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5 posts categorized "Kailey Morgan"

10/23/2013

Un, dos, tres, CHUPA! (And additional goodies)

I have been sitting here for about 20 minutes just staring at this blank page trying to think of something, really anything, to write about. I guess thats what a stressful work week will do to you. 

This week I had to give a 20 minute presentation (yes, in spanish) for my linguistics class. Basically I had to read this abnormally abstract article about a linguistics topic and then give an overview of the entire article. I know it doesn’t sound to complicated, but trust me when I say it was mentally draining. Now that it is done with I can look forward to my next presentation, JOY! 

This past weekend I got to experience two different cultures in one night. I attended the Peruvian version of Oktoberfest. Basically it was a night of German culture, with spanish being spoken, and Peruvian beer. I can’t complain. 

When I walked in it was a little overwhelming with the amount of people there were just walking around speaking spanish. But after a few cervezas, or chelas, I was feeling a little less overwhelmed.

As I sat there sipping on my abnormally large beer, I couldn’t help but feel super blessed to be sitting there with all of my new peruvian friends. Not only because they are awesome, but also because of them my spanish has improved un montón! Who would have ever thought that I could have so much in common with a group of people from across the world!

Ok I will stop being sentimental. I mean after all it was a festival of beer, how sentimental can that be? Throughout out the night there was a live band that played traditional German music and they also had times where dancers would go out and dance the traditional dances. After ever song the band would shout “UN, DOS, TRES, CHUPA!” which roughly translates to “ONE, TWO, THREE, DRINK!”

Also throughout the night there was an ongoing competition to see what table could build the largest pyramid with the beer cups they had completed. Below is a picture of me and my friend Mercedes with the largest pyramid that night as well as some other photos for your viewing pleasure.

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Now I’m sure you are all thinking that all I do down here is go to class three days a week and then party the rest of the time, but I PROMISE I am doing useful things with my time. One of the greatest thing this trip has offered me is getting to volunteer at a private school in Villa El Salvador which is a more impoverished location. I get to work with a 2nd grade class every Thursday at a private school which was set up to give education to the children of this community! This is such a rewarding experience. The students as well as the teachers are so amazing.

Every Thursday when I walk through that door the ENTIRE class runs up to me and gives me the biggest group hug. I’m talking so big that I almost fall over every morning, but how can that NOT put a smile on your face. Throughout the day I get to help them with various things, like math problems, questions on grammar (I have to say, this probably teaches me more than them), and how to use a dictionary. 

The most amazing part of this all is the environment that they are learning in. The teachers are so nurturing and loving towards them which in return makes the children so loving. I can’t tell you how many times they will come and just sit on my lap, or give me a huge hug, or play with my hair. It’s so awesome to experience all of this love. 

This semester another girl from my program and I took on the task of creating a website for the NGO which encompasses the school and their partnering after-school program. It has been a large task so far, but so awesome to get to have this opportunity. This website is being built to be an informational website so that people outside of Perú can see the amazing things they have accomplished. They are a relatively poor organization and have no outside recognition. We are hoping that with this website out there they will be able to find generous donors to help this wonderful organization grow! I will be sure to get you all the link once we have completed the website!

I can’t believe my time down here in Lima is dwindling down. I have just a little over 50 days before I return back home and boy do I have so much to do in those 52 days. Below is a little breakdown of everything.

Oct 30-Nov 1: Travel to Máncora
Nov 9-Nov 10: Travel to Lunahuaná
Nov 13: Presentation for Linguistics
Nov 13: PARENTS & GRANDPARENTS ARRIVE
Nov 14-Nov 16: Trip to Cusco (Machupicchu)
Nov 16-Nov 18: Trip to Arequipa
Dec 3: Final presentation and final exam
Dec 4: Final presentation and final exam
Dec 5-Dec 14: Free time to travel around South America
Dec 15: BACK TO HOME SWEET MN!

In all this time I will also be going to volunteering every Thursday as well as spending quality time with my host family. Wish me luck with this crazy, hectic, yet very amazing schedule!

All this being said, I should head to bed. I’ve got to be up early tomorrow to go to the school, and let me tell you I need all the sleep I can get. These kids wear me out!

Besos,
KM

10/16/2013

Ica, Paracas, and a whole lot of fun...

