Re-entry… by: Anik

We’ve come back to the U.S. feeling a bit tenderized.  We’re noticing that we’re moving at a different pace than those around us.  We came back to our nice house and everything in it, and all we wanted to do was take off and go sleep in our tent for a few days.

The tent therapy, combined with skiing and mountain biking helped quite a bit, but I still find myself sitting there, thinking of nothing but the present minute, and missing my kids when they’re at school.

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I’ve found myself wondering about stuff that might sound like the makings of an acid trip…like why we need a box of 500 q-tips, why we have so much cinnamon in our cupboard, why we have so many hot water taps, why cappuccinos cost $4.00, what defines balance, and why we allow stress to saturate us like it does.

I’m not sure how this has changed us, but it has, and for now we’re a bit stuck between two very different worlds.

How does one conclude a blog like this?  Well, the efficient side of me goes with a summarized comparison.

The tougher, character building stuff that makes for stories…

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Altitude sickness, parasites, sharks, tsunami warnings, flat tires, Dengue fever, sunburns, surfboard fin impalements, mosquitos, gnats, sand fleas, policia, bad food, light beer, water leaks in the van, clogged drains, van suspension breakage, bad hair job by Colombian drag queen, really bad coffee, nearly losing surfboard to the wind of the Sechura desert, camp stove explosion at 15,000 ft., weekly diarrhea, smashed in Thule, lonely planet’s exaggerated safety warnings, stolen shoes, losing our kids in Ecuador, insane trucks and buses, washed out roads, ant infestation, car sickness, Colombian tolls, cold showers, extreme heat…

The stuff to be spoiled by…

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Colombian galletas con pepitas, really good coffee, amazing seafood, high altitude wonders, great steak, fascinating people, $3.00 shoes, the best ever nutella ice cream, snorkeling with sharks, sea lions, rays and turtles, crazy good fruit and nuts, cheap gas, life saving ponchos, mosquito netting, arepas, ceviche, 3.5 km left break waves, queso fresco, good books, acclimating, moto-taxis, creative cooking, hot springs, parasite meds, waterfall repelling, rock climbing, good rum, tejas chocolates, fresh juices, the Andes, city maps togo, probiotics, inca tombs and turquoise water.

We watched our kids be excited about simple things like grocery shopping, AC, elevators, kittens, the ocean, pretzels, wifi, sand castles, dank rivers, homemade rafts, seaglass, chess, pelicans, bubaloo gum, bom bon bum lollipops, and donkeys.

We’ve co-existed and spent countless hours together over the years.  How is it that it feels like we’ve just recently gotten to know each other?

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I’m grateful to have had opportunity to, for the first time in my life, write, simply for the sake of writing.

In concluding our blog, I’m humbled and speechless.

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Lima by: Anik

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We returned to San Bartalo to hit the surf, as we’d promised ourselves but we spent our time in a phone cabina, paying for calling minutes to the port of Lima, to confirm everything surrounding the safe return of our van.

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Lima, by far has been our favorite big South American city.  I suppose, this could have something to do with the fact that our expectations were poor.  We’d heard that Lima was dangerous, polluted, dirty, and sketchy.  Marco’s present to Simon was the cake, which had to be perfect and required running around all over the city to find the chocolate beauty.  As we headed back to our hotel, with the cake in our hands, Marco declared that the procuring to this cake “was a huge success!”.


To celebrate Simon’s birthday, we decided to stay in a nice hotel, within walking distance to the best food we’ve had in four months.  We celebrated his turning 11 birthday with some shopping, slow eating, and a subtitled showing of “Godzilla”.

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We also spent a lot of time texting, waiting for the arrival of our new sweet nephew, Colin Simon Gilles, who now proudly shares a birthday with Simon.


Peruvians are very much foodies.  They love to cook it, talk about it, eat it, and write about it.  Think about this: a butternut squash bisque with duck confit and roasted pistachios….YES!!!  Or, a salad with fresh figs, smoky cheese, chanterelle mushrooms, raspberries, and a heavenly dressing, or arroz con marisco with some sort of creamy brandied sauce, or coca leaf bread with a brown sugar cream butter, or homemade bubblegum marshmallows, or spicy ceviche that throws all other ceviches under the bus!!!  I could go on but if I do, I might never leave.


We spent a lot of time dealing with the red tape to ship our van back.  This, I attempted to take as a gift of exercising patience while trying not to clench my teeth and get mad at the fact that we waited for hours for simple things like receipts and money transfers.  We tried to smile and say gracias in response to all the “yes, but maybe later”.

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We hope that our few days in Lima helped with the upcoming transition back to the normal world.  After four months of being focused on things like clean water, access to toilet paper, securing van sleeping spots, and everything else Colombian, Ecuadorian, and Peruvian, we’re now feeling like we live in a different sort of bubble.