Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

This Weekend in Pictures (mostly)

Time September 17th, 2014 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

Huaca Pucllana

We visited, an archaeological site from the Wari culture (500-1000 AD) that was right in the middle of Miraflores on Saturday.

Huaca Pucllana

Huaca Pucllana

It was a fun and interesting tour.  And when I say ‘right in the middle of Miraflores’, I mean like this:

IMG_7053

Also at La Huaca, an obligatory alpaca pic:

IMG_7031

Mistura

My orientation team, the Gringos Greenos

My orientation team, the Gringos Greenos

Back in orientation, my team won free one-day tickets to Mistura, a two-week long food festival that was amazing.  It had the vibe of a small scale Lollapalooza or similar music festival, except the focus was (obviously) on food, and the bathroom lines were more reasonable.  It was right on the beach, and there was even sun!

Mistura!

Mistura!

I spent 7 hours there, eating and sampling all different sorts of food, and only spent about an hour not walking from food booth to food booth… I was watching a live food-network type show.

Some foods I ate:

  • Guinea Pig – tasted like dark turkey meat
  • Alpaca – tastes like a really lean steak.  Bien rico (really good).
  • Lots of Ceviche  – probably one of my favorite foods of all time… my host mom is going to teach me how to make it on Saturday!
  • Leche del Tigre – the juice of ceviche (lime, spices, seafood, other stuff).  It tastes like standing on the edge of a windy cliffside overlooking an erupting volcano.  Mildly addicting.
  • Shrimp soup
  • Sushi
  • Fried rice
  • Brownies
  • Chocolate
  • Maricuya Sour (really good Pisco drink)
  • Tons of samples of chocolate, coffee, and other random things

I spent more money than probably any one else that I went with, and felt a little guilty… the total cost was about $30.

Peruvians are extremely proud of two things: food, and the Incas.  I haven’t been to the Andes yet (I’m going next week), but the pride in food is definitely well supported.

The APPETIZER of a great meal I had today for about $2.70 (partially eaten)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

The Super-Good Birthday Cake Alexandra Brought Today (partially eaten)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Asides

I have only gotten one legitimate and specific question about American culture while I’ve been here (not including the standard broad ones like “What is the US like?”), and it was concerning the portrayal of ‘Southerners’ in South Park.  Of the many Peruvians I’ve met who have been to the US, the majority have been only to Miami and Disney World.

I saw a Radiohead cover band at a bar this weekend.  They were quite good.  Also, in an effort to further emulate the band, they never talked to the audience, and didn’t play “Creep”.

Probably the most glaringly obvious example of machismo I have seen in Peru yet.  This is a normal can of spray paint:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I was talking to somebody in one of my classes today, and he told me about this video.  It’s awesome.

Beautiful Day

Summer almost here!

Summer almost here!

Share

“Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.”

Time November 2nd, 2012 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

Embarrassing…only half this post went up and I’m not sure why. So here it is again, but different because of course…I didn’t save the original!

Last weekend I took my first international weekend trip since I’ve been to Ireland! I traveled quite a bit before arriving in Galway but it was my first trip to Hungary (the country where my dad’s side of the family immigrated from), and the first time where coming back to Ireland felt like coming home.

Unfortunately, a few nights before I left my wallet was stolen at a bar in Galway. In all honesty it was probably more my carelessness that enabled someone to take it than anything else since I’m the only one from my program to experience any kind of problems here.

Luckily my immigration card wasn’t in my wallet but I did lose some money, my NUIG student ID, and most unfortunately, my debit card. On a positive note, I have some amazing friends who helped me out and loaned me money while I cancelled my card and ran out of the cash I had at home. Since I opted not to open an Irish bank account and my bank is a smaller state bank, I had to wait for them to send my card to my home address in the US and have my mom forward me my card here, where it got stuck in customs for a few days because it needed some kind of special form to be filled out. Then there’s no post on Saturdays and Sundays and this past Monday was a bank holiday so again the post service wasn’t open. I finally received my card though, and all is well. But a little word of advice: maybe don’t bring your card with you when you go out and also have some kind of contingency plan with your bank so that there’s a faster way for you to regain access to your money!

Luckily, this little hiccup did not stop me from having an amazing time in Budapest! It was really one of the best trips of my life and I am already trying to find a way to return.

Alleyway in Budapest. St. Stephen’s Basilica is in the background covered by the smog/haze that seemed to coat the city.

View of the Danube River and the Hungarian Parliament building from the bridge leading to Margaret Island.

Hungarian lace and linen at the little market we ran into on the streets of Budapest.

