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Posts Tagged ‘adventure’

Can’t believe we’ve been on the road for exactly 6 months today!  We’re currently in Arequipa, Peru about to do a 3 day trek through Colca Canyon!

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Happy May!!!!

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As most of you already know, our first Workaway experience didn’t go as we had hoped. So when we heard back from Susan, a writer, & Dave, a former alternative radio host, documentarian, and lifelong musician in San Rafael, we were excited, but also a bit apprehensive. They were going to be fine with us staying as long or as short a time as we wanted, so we entered San Rafael knowing that if things didn’t quite work out we be able to get out. Fortunately, things with Susan, Dave, & their 13-year-old daughter Tivoli could not have worked out any better.

Tiv, Susan & Dave

Tiv, Susan & Dave

From the moment that we arrived till the moment that we left, we were treated like a new part of the family. We spent the days working and the nights getting to know one another, either at dinner or just hanging out on the patio talking about anything & everything. Susan & Dave could not have been more accommodating hosts and our living situation couldn’t have been more ideal (especially after our previous Workaway situation). We had our own house separate from theirs. It had two bathrooms, two bedrooms, a gigantic kitchen, and a sitting area where we could hang out, read or watch movies. (We apologize for the grainy images of our accommodation – our cheap point & shoot camera was acting up on our last day & the nice camera was charging.)

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Our house

The kitchen

Our kitchen

Our bedroom

Our bedroom

Kind of like our last Workaway, Lisa & I had different responsibilities and expectations. I was needed to help Dave with the long list of outdoor projects that he was simply unable to keep up with given their vast amount of land. Lisa, on the other hand, was given the tough balancing act of being a teacher/friend to Tiv. During the mornings they did several fun projects from photography & blogging to bracelet making & painting. Tuesday & Thursday nights, Lisa & Tiv took to the kitchen to cook dinner for the 5 of us. At times it proved to be a bit of challenge for Lisa to keep Tiv focused, but all in all it was a good experience for the two of them.

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Our Painting

Collaborative painting by Tiv, Susan & Lisa

Their pets, who we love almost as much as we love Norma & Silverstein!

Their pets, who we love almost as much as we love Norma Jean & Silverstein!

 I spent most of my time outside doing a number of different tasks. Dave and I started off doing most of our morning work together, cutting up logs for splitting & cutting/clearing out quick-growing saplings. As time went on, Dave kind of just let me do my own thing. Some days he had a specific task that he wanted me to get done, other days I was left to my own devices. I did everything from weed-whacking, cutting down trees, splitting wood, & hanging chicken wire (they had a bat problem in their cabana). I also cleared out all the weeds & silt build up in the small canal that ran across their property.

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We usually worked until around 12:30 or 1:00. In summer it just gets too hot to be working outside & plus you would be disturbing your neighbors during siesta. In Argentina & South America as a whole, businesses and people pretty much shut down around 1:00PM to take a break from the day and relax. They don’t start up again until around 5:00PM. It is a bit of shock at first to go into a big city or small town for that matter and see no businesses open, but you eventually get used to it and come to expect it, especially when the afternoon temperatures are pushing 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Triumph

 Susan & Dave were also gracious enough to take us to almost all the social gatherings of their friends. On Friday evenings they had a few Expat friends over for a friendly, low stakes game of poker. It was a pot luck so everyone brought food. There wasn’t a bad cook among them so we ate some great food. Sunday afternoons, we did pretty much the same thing at a friend of theirs house. Expect the game on Sunday wasn’t poker, but Ba-Chi-Ball. Even though we didn’t have our AARP cards, they let us play. They also took us to a few others parties, including a New Year’s Eve party where was had a great Asado (Argentine BBQ) which included a goat roasting over an open fire and some great people.

Us, Malcolm & Sue At Poker Night

Us, Malcolm & Sue (British Expats) At Poker Night

The Circus - Yeah, that's right!

The Circus – Yeah, that’s right!

New Year's Eve 2013

New Year’s Eve 2013

White water rafting in Valle Grande

White water rafting in Valle Grande

Our time with Susan, Dave, & Tiv was outstanding. They couldn’t be nicer people & they defiantly couldn’t have treated us any better. Our time in San Rafael flew by, but we couldn’t stay there forever. We’ve left San Rafael, but we have more now than when we first arrived. We’ve added 3 new family members that we can’t wait to see again.

SR Family For now, it’s goodbye to San Rafael & hello to Bariloche, the gateway to Patagonia!

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My newest thing right now is journaling.  I’m trying to get into the habit of recording some of the things that I have experienced and how they have affected me.  I tried journaling when I went overseas the first time & it turned into more of a daily log.  I would state the day, where I was and what I did, but I never reflected on any of those things.  I even saved most of my ticket stubs, passes & brochures as little mementos from the trip in hopes of putting some sort of collage together, but that never happened.  And who knows where that stuff is now.

This time I want to be more prepared & I think the best way to do that is by reflecting on the random events that happen in my everyday life.  I probably had a bit too much fun at Michael’s (craft store) this weekend.  I bought color pencils, stamps, ink & some other fun things from the scrap-book section.  I even got some glue stick for the little mementos I receive along the way.  I had my sights set on a moleskin journal, but they didn’t have one.  So, I practiced with some blank paper on Sunday. 

Well, I went straight to Barnes & Nobel yesterday, purchased my journal, went home & painted in it for 2 hours!  As I said earlier, this is more of a practice for the big trip.  But, I’m super pleased with the results. 

 Once our trip is closer I will purchase another moleskin or 2 & prep the pages before we leave.  That way I’ll have some interesting backgrounds in place & I won’t have to lug a bunch of paint + supplies on our journey.  If anyone has journaled extensively while on the road I would love to hear your suggestions.  Feedback is always welcomed! 

I think this will be a great way to remember the small stuff: the inside jokes, interesting people & food and the fun charades will have trying to communicate with those who don’t speak English.  (Don’t worry, we will learn the basic phrases in whatever country we are in, but there’s only so much you can learn when a trip is this big!)  I definitely feel more confident that once we get back we will have something to remind us of all the fun & adventure we had while we were away.

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