Saturday, August 9, 2008

Livin' on a Prayer!

So, every trip I've been on, especially the study abroads, has had a few songs that have stuck out as sort of theme songs of the trip. For my UK trip, predominately it was Usher's "Yeah!," mostly because we heard it EVERYWHERE we went, but Madonna's "Like a Virgin" (one of the girls on the trip convinced this very manly performer that he should sing it to her), Weather Girls' "It's Raining Men" (sung by one of our own at karaoke!), and some others. In fact, I believe someone actually made a soundtrack for our study abroad because so many songs were associated with it.

Then, India was such an amazing experience, but so very difficult for me. Every trip I've taken has changed me to some extent, but that one was a DRAMATIC change, and I don't mean losing all of my body fat to become an unhealthy little skeleton. But, still, songs stick out, and they're happy songs that make me feel good. Katie and Brittany always said that "Here Comes the Sun" by the Beatles was the theme song, but I have other associations with that as well. Somehow I have this memory of my dad singing it when I was very little. Now, we listened to the Beatles growing up, but I would normally think of the Beach Boys when I think of my dad, but "Here Comes the Sun" just reminds me of being completely, 100% happy (the happy you can only be when you're little and don't really have anything to worry about) and listening to my dad. Of course, I have other memories of that song, too, because it is one of my favorite songs in the world. Anyways, the point is that it can't only be the India theme song for me. So, I would actually have to say that "Ek galasi, do galasi, teen galasi, char!" is the song that I most associate with India... YouTube it or something. Also, the song fromm Rang de Basanti whose name is escaping me right now. (Speaking of which, no one ever gave me a copy of that soundtrack!! I need to call these people up!)

So, what is the theme song of Peru, now that I am near the end? (You can never know what it is going to be ahead of time... only towards the end.) Well, it could be some of the "whine-o" that is very popular with everyone. It's a local music style that includes this singing style that is just whiney. (However, people use the whiney tone MUCH more here, just for everything... I totally would have fit in as an 11 year old!) It could even be some Hindi music, since that is fairly popular here. However, ironically enough, it is Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer" that takes the cake for me. Why? Again, it's played everywhere!! But beyond that, it has sort of embodied this trip for me. I first thought that it could be the theme song when I was on Huaynu Picchu , trying sooooo hard to climb to the top (I'm pretty sure it was before I had heard it on the radio here, too!!). In my head, I just started to play, "Woah, we're halfway there...." trying to boost myself along. Then, I kept thinking of that song the whole way, "It doesn't make a difference if we make it or not." Then, later in the week, I was feeling awful about taking classes more than 8 hours a day some days, without being able to hang out with the other students and not having ANYONE e-mail/call me for like 2 days. The song came on the radio of the cafe I was sitting in.
"Woah, livin' on a prayer." It cheered me up. Then, I've just heard it so much since then, especially when I am feeling down. It just comes up. For example, on the way back from Llanganuco after almost getting arrested and feeling AWFUL about not getting any more interviews there, like the whole world was this unjust place in which nice people got continuously screwed over. Then, here is Bon Jovi, singing to me that "Weve got to hold on ready or not. You live for the fight when its all that youve got" It was completely rejuvenating. "We'll make it, I swear." When I felt like I was going to be here FOREVER and all the Limenos were being super duper mean.... "We've gotta hold on to what we've got. It doesn't make a difference if we make it or not....."

So, today, after not being able to sleep because a marching band kept playing until 12:30 AM... and then getting up at 5:45 to head up to Pitec, only to find out that the super dark clouds head kept all of the smart people of Huaraz in their homes. So, instead, I sat in the rain and got some international tourists interviews and fed my whole lunch to a starving dog. Then, I had to walk down the moutain because there was no ride. I caught a collectivo after about an hour and a half (which isn't bad...) However, by the time I got Huaraz, I was soooo hungry and food here takes 8000 years to be ready. I went and sat down at the first open restaurant (they close for siestas sometimes) and was feeling icky and cranky. However, as I perused the menu and was told that the cook had left but would come back in 5 minutes from the market (which often means like 40 minutes...), "Livin' on a Prayer" came on the radio. By the second run-through of the chorus, I was rocking out, had a cold Pepsi in front of me, and saw the cook come back. The waiter thought I was hilarious, and my food was the QUICKEST I've ever gotten it here. So, today, I decided that "Livin' on a Prayer" is this Peru trip's theme song for me, and I wanted to share it with you. I have a number of funny/cranky observations for everyone, but I can't ruin the good vibes I've got going from the song. So, until next time, here's a fun big haired video:

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

No one reads anymore....

