretty much that the new colonists claimed the land of the natives and then everyone celebrated a giant feast together and lived happily ever after. I believe the modern tradition of Thanksgiving is not to celebrate this destructive history, but rather to be thankful for the many things we have.
2 - Stereotypes shine through. If you think Americans eat a lot, this holiday is the testament. On Thanksgiving we slave away many hours making all types of delicious and fatty foods. Then we stuff our faces until we can´t anymore, and then squeeze in some extra dessert (because what is Thanksgiving without the pumpkin pie?). Proceeding face-stuffing commences couch-laying food coma.
3 - Making cultural substitutes. If Peru were to have a Thanksgiving, the dishes would be quite different because of the foods here. We had to make some creative replacements for the classic Thanksgiving dishes this year. For example, squash pie make an acceptable adaptation for pumpkin pie. Diane made a sweet strawberry sauce instead of cranberry sauce, which was a mega-hit according to a certain guest. Perhaps the most monumental adaptation was the main course. In November, one can hardly find turkey so chicken breasts were the replacement. The gravy made it just as good.
We decided instead of on real Thanksgiving we would wait until Saturday so we could really cook and have a party. During the work-week would have been quite the feat to pull off. So we had our American feast with a great group of friends and had a fun evening together. I´m so thankful for those who celebrated with us and Diane for allowing us to blow up her kitchen.
-chicken breasts and veggies
-garlic green beans
-apple stuffing #1
-apple stuffing #2
-mashed potatoes (or puré as it´s known here)
-an Indian dish of lentils, rice, and yogurt
A sample plate of our feast.
Strawberry sauce and mulled wine :)
Friday, November 23, 2012
A newly old-found favorite, acoustic latin folk singer Silvio Rodriguez steals my heart with his heart felt guitarra and profound lyrics. As part of the Nueva Trova moment, he was a prominent musical folk figure in the Cuban Revolution in the 70s-80s. He has been referred to as ´´Cuba´s John Lennon´´.
I found this song to be one of my favorites. The first time I´d heard some of the songs was when I made a friend in Chile who was playing his wonderful music on the streets of Arica. It warmed my heart and put a smile on my face, as I hope it does for you. Well, if it doesn´t...at least it´s past Thanksgiving so Christmas music is technically acceptable. Here´s the song and a few favorite lines, enjoy :)
´´Canción de Navidad´´ Silvio Rodriguez
Por eso canto a quien no escucha,
a quien no dejan escucharme,
a quien ya nunca me escuchó:
al que su cotidiana lucha
me da razones para amarle:
a aquel que nadie le cantó.
So I sing to those who do not listen,
to those who no longer listen,
to those who will never hear me:
their daily struggle
gives me reasons to love them:
to those that no one sings to.
Saturday, November 17, 2012
Because I love people and travel and Couchsurfing is a great way to connect the two. Check out this inpsiring and sweet short video my friend created for a CS video contest. Please ´´like´´ on Youtube to help him win a trip around the world! I´m also in there, if you can spot me :)
I first saw this recycled project in Peru, where it seems to be a common thing. I´ve been making a bunch because I love the idea - fun, recycled, and easy! Here´s a little DIY so you can make your own. I hope it helps and you enjoy.
-1 litre milk/juice/wine carton
-paper/collage items (paint, brushes, markers, magazines, leaves, etc)
-large, clear tape
-thin elastic (between 0.5-1cm)
-pin (or something to make hole)
Ok....now you´re ready to go!
Step 1: Paint, collage, or decorate your paper. Or my friends like to use the original box if it has a neat pattern (like Gato wine). You can measure 26.5cm to cover one side of the box and both sides. Remember, if you have a design it should be planned out, as the folding will affect how it shows up.
Cut the top and bottom off of the box.
Fold the sides in and crease.
Cover box with designed paper and tape, sealing all corners.
Fold the carton off center by about 3-4cm.
Then fold the longer side over again to create a flap.
Cut off the inner folded layers of the
flap so that only the designed outside if left.
Step 7: Make a hole in the middle of the flap crease.
Step 8: Insert both endsof elastic and adjust to fit around the wallet.
Step 9: Double knot the ends together and cut extra elastic.
Step 10: Tape inside creases together on both sides.
Ta-daaa, that´s it!
Now you have your own unique, practical, and recycled wallet.
There are lots of ways and techniques to use when making these.
For example, you can also play with other methods of holding
the wallet together (maybe a button or bead).
Stay tuned for more DIY crafts.