Monday, December 27, 2010

To end the year off...

Its been to long...

This post is to bring the year to an end.  This past year has been quit the trip.  From the negatives to the positives.  I would describe this year like a phoenix gone mad to a phoenix of hope.  

The beauty of Phoenixes is the idea of burning to ash and then being reborn through it.  It may seem like all is wiped clean, but that is not true... the phoenix holds all feelings and memories from it's past life.  This is true about all relationships that have been through hell and is in the process of healing.  I have never shared my entire life with anyone yet.  Of course those that have lived it with me know those parts.  I have hidden a lot about me for the past 20 years of my life.  

This new year, I would like to share more of who Tania is... Where she comes from... How she grew up... with who she grew up with... her home (Hawaii)... and her experiences.  These have been hidden well and for good reason.  With trust,  I have learned, there is pain and fear.  Two things that I have built thick walls around me to prevent from entering into me.  Two things that can help me be more free.  

This year pain and fear is what I invite.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Why am losing things?

Siento que Dios esta tomando todo mis cosas.

This past week I just lost another Cap. brother. I don't want to lose anymore. Brother Vincent Reyes really made my days when I was a volunteer in Detroit, Michigan. I still remember our morning hellos and good-byes. The times we would watch the news/movie/or baseball game in the brothers living room (I still don't know if that was really allowed, lol). He had such a glow to him when ever he was around and boy, could he tell a joke.

The third day of my volunteer time in Detroit, brother Vince told Derek, Gwen, and I that he was a recovering anorexic and the beefalo story. You could always count on him to lighten the room. I also remember when he made Manhattans for us and we just chilled out talking in the dining room sipping on her drinks.

Though all of these were great memories, I still think sitting at the same table with him for the Thursday night dinner were the best. We were quit the joke team, him and I. It was perfect when ever Bro. Ray was also there. He showed me that we do need to be grown-ups, but it doesn't mean that we can't play.

Muchisimas Gracias Hno. Vince por una vida maravillas. Sin ti estaria muy diferente.

Monday, June 21, 2010

To be happy where you are... [Estar feliz donde estas]

I am very happy where I am right now....

This is the most comfortable I have ever felt since being in Peru. They say you must die to live again. In the past week and a half we have received 2 live-in groups and one group that travels in and out from the states. This is about 30 US citizens. 9 high school students, 7 university students, and 11 global volunteers (plus their teacher and chaperones). It's been interesting to have the whole lot of them here. In my pabellon, I have 3 of the high school girls sleeping there. The work load has lessened quit a bit, but i still feel as if i am doing to much. The girls want to help but they have not become accustomed to the speed. Also, they have not learned yet how to clean correctly. I forgot how lazy we can be when it comes to cleaning. Cleaning here at CDLN is not just a pick-up what you see, but it is pretty much a deep clean everyday.

For the past two weekends, I got to go play bowling. I forgot how much I love the sport and how much fun it is to just get out. Our friends, Nya and Manuel always invites us over to their house to hangout. So, it has been a Saturday ritual for me.

My kids are great... they crack me up a lot. They can irritate me too, but what kid doesn't. I am now taking guitar lessons. It's hard, but I am not going to give up.

The Mask: I've been struggling with what people call 'the mask'. Who am I? Why do I pretend? I no longer wear 'the mask' (I think). I am who I am. I am crazy, silly, weird, and yes, ridiculous. If I wasn't, then I must be wearing 'the mask'. Am I serious... 80% of the time---NO! But, when I am you will know.

Alyssa leaves for the states this coming up weekend. It is going to be quit the experience for her. It will be great to get some news back about how the US is doing. I won't be back anytime soon, but when I do go back my mind will defianetly remain open.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

I ammmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm BACK!!!

"Yo solo se que no se nada"

Wow, has it been that long since my last blog? I am going to make it goal to do this once a week.

So, much has happened since March. Pain and happiness. I have learned quit a lot about myself. Like, how I am a mirror and can take nothing and make it something or how I can learn a dance by watching it once all the way through (this helps a lot in Alabanza).

Presently, I am the only one of us that is still considered single. Though with time that may change, lol. Life in Peru is ending, but at the same time it is just beginning. For me, I am getting more involved with different activities here. Today, I helped with music for Confirmation and also helped out in the class. I think I might continue to do this if they would like the help. I am still singing for mass.

Oh, for those that don't know... I am presently in Nino Jesus the youngest house. I got switched before the year started. I go to help Sonrisa in the afternoon with homework and clothes. I really like working in NJ because the kids are just more apt to speak to you even if you don't know the language well. A bonus is that one of the tutors has a infant son and well, I love baby's so that pretty much says it all.

