Trials and Tribulations of Third-World Living


It’s been quite a delay since my last post. Sorry! Here are the updates.

We’re pretty settled in our apartment now, and we’ve been teaching for a little over a month now. We both like it, but there are certainly frustrations. It’s common for our students to cancel several classes a week right now, because it is summer here and they go on vacation. Unfortunately, that means we don’t get paid! Zac has two students on a a 2-week vacation, which kills about a fourth of his paycheck.

I have the same issues, but I’m teaching kids as well as adults, and I’m working with several different schools. This helps me keep my schedule full. I think we’ve officially reached equilibrium though, and I’m hoping we won’t have to take any more money out of the bank! The hardest thing is communication. Even when we have advanced students, they have a very indirect communication style, so it is rare to get firm confirmations of schedules, or for them to say, “no, I don’t understand.” That’s a challenge, but we’re working through it.

Other than that, we aren’t doing much. We spend a lot of time traveling to and from classes, and preparing for classes that may or may not be canceled!

This week, Zac and I agreed to eat a vegetarian diet, with zero alcohol, and zero sweets. I really wanted to challenge my kitchenability, and we both wanted to save a little money. It was quite an adventure in the kitchen. I made Quinoa Spinach Cakes, Hawaiian “Sloppy Joes,” Lentil Meatballs, naan bread, beet and white bean hummus, and more. It was actually kind of scary in there, but I’m most proud of that naan bread because I’ve never made any kind of bread before! You’ll see a working link to my food site soon, but here’s a picture!


My foot is not in good shape, so running is not possible. I went to the doctor last week, who said I might have another three months of waiting to do. Next week I’ll go get another X-Ray to see if my fears are true, and the fracture has gotten worse. I did buy a bike this week though, which is great! I need a helmet and a lock and I”m good to go. Buying the bike isn’t something I could have done alone. Central Lima is the true heart of the culture here. This is where tourists go to get robbed, and where locals go to buy anything. We have a friend here from Denmark who has lived here for a decade, married a Peruvian, and has two kids. He took me to Central Lima to get a bike, and I’m glad he did! He took care of haggling and negotiating, and I just said thinks like, “no rosada, mas alto siento, esta bien.” Clearly not perfect Spanish, but translates to like, “no pink, a taller seat, it’s good.”


This week, Zac suffered from the worst sickness I’ve ever seen. Serious food poisoning with all the fixin’s. We eat all the same things, but I didn’t get sick. Not sure why, but I’m glad I was well so I could take care of him. We’re talking violent shaking, fever, vomiting, and more. It wasn’t pretty. Don’t worry though, he’s much better today. He spent about 24-30 hours in bed, with me forcing liquids and antibiotics and crackers on him. He’s still on a mostly liquid diet, but he’s graduated to fresh naan bread and oatmeal.

As if having bodily fluids come from every orifice wasn’t bad enough, it happened to fall on the same 3 days that the WATER STOPPED WORKING. We got water back after about 12 hours, but haven’t had hot water since about 6am Wednesday. Luckily Zac and I were up and showered by the time it stopped working. Yay for early birds! We can’t even set foot in the shower though, it is covered in grime and gravel that came up from the drain. Today’s “shower” was with boiled water and washcloths. What a glorious life we lead!

Other than the ridiculous week, things are going okay here. We’re looking forward to having some more leeway in our budget to do things, and to making some other friends our age! We don’t get out much as of right now, but we do meet our Peruvian friend Maria for lunch or dinner about once a week, and we might take a trip to Machu Pichu with her soon!

Here are some pictures of our latest meal with Maria. Fusion food is huge here, and Japanese – Peruvian food is one of the most popular. It’s not like sushi in Japan, it’s more like California sushi, but Peruvian. This roll literally tasted like Ceviche Sushi, and it was delicious.


When we drink, we try to stick with the Peruvian beers and Pisco, and I’m a huge fan of the Pisco Sours. They’re a little too sweet for my palate though, so maybe I’ll have to learn to make them myself. :)


 (Zac opted for an Asahi this time though.) Well, that’s the update!

Categories: Food, Peru, Teaching English | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Trials and Tribulations of Third-World Living

  1. wow what an adventure!

  2. Glad you posted. I was just telling Monika during one of our runs that I was thinking of you.

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