Wednesday, January 19, 2011


This weekend was a blast! I went rafting on Saturday with a student who is a rafting guide. I wanted to take my camera with me on the boat but I decided against it since we were going to go through class IV rapids. It ended up being a good decision because I definitely would've lost it at one point. Class 4 rapids are no joke and and super freakin fun! At one point I jumped out of the raft when it was calmer and took a little float down the river myself. Chuquicahuna was the name of the 12 km section we went down. It is part of the Urubamba (aka Vilcanota) River. I ended up in the one Spanish speaking boat with 3 hilarious Argentinan guys and a couple that was very nice. Franco, one of the Argentines, thought it was funny to knock everyone's helmets. It definitely proved they were functioning. At one point we did this thing they like to call surfing where we paddled right into a mini water fall and put all our weight at the front so the boat would pop out of the water in the back and be pushed backward. Needless to to say, we all go soaked and were absolutely frozen by the end of the run. Fortunately, my icy fingers and toes were warmed up first in a suana and then a hot shower. It was such a fun day!

On the other hand I think I may have caused myself to get sicker than I was by going on the rafting trip. That night I went to bed at 5pm and didn't get up until the next day. It's only a cold but today I have no voice and a slight cough has started. Thank goodness I was able to get through performing last night. I was right on the verge of losing my voice and singing last night put me over the edge. Needless to say I couldn't teach this morning so instead, I worked in the office. I am really glad I performed last night. It was a new place called Kamikase and it is much bigger than Kilometer Zero where we were playing the last few months. They also have a much better sound system so people can actually hear our voices when we sing. I have a meeting with the music guy on Thursday evening to discuss playing on a weekly basis like we did at KM0. I also want to talk to the KM0 lady again to see if we can't set up a weekly thing again with them. I wouldn't mind having two gigs a week. Although getting up in the morning is somewhat of a hastle after staying out til 12:30 or 1am, I think I can handle one month of it.

Speaking of only one month, I am almost done with my time at Maximo and I am pumped for what's ahead. I have a few ideas in mind, one of which is teaching part time in the afternoon at Excel. I am definitely moving into Yamanya at the beginning of March and working for my stay there which is 4 hours a day six days a week. I am also going to work in advertising for Micheal (my band mates). He has a tourist newspaper he publishes and he makes his money from advertising. I would get 20% of whatever I sell. Not bad! All I have to do is look nice and schmooze with the business owners. I think I can handle that.

Well, that's all for now! Exams and quizzes are next week so I am gearing all my students up with study guides now. I love exam days because I usually get a book finished.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Goodbye for Now Hostel

Well, after a month and a half of working as a tour agent for Yamanya, I was asked to leave. It was not due to my performance but the fact that I lack a work visa. I understand that they want to watch their butts because getting in trouble with immigration can really screw a business. Fortunately, I did get paid and I will pick up what I made for working in January tomorrow. I also told them to keep a bed open for me in March because I am definitely moving in after my stint at Maximo. I am actually quite relieved and I am already much happier because I have time during the day to get things done. I can take a nap or watch a movie or work out. I forgot how nice it was to have the long break during the day. Hello again naps. I have missed you dearly.

Speaking of Maximo, we recently found out that the new teachers are being paid more than the teachers that started before January 1st. Now, for anyone out there who knows anything about good business, a raise should go to the people who have been with the company longer, not to the people who just started. A company is asking for problems if they do the opposite, which is what has happened here. The veteran teachers are not happy with it and what´s worse is that it seems like they thought they were going to get away with it. I don´t understand why they didn´t just raise everyone´s salary. I am planning on talking to my boss today to ask him for a raise even if it is for just three more pay periods. I think I deserve the raise. My feedback was awesome last month and I work my butt off. I have only missed one class over the past 4 and a half months. I also just want to hear his rational for the higher pay for the new teachers. The thing that sucks the most is that the company is not really legit. I don´t have a work visa and we are considered volunteers to immigration. It´s definitely a shady business if you ask me. I am not going to complain too much though because I do have a job and right now I can definitely use the money. I am looking forward to be legit in Chile though. I have to get a work visa in order to work there. I am also looking forward to living on the Pacific Ocean.