I have three friends in Peru and I need to figure out how to see them. Well, I will let you all know if I do in the next blog. Chau....

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Beginning of a new year and Celebrating a birth

Well, Since the time that all the kids came back life here at CDLN has been quit busy. A lot of the beginning dealt with the getting use to a new schedule and the new freedom that we as a community felt we needed. So, my work schedule is a little different then before.

M-R: 5:30 or 5:45am in Nino Jesus
6:30am Breakfast
7:00am Cleaning
8 or 8:15am Laudes/ Mass
9:30am- 12:30pm Free Time
12:50pm Picking up the kiddies
1:45pm Lunch
3:30p-5:30pm In Sonrisa to help with homework
5:30pm Back in Nino Jesus 6:15pm Dinner
7:00pm Alabanza
7:45pm Lavanderia
8:30pm Done

On Fridays, I work half day. Saturday is a no work day. Sunday my schedule goes back to M-R schedule (except for Salidas). On Tuesdays, we have reflection time and on Fridays we do community dinner. On Saturdays, we try to do a community activity in the morning or afternoon. It's been quit a change from what we were doing last school year, but I believe we are getting into the hang of things.

I like it because it gives me a chance to do other things like make a picture frame for our spray paint:
Woke up at 5:47am (I am usually in my pabellon at 5:30am). Had to wake up Nicole (my German friend who is leaving on the 24th) and we had to do a rush dress. Anita had the kids sing 'Happy Birthday' before we left for breakfast. Went to morning mass, but there was no brothers so Hno. Pedro lead it. At the end, they showed up and I thought we were going to have to do it all over again. But, instead Hno. Sergio had me go up for a birthday blessing. It always gets me when they do blessing song. It was beautiful. A lot of picture taking :S

I wanted to go sit down right away, but then the hugs came on. If that was all for that day, I would have been satisfied. But, that was just the beginning. Went back to my pabellon and finished cleaning. Then, Anita told me "Lets go". Two of my ladies from Sonrisa came over and they plus my ladies of Nino Jesus took me out for lunch. It was lovely and very filling. Pollo de brasa, tallarin, breadpudding, papas fritas, and Inca Kola YUM!

Back at CDLN, for more B-day greetings. Took a walk to the market place to get a call card for the next day. Got back and found out there was no Alabanza. I was sad because I love Alabanza. But, oh well... I had a party I needed to attend. The fiesta was memorable. Hno. Pedro, Hno. David, Cesar, Jocelyn, Gabriela, Dina, Guilla, Guilla's little daughter, Anita, Laura, Baby Francisco, Alyssa, Michael, and Jay were all there. Danced with Hno. Pedro and Francisco. Hno. David brought over some Eucharistic wine (me gusta).

Such a beautiful day filled with beautiful people. Best B-day EVER!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The kids are coming soooooooooon...

The Past is the textbook of tyrants; the Future the Bible of the Free. Those who are solely governed by the Past stand like Lot's wife, crystallized in the act of looking backward, and forever incapable of looking before. ~Herman Melville, White Jacket

Looking back I see that I have come a long way to making a good future. Currently, life is waiting for the future. In about two weeks we will be receiving our new kids. A little over a week from that day we should have all our kids. My soul can't wait anymore.

On 1 of February, the tutors came back from vacation. We had our first staff meeting today which was fun. It was run by the psychologists who work with our kids. One of the questions that was asked was "What do you want to be/ do this year?" It was hard to think about it because for them it is long term. But, as for me it is short term. It also reminded me that I have less than a year with this organization. I guess for me it would be "What do you want to be/ do before the end of this year?" OMG! I want to do so much. Though knowing me, service will override most opportunities to travel. It's a curse and a blessing to love serving.

Since, being back from Ica I have been helping out with random things. Like office work and making wine. The San Juan House has a mini vineyard and we are in the season of grapes. So, hno. Polo let us help with picking them and then smashing them. It is quit the experience. The transformation from clear liquid to purple is beautiful. I can't wait to go back to Ica for the winemaking festival in March. Do I hear birthday present? LOL!

Currently, I feel at home. I can finally call CDLN home. We are all like family here and everyone cares about everyone. In a way, I can feel the OHANA.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The new year....

Since the new year began... I have not been in Lima for to long. I have been traveling which has been a great change for I believe all of us. First, we spent time in Arequipa which was relaxing and new for us. Arequipa is a beautiful place with beautiful green land and mountains. We stayed in Centro Arequipa at a hostal called "Amazing Homes". It is a hostal run by a family. The owner, Alex, was very hospitable. He helped us with getting things set for our Colac trip and bus tour. Also suggested an awesome/ cheap restaurant and made us breakfast if we were in.

