Not that my opinion really matters but here it is.

In Australia I tended to follow politics fairly closely and usually found it quite interesting. Thus I was surprised at how quickly I stopped caring about Australian politics after I got to Peru. Even though I don’t live there I would have thought I would continue to be interested as I am from there and will return there some day. I have tried reading a few things but it just doesn’t grab me.  I guess even in this global word we are always more taken by our immediate surroundings.  Although I am not fully on top of Peruvian politics as yet, like Australian politics it seems also to be filled with broken promises, back stabbing, patronising one liners for the media, limited focus beyond the next election etc etc although on a larger scale.

However, even I have followed the events of the last few days. Probably not as closely as I would have there but it did grab my interest. I have always had a soft spot for Kevin Rudd and have been very impressed by many things he has done as foreign minister so was hoping he would win but it never looked likely. And either way it is not looking good for Labor at the next election. Not that I particularly like Labor but I really, really don’t like Liberal right now. Tony Abbott as prime minister is scary for anyone in Australia who gives a damn about other human beings.

I think what Australia needs is some new parties. Here in Peru, each election pretty much, there is a choice between a wide range of parties some older parties, some newer. They are all mostly corrupt as hell, and if they aren’t going in to the election they certainly seem to become corrupt fairly soon after it if they win, so I am not necessarily saying we should mimic Peruvian politics but I still like the idea of some more options.

So gorgeous

Nina will be 18 months in 10 days and I have to say this age is just so cute at the moment as you can see from this.

She’s really starting to communicate and understand things.  Although there is still much she can’t communicate and doesn’t understand which frustrates her immensely and she gets very cross and we are starting to have minor tantrums that I am sure will get bigger.

She is also able to show a lot of affection for us which is really nice.  She will often come up to us in the middle of the day and say “hugs” or give us kiss.  When we go to the plaza and we often bend down with arms outstretched and she will run across the plaza laughing to give us a big hug.  It makes me so happy.  And Martin too.  Here they are, still very much in love with each other.

She is eating really well and I am sure she is putting on weight fast  Her favourite foods are bread and broccoli.  I know the bread will please her pa and the broccoli will please her nanna.  In the mornings here a man rides around with his cart of freshly baked bread.  When Nina hears his horn she gets very excited and says “pan, pan” (bread, bread).

Her favourite game is hiding things and then asking “donde esta” (where is it).  When you show her she says “alli esta”  She can play tha for a very long time which is good in waiting rooms.  She also got given her first doll by her abuelita and she likes to push it round in its stroller.  The other day I even saw hr trying to share her pan with her doll.

She is still an outdoors girl and loves our trips to the plaza or the park or the mountains or the pool. Here she is at the pool.

She is also very friendly and says “hola” to most people we meet on the street.  Although in general she really only likes to be held by Martin and I.

She loves to look at her photo album before bed and she knows most people although not consistently.  After Bitta, Hannah would be the person she recognises most consistently.  It is very cute when we ask, “who’s that?’ and she says Hannah.  Her favourite bed time book is still ten little fingers and ten little toes.

She sleeps pretty well most nights with only one wake between 7pm and 6am (approx).  She is also consistently napping for 50 mins although sometimes it is even 1hour and 20 mins.  Oh how I love those days.  It takes a long while to get her off to sleep though which I would like to lessen.

She likes Skype especially with her nanna.  When Martin and I get out the computer she always says, “nanna”.  I don’t get the comp out much in front of her now as it makes me feel sad to tell her we are not going to talk to nanna.

She still loves to climb on everything.  In fact she has a bit of a radar for anything dangerous so we still have to watch her all the time which is exhausting.  But despite how tiring she is I am grateful everyday for our wonderful Nina and that she is in general a happy healthy girl.  Here she is climbing on the statues at the park.





Job Hunting in Peru part II

For those of you who might be wondering Martin didn’t get the job at the municipality.  According to the results he had the best resume but didn’t do so well in the interview.  Well how could he have if they only asked to unrelated questions.  It’s a bit disappointing for us but more than that we feel frustrated for Chulucanas.  How are things going to move forward with such a faulty system?

I still haven’t heard anything from the uni in Chulu but will be doing some weekend work with the university in Piura as of March 03.

We continue to try to meet with people from various projects about how we can be involved but no one seems to have any clear way forward.

The conversation continues about how long we will be able to stay and what we will do.

No photos again today.  Maybe I should try to just do a weekly post of highlights.  I am struggling to make it happen everyday.


It seems I have failed to take some photos again today.  However, I have been thinking that the photos are all obviously visual images of Chulucanas.  So as I do not have a photo I thought that today I might try to give you a description of the noises of Chulucanas,  an audio image rather than a visual one.