My blog posts begin too frequently with “Sorry I haven’t posted in awhile”… I am just so caught up in living my life as a Limeña. I am literally having the time of my life, but my time here is coming to an end quickly. As I sit here writing this I have exactly two months until I land back in home sweet Minnesota. Oh what a bittersweet thought that is! I really am missing home (less than a week or too ago. Sorry all!) but really this is such a priceless experience. My spanish has improved un montón and some people have even gone as far to say that I am fluent. What a feeling it is to hear that. (See Mom, your not spending all your money for nothing!) Before I even came to Perú I promised myself I would take full advantage of everything Perú has to offer. Incase you are geographically challenged, Perú is an EXTREMELY diverse country. It has coastline on the Pacific Ocean which means beaches, it has a desert which means sand, it has the Andes mountains, and it has the Amazon rainforest. I am hoping that I will be able to travel to a place situated in each of these locations. So far I have been to Máncora which is up north with beautiful beaches, Cusco which is in the Andes mountains, and just recently I traveled to Ica, Paracas, and Huacachina which is in the desert! It was definitely a crazy trip! Ill tell you all about it… Friday October 4th 4:30am: Wake up and get ready 5:45am: Arrive at Cruz del Sur bus station 6:30am: Bus departure with final destination being Ica 11:30am: Arrive at bus station at Ica. Purchase bus tickets for the night, guard our luggage and head out for a day of fun 12:00pm: First stop: Tacama Vineyards -Here we took a tour of the Tacama vineyard and bodega where we learned about their process of making wine and pisco. After about an hour long tour we finally got to the fun part: wine and pisco tasting! We tried about 4 different wines, and 3 different piscos. ¡Qué rico!

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2:30pm: Head to the second vineyard of the day. 
-Here we ate lunch at their restaurant. We then toured around the vineyard, however it was more of a museum type vineyard, not with actual production happening. After we tried all of their different piscos. The funny thing about this is the group told our guide it was my “birthday” so my little taster cup (the size of a small shot) was filled to the top with pisco everytime…We tried about 6 different piscos. Nevertheless it was such a fun time with our group!
4:30pm: Explore the Plaza de Armas in Ica
6:00pm: Arrive at bus station for our departure to Paracas
7:00pm: Depart Ica, final destination being Paracas
8:30pm: Arrive in Paracas, walk to find our hostel and get all settled in.
9:30-??: Hang out in the hostel bar, practice the slack rope on the beach, and have a great time

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Saturday October 5th
7:30am: Wake up call! (Such an early morning…Especially after staying out super late. But thats Perú life for ya)
8:00am: Tour to Las Islas Ballestas
-For this tour we took a large tour boat out to the middle of the ocean to see these islands. There are inhabited by many different species of animals, but are not capable of supporting human life. We saw animals such as sea lions, penguins, and various species of birds. I did get a little motion sick from all the waves but it was still awesome!

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10:00am: Return back from Las islas and eat (very quickly)
10:50am: Meet to head on our second tour of the day: The national park reserve
11:00am: Start second tour
-This tour included many different stops. We stopped at a museum to learn about the national park reserve, a lagoon, and various spots to look at the ocean. We even got to stop on a beach where we could go in if we chose to. It was such a beautiful tour and the national park reserve was HUGE! Amazing to see the diversity. It was a desert full of sand surrounding by a beautiful blue ocean!

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3:00pm: Eat lunch at a place located right by the lagoon
3:30pm: Return to the hostel, change into swimsuits and head out to the beach
5:00pm: NAPTIME (FINALLY!!!!)
7:00pm: Get ready for the night, head out to the hostel bar
9:00pm-??: Once again hang out at the hostel bar, eat the AMAZING pizza (literally the best pizza I have ever had in my life) and hang out and meet people from all around the world!

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Sunday October 6th
9:00am: WAKE UP CALL!
10:00am: Head out to the beach one last time before leaving
11:00am: Hop in the van for the hour long trip to Huacachina 
12:30pm: Arrive at Bananas Adventures Hostel, change and lay by the pool to get some sun! (Such a beautiful and warm day!)
2:00pm: Hop into our dune buggy and head out on our adventure!
-This was a 2 hour long tour where we went around all of the sand dunes in a buggy as well as sandboarded! Oh my was it exhilarating!! We were going so crazy fast up these HUGE sand dunes and then dropping down them! It was like a rollarcoaster. By the end of all of it we were all COVERED in sand. I unfortunately don’t have pictures on my camera because I didn’t want to drop it but there are some on my facebook :) 
4:00pm: Return back to hostel, shower, and head out to town for some ice cream!
6:30pm: Head to the bus station for our departure back to Lima
12:30pm: Arrive back in Lima and head back home

This whole trip was so amazing! We fit so much into just three days but we were all so exhausted after. The only bad thing was we didn’t have time to be tired because midterm exams started Wednesday so we had to be productive and study.