Monday, January 3, 2011


Feliz Año Nuevo!! I hope everyone had a great time on New Years and was safe. I can’t say that I was too safe. I joined the crowds in the plaza de Armas around 11:30pm and witnessed the most ridiculous display of fireworks being set off by everyone and their children. It was kind of scary how close everyone was to fireworks and at one point I got hit by the sparks which ended up in a bit of burning and a bit of blood but it wasn’t terrible and at least I can still walk. Unfortunately, my coworker didn’t have the same fate. She got a nice chunk blown away right at the crease of her ankle so walking isn’t too fun right now.

Other than the fireworks it was so much fun being in the plaza for all the craziness. The tradition in a lot of South America is to get yellow underwear and wear it over your clothes. Yellow is the lucky color so there is yellow everywhere on New Years Eve. Yellow balloons, yellow confetti, yellow hats, and of course yellow underwear. I got a really pretty bouquet of yellow flowers for my roomy Erica to give her good luck for this year. At midnight everyone runs laps around the plaza. I made it half way around before heading back into the plaza since there were so many people. The run was more like a slow walk. Also, being in a moving crowd like that isn’t too safe when it comes to pick pocketing. Corey and I made our way into the plaza and stopped to stare at all the ridiculousness. It was so surreal! We got our hands on confetti and had fun getting people with confetti. At one point Corey tried putting some in his mouth to try and blow at me but it just ended up with him having wet confetti in his mouth. It was quite funny. Check out the pictures to see more of the craziness. I ended the night with a sandwich from my favorite sandwich lady Rosita at 1am.

So there are lots of new teachers this month since Becca, Cameron, Kate, Whitney, and Darran are all gone now. They are mostly men with the most common America names: Jonathan, Ryan, Andrew, Michael, Chandler (Ok not so common), and Sophia. This means I have a new roommate. Chandler (Yup, just like friends) is his name and he is from Texas. He is super fun and I think it is going to be a great living situation. He is a gearhead which is potentially dangerous since I love chatting about outdoor gear but I know it gets really annoying to anyone who isn’t into gear. I definitely miss Whitney but she wasn’t around that much so it didn’t feel like she lived there that much anyway. It is going to be interesting with all us getting up at the same time and needing to use the bathroom. It didn’t seem to be a problem this morning so it will probably work out. The picture below is one of the roommates.

I have decided that my new years resolution is to be more respectful to my body. I haven’t been terrible since I have been here but I need to listen to my body more and when I need to sleep I should sleep and when I am hungry I shouldn’t just put whatever is easiest to find in my mouth. I could go for less sugar. I work so much that it is often difficult to be healthy. The best thing I can do is cook for myself and bring dinner to work but I often find myself so tired at the end of the night that I don’t want to stay awake to cook when I know I could just grab something quick at the café at Maximo.

This is going to be a difficult month. I have 7 classes and I am still working 4 hours a day at the hostel. Speaking of the hostel, I have been feeling a little weird about my job there lately. There were a few girls who came in and complained about a tour they went on through us and they had a terrible time. I found out it was through Conde Travel which is a company that is known to be kind of sketchy. I am pissed because I didn’t know that the company we work with worked with Conde. I don’t know who our clients are being passed off onto with these tours because often companies will add clients to other groups because they don’t have enough people for their own trip or it is cheaper. I also had to deal with setting up pick up times on Friday night with two clients who had to move hostels etc. Needless to say it was a bit stressful. I really want everyone to have a good time, especially since they are paying more than enough for their tours. That is another thing that is a part of the business that for some reason upsets me. I know that we need to make a profit and if we didn’t there would be no point in the hostel having a tour agency, but at the same time as someone who has been on the side of looking to book tours, I know what it is like to want to find a good price. I guess it is something I just have to get used to. All I know is that I don’t plan on staying in the tourism industry as an agent. I would choose working as a guide any day over being in bookings and reservations. I will only be doing it for another 4 months or so and then off to Chile I go.

Well, I hope everyone had a wonderful New years and has made some good resolutions. I hope you all can stick to them as well! ☺ The photo album on the sidebar is named Feliz Año Nuevo Twentyich because the glasses they sold looked like a 20 and a CH. What do you think?

Starting the night with sparklers.

Underwear being sold in the plaza. Gotta get your good luck charm for the night!

The night wouldn't be complete without seeing people wearing their underwear over their clothes.

A firework on it's way to the sky. (Being shot from 10 feet away of course)