Thursday, November 27, 2014

Pumpkin Pie in a Cup!

My wonderful friend Julie gave me the best Thanksgiving/Birthday/early Christmas present ever. You can actually find American pumpkin here in Peru and make a pumpkin pie from scratch but they are not common at all. What a great taste of home!

Thank you Julie!!!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Seen in Starbucks in San Isidro

So it must seem like I go to Starbucks a lot but I would have to say it is about once or twice a month that I treat myself. I personally like Bisetti and Dedalo much more but the reason I am posting is that I saw this fantastic offering at the Starbucks on Las Flores in San Isidro a few weeks ago. There are lots of students who work in groups at that Starbucks so they put in a printer and every customer is allowed up to ten prints. Not bad!

I also say this in the newspaper when I sat down to drink my tea. Both Steve Carrell and Jennifer Garner are Denison University alums. Yeah Denison pride! It made me smile. I have yet to see the movie but I have heard good things. I loved Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day when I was younger. I think the translation is pretty fun to say. Alexander y un Día Terrible, Horrible, Malo, muy Malo.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Art Fairs and Bazaars to go to this Season in Lima

Happy November everyone! Spring is here and the weather is getting warmer. Christmas is around the corner and there are tons of art fairs and school bazaars occurring this month. Here are a few that I have come across. You can find all sorts of cool items that are great for Christmas gifts.

Marco and I had a great time on Sunday checking out the De Nuestras Manos fair. I went back today and bought a bunch of Christmas gifts for family members. If you are in Lima I would definitely check it out! The stands will be set up through the 16th and they run from 10am to 10pm daily. Here is the organization's Facebook page.

Here are a few school Bazaars that are happening soon!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Happy Anniversary to Us!

I have been meaning to put up a little post in celebration of Marco and my wedding anniversary. We celebrate a monthly anniversary on the 12th because were married in our civil ceremony on the 12th of October 2012. Our religious wedding, however, took place a year later on the 18th of October 2013. We love having reasons to celebrate so we celebrated both weekends with a little something.

There was a wedding of a colleague of Marco's on the 11th at the same church where we were married on the villa militar. It was super nice and the same priest married them as well. When he spotted us he motioned to his belly and smiled at us. It was super cute. He was a great person to preside over our wedding. I really enjoyed his speech. Marco did the sword tunnel and we went to the reception right around the corner at the circulo militar. The reception was a blast and we danced up a storm. There was a waitress who couldn't stop smiling while watching us dance. It isn't every day that you see pregnant ladies rocking out on the dance floor and we were having a great time.

The following weekend we celebrated by going out to lunch at Kuo Wha, a delicious Chinese buffet restaurant with a beautiful garden as you enter. We stuffed ourselves and then took a nice long nap. When we got up we went out to Plaza Lima Sur to eat and see if we couldn't get massages. Unfortunately, the massage place didn't have a chair for pregnant ladies so we had to skip out on that. We did see a movie though. Dracula, the Untold Story. It was quite good.

We didn't exchange gifts or anything like that and it was so nice. Honestly, I am so happy to spend every day with this man that sometimes random days feel like anniversaries. I hope to keep it that way.

Here is to 2 years with my amazing husband and to many many many many more to come!

These kinds of photos of Marco are rare but I love them because they show how happy he is. :)

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Dia Villamariano

Yesterday was my school's carnival and it was really really fun. On Friday we spent the afternoon setting up tables and chairs and making sure everyone knew what her job was. I had the pleasure of selling tickets for the Tombola which is more or less an "everybody wins" carnival attraction. Basically you buy a ticket for 5 soles and it either has a number or a letter on it with the number corresponding to a better prize. I bought two tickets with the carnival money I received from the school and I got a bottle of shampoo and a headband. Not bad. The Tombola had prizes from snickers bars to kitchenware to a playstation 4. No matter what you get something which is fun.

What I really lucked out with was the Gran Rifa. Marco bought 5 tickets and I bought 1 and out of the thousands that were purchased, one of our tickets was chosen for the dinner for 6 at a Chinese restaurant prize. How cool is that? There were some fantastic prizes including the grand prize of having a years scholarship to the school. There were a couple of Scotiabank 1,000 USD and 1,500 USD bank credits too.
Setting up by pulling legs apart.

The final outcome. I unfortunately didn't get a picture of the day of.

The idea behind the carnival day is to raise money for the school as well as charity programs. It is a Catholic school so they do a lot of work with other schools that need funds and food in the Lima area. I couldn't help but notice the onslaught of advertising done. The chairs and tables were from Coca-Cola, the stage had huge Movistar banners on it and all of the booths in the main patio were restaurants like Bembos, Pizza Hut, Dunkin Donuts, ChinaWok and D'Nofrio ice cream. I am pretty sure at my school's carnival days the food was made by parent volunteers and there were always tons of grills going. Hotdogs and hamburgers were the main food. I will say that it was nice to have some variety for lunch. Julie and I couldn't help but wonder how much more money could have been raised if more parents volunteered instead of having vendors come in. I don't know the breakdown nor do I know if the vendors give some percentage to the school.

