Tra la la la la Trujillo

Sorry I’ve been such a bum about posting lately; I just don’t really have much for news (or pictures). Plus, I figured everyone would be busy with holiday happenings. Anywho, let me give you a run-down of our recent activities.

You wouldn’t think that biking along the coast in Peru would be brutal, but it was. The wind was strong and in our faces day after day. Our bikes aren’t the most aerodynamic vehicles when they’re fully loaded, so we ended up going awfully slow for some stretches. Also the desert is pretty desolate. Every now and then there was an irrigated patch of green that signaled we were nearing a town, but for the most part we were surrounded by mountains, scrub brush, and sand dunes. Sand dunes coupled with strong wind do not make for a fun ride, by the way. We cheated a bit and took a bus for the most barren stretch (210 kilometers without any towns), but even without that chunk we had plenty of barren kilometers.

So, I was super happy when we finally arrived in Trujillo. For some time we’ve been planning to stop somewhere for a while to give ourselves a break from biking and to get to know a community a bit better. A while back I had picked out Trujillo as a strong stopping point candidate. It’s a big city (750,000) with modern appeals such as a movie theatre, grocery stores, a shopping center, etc.; it is the cultural center of the north with many museums, nearby ruins, and colonial history; it is a warm city near the ocean and surrounded by desert (which reminds me of Phoenix); and it has an abundance of English schools. You see, I’ve been planning on getting a bit of English as a Second Language (ESL) teaching experience on this trip because I’ve been toying with the idea of switching the focus of my studies. All of these things made Trujillo our most likely stopping point, even before we arrived.

Luckily, we liked it once we got here.

We arrived on Monday, December 17th, and we’ve been staying in La Casa de Ciclistas for the last several days. This house is the stopping point for anyone biking in South America. Mike and I are bikers #905 and 906 to have signed the guest book. Lucho and his family have long been letting bikers crash at their place in exchange for only a small donation. I’ll let you check out the web site linked above if you want more info. It’s a pretty sweet deal, and we’re grateful for their hospitality.

While we’ve been camped out there, we’ve been busy seeking more permanent quarters in the area. (By permanent, I mean that we would like to stay in an apartment or casa for 1-3 months.) We still don’t have a place, but we do have a few possibilities lined up now.

I have also found an organization where I plan to volunteer teaching ESL. The school is called Espaanglisch and offers very cheap classes ($6-12 a month) to poor students in the area. Most of the students want to learn English so that they can get jobs in the local tourist industry or on cruise ships. I will be teaching two 90-minute classes 4 days a week in the evenings. Each class lasts one month, and if all goes well the first month, I may stick around for another. Teaching 4 days a week in the evenings will leave plenty of time for sightseeing in the area, too. I’m excited about volunteering; it should be very interesting to get to know the community and to get some practice in a real ESL environment. In exchange for volunteering, David, the founder of Espaanglisch, will give us some Spanish lessons. He’s also helping us find an affordable place to stay in the area. Now we just have to get Mike back on track with the computer situation.

Well, that’s really all the news I have for now, but I may soon be able to share a temporary address and other fun info with you. Hopefully we’ll get some pictures of Trujillo up as well; the Christmas decorations around the main Plaza de Armas are really nice and the city is beautiful.

We have invites to spend Christmas with Lucho and his family or David and his, but we’re thinking about maybe just staying at a nice hotel for the evening to celebrate with just the two of us. We’ll see.

At any rate, we’ll be missing everyone back home! I hope you all have a great Christmas! We love you!

4 Responses to “Tra la la la la Trujillo”
  1. Anonymous says:

    Thanks, Jackie, for the email–and this interesting post. So glad you’ve slowed down for awhile fromthe long biking treks. Sounds like a great place to spend some time–and will look forward to your pictures and posts. Love, gma

  2. Anonymous says:

    Jaci & Mike, sounds lovely. And exciting. And fun. My BEST Christmas present was spending time holding Avery & being with Z&A. What a WONDERFUL baby!!! My Christmas present for you guys (and the rest of the family) is a donation of a heifer to a needy family/village in honor of my friends & family through Heifer International. That seemed better than trying to send small, unneeded gifts to everyone. Don’t have an address for you – so this is your Christmas card. Have a LOVELY Christmas & the best EVER New Year. Much love, Aunt Kathy

  3. Deb says:

    Hi Guys!Jackie — have a merry Christmas! Mike, maybe you should introduce her to the “Jewish Christmas” traditions of Chinese food and a movie 🙂 Hope 2008 brings you lots of new adventures, plenty of good luck, paved roads and as little intestinal distress as possible. Love, Deb and Dan

  4. Anonymous says:

    Glad you are staying put for awhile.I think you need a break from the bikes!(: Trujillo sounds lovely & welcoming.Hope you are both feeling OK now & were able to enjoy whatever you did for X-mas. We had Mrs G’s sticky buns, too many cookies,several parties & some not great chinese food at a new buffet we had heard was fabulous.Call when you can. We wish you both a happy, healthy,safe year full of wonderful adventures!Love, Mom

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