Monday, July 27, 2009

Sample of Work.

Here are just a few of the things I've worked on for Ascender Peru.

Nametag for our volunteers

Gala Program

Logo for greeting cards

Award Certificate.


Brain Dump. Gala. Cuzco. Home.

The gala is over. We'd been working non-stop preparing for the gala since we arrived here.

Let me try to explain the gala.
The gala is an event that Ascender has every year (in Lima as well as Ecuador and Bolivia) to raise money locally to support their yearly programs; it usually consists of an introduction, awards and recognitions, dinner, musical guest, and auction. Unfortunately, Lima has struggled the most out of the three South American galas since they started having a gala in 2007, and usually are lucky to break even (this means selling enough entrance-tickets to make up for the costs to have the gala). This year they didn't break even. Their sights were set a little too high I think, and a lack of support/diligence/intelligence from the accountant was a major pitfall. The location in which the gala was held was a club/bar called Rompe y Raja- really cool place, but not meant to have galas, and WAY too expensive to rent (since when it is usually rented out, it's not meant for the renter to make a profit, just to have a party, get it?) also they raised the price on us last minute (a 19% tax!) and changed their minds about letting us earn money from alcohol purchases; all of which could have been avoided, or at LEAST understood earlier, if our accountant had done the things he said he was going to do and had kept current relations with the location that HE had insisted on for the gala, but oh well. So after coming to terms with the huge sum that we had to pay this club, we just crossed our fingers that people would come to Rompe y Raja just because it's a well-known club in Lima- not much luck, maybe ten people came just to come, and four of those left in a huff. Our program was supposed to start at 8, and nobody showed up until after 9- this may have been due to the fact that we're in South America, and that this certain club usually doesn't open until 10:30. Diana and I were put on ticket-duty, in a teeny room with a teeny ticket window for most of the night; scrambling to find people on the list, see if they had or hadn't paid, how much they were supposedly told they had to pay so we could charge them, then figuring out whether or not we were supposed to give them a dinner ticket or not, where they were supposed to sit, and how to communicate that to Jose Luis who was seating people. It was a mess to say the least. Haha, and on top of that, we have crappy math skills and were dealing with conversion between American Dollars and Peruvian Nuevo Soles.. where was our accountant at this time...? Good question.
So I started with the bad news so I could end with the good news- the really cool thing was, two local volunteers David and Jenny (who were really helpful the whole night) came in and took over for Diana and I so we could go eat around midnight. We got to watch Bartola sing, the food was delicious, and after the show we danced with the remaining people -just Ascender employees and spouses, ourselves, and friends from the neighborhood who had so graciously donated. We even got some employees to dance with us, it was really fun! Some more good news is that the auction went really well, and we also had silent donation slips which a few people donated with; these donations weren't enough to make us break even, but they helped! Also, throughout this whole preparatory gala process, we've been making connections with a lot of businesses who, although could not attend the gala, are very interested in donating equipment, materials, time and manpower to Ascender Peru. We are praying that the staff here will use these connections and build relationships with these companies. Why buy the materials for a school when you can have them donated??
I have a personal belief that everything happens for a reason, and even though the gala was not a success as far as raising funds goes, perhaps the future relations with these businesses will turn out to be worth more than we could have possibly made with the gala.

Diana, Taylor, Rob and I are leaving for Cuzco. In Cuzco we're going to Saqsaiwaman (sexy woman), Valle Sagrado, Oyllantaitambo, and Pisaq. Then we head to Aguas Calientes via train; it's the base town to Machu Picchu. Then the train back to Cuzco, and from Cuzco, a superlong bus ride to Puno where we'll visit Lake Titicaca, visit the floating islands, but stay on a real island for a couple nights, then take another bus to Juliaca where we'll catch our plane back to Lima. The trip is going to be packed with adventure, and I'm super stoked. I'm really grateful that Diana and I are going to be with the boys so we can do things that might be a little sketchier if it were just us two girls.

When we get back, Diana and I will only have a week left in Lima. We want to work our hardest to secure certain relations with certain businesses, then also we plan on doing as much hands-on work in Huaycan as possible.

I'll be coming home broke. Broke but happy. Happy to see my family, friends, and as some of you know, to see James for the first time in two years. I'm still lost as to where I'm going to be working, AND where I'm going to be living... Two really huge things.. but everything will work out. I just get lucky. Also, I have really great friends.

I hope you all know I love you. No matter where I am :)

Monday, July 20, 2009



They've been a nonstop nightmare of trying to get to and from my desitinations. I would have gladly paid a couple hundred extra dollars to avoid crappy layovers, crappy websites, crappy costomer service, and total uncertainty in regards to my flight actually even existing... GAH SO FRUSTRATED.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Saturday, July 18, 2009

It had a foot on it... Poor baby...

Cuy day. Ever heard of cuy? It's a traditional food of certain South American highlands... oh, it's also known as guinea pig. My portion was a leg (drumstick??) with the foot, hip, and all.

Thank you Erasmo.

We actually had a really good time with Erasmo today. He loves hanging out with us- he took us to El Centro... which is in "the center" of Lima. Very cool sights and very many whistles and stares. The streets and walkways are flooded with people selling things, and everyone is selling the same five things. Snacks, plastic toys, magazines, jewelry, and snacks. I buy snacks. well.. I buy chocolate. UNSOL!
Then we went to Erasmo's house where his wife and maid prepared juanes, salad, fried potatoes, and cuy. It was a good meal- nice and traditional. Then of course, you can't go over to Erasmo's house without singing kareoke for at least an hour... I just had a good time hanging out with Erasmo's little four-year-old girl..AH she is sO adorable.

Aaaaand a movie night! Batman. It's always dark in Gotham.

Hug your mother.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


"They tried to make me go to rehab, I said NO NO NO."

(warning, this is not a Peruvian)
So I'm thinking about starting a Rehabilitation Clinic for the Peruvians.
It will be full. I'm pretty sure 92% of Peruvians will benefit.
Most Americans probably don't know the sad statistics, but over 9 out of 10 Peruvians are addicted to their car horn.


LIFE IS SHORT, they honk.

If you happen to take more than point five seconds accelerating after a stop light, you will be repremanded.

Monday, July 6, 2009

July <3

Getting ready for our Gala.

Celebrated 4th of July.

I want to live in morocco.

I dunno.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Pow Pow YeAH!!!

Super-spanish-speaking-awesome-woman yeah!

So here's the scoop, I just went to the market to buy an avocado (palta) and a plantain (platano) to spice up my lunch time. On the way to the market (because the one with the good produce is a few blocks away) I stopped to talk to one of the neighborhood guards.. oh wait, I talked to him? YEP, in freakin Spanish. Cuz that's what my homies speak down hurr. Yeah, I did have to have him repeat himself a couple times, but who cares? I had a CONVERSATION. haha.
Then, when I got to the little hacienda I had another CONVERSATION with the two ladies who worked there. YEAH, about Peru, and how the food and produce here are so great and inexpensive and yummy. And I'm sure I sound like a complete gringa with a gross accent, but as long as they're smiling, I'm happy.

Just thought I'd tell the world about my triumph.

Oh, and my lunch was bomb.

Peace and love.
(And the splckr isn't working, so sorry for my pesima spellins.)