So, I just looked and saw that I did 3 blogs with no pictures and no videos... That's a disaster!! No one reads these days... Who is going to go through all 3 of those posts and actually look at them?? Well, besides my mother... Nadie. So, I decided I should throw some pictures in here just so people don't take one look and decide that they'd rather watch YouTube... Speaking of YouTube, it's actually easier for me to upload videos there and then embed them here. So, here are a couple for your enjoyment!!

So anyways, if you do decide to glance at the pictures and then go enjoy the wonders of YouTube, I don't blame you!! YouTube is a great delight for all. However, you could also check out my YouTube page which has some of my videos from the trip on it. There's a link on the sidebar of this page. They aren't that interesting, I know, but at the bottom, I have 3 of my favorite YouTube videos of all time: Techno Kittens, Charlie Bit My Finger... Again!, and The Mean Kitty Song (he looks JUST like Maddy did at that age!!!!). They are all definitely worth watching, even if mine are a little dry...

But anyways, here are some pictures for your enjoyment as I continue on my quest for interviews...

This is the view during sunset from the roof of my hostel. It's absolutely gorgeous. I don't know what I'm going to do without the mountains around me... Definitely something I'll miss.
This is an older picture, as is the next one, of Sandip in front of some ruins above Cusco. Which ruins? No idea, but isn't he just adorable???
This is me wanting a picture petting a burro, but refusing to get close to the burro in case he or she decided to charge/bite/freak out. I also think my clenched teeth are saying, "Just take the picture already... JUST TAKE IT!!" to Mr. Fussy Pants who likes to zoom in and out and fuss with settings and things.
This is an Incan woman who was letting people take pictures of her for money near the ruins, which are in the background. Again, these are some of the lesser known ruins, so I couldn't tell you the name off the top of my head, but I wrote it down somewhere... Anyways, they're a bit older, but I found a memory card that I hadn't downloaded yet!! Whooo!!

So, I've got four more foreign tourist interviews to go, and I need to get on that. I've just been dreading the look (which is barely anything compared to the Limenos look), and I really don't know how much more rejection I can take... However, duty calls!!! I can be strong for another week and a half, right?? Psh, for sure!! I am woman, hear me roar... Super Sarah!! Have a good week and a half... pretty soon I'll be there to bug you!!

With a hundred soles in my pocket...

Hey everyone!!

It's been a strange couple of days both because I've been in a really good mood and everything in Huaraz has just been insane. For example, I called my brother and Amy today, which was awesome!! However, I went to pay and I had 14 soles or a 100 sole bill. The bill was just a little over my change, but she couldn't break a 100 sole bill (I've had this conversation with EVERYONE who has traveled here... How do locals get around? The ATM spits out 100s but NO ONE takes them. It's very frustrating.) So, I said I would be right back (I see her a lot, so we're friends... You know the kind of friends where one of them pays the other one for services... WOW. That sounds awful but I can't think of how else to phrase it. She's the phone lady and I pay her. Sometimes we have conversations about Hindi music or what she wants to do with her life... That's friendly, right??) So, I go walking down the street to the gas station (grifa... I learned a new word!) where I ask if that lady could give me change for a 100. She affirms that I want soles and says yes. Then she proceeds to give me 100 soles.... in coins.

That's right, coins!! And only 30 was in 5 sol coins. A good 35 was in 1 sol coins and the rest was in 2 sol coins. My pockets are absolutely bulging. It's pulling my pants down... I'm going to have to stop by the hostel to drop some of this madness off. Plus, I think I have a 10 bill somewhere, maybe in yesterday's pants pocket. The tens are much more convenient, but even those, some people can't break them. It's insanity. The whole town is insane!!!

A little boy was walking down the street with his mom, but she stopped to look at a street vendor's goods, but he kept walking. I was stopped also, and he came over and wrapped his arms around my legs because he thought I was his mother. It was adorable, but I hadn't been paying attention, so I made a surprised noise. He looked up and started sobbing. Broke my heart. His mom turned quickly and scooped him up away from the crazy gringa, but I just raised my hands in front of me, the universal gesture of "Hey, sorry, it wasn't me!"

I also had this interview with this socialist tourist guide... he was crazy, too!! I liked it, though. He was funny, and I agreed with a lot of what he said. He was really angry with the United States, and I was like, I can't blame you. You get screwed over a lot in the name of capitalism... However, he was telling me that I needed to tell my government... and I'm like, I tell them what I can, but no one cares what I think. I can't even get all my friends, who love me, to read this blog... The U.S. government is NOT going to listen to me. Especially if I talked like he did. He was REALLY angry. However, I liked him. He was funny. It's people like him that are angry at the U.S., but aren't mean to me that make this more fun. Well, they don't have to be angry at the U.S. to be fun. But the people that have really strong opinions but don't yell at me.... I love them. I liked that guy so much that I bought an absolutely expensive and useless book from him. It's about geography in the Cordillera Blanca. It's mostly stuff I know already, but high five for the little socialist capitalizing on capitalism. Of course, he said that business is WAY down this year. I felt bad. He obviously really cared about the area and saw it crumbling before his eyes.