On Wednesday I had to give my first oral presentation in front of a class full of Peruvians. It was intimidating but I did it, and I now feel even more comfortable with my spanish speaking abilities. I have another midterm exam coming up on Tuesday and then another presentation the following Tuesday. October has been such a busy month for me between school work and traveling!

I feel like these last two months are going to absolutely fly by. I have so much planned, and so much I still want to do. Guess that means less sleep for me, but hey, who needs sleep anyways? 

Well that is all I have for you today. My hopes are to post later this week, maybe Wednesday sometime to talk about non travel things happening in my life so stay tuned for a post all about my volunteering and more about my day to day experiences here in Lima!

¡Hasta pronto!

 

09/15/2013

Cusco!

I’m thinking it is about time I updated my blog..again. I am getting so caught up in everyday life that it is becoming harder and harder for me to blog everyday. But I promise to all of you reading this that I will try my best to start blogging at least twice a week. That way you can all stay up to date with my life here down in Lima!

Stick with me through this one, it is going to be fairly long, but fairly entertaining I promise! 

First things first, we had our first group trip to CUSCO a week or so ago! And boy was it an amazing trip! Cusco is FILLEDwith so much rich Incan history that it made just being there feel amazing. The city was beautiful and we got to experience almost ever aspect of it.

Day 1
The first day was mostly a travel and get acquainted with the altitude kind of day. Out flight was very interesting however because from our gate we took a bus to the tarmac to our plane. We then boarded through a staircase outside. It was very interesting, and the first time I have done anything like that. The plane was not a very large one. It had three seats on each side and twenty rows of seats. Luckily it was a very quick flight, only lasting about 55 minutes. We got to the hotel and the first thing I did was take a nice long nap. I was exhausted before the trip even began because of being sick the week before!! When I woke up I went out to some of the markets around Cusco and I, of course, bought a new fuzzy sweater! Later in the evening I went to a delicious italian type food place, and after eating myself into a food coma, went to the hotel to sleep.

Day 2
The second day was set for us to see various Incan ruins between Cusco and Machu Picchu. The first we went to was calledSaqsaywaman and was about 20 minutes away from our hotel. We learned that it was a temple in the past for the Incans. It was so interesting to learn about how it was constructed and all of the history along with it. I wont bore you with a history lesson, BUT if you ever want to know about it PLEASE ask! 

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The group atop Saqsaywaman

After Saqsaywaman we got to go to a llama farm! It was so awesome! We got to learn the history behind why it is called a llama. It is too funny not to share. Basically when the Spanish came in they saw the animal and would ask the Incans “¿Cómo se llama?” meaning what is the name. The Incans didn’t speak any Castellano and would not respond. After awhile the Spanish became very upset and would start yelling “¿Cómo se llama?” and the Incans, now scared and intimidated, would just repeat a word the Spanish would say, llama. At the farm we got to feed the llamas and alpacas! It was a fun experience!

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While at the llama farm I made friends with the most adorable little girl who was enthralled with my camera. She kept asking me to take pictures of everything so I finally got a picture with her! She was so cute and shy but kept asking me questions about me, my family, and where I am from. Here is the picture!

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After the llama farm we headed to the town of Pisaq to go on our hiking trail! I didn’t expect this hiking trail to be super tricky but for me it was especially tricky. It was on the side of the mountain, almost at the top. It really challenged my fear of heights. There were a few times I just had to sit down and take a break because my heart was pounding so hard because of anxiety. In the end I faced my fears and was able to hike the whole two hours!

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After grabbing lunch in Pisaq, we headed to our last stop of the day. It was called Ollyantaytambo, which meant common resting, which makes sense. It was the last place between Cusco and Machu Picchu. We learned a lot more of Incan history in this location, which once again ask me because it was really interesting. 

After leaving here we headed to the train station. We took a two hour train ride to the village of Machu Picchu. We stayed in an awesome hotel! I slept knowing the next day I was going to get to see one of the new seven wonders of the world! ¡Qué emoción!

Day 3
Well this was the day! We got to see Machu Picchu, one of the new seven wonders of the world. Oh how beautiful it was! Literally words can not describe how marvelous and breath taking this place was. It is so historically rich. The one thing I will tell you is that during the Spanish inquisition Machu Picchu was never discovered because the Incans had learned about them and abandoned their city. There is no evidence of Spanish destruction anywhere there. Here are some pictures to help you understand the beauty.

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After leaving Machu Picchu, we hopped on a train and rode 4 hours back to Cusco. That night most of the group opted to spend a night out in Cusco. We all took about an hour to get ready then headed out to get some food and drinks. We ended the night off by going to a discoteca. It was a great last night in Cusco!

