Friday, July 22, 2011

Viva El Peru

Our family went to Peru the other week with a group called Ascend Alliance. We lived in a village near Cusco and helped build a cafeteria for the school there. We lived in the homes of the villagers and got to interact with them a lot. At first I was nervous to use my limited Spanish from junior high but as the week went on I was more willing to try and make mistakes. We also got to see Macchu Picchu which was amazing. We took 579 pictures while we were gone so it was a bit hard to narrow it down but here are a few pictures of what we did and everything. It was such a cool experience to be working alongside my family members helping other people.

Our first morning there. Pumped. Ready to work.

My mom bought this beautiful runner/scarf that was hand-made by this lady in our village of Amaru. Love it.

We had a dentist in our group and he pulled out a bunch of teeth because there was so much rotting and decay. It was alarming to see how bad these people's teeth were. Jason (the dentist) said that if kids in America had this bad of teeth they would have to be reported to Child Protection Services. Crazy crazy.


This little girl was OBSESSED with my mom. She had to get 7 teeth pulled and she didn't want to let go of my mom the whole time. She really loved my mom a ton. I'm actually surprised she left my mom long enough to take this cute picture with Jayne.

I was a little scared of the llamas roaming around Macchu Picchu because I thought they might spit on me so my dad is trying to show me in this picture that getting close to the llamas is ok. Also please notice his Peruvian bucket hat that he got just to bug me because he knows how much I hate bucket hats.

Macchu Picchu baby. I would definitely agree it is one of the wonders of the world. During our tour there we were very concerned about who could take the coolest pictures. One of which consisted of Matthew ripping off a rock from a 700 year old Incan wall and then pretending to sacrifice me. Our tour guide Esmerelda then informed us that the Incans didn't participate in human sacrifice. Thank goodness for the information one can learn from a tour guide.

I mostly just like my dad's hat in this.

Out on a nature hike learning about all the herbs they use for their tea. This one little boy David kept picking up all sorts of herbs and flowers for me which turned into a beautiful boquet which I kept with me until we boarded the plane to go home. We loved living up in the mountains even though it was almost 13,000 feet and we would get exhausted just running down the soccer field once or hiking up to breakfast.

We brought a bunch of bubbles left over from our 4th of July party and the kids LOVED them. They kept asking for more. I think this one girl had like six containers stuffed in her pockets and little purse she carried around. It was so cute.

For every meal, our host families would bring us some traditional Peruvian clothes to wear. Our hats are black on top which actually means we are married so maybe they were a little confused but I liked wearing these ponchos and skirts because they were really quite warm which made eating in the cold a lot more enjoyable.

I loved all the bright colors these Peruvians wore. Their skirts were amazing and every color was so vibrant.

Down by the banks=a game that has withstood the test of time and distance. It's popular even in other countries even today.

Playing games with all the kids. I wanted to teach them the Macarena but there was a little bit of a language barrier.

It took all these guys like two hours seriously to move this one boulder. I'm sure it was heavy and all but it was just so funny it took them forever. They kept saying things like, "Hey let's move the fulcrum. If the fulcrum is over here then that will be good. Where's our fulcrum?" If I only had a dollar every time that word was used.....

The brick line moving the adobe bricks. A verrrry important job.

Look at the progress made between these two pictures

We took a train to the city which is at the bottom of Macchu Picchu. Jayne couldn't come with us because she had to come back to the motherland to go to YASE camp so she had to travel all alone coming home. She's so travel saavy.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Presenting Mr and Mrs Bills

One of my best friends Stephanie Hope Jensen got married today to Mr. Kevan Bills. They met in high school and she wrote him his whole mission. Living with her I was amazed by all the cute packages she would send him. No wonder Kev liked her so much...she hooked him up with candy, notes, etc etc galore. I really grew to love Kevan through his letters and stories Steph would tell me and then when he got home I knew they were/are perfect for each other. I'm so happy for the both of them. It was a beautiful day and Steph was so happy and looked stunning. Love them. Warning: This post is a little extensive but I decided to put up a lot of pictures so my friends who couldn't come would feel like they were there.

She hand glued all those jewels on her dress. It was quite smashing.

The walk way into the reception with pictures from their five year relationship.

Tara (Steph's cousin) gave such a nice speech at the wedding dinner last night and she is seriously hilarious. All she wanted to do at the reception was get down on the dance floor. Love her.

Receiving line.

Obviously the reception provided a good time for the Michaels. Their job for the evening was driving the golf carts and shuttling people to the reception so they didn't have to walk as much. Their ties were even in wedding colors. Perfect. They pretended like they didn't notice.

Rach in her element in the back of the golf cart. I almost fell off while taking this picture because we went over a speed bump but you can tell it was very much worth the trouble.

Those pom pom balls are made from coffee filters that were dyed and crumbled up. Thank you Martha Stewart.

This is a picture of a picture but I just thought it was a great picture with the temple in back. Let's keep the focus here.

Kevan's adorable nephews.

We were starving after we took some pictures so we had to take a quick little run to Wendy's because we didn't think we could survive on just crackers and ice cream.

The yard they had their reception was AMAZING. Seriously so beautiful.

All the running fiends. Brooke, Mike, Lisa, and Candace.

Just setting up. This tent was bomb plus you can't see it in this picture but they had this little white flag on the top which was really quite cute.