PASEO Program Adventure—Day 13: Huanchaco Peru

Today (I’m now two days behind), we started the morning with a class on motivational interviewing. My internship site was closed due to a federal holiday, Day of St. Peter and St. Paul (San Pedro y San Pablo)—a day to celebrate San Pedro, the patron saint of fishermen. Huanchaco was filled with marching bands, parades, and a beautiful celebration by the water, in which large reed rafts, or caballitos de totora are placed into the water. (Still no camera, so use your imagination.)

Seeing as today was more of a slow day to catch up on homework and enjoy the festivities, there isn’t a whole lot to report. We got water heaters installed in the showers throughout the house, which was pretty exciting. I figured I could only comment on one obstacle during my time here, and decided to discuss the rigid toilet paper situation instead. However, now that I have been able to purchase a different brand and the frigid cold water has been changed to lightly cold water, I feel like I am in a place where I can now share that with you.

And just because today really was slow, I’ll share this other story with you. Today I spoke with my grandmother for the first time since my phone fell out of my pocket. Again, I was told by locals that someone either sold the phone or switched out the sim card so they could use it for themselves. My grandmother asked if I could put an ad in the local newspaper asking whoever ended up taking my phone if they could please return the sim card to me. I wish everyone could have this same faith in humanity. And with that, here’s hoping I’ll have something more interesting to report tomorrow.

 

Advertisements

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Christmas is a beautiful holiday celebrated by a countless number of individuals across the globe. Of course it is a significant holiday due to religious purposes, but what makes this day even more special is that it is one of the few times during the year where families come together to celebrate with one another. Not only this, but the holiday spirit brings people even closer together, and there is an overall joyous feeling that engulfs us all—regardless of our religious affiliations.

However, once the New Year rolls in and we quickly return to our routines, the festivity disappears, as does much of the joy we shared with one another just a few weeks/months prior. As the holidays pass, we pick up from where we last left off by consuming ourselves in political correctness and a continuous argument regarding which religion is superior and why the beliefs of others don’t matter. Before you know it, the closeness and connectedness that brought us all together is long gone—at least until the following December.

If we each took the time to realize that when you put aside our exteriors including our physical features, skin tones, and other such minute differences, we are all the same. Much of our beliefs and values are so similar, but for some reason we cannot take the time to listen to those around us and try to understand that there are a great deal of resemblances in our beliefs. If only we could live in a  world where “holiday cheer” was simply called “cheer,” and we allowed the joyous breeze that is seemingly only found during the holidays to run through the air all year long. Then the constant bickering, discrimination, and hatred that we see all over the news would lessen significantly, and maybe, just maybe, we could have a much easier time living in harmony.

As I posted a short while ago, Mother Teresa once said, “Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.” If we could each make it a goal to try and spread some of the “Holiday Cheer” throughout the following year, we might be able to help make this difference which would ultimately allow us to live in a better world.

While spending this beautiful holiday with loved ones, let us enjoy the special time we are sharing with each other. Let us also think about how to make improvements to the upcoming year we have ahead of us, so that we can continue to have as many memorable moments as possible. With that being said, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and may this year be filled with an abundance of joy, cheer, and love for one another!

Screen Shot 2015-12-25 at 7.43.43 PM

Snapshot Challenge Saturday

My brother and sister work in the floral industry, and as you can probably imagine, work has been somewhat hectic (to say the least) with the holiday season in full swing. However, as orders have been placed and shipped, they had a great deal of extra vases and flowers sitting around their warehouse. They decided to donate all of the remaining flowers to a local hospital, and they invited me to go with them to make the delivery.

They gave forty arrangements to the administrative nurse to hand out to the patients, and seeing how appreciative she was on behalf of the staff and patients was such a beautiful and fulfilling sight. It just goes to show that simple and thoughtful acts of kindness can make all the difference.

FullSizeRender.jpg

Have a Happy (Belated) Thanksgiving!

After a day’s worth of cooking, baking, and eating, it’s finally time to sit down and write! It’s nothing we don’t already know—Thanksgiving is a time to share with loved ones and really think about what we are grateful for in our lives. Whether it’s knowing that we have a roof over our heads, food on the table, health, safety, security, a bit of financial stability, loved ones who care about us, the ability to receive an education, or even freedom in the very country we live in, there is so much that we can all find to be thankful for.

Throughout these last few days, weeks, months, and years, I have become increasingly thankful for simple treasures, and these treasures are all of you. Knowing that there are people reading what you put out there is a true honor and privilege, and I could not be any more grateful for fellow bloggers and readers who continuously support both me and my writing, day in and day out. However you decide to spend your Thanksgiving, I hope it is a wonderful one surrounded by those you love and filled with countless blessings.

We shouldn’t limit our thankfulness or gratitude to one holiday each year, so here’s hoping we can each learn to be more thankful and appreciative in the upcoming year. Happy Thanksgiving to all, and know that we made it! The cooking is past us, the cleaning is over, and now it’s just us and leftovers. Talk about being appreciative!

ht

Day 1 In Bogota, Colombia

Last month, my mother took my brother, sister, and me to Colombia where we spent two days in Bogota and two days in Cartagena. Throughout the next few days, I’ll be writing about our travels and experiences.

We flew out of Miami on the afternoon of Friday, August 7th, and arrived in Bogota later that evening. August 7th happens to be a national holiday in Colombia, as it celebrates the Battle of Boyacá. The Battle of Boyacá resulted in Colombia’s independence from the Spanish monarchy and is celebrated as a national holiday every year on the seventh of August. Every four years on this particular day, the elected President of Colombia is announced in the Casa de Nariño—the official home and workplace of the President of Colombia.

There are roughly nine million people living in Bogota, but there is no subway to transport everyone who lives there. Instead, the official means of transportation is public busses. There are designated lanes on the highways solely for the busses called TransMilenio. However, since the busses are always crowded, the name is commonly called TransMilleno as a joke by the locals. (Lleno in Spanish translates to full).

Upon arriving to our hotel, we were given a few minutes to drop our bags off in our rooms before being served dinner in the hotel’s restaurant. As we sat down in the restaurant, we were each given a delicious hot drink consisting of Aguardiente—a Colombian alcohol also known as “fire water”, in addition to cinnamon, sugar, and panela—unrefined whole cane sugar, common in both Central and  Latin America. We were then brought a creamy chicken soup with carrots to begin, followed by chicken, potatoes, and vegetables.

Since it was already dark outside by the time we arrived, there wasn’t much we could take pictures of besides for the food (hence the pictures of food below). Shortly after dinner, we went to sleep for the night before officially commencing our trip in the morning with a tour of the city.

Merry Christmas!

I posted a few days ago about returning to the blogging world and trying to get back into the swing of blogging. However, keeping in mind that the world was “supposed” to end a few days ago, I figured I wouldn’t need to keep posting, just in case the world really did end. Thankfully we’re still here, but unless another calendar says the world is coming to an end, I guess I have no excuses but to keep on writing. With that being said, today is such an important day for so many, seeing as it is Christmas. Kids wait all year long for this one day, while others anticipate the winter weather and family gatherings to be held. Although I don’t actually celebrate this holiday, it’s so refreshing to see others take the day off and enjoy time with loved ones. It kind of makes you wonder why we don’t spend more days like today. I’ll keep this nice and short so that you can carry on with your holiday celebrations, but spread the holiday love and cheer to those around you, and have the best Christmas and holiday season yet. “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”

ws_Christmas_Tree_1920x1200