  • rooster’s crowing in the neighbour’s yard
  • spanish pop blaring from the moto taxis that pass by
  • rain on tin roofs
  • church bells ringing twice daily
  • children playing in the street
  • vendors screaming the name of their product, “tamales, yukas, pan”
  • horns beeping – as there are no give way signs this is how people let you know they’re coming
  •  men whistling at women
  • clicking of horses or donkeys pulling wagon

It really is a rather noisy place.



I know I said I was going to take photos everyday for the rest of Feb but didn’t take any photos yesterday.  But I am back again today with some pictures of the mountains. Chulucanas is situated in a valley surrounded by the Andes and they are just stunning.

Job Hunting in Peru

As many of you know Martin and I are looking for jobs here in Peru.  We were both feeling fairly hopeful about two opportunities but not so sure now.

In early December when we arrived Martin went to the municipality to start some conversations about what they were doing, how he could support them and if there might be some jobs available.  He was invited to attend some meetings with local farmers, NGO’s and the municipality.  He started to talk about sustainability with different people.  He was told there would be a position coming up on the 15th of Dec.  On the 15th of Dec he was told it would be the 15th of Jan.  On the 15th of Jan he was told end of the month.  At the end of the month the position finally became available.  Martin applied and was asked to come along for an interview last Thursday at 8am.  Although, they were interviewing for many positions and he was not interviewed until 4.30pm the next day.  Despite two days waiting the interviewers didn’t even have his resume in front of them and he was asked two questions.  Not about his experience or ideas for the job etc rather about what the municipality was doing.  We will, I believe, find out tomorrow if he got the job.  As you can imagine we are no longer feeling very confident.  The municipality is famous for giving positions to friends and family and certainly in this case it seemed they already knew who they were going to hire before they began for certainly they could not ascertain the best person in those kind of interview situations. I have no doubt that Martin is the most experienced person, the other two were just out of uni,  not to mention he is the only one who is already trying to do things but I guess that all goes flying out the window if one of them as family in the municipality.

I also had a meeting with the Catholic university in late Dec.  They are opening here in Chulu and were pretty much begging me to take the English teacher position.  They just had to assure they had the numbers and would advise in a few weeks.  I have called three times to find out what is going on but still nothing and the last conversation was told that someone else also wanted the position.  I know I am the only qualified and experienced English teacher as well as native English speaker in Chulu but again these things do not seem to count as much as who you know here.

It is very frustrating and makes one realise why things are so slow to move ahead here and nothing ever seems to really happen.  People keep telling us about things available in the private sector but we cannot fully trust their ethics.  We are also both having lots of conversations about community development stuff and again these are very positive but it’s hard to know how to move from conversations to action  As well as trying to support one’s family while doing that kind of work is very difficult.  Anyway, we are feeling very uncertain right now about how long we are going to be able to stay.

I guess we will know more tomorrow and have to continue to hope and trust that whatever ends up happening is the right thing.

Mi Casa

Here are a few photos of our house.  I don’t really like these photos I have to say, they make the house Iook a bit bleak, which it isn’t.

This home, (like all the homes we have been privileged to live in over our 9 years together), is such a gift to us.  When we moved in we went around with a candle and prayed in each room and finished by playing John Coleman’s “song of L’Arche” as is our tradition.  And I do pray for God’s blessing on this house and all who enter in it.

This house is a very, very big part of our life here in Chulu.  While there a few things that frustrate me about it, I am very fond of it indeed.  It is a place to call home. A place that protects us from the rain I can hear pounding our roof for the last 10 days at least  It is a big place for Nina to run around in and explore.  And happily, it is a place in which we have been able to offer a lot of hospitality to family, friends and neigbours.


I really like to walk the streets around Chulucanas.  As we are not working I so a fair bit of it.  Some are a bit dilapidated but I think it gives it character.  The rubbish can be a bit depressing though.  I wish I was a better photographer to really capture the feel of the streets but here my attempt.

Plaza de Armas

So here are today’s photos.

Most afternoons we go to the Plaza de Armas which is the plaza in the centre of town.  Most Peruvian towns have one and the people gather there.  Usually we bump into someone we know  Nina loves it there.  She runs around and climbs on things and is starting to play with the other children.  She usually just hands them things but it’s  start.  So this day has lots of photos as I couldn’t resist the cuteness.

The main statue.

Chulucanas is famous for it’s ceramics.  Especially these “fat lovers”.  The plaza has a large version.

Nina in her “vrom, vrom” with her “abuelita”  She can say grandma in Spanish now.  Every time we say “let’s go in the vrom, vrom” she knows it’s plaza de armas time.

And here is my gorgeous girl having a run around.

And my favourite photo of all.  Nina hugging a tree.  She’s a hippy already.