The whole trip was such an amazing experience and I am HOPING I can work it out to return there when my family comes down to visit me. If anyone has the chance to go to Cusco and Machu Picchu I would STRONGLY encourage it. It will be worth every penny to see such a beautiful place!

Besides my trip not much has happened to me lately. Just been doing homework and spending time in the city. I am becoming so accustomed to the city and lifestyle down here but there are more and more things everyday that I miss from home. I will return home to good ol’ MN exactly 3 months today and I am sure those 3 months will just fly by. I am going to do everything I can to make this the most wonderful experience of my life!

One last thing before I leave you again….

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MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

¡Hasta pronto!

 

 

 

 

09/13/2013

A Plethora of Updates

Sorry to all who have been keeping up with me via my blog. It has been almost two weeks since my last blog, and SO much has happened within those last two weeks! Bare with me, its going to be a long one.

First things first, my classes are all going well! I did find out I have to give 4 oral presentations for one of my classes which gave me a minor panic attack. However the manner in which the class selected the dates we wanted was OUTRAGEOUS. We all just raised our hands and it was basically first said, first served. Luckily I got good dates, meaning I am not one of the first ones to present. Phew! Other than that I am really enjoying my classes and all of the people in them, although I have yet to really converse with any of them. I have time (sort of)!

Next, I finally traveled outside of Lima! I went up to northern Perú to the beautiful small pueblo of Máncora. It was such an amazing and memorable experience. I traveled up with two peruvian girls, which means it was a weekend filled with spanish! They are my first two real peruvian friends, and they are the sweetest. They can’t wait to show me all of Perú and they will be visiting in Minnesota, hopefully soon after my return! Here is a picture of the three of us before we went out Friday night!

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We took a 17 hour bus ride from Lima to Máncora, which was an experience in itself. It was a two-tiered bus with a first class below and an economy class up top. Pia and I sat in the VERY front row against the glass on the top, with Mercedes sitting behind us. The bus had many forms of entertainment. We watched 4 different movies, and played bingo (see the picture below)! Even though none of us won, it was still a very fun bus ride.

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It was an overnight bus ride, so we arrive Friday morning around 10 o’clock. We weren’t able to check-in until 2:30 so we decided to change at the hostel, guard our bags, and head down to the beach. We laid out in the sun for a good 3 or 4 hours before we headed back to check-in. We stayed in an economy room in the hostel which had 10 beds! It was crazy big. There was never a time I didn’t feel safe there, however. We then headed down to the pool and played volleyball with our new Israeli friends. After an intense game, we headed into down in search for some food. We ended up at Los delfines which was a seafood place on the beach! We ordered ceviche to split between the three and then I ordered a shrimp meal. All of that cost me mayyyyybe $10. (Sidenote: There were a great deal of wild dogs running around, so we put all of our extra food in a box and gave it to one lucky dog) Below are some pictures from lunch.

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After lunch, we headed back to the hotel and played a giant game of jenga, in which we ultimately lost to our new Israeli friends. After this game we headed upstairs, got ready for the night, and partied at our hotel. It was a great first day in Máncora.

The next day we woke up and headed to Vichayitos, a smaller, more private beach about 20 minutes away in a cab. We ended up using a hotels mats and pool area, the only condition was that we had to buy something from the hotel, so of course we chose… FOOD! It was a nice relaxing day for all three of us! Below is a few pictures of us by the pool and beach!

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After we left this hotel, we went back to our hostel, ate some food and took a nap by the pool. When we woke up we got ready for the night. Our hotel was having a fiesta de piratas. We were all super tired by this point, but we pushed through, got ready, and had a crazy fun night!! We met all sorts of people, but mainly Australians, who were MORE than excited to realize I wasn’t from Australia and could speak english. We had an amazing night all the way up until the break of dawn.

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Sunday was our last day to spend in the sunshine, so we got up super early and laid by the pool the entire day, enjoying our last rays of sunshine before returning to the city of fog. We packed up, checked out and headed to the bus station around 4:30 and our bus left at 5. It’s safe to say that I think I slept the entire 17 hours on the way home!

It was an AMAZING trip and I cannot wait for my next excursion with these two beauties! Now on the the bad thing that happened to me. Yesterday I got sick, for the first time, abroad. It was not very pleasant. I had a wicked stomach ache, and could hardly get out of bed. I am sure I worried a lot of people back home, but don’t worry my host family took excellent care of me, and today I am feeling a lot better! I am still not at 100%, but soon enough I will return to healthy Kailey.