For the first day, we just walked around Centro to get familiar with the streets. Then, the next day we took the bus tour. There was two ladies who rode on the same cruz del Sur as us. So, we had them to experience Arequipa with. They were really awesome a mother and daughter team. They are from Lima too. We got to see a lot in 4 hours. Went to ' Alpaca del Mundo' which is like a alpaca farm and shop for tourists to see. Then, we went more to the out skirts of Arequipa. We went to a museum, a tour in Sachaca, and the Sandia Molina just to name a few. After t he tour we had lunch with our friends at a Chifa, lol.

The day before Colca (Monday)... we visited two places... Santa Catalina and the Museum with Juanita in it. Santa Catalina is a categral for the sisters. It is almost it's own city. It's pretty huge. At the museum we learned about Juanita. A young girl who was chosen as a sacrfice. Whose body they found and was fortunately still at this museum in Arequipa. The workers said that she gets moved around a lot because a lot of people want to see here. Her body is mummified.

Tuesday - Wednesday: Colca Canyon-- The best and toughest part of the Arequipa trip. We left our hostal at 3:15a and got to the cruz del condor by 9am. Didn't see any Condors. Headed to our starting point which left us with 7 hours of hiking. Half way through we had lunch a city (Lomo saltada and soup). Then ended up at the Oasis where we spent the night. The next morning Alyssa and I got up to start hiking up hill at 4:30am. But, we didn't leave until 5:40am. 1/3 way up one of the mule rides asked me if I would like to ride the mule. I didn't want to slow Alyssa down anymore so I opted for the ride. It was scary and hard because I am the type of person that controls the direction. Plus my mule was a edge walker O_O

After breakfast we went to a hot spring. It felt so good to soak my bites from the night before. They still itch like hell though. My first time in a hot spring. After that we had lunch at a all you can eat spot. It was yummy. Then, it was back to Arequipa. We ended up meeting up with people we met on the hike to go out for a drink. It was a great two days.

Thursday, we decided to relax a bit. Took a walk into town for lunch at Mamut. They make great sandwiches. Friday, we headed back to Lima. Stayed in Lima for the daytime and then headed out at night for Caraz. If you aren't use to that, I suggest comming back the day before.

Got into Caraz on Sunday at 6 am. Had Breakfast with Hno. Mariano and then went to Pueblo Libre which was where we were staying. It wasn't what some were expecting. It was a treat home for more mission retreats. I liked it or was atleast fine with it. Mass was at 11am. It was a nice mass.... Hno. Larry helped out. Then, we had a tour that was set-up by Hno. Filberto. Our Taxi/guide was named Alan. At lunch, 3 got Pachamanca and 2 got Parilla. Pachamanca is a huge plate of: 2 different types of potatoes, meat, chicken, habas, Choclo, and a choclo desert. Usually one plate can feed 2 people. Parilla is just grilled chicken with fries.

Then, Alan took us to a lagoon called llangucho in the mountains. It was a raining and cold. But, the view was miraculous. It was beautiful. Me gusta mucho. There was waterfalls and the walls looked like they had windows cut into them. Using the bathroom was not fun. The water to wash our hands were freexing cold and we had to go out into the freezing cold air right after that. I hope to go back when it is much sunnier.

Then, it was back for our first dinner. Hna. Consuelo was our cook for the retreat and she really took care of us. Her meals we so filling and they were delicious. I loved it. I'm ot much of a meat fan, but if served I will eat and I devoured her lomo saltada. It's the best I have ever had. Her Tallarine rojo was delicious tambien.

For our first, day of retreat we took a walk up to a cross in the mountain. This was the smallest of two that we did. It was a great time of reflection. At the top there was a young girl. At frist she hid from me but after awhile she showed herself. She lived about an 1 1/2 walk from that spot. She ended up being our photographer (it was her first time using a camera). She was sweet. I also gave here some sweets.

The next day we took a hike up Huancaran the bigger mountain from teh bottom you see 2 huge crosses. But, when you get to the top there are three. Consuelo told us that they have mass up there. There are two ways to climb this mountain. By going us the face of it or to get driven to a point at the top adn walking for about an hour. We decided the second.

It was nice to do it as a group. The views were worth it. Especially, the view of the Andes. From the top you can see all teh surrounding places: Caraz, yungay, ongo, wasura.

After the hike, we got back in time for Consuelo to give us lunch which was not really expected. Every morning at 7:30am, we had mass. This was a bit refreshing because it was done in English. I was surprised I still remembered the English being that for the past 5 months I have been doing mass in Spanish. I wander how it will be in a year from now?

It was really good to have Hno. Larry here in Peru. It is always refreshing to have someone from the states. So, this is an invitation to you... Come to Peru and visit. Until next time. Feliz Ano Nuevo!