We made it! Woohoo! After years and years (and years) of dreaming, two years of planning, one year-long internship, and three flights with an infant, we made it to Cusco, Peru!
Y’all, I was seriously nervous about flying with EJ. We pulled out as many stops as we could think of: books, toys, blankets, iPhone apps, movies, and my all-time non-favorite…baby snacks. Considering I was the gung-ho momma bent on serving my little one nothing but mommy-made food, these boxed and bagged baby snacks were a big deal. Well…I’m a convert! I can’t say that we’ll hand ’em over to her on a daily basis, but they were a much needed distraction especially on takeoff and landing when she wasn’t too keen on nursing. My friend Emily recommended these banana flavored Mum-Mums and these yogurt melts. And as luck would have it, there’s a store here in Cusco that actually sells the Mum-Mums!
When it was all said and done, EJ was a ROCKSTAR. She made friends with the flight attendants and everyone around us and even though she was a bit wiggly at times, we didn’t have a single meltdown. I call that a success! We got to Lima late Wednesday night and had to spend two nights there to get some immigration paperwork going, and our teammates Ryan and Sarah met us there to lead us like the lost English speaking puppies we were. (Thanks Uncle Ryan and Aunt Sarah!) We hadn’t seen them in almost a year so it was great to be reunited and especially to introduce them to EJ. The legal biz didn’t take up too terribly much time, so we got to enjoy ourselves and umm…EAT. Those two sure know some good eatin’ spots! We tried our first legit ceviche and those little bowls full of raw fish cured in citrus juice ended way too soon. We’ve let EJ have a taste of everything we’ve eaten so far, and she’s definitely a fan of Peruvian cuisine!
We arrived in Cusco Friday afternoon and had a warm welcome by some of the young people from church complete with handmade signage! Besides dinner with some teammates and getting our new phone numbers activated with Corinne, we tried to take it easy our first couple of days up at 11,000 ft. Aside from going to church we stuck around the apartment Sunday and Monday because EJ seemed to be coming down with a little something. There’s nothing to break a person into a new culture like a trip to the pediatrician on your fifth day in the country! Turns out she has a bit of laryngitis, but the doc wasn’t too concerned, said she was OK to be out and about and gave us some Ibuprofen which she 156% refuses to take. I’m talking, “Go ahead, Mom. Put that into my mouth and I’ll gag and puke everywhere.” OK, fine.
Pediatrician day was also my birthday so we had a fun family lunch at our favorite pollo a la brasa (rotisserie chicken) place, Don Belisarios, and then Starbucks (I know, I know…Americans, right?!) Since we didn’t completely want to drag our hoarse little babe all around town we stayed in for dinner and Kevin made waffles. We substituted birthday dinner for lunch the next day with the Reaves fam at this amazing burger place called Papachos. Blue cheese and elderberry sauce anyone? (Does anyone else think of Harry Potter when you hear the word “elderberry?”)
We really lucked out with our temporary housing. Some of our teammates are in the States right now and offered to let us stay in their apartment until we find a place of our own. It is infinitely more comfortable staying in friends’ home! Plus, they have Lucky Charms. 😉 We’re still quite excited to be reunited with our own belongings, but until then their big, comfy bed will more than do!
Up next for us is arranging to begin our Spanish lessons. We’re meeting a teacher tomorrow afternoon to discuss our options and hopefully will be able to begin next week. It’s super awesome not being able communicate your child’s birthweight to the nurse, or the fact that you do not want the spicy chicken at Popeyes. #sarcasm #yesisaidpopeyes
Of course, there’s much more to share and I could go on and on and oooonnnnnn, but let’s be honest…no one likes a novel length blog post. I know the years ahead of us are going to be filled with loads of blog-worthy moments and I look forward to sharing them with you. But for now, this is about all my emotions and brain will allow me to recall.
Umm…did I mention that WE LIVE IN CUSCO?!?!