I don't know, I'm still striking out a lot with interviews, but people haven't been MEAN this week. I know what it is!! I only went to the bus station one day and left after everyone on four buses rejected me. None of them were particularly mean, although it probably would have hurt my feelings during the first couple weeks. The people from Lima like to glare. A LOT. They just get this look on their faces like you are the stupidest person they've ever met and they hate you for bothering them. That look crushed me every time for a while. Now it's just kind of funny. Well, it still bothers me, but I've learned not to be a glutton for punishment. If I feel bad vibes from the bus station, I leave before I want to cry. It's a much better system. Rather than sitting there because I feel like I have to, I sit as long as I can stand it and then go buy another DVD or hats for someone... It's nice.

Anyways, it almost feels like Huaraz (the city as an entity...) is trying to make up for a lot of the crap it's put me through as a whole. Funny, crazy incidents, but none of them involve late night phone calls to Sandip where I try to avoid crying in the phone booth... I'm exaggerating a bit. However, I do feel like I'm just happier now than I was for a long time. I don't know if I'm just seeing things differently or they ARE different. Who knows? Either way, if this keeps up, I'm going to miss Huaraz as soon as I leave. Funny, funny people. Although, I still think all drunk men should be locked up before they bother me... But I've learned to give them a wide berth and ignore anything they say. jerks..... The stories I could tell you would shock you!!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Happy 30th Birthday, Greg!!!

This is just a short note to wish my brother a Happy 30th Birthday!!! Yes, I know, with all of these old people around, it must be my youth and vitality keeping the family going... Just kidding!!! Anyways, I figured a nice public forum would be a good way to wish a happy b-day to my bro. I'm trying to reach him in all forms possible: calling, e-mailing, e-carding, blogging... Now if only I can guarantee that the skywriter I hired makes it over Greg and Amy's house at the right time. Or should I say the Wright time??? You know, for how much I HATE it when other people make Wright jokes, I sure do it a lot.

Anyways, feel free to leave a comment for my brother. I know most of you don't know him that well, if at all, but those that do (a.k.a Mom and Dad), feel free. I don't think he'll mind.

I am doing well, in case you're wondering. I totally got someone else to finish transcribing. I just have to do the translating afterwards. However, I think that'll be much easier without having to listen to the words 18 times while pouring over the dictionary to see what it is. So, I'm back to simply interviewing, although I am also trying to find a color printer somewhere that works so I can print some stuff out for INRENA. I looked today, but the only place I know that has a color printer says its broken for now. Which could mean that it is just out of ink, or it could mean that it died forever. You never can tell with bees... Yes, that is a Winnie the Pooh quote, and I am not ashamed to admit it.

Anyways, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GREG!!!! Many happy returns to you, as well. I hope your day is/will be awesome!!! Lots of love from your little sister in Peru!! I'll be happy to loan you anything from my new movie collection when I get back!!! (It's reached over 40 movies now... It's almost scary, especially since I rarely have time to watch them, so I'm really just collecting them at this point...)

Anyways, love you all!! Miss you tons!!! I'll be in the same country in less than 2 weeks!!! Shoot, I have a lot of work to do first....

Sunday, August 3, 2008

We are living in a material world, and I am a material girl.

Hey everybody!!

This has been a weekend of talking to a lot of people I haven't talked to in a while, which was nice!! My grandfather turned 85 on Friday, so I got to talk to him and my grandma for a while. They're doing well. Crazy as ever, but healthy. :) I made sure to wish him "Many happy returns," as he always does to me on my birthday. (OK, I've got to explain for all of you who don't get the joke. People say "many happy returns" for birthdays, but it's funny because my birthday is Tax Day, April 15th. Also, my mother is a long-time employee of the IRS... So, it's a joke I've been hearing since day 1, but now it's more of an inside joke with my grandpa.)

