Peaces of Love: The Small Details

Cheap market street food Cajamarca Peru

Peaces of Love is a collection of the small details I want to share and remember. I spend a lot of time on this blog talking about the big life events, but the small details are the biggest part of my day-to-day reality here in Peru. 

  1. Market Food

The most delicious food is usually found in the market! Finding that one diamond in the rough is my favorite thing to do. Walking through the winding market stalls, scoping out the food and observing which ones are packed with locals is a great challenge.

In Cajamarca the humitas, a tamale made with sweet corn, made by Señora Rosa are my number one pick and for only .50 apiece it’s affordable to indulge.Humita Cajamarca Peru Market food Peace Corps

Her cluttered market kiosk is filled with fresh juices and chicken, turkey and duck sandwiches with all the fix in’s. There are 6 bar stools that are pretty much occupied all day!
Cheap market street food Cajamarca Peru

In Chiclayo my absolute favorite is the market ceviche served by Señor Carlos. Chiclayo is a coastal city, so $1.20 gets you a big bowl of fresh ceviche. Fish, shrimp, crab, conchas negras, corn, beans, and an humita or corn tortilla to top it off! I love coming here because you are served whatever sea critters are fresh that day.Market ceviche in Chiclayo Peru

  1. The table

This table and I have spent more time together than I have spent with any human in Peru. (Man that sounds kind of sad…) The left side is where meal prep happens, on top of the plastic that I change every few weeks because it’s impossible to keep clean. All of my solo meals are eaten on that beautiful wooden handmade bench, and every single class or project I’ve worked on has been prepared here.Work table Peace Corps Volunteer cribs Peru

  1. Peanut Butter Tales

I lugged the biggest jar of peanut butter back with me when I visited the states in November. I was most excited to share with my adopted host family in site! The reactions were mixed but at the end of the day we got a good laugh.

The father eats a lot of peanuts, so he loved it and ended up finishing most of the jar.Sharing peanut butter with host family in Peru Peace COrps

However the daughter and mom were polite enough to try it but didn’t go back for seconds.Host family tries peanut butter in Peru

  1. Long Hours in the Car/Bus/Combi/Milk Truck

One of the realities of living in the sierra is that nothing is close to anything else. Need to go to the bank, that’s a three-hour ride. Weekend vacation to the beach, that’s a six-hour journey. Meetings in Lima, that’s a 19-hour adventure!Andes Mountains and rice paddies in Peru

The one upside of these bus rides is passing by the most amazing untouched views. Mountains and mountains of uninhabitable land, with the occasional campo house or farm. Thankfully, I was recently introduced to podcasts and Serial has been my companion on these treks!

  1. Artisan Work

I used to play a game called, “Count the furniture not covered in something crocheted.” Typically when you enter a house, restaurant or business everything is covered in some sort of crocheted artisan work. Every sofa, chair, chair back, TV top, shelf, flower vase, photo frame etc. has some sort of crocheted work adorning it. This is mainly because everyone is crocheting all the time… Imagine what your house would look like if you spent everyday crocheting for 80 years!artisan work Peru

  1. Treat Yo Self Spa

Every once in a while the amazing volunteer that lives an hour and a half from my site will come in for a day to socialize. Usually her visit includes some sort of pampering. Whether it is a haircut or clay facials, she always has some new Pinterest beauty recipe to try! These days are the ones that keep us sane, give us a chance to speak English and vent about the little emotional rollercoasters we’re on.Peace Corps Peru Treat Yo Self Spa Day

  1. Fruit and Dessert

Three words… fresh fruit juice. Everywhere you go in Peru it is available and unique depending on what city you’re in. Head to the jungle and it’s grape juice or camu camu juice. On the coast you’ll find piña, guanabana, and papaya. Head to the sierra and lucuma, apple, and pichuberry are common. Or go crazy and order a “surtido”, mixture of all the fruits in season.Fresh Fruit Juice in Peru

I have a thing for tres leches in Peru! Probably because it is the only dessert that lives up to my expectations and is actually a moist cake. Luckily there are no tres leches in my town, or I would be 300 pounds by now.Tres Leches cake in Peru

  1. Clases de Ingles

As a gringa in Peru, the number one thing I am asked is “when are you teaching English classes?” I have somehow avoided doing it for ¾ of my service, but I finally gave in. Tomorrow I start a month long English class for high school students. Pray for me!
Teaching English in Peru Peace Corps

PS. This is part of the Blogging Abroad Boot Camp Challenge and you should check out all of the great blogs participating! There are some really funny ones.
Blogging Abroad's Boot Camp Blog Challenge: Starting January 2015