Me standing on the Chain Bridge that leads over the Danube to the Budapest Castle, it was absolutely beautiful!

Stall at the market where the delicious Transylvanian Chimney Cakes were being roasted over a coal burning fire. These were so good and unique tasting that we went back the next day for more!

And of course we had fun at our hostel when they organized an open mic night and some of the guys sang part of a song…over and over again! [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jmcj1Ilqysc&feature=share[/youtube]

Since I didn’t have much money, I had a nice excuse to have a weekend exploring Galway, something I should have done long ago. I went to the fresh market Galway has on Saturdays downtown, and on Sunday walked to Salthill, a suburb right on the beach outside of Galway.

We got some delicious hot and fresh donuts from one of the stalls at the fresh market! Seriously it was so fresh and hot that it got squished from being in the bag for only a minute or so.

Fresh carrots and onions from one of the vegetable stands at the market.

One of downtown Galway’s main roads on an early Sunday afternoon.

Galway Bay, on the walk to Salthill

View of Salthill from the diving platform…where we saw several people swimming in the freezing cold water, some of them not even wearing wet suits!

The little explorations of Galway came at just the right time, though. After having so much fun in Budapest I was feeling the excitement of Ireland starting to wind down after being here for 2 months (especially since school was starting to get a little more serious with midterms and essays and presentations due and that was what I had to look forward to on my return from Hungary), I was just feeling a little tired of Galway. But exploring the city and the surrounding areas got me excited about Ireland again. Sometimes you just need to change up your routine a little to shake off any bad feelings.

Share

Simple Pleasures

Time November 22nd, 2011 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

I’ve often found that my best days are the ones that are filled with simple pleasures, and today was no exception. I started my morning with a trip to the gym, got in a good chest workout, and then made myself a protein shake. It’s not a trip to the gym unless I take down at least a liter and a half of water, so by the time I was actually ready to start my day I was well hydrated and feeling good. This was simple pleasure number one.

On the way out of the gym I saw my friend Derek and his girlfriend Kaylee, who had just come back from looking at the deer in the Magdalene deer park. They invited me to join them for lunch in the Covered Market. I love the Covered Market. There is a cake store there where they make the cakes right in the window, and a butcher where they skin the animals right in the window as well. The whole place exudes a distinct sense of British freshness. I agreed, of course, and Derek’s roommate Spencer came with us as well. Thus, I got to spend some time with several of my best friends. This was simple pleasure number two.

We had only been walking for a little bit when Spencer decided that today was the day he was going to pull the trigger on a poster he had seen at Blackwell’s Art and Poster shop, a Mario Testino original photograph that featured a scantily clad woman staring lustily past the camera. God, she was beautiful. If I ever find that girl, I’m going to ask her to marry me. But the woman’s beauty had nothing to do with simple pleasure number three, which was my own decision to pull the trigger on a poster by Edmund Welf entitled “Sii Furbo.” The hand drawn poster features a red fox in the snow, and I love foxes, so it had captured my attention from the moment I laid eyes on it. I gave Spencer money to buy the poster for me and ran across the street to relieve myself of the liter and a half of water I had consumed in the gym, which was simple pleasure number four.

Our next stop was the Covered Market, and to my great pleasure we were able to find a table at Georgina’s. It was, of course, simple pleasure number five. Georgina’s is a restaurant for those in the know, meaning that many people are surprised when I tell them it exists; it is the only store on the second floor of the Covered Market, and is only accessible by a small, inconspicuous door that leads to a brightly painted set of stairs. Other than Pie Minister, Ben’s Cookies, The Cake Shop, the milkshake store, Brown’s Café, the barber shop, the watch store, Hot Chocology, and the weird little stand out front that sells Brazilian donuts, Georgina’s is my favorite place in the market. I got a coffee, and although it was terrible it was simple pleasure number six, because ever since I went to Italy I love coffee, and although I love it I try to drink it as sparingly as possible because of the negative health risks associated with caffeine.

I then put the finishing touches on a three thousand word essay about James Joyce’s Dubliners, which was simple pleasure number seven, because I never want to spend any more time than I have to writing essays. Finishing at a reasonable hour allowed me to join my friend Jack down at Mansfield College for a little game of poker, which was my eighth simple pleasure of the day, because through a combination of conservative play and luck I managed to end the evening up two pounds; this led to simple pleasure number nine, which was the fruit bag I bought from McDonald’s in exchange for one of my two pounds. I walked back to St. Catherine’s, up a pound and having spent a simple day enjoying the both the sights of Oxford and the company of my friends, and fell into clean sheets.

That, my friends, makes an even ten.

Share