second half

evasive maneuvers: driving in the San Joaquin Valley

I had never noticed the state of the roads in California previously. I have visited here numerous times throughout the entire course of my life thus far, but other than observing the insane inclines of the streets of San Francisco, the great breadth of nearly all the highways, and the spaghetti-like crisscrossing of those same freeways, I paid very little attention to California vehicular infrastructure. Since arriving and driving the roads and interstates myself, I have become aware of the obvious and stark reality: I’m not on North Carolina roads anymore.

If I drive anywhere I usually leave in the mornings, which are crisp and a bit nippy around here. If I am lucky, the first thing I notice when I step out the door is the lovely scent of dog food mingling with the leftover wisps of mist. There happens to be a dog food factory located a few miles down the road from the house, and the wind typically brings the smell right to the front door. What great fortune! Once I turn on the heat in the car the dog food odor morphs into the even better aroma of warm, lightly toasted kibble. I would wager that if you took any spare dry dog food lying around in your house, tossed it in a pan, and cooked it, stirring constantly, until it turned just a slightly deeper shade of brown, you could experience the fragrant fumes for yourself.

Sometimes that wonderful wind – the one that spreads the dog food molecules across the miles around the plant – blows exceptionally fiercely and detaches brittle tumbleweed bushes from the inadequate stalks anchoring them to the earth. They bounce their way across the positively horizontal San Joaquin Valley ground until their trajectory is blocked by one of the chain-link fences that run alongside roads that parallel the highways to prevent straying livestock (and tumbleweed, perhaps?) from wreaking havoc on the freeway. Of course, those pesky tumbleweed – some of which are as large as nice, fluffy sheep – pile up and encroach on the road along which is located the fence. That means I get to weave and swerve around them!

Dodging tumbleweed is good practice for driving on the interstates around here, it turns out. In fact, any sort of defensive driving technique helps. I am convinced that there is an unspoken California driving law that requires maintaining what Drivers’ Ed. would certainly consider an unsafe following distance, even tailgating. Furthermore, while I am aware that drivers speed in NC, at least not everyone does. Here they do. Ten miles over the speed limit? Not a problem. Fifteen? Sure. Of course, not all speeders are created equal, so weaving and cutting off and shifting and swerving are simply necessary precautions to avoid running into the eighteen wheelers rocketing along slightly less rapidly.

Perhaps I should not blame the Californians for their excessive speed and erratic highway driving. Likely as not they are just universally ignorant of the speed limit. Someone seems to have neglected to place speed limit signs within reasonable intervals of each other. It is possible to drive around for five or ten minutes without spotting a single speed limit sign. They appear no more frequently on the interstate. I used to think North Carolina’s roads were littered with speed limit signs. Now I appreciate them. I wonder if, because of the severe lack of signs, the instance of speeding tickets in California is unnecessarily inflated? I like this theory of mine. I am not going to google it to find out I am wrong.

Another reason for the speeding could be that everyone is attempting to conclude their road trip as hastily as possible in order to escape the teeth-rattling sensation caused by the beautiful patchwork pattern of concrete, asphalt, cracks, bumps, and seams that is the road. Driving over the hardened quilt is like continually driving on a bridge, which, last time I took note, were the only thing around home in North Carolina that made use of the structural element of the raised seam. Unless I am completely mistaken, the highways are made of concrete – nay, old, fragmented concrete – around here. To attach the various sections together and repair cracks, snaking black seams and patches dance across the surface of the road like random scribbles of a four year old. As if the normal town streets could not be outdone by the quality condition of the interstate, the normal asphalt roads sport slightly reflective bumps to divide the lanes instead of painted lines. The little domes of annoyance are everywhere! I suppose, though, they are indeed more effective than the lines I have seen. Where the painted dashes should be on the highways, I can only sometimes make out faint, white smudges. Staying in my own lane is often quite difficult. The dark seams of the highway do not always follow the white smudges. Sometimes they are a few to one side or another of the dashes. I am usually tempted to stay between the dark and obvious seams rather than the little white paint drippings. It is quite confusing.

Happily, in my day to day commutes here and there, I manage to evade the drama of driving on the interstate and content myself with avoiding those bothersome little bumps. Life in California is quite an adventure!

a lunchless day

Yesterday’s transcontinental aeronautic trip was the most painless and least foodful of my memory. The layovers were nearly nonexistent and so was the food.

Since I flew out of the airport at home, located a mere and convenient 20 minutes from our house, on an incredibly reasonable 9:30 flight, I did not have to wake up at some ridiculous hour. It was Claire in jeans and rainbows and all the businessmen in suits and polished shoes on the short jump to Charlotte.

