No Te Preocupes

That's right, the title is in Spanish. Some of you may know what this means, for those of you that don't, it makes don't (you) worry.

I just got back from a week in Peru with my family and I think this saying became my mantra. For example:
Oh we're eating guinea pig for lunch? No te preocupes.
Oh, the motortaxi driver got lost and you don't remember the name of the hotel? No te preocupes.
Oh, you just got swamped by about a million mosquitos on your tour of a local coffee field? No te procupes.
Oh, the motortaxi almost hit that stray dog? No te preocupes.
Oh, there's literally zeo leg room so you're sitting sideways in the backset of a van? No te preocupes.

This trip was a blast, but was also stressful. There was a lot of moving around, a lot of not understanding (not just because most of the Peruvians we met only spoke Spanish and mine is very limited, there were plenty of misunderstandings between my family as well). But, ya know, no te preocupes. Worrying doesn't get you very far and at some point you have to drop your reservations and throw some Spanish out there and hope someone understands what you mean.

But in all seriousness, Peru was amazing. My brother is absolutely thriving in Moyobamba. We did a lot of things, and it could take a lot of time and space to explain them all, so I figured I would share our itinerary instead.

Check in
Arrive in Moyobamba
Have lunch with Daniel's host family
Go into the city square for dinner
Sleep Again

Go into the town square and explore
Lunch with Daniel's host family (homemade cuy)
Visit Daniel's workplace/meet his coworkers
Dinner to celebrate my parents' 29th anniversary

Up bright and early to go out to Tingana
Have breakfast there
Go on a tour of the forest in the area in flatbed canoes
Get eaten alive by mosquitoes
Have lunch at the reservation site
Head home
Me, Daniel, my Dad and Lilly all have Chinese food for dinner

Go out to a national park for some hiking and a swim
Lunch at this restaurant in a puebla off, meet some weird exotic animals
Go to the sulfur baths
Meet up with Daniel's co-worker and get a tour of his coffee farm
Get bitten by even more mosquitos
Back to the hotel

The day of rest (ish)
Spend the day doing any last minute things and shopping in Moyobamba
I spent the afternoon sleeping and getting an important phone call
Fancy dinner
Go see a Peruvian rendition of Jesus Christ Superstar

Say goodbye to boy wonder
2 hours drive to the airport in Tarapoto
4 hours flight from Tarapoto to Lima (with 2 stops along the way)
12 hour lay over in Lima
Have dinner in Miraflores with Daniel's site coordinators, Jed and Jenny
Board plane to Lime
Arrive in Houston at aprox. 7:30 AM Saturday morning

Yeah, it was a full week to say the least. Here's what I can honestly tell you, Daniel is absolutely thriving. He is fluent in his Spanish by now, he has lots of friends both at and outside of work. He is totally comfortable getting around the city and his host family is great. I learned some new Spanish words, also had a crash course refresher in things I knew once upon a time like. There are stray dogs everywhere and it took all of my restraint to not steal one and bring it back to that states. Big surprise I'm sure. Also, I have never been so aware of my size as I was in Peru. First of all, Peruvians are small people in general, also there aren't really any tourists in Moyobamba. rather, Moyobamba is where Peruvians go to vacation. We stood out everywhere we went. 

Finally, Jed and Jenny are pretty awesome. I watched Jenny haggle a taxicab driver down from 80 soles for a ride to 50. She was unflinching when he tried to keep the price above 60. That's true badass status if I do say so myself.

ALSO! I got awarded a merit based fellowship to attend Austin Seminary which means that, if I keep it together while I'm at school, I won't be paying for tuition or housing. So that was a pretty great phone call to get. 

I just want a dog. That's all I want.

Climbed up into this sucker.

Because Daniel won't take good pictures.

I always find the hammocks. Always.

Our guide in Tingana

Because I took all of the pictures, there aren't that many of me...

Great example in the difference of sizes between Pappas men and Peruvian men

Elephant at the water.

These two kids were absolutely fascinated with my brother and sister swimming.

I don't know what kind of creature that was, but it wrapped it's tail around my wrist
and wouldn't let me go. Which was clearly frightening. 

My mother was fearless and held this cat think which nibbled on her wrist.

It is election season, which means that most of the advertising out in Moyobamba was painted on the sides of buildings. Thank god Donald Trump can't do that here. Here's the last thing I want to see driving home every day.

Daniel and his friend Ronald are inspecting coffee plants.

My dad and brother enjoying a dip in a sulfur bath.

Back of a motortaxi.

Daniel and Lilly buying fruit.

Because Daniel doesn't take serious pictures.

The local vegetation was beautiful!

So many fun colored plants in Peru.



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