Then, on Saturday, I got to talk to practically everyone I've ever known... well, not really. However, I called to say hi to my brother at his birthday party. He's turning 30 on the 5th, which is exciting. It's finally getting to a point in life where I can be glad I'm the younger one!! :) Just kidding, Geg. However, it sounds like the superhero themed bash was a huge success. I'm utterly jealous of all the cool themed stuff that I heard about. I'm hoping that they will recreate the moment after I get back. They had Greg the superhero posters and t-shirts and all sorts of cool stuff. I think I need to hire Amy as a party planner. Oooh!! Better yet, I need to hire Amy as a wedding planner!!! All of the bridal party can wear superhero costumes, but I get to be Rogue from the X-men. Sandip would probably want to be Wolverine, but the two don't really go well together. I suppose that since I've already bought my dress, I should stick to the plan. Still, Amy always plans the coolest parties.

Anyways, it was nice to talk to my brother for a while. I'll probably call him on his actual birthday as well. That's the 5th to anyone who is interested. Send him an e-mail or something. He's turning 30, so you've got to get to him before his memory goes... All right, bad jokes about being 30 are done. NO! One more: My brother is 30, flirty and thriving!! (13 Going on 30) OK, now I'm done.

However, crazy of crazies, all my Columbus friends from school were at my condo last night!! I gave permission, so it was OK. However, that doesn't make me any less jealous of the party time. They used the new grill that Sandip snuck in while I've been away, and it sounded like a really good time. I'm sure they all had pickles, so you KNOW that I would've been happy. However, the really cool thing was that I got to skype the party and say hello to everyone. The sound between the two sides was terrible (they were all sitting kind of far away from the rinky-dinky microphone Sandip has), but still I could which blurry blob was which. I would say it was a success. I'm hoping to convince everyone to do it again sometime when I'm not only a few hundred pixels (in 4, black and white images... Sandip really needs a new computer). Hopefully when I get back we can have the blow-out bash of the century so I can see all the people that I've been missing.

Well, anyways, I got to talk to a lot of people this weekend. I'm not sure if I felt better or worse afterwards. It was nice to talk, but I initiated all of it... Plus, I missed 2 birthdays and 2 parties!! Lame. Who has the audacity of having a birthday when I'm not there?? OK, that's crap. But it did make me feel a little more homesick. However, the good news is that I only have 2 weeks here!! That is also the bad news, in terms of work and also that I will really miss Peru as soon as I leave. Hopefully that just means I'll come back soon.

OH! I almost forgot to explain the title. Part of it is a comment on my massive amount of purchases here and on ebay in the past few weeks. Bad Sarah!!! However, the other part is Madonna finally acknowledging her MI roots. Not even just Detroit, either!! She specifically mentions being born in Bay City or, at least, the article does. High Five to America's High Five!! She made a documentary and presented it at Traverse City. Anyways, here is the link:;_ylt=AvyzGkSGt6BIxVmso4z2mCVxFb8C

I'm going to head out. I think I have a plan to use some of my hard earned grant money to get someone else to transcribe for a while!!! Nice!!! We'll see if it works. Anyways, that means I am free to do more interviewing today... yay?? I hope everyone is doing well. I'm in the home stretch, but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate a good e-mail now and then. Especially if you all still expect me to bring you all back llamas. I have 8 requests for personal llama delivery service... that deserves an e-mail at the VERY least. I would say a care package, as well, but this last one is going on two weeks!! Well, instead, I will just expect to be showered in pickles when I get home.... Haha!! That's a vivid image. I'm imagining something like the scenes in movies where they throw all of their money into the air, but with pickles... That would actually be painful, getting hit with all of the pickles, pickle juice in your eye.... wow. Never mind about the showering me with pickles...

Love you all!! Miss you!!!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Attempting to embed a video...

Hey guys!!

I am all about the YouTube phenomenon now. I've got four videos up and more coming!!! Anyways, I thought I would try embedding one of them in my blog. Here it goes:

We'll see how that went now....

World's Oldest Joke... About Farts.

Hey everyone,

This post will be short and semi-sweet (like the chocolate chips!), but I HAD to share it with everyone!! While waiting for the super duper slow internet to let me upload another video on my new YouTube page (still waiting), I went to my iGoogle page to help me translate a phrase someone used in one of my interviews. I looked it up in my dictionary, but it's some sort of slang or something because it just didn't make sense. So, I went to my handy iGoogle translator to see if it could come up with something better. (It didn't, by the way...)

However, my iGoogle page also has news updates on it, and, of course, I got sucked in. So, I looked at some drama between Obama and McCain on the news when I noticed one of the top ten Reuters articles was about the world's oldest known jokes. The little anthropologist in me was fascinated, so I went ahead and got sucked in deeper.

Well, of course, the oldest joke is about farts. My dad will be thrilled. Well, Dad, personally, I think this means that your sense of humor is ancient history!! Or, I suppose, you could go with timeless. Either way, here's the link to the article:

The jokes aren't bad for old people... Hope you enjoy them!!