My flight to Phoenix, scheduled to depart a bit less than an hour after I arrived in Charlotte, had already begun to board by the time I arrived at the gate. Exercising an incredible lack of foresight, I neglected to inquire about the length of the Phoenix flight, simply assuming that it would last no longer than two or three hours. Armed with my naive assumption and daunted by the ten-plus person lines at all of the respectable lunch options in the area, I purchased only a package of apple slices with caramel dip at a significantly less busy bookstore, confident I could acquire some lunch in Phoenix. Neglecting to purchase an actual lunch was a mistake of gastronomical proportions.

On the plane I found myself seated next to a talkative older gentlemen, who, mercifully, directed most of his comments the unfortunate man to his left during most of the flight. He did, however, confer with me in an attempt to calculate the flying time to Phoenix. He guessed three and a half hours. It was four and a half. I did managed to survive by nursing my two clementines from home, my apple slices, and an entire can of cranberry juice, all while distracting myself by watching Mission Impossible III on my computer. Perhaps that does not sound too bad, the whole not eating a proper lunch part. But, let me remind you, in case you have forgotten, or inform you, if you do not know, that I like to eat. And I like to have my three normal, square meals every day. I was annoyed by my foolishness. Really, though, it was not that bad. I would have preferred a sandwich, but snacking my way across the country was quite tolerable.

As we began our 30-minute descent into Phoenix, I decided to check my boarding pass for my flight to Sacramento for the gate number and departure time. I am unsure why I had not done that earlier. To my shock I discovered that the flight would leave at 2:34. The plane in which I was seated was not supposed to land until 2:15. Happily, though, the gate of my next flight was only 15 or so gates down the terminal, as opposed to being in another terminal entirely. Unhappily, I was stuck sitting on the 27th row of the plane. By the time it was my to hurry down the aisle between the seats, it was 2:29. I had resigned myself to missing my flight to Sacramento, but decided to run for it anyways, in case the plan was late leaving. I wove in and out of the crowds until they thinned out into an enormous expanse of departure gate-less carpet that stretched eternally on into the distance. The terminal was divided in two! I opted out of the moving walkways and ran down the middle of the terminal, toes scrunched to keep my flipflops from being left behind, backpack flopping here and there, following in the footsteps of some other tardy passenger running up ahead. I must have been quite a source of amusement for the bored people inching their way down the A terminal on the people movers. After running down the hall and down to the end of another, I arrived breathless at my gate to find people standing around, preparing to form lines to board. They were boarding late! Praise God! I snagged one of those yogurt-granola-fruit parfaits found at every airport in the universe from a nearby Starbucks, which, during the afternoon lull, was devoid of a the usual crowds that spontaneously appear at the faintest whiff of the overpriced coffee, before composedly boarding my plane to Sacramento.

back to it

After a layover for Christmas and New Year’s, my gap year has begun to pick up speed and soon will have returned to its cruising altitude, whence I shall turn on my electronic devices and continue to blog.

Speaking of flying, on Monday I will wing my way across the continental US  to California for  the start of my fourish-week mentorship out there. Just yesterday I received an email from the people organizing the mentorship that informed me they had located a business with which I could work “building website links on the internet and writing articles and blogs regarding the business,” according to them. It sounds at least mildly interesting to me. But, before I can start, I have to get fingerprinted in California so they can assure themselves that they are not allowing some criminal to infiltrate the inner workings of an innocent Californian company. Naturally, the police office only offers fingerprinting services two days a week for a few hours. Therefore, I am being shipped out as soon as is feasible in order to get myself fingerprinted and background checked and be ready for my first day of the much anticipated job shadow by Monday the 23rd, if not mid week next week.

While some nice but unfamiliar Californians were arranging my job shadow, a pair of transplant Ohioan/West Virginians – namely, my extremely helpful and supportive paternal grandparents – spoke to the man who runs the nonprofit “meeting the basic needs of families in [their] community,” who conveniently and coincidentally attends their church. Apparently, he enthusiastically confirmed that he could use an additional volunteer and perhaps even find a purpose for my Spanish. So, much to the satisfaction of my parents, who have worried ceaselessly since 10th grade lest I should have too little to do, I should be able to fill a sufficient percentage of the hours of each day with some sort of constructive activity.

Here I am at the edge of another semester of gap year adventure. And you know what? As long as I’ll still have time to cook, I think I’m ready.

plan C

I should and do verbally refer to it as “Plan G,” but “Plan C” is more accurate.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I have another plan.

And I am not going to Panama.