I found some super cute stickers that could be personalized and bought them for my two nieces. Julie and I took pictures in a photo booth and I enjoyed watching all the teachers do their dance at the end. This year's theme for Teacher's Day was Disney so they extended it to make it the theme of the carnival as well since they already had all the props and costumes. Disney got plenty of free advertising this year at school. If you can't read it in the photo, the quote comes from Walt Disney: "If you can dream it, you can do it.". It's a good quote no matter who it came from.

Overall, it was a super fun day and it got me super excited about the future because I can imagine Marco and me along with Leah at an event of this nature when she is in school.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Ley Seca (Dry Law)

It's that time of year again when the toilet paper gets piled up in front of the liquor section in Metro due to dry law. Whenever there are elections, everyone is prohibited from selling liquor during the weekend of said elections.

Dry law is hilarious to me. No one is supposed to sell alcohol during the weekend of elections. Has no one learned from the United States' attempt to prohibit alcohol? (It didn't work.) Supposedly the law is in place to help ensure that people make better electoral decisions. Oh if only that were true. I am pretty sure that there was an election of some sort going on last year around the time we got married because I went to buy alcohol with my brother and sister in law and the guy at the gas station didn't want to sell us anything. After some pleading we were able to get a few beers. I know, bad us. But hey, we are foreigners so we don't vote. Bottoms up!

For anyone interest in who won the Lima mayor position it was Luis Castañeda. He implemented the Metropolitano during his last term as mayor. We will see what exciting plans he has for this term. I am intrigued.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Post Office Affair

I don´t think I have ever experienced anything quite like what has happened with the post office here in Lima. In the past two weeks I have been there 5 times. Let me give you the low down because it seems kind of hard to believe that it would take this long for me to get a package. Not to worry. This story ends on a good note even though the process was a bit frustrating. This is Peru after all and after a certain amount of time all you can do is laugh at the ridiculousness because getting upset gets you no where.
The first trip. I got the tracking number from my father and checked online to see if it had arrived and apparently it was in Lince. I headed over only to find out that I couldn´t pick it up because my last name was marked as Zamudio. (I found out today that is actually said Amy Brown de Zamudio on it which is absurd that wouldn´t allow me to pick it up because my husband´s name was at the end.) Since it said Amy Zamudio on my slip I couldn´t pick it up because it didn´t match my carnet. I talked to various people and got the papers I needed to fill out in order to get the name changed. I went home and my dad wrote a letter and I got a copy of the receipt for the package from his end. I made sure to ask two times if I needed to get anything legalized. I have been in Peru long enough to know that pretty much anything with any possibility of being an important document has to be notarized. I was told no.
The second trip. I brought my papers ready to pick up my package. I was told that I was missing the letter from me that also needed to be notarized. Off I went to do that.
The third trip. I brought all the papers including the notarized letter signed by me (10 soles) and paid 36 more soles to have my name changed on the computer. I was then told it would be three days until it was processed and ready to go. Fine. A little more waiting won´t hurt. At least the package is there right?
In between the third and fourth trip I received a call from a woman at Serpost asking me to write a declaratory letter stating exactly why my father got my last name wrong. I also had to justify why my home address did not match up to the address my father used. I am a part of the SAE club and use their address because packages either go directly there to Miraflores or to the post office in Lince. I could never use my address because it would never get to me on the villa. I also sent a copy of my army ID showing that I am in fact married to a Zamudio and that is why my name was wrong. They would call me when everything was in the system.
The fourth trip. I made two copies of my carnet and had my receipt in hand. I got to the customs window to open the package and the man who was attending me told me I would have to pay 38 dollars in taxes because the package was valued at 250 dollars. WHAT?! You have got to be kidding me. No one could let me know that I would have to pay a tax at some point? Fortunately, the guy was nice and told me that since I had traveled to the United States and this was coming from the United States and it arrived within a week of me getting back into Peru, I could bring my passport and it would waive the tax because the package could be considered luggage. 
The fifth trip. With copies of my passport, my entry and exit stamps and all my paperwork I headed back to Serpost one more time. I was given preferential treatment due to a law here that states if you are pregnant, with a child, elderly or disable, you get preferential treatment in public establishments. Works for me! Anyway, I had to fill out one more form declaring the package was extra luggage but it was fast. The lady who opened the package with me told me that I would have to pay 30 dollars because even though it was considered luggage, it wasn't something like clothing or personal items. What? Why had the other guy told me I would be fine with my passport? Fortunately, he was working that day and he hooked it up and made sure that I didn't have to pay anything. Thank you kind customs sir. You made my day much better and have kept my faith in the postal service here in Peru.
Lessons learned: Never address anything to me using my husband´s last name. Never declare any package to be worth more than 100 dollars.
Without further ado. The photo in its rightful place in our living room!

And as per my father's excellent suggestion, here is a picture of us holding it to give you an idea of its size.