Tomorrow at the crack of dawn my group embarks on our first trip together…CUZCO! Words cannot explain how excited I am to be traveling here. I have heard it is an AMAZING place that you have to travel to at some point in your life. And Saturday I will be taking a guide through Machu Picchu, which is now one of the seven modern wonders of the world. I couldn’t feel more blessed at this moment in time. I will be SURE to take abundant amounts of picture while I am there, but I’m sure it will not do the beauty any justice. I will probably not be blogging until I get back, but I will have wifi so make sure you all keep in touch!

*Inhales deeply*

Wow, that was a long post. Thanks for baring with me through all of it!

-KEM

08/21/2013

When in Lima, do as the Limeños do...

Hey all of you reading this!

A quick introduction of myself! My name is Kailey Morgan and I am from Orono, MN and attend Gustavus Adolphus College, but more importantly am spending my fall semester abroad in Lima, Perú! I will be one of the co-bloggers on here all semester :) Below is a post off my personal blog about when I first got here! If you are interested in reading more off my personal blog here is the link kaileymorganperu.wordpress.com ! One of us will hopefully be posting once a week or what not, but for now, Enjoy!

 

¡Hola a todos!

Sorry it has been awhile since I last updated my blog! I have been VERY busy trying to getting acquainted with this new city that I am living in, and let me tell you it is VERY different than the United States! Bare with me, this is going to be a pretty long post. SO MUCH TO TELL YOU! (Yes, the capital letters are me shouting with excitement)

So my trip down here went really well! No lost luggage (thank goodness) and the flights were all pretty smooth. However, my 5 hour layover in Miami kind of stunk. While in the Miami airport I had my first experience of someone taking a picture of me because I am blonde hair and blue eyed. I cant tell you how bad I wanted to whip out my camera and take a picture of him, just so he knew what it felt like! When I stepped on the plane to head down to Lima, I realized that I was the ONLYAmerican to be on the plane because it was operated by LanPeru. Everything that was said was in spanish and for all I know the plane could have been coming to a crash landing and I wouldn’t have known. I sat next to a sweet old man whoINSISTED on talking to me in spanish the whole time…Which was annoying because I wanted to sleep, but also beneficial because I got a tasted of what it was going to be like!

THANK goodness I didn’t have to have my bags checked by customs. Not sure if any of you saw how much I packed, but lets just say it was MORE than enough! I got to the hotel and waited up for my roomie. Then I got to spend my first night sleeping in Lima. 

The next day was all orientation, we talked about everything from safety and security (Mom, be happy) to money and banking. We took a break in the middle and went and got lunch at Puro Perú where I tried my FIRST pisco sour (below is a picture of me and my new friend Emma with our pisco sours). I really liked it! It tasted a lot like a margarita, but the altitude affected me and it made me a little dizzy ;)  

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After lunch we had another short orientation and then we got ready and all 11 of us went to LarcoMar for dinner! Below is the picture of the girls and guys in the group at LarcoMar! We got to explore and get to know each other and eat dinner!¡Qué delicioso! After we just hung out and had our first night together playing games and drinking vino y piscano (Perú’s version of Mike’s Hard Lemonade)

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Today I went with my host family around town! They took me to many different districts! We ate lunch, which I’m not sure what it was called! But I had my first experience eating Ceviche, and I really liked it! I am not exactly sure what else I ate, because I am still trying to understand everything they are saying to me. I think my favorite word today was ““. After aHUGE lunch they insisted we go get a postre y café even though I was SO full. They kept telling me that I “eat little amounts” and that I need to eat more. I think they are trying to fatten me up! After all this we went to el supermercadoand my mom bought me TONS of fruits and vegetables. I knew what some of them were, and others I am not sure. I’ll get back to you if I like them! Here is a picture of me and my host parents (Amelia y Ricardo) at el mar.

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Spanish is getting easier and easier as the days go on but there are still sometimes where I just have NO idea what is going on around me. I am trying really hard to keep an open mind! There are some things here that I knew to expect but definitely didn’t think would be so bad! Being blonde and blue eyes I definitely attract the attention of EVERYONE! Everywhere I go people are starting, or whistling, or waving, or making kissing noises at me. Not sure I really enjoy the attention, but whatever. Also there are many wild dogs running around that I really just want to take home with me (PLEASE mom!). 

As for now I am going to shower, get ready for bed, spend time with my family both here and in los Estados Unidos, and sleep before my first day of my intensive spanish class! 

I will (hopefully) start blogging every day! But for now ¡Chao!