Perhaps you recall that I never was exactly thrilled at the whole Panama idea. ‘Tis true. Once I returned home from Peru, my distaste for the idea only strengthened. I did not like the prospect of being gone for five months. Not one bit. Three months in Peru was sufficient. Five months is too long, at least after having been gone three already.
The determining factor appeared in a expectations and packing list sent by YWAM in Panama (oh yea, I was accepted; I forgot to mention that). It informed me that I should refrain from brining anything over which I would be distraught if the humidity ruined said item. It specified computers. It was too much. No computer would mean no blogging with ease, no skype, no picture uploading, NO CONTACT WITH THE OUTSIDE WORLD! Momentary panic ensued. I ran around the house seven times, screaming. I exaggerate, at least about the running and screaming.
After I expressed my rather strong opinions to the parents and consented to come up with a viable alternative, they agreed to release me from the Panama half of my gap year. Hallelujah! Following a few glorious moments of mental relief and freedom, I was locked in my room without my supper and chained infront of my computer, to be left until I came up with a Plan C. I kid. (What’s wrong with me? My natural sobriety has disappeared with the sunlight this depressingly dark winter evening!) In reality, we tossed ideas back and forth in the kitchen over the course of days and perhaps two weeks. Eventually, when the deadline came around for me to write Chapel Hill again to reconfirm my deferral, I wrote up what was then a tentative, somewhat idealistic plan and what soon became The Plan. Plan C. The second half 2.0.

In theory, I will participate in a job shadow/mentorship in some sort of journalism environment whilest living with the Grandparents L. in California for 3-4 weeks while volunteering at some nonprofit in my spare time, hopefully exercising my Spanish-speaking faculties. Then, I shall return home and intern at a restaurant for threeish months and, yet again, volunteer speaking Spanish at an organization that provides services to the Latino community around here.

There you have it! I have already applied for the mentorship; the Californian nonprofit has been located; the restaurant has been preliminarily contacted; and I left a message with the Latino organization here. I must extend my sincerest thanks to Grandma and Grandpa L. for coming up with the entirety of the plan for the California part of Plan C and also to Father for more or less inventing the other half! What would I do without them? Let me tell you: I would be in Panama. No thank you. Praise God for parents and grandparents!

I am now officially looking forward to the second half of my gap year. It should be fun! Just as soon as I finish making phone calls and am actually installed in my various mentorships, internships, and organizations, that is.

drinking water, amongst other things

Around here summer flows quickly past on waves of palpable humidity and heat mirages; it’s August already! Amidst all the heat and humidity and various activities, I have had time to at least briefly dwell upon those impending three months in Peru. I came up with three questions. So, I emailed my Andeo (the Peru program) correspondent two of my questions. (I lost the third question somewhere in the recesses of my unfocused, summer vacationing brain. I’ll let you know when I find it.) My email, in short, consisted of these two questions: Can I drink the tap water in Peru, and do I need a visa? When I wrote my email, I was pretty confident that I knew the answers to these two questions. Still am.
When I asked whether or not I will be able to drink the water in Peru, what I really wanted to know was whether or not my host family will be providing filtered water for me to drink. The Andeo lady surprised me with her answer. She basically stated that I might very well be able to drink the tap water, though I should stick to bottle water for the first week while my body is adjusting to the altitude, and that I should ask my host family about it when I get there. Well, her advice directly contradicted my assumption: I should not drink the tap water. And, since I have traveled and lived in several less developed countries, I was quite hesitant to embrace her advice with an innocently trusting, “OKAY!” So, I whipped out my handy dandy Lonely Planet Peru travel book (thank you Uncle Tom!) and found a blurb on drinking water. There it was in black and white on page 550, “Tap water in Peru is not safe to drink.” Ha! I knew it! And I felt better immediately. I’m on familiar territory if I can’t drink the water in a foreign country. It just feels right. With that conflict of information resolved, I immediately started searching for water filters, since I refuse to assume that my host family will have filtered water readily available, and I will most certainly not be living off little bottles of water in Peru. Mother suggested I look at reviews for water filters on a reliable backpacking website. There were numerous options, of course. But, I narrowed my options significantly by deciding that I definitely wanted a filter that removes both viruses and bacteria, not just the latter. The most cost-effective and simple thing I found is not really even a filter. It’s called SteriPEN. You stick the end of this little, vaguely pen-shaped thing into the appropriate amount of water and it kills everything dangerous in the water by zapping it with ultraviolet light. As Mother and I were discussing this clever contraption, we recalled that we already own a small pump filter that we had purchased for some excursion in Africa. She dug it out of the attic. And in the end, that is probably what I will use.
You may recall that I had emailed the Peruvian embassy and consulate and called the consulate about the visa thing. Well, I never got a reply. I was annoyed. And when my beloved father found out that I still didn’t know about my visa, he was annoyed that the Andeo people had not just told me whether or not I need one, since they are being paid to organize the details of my trip. In any case, the Andeo lady responded promptly, as always, and confirmed my suspicion: namely, I don’t need to apply for a visa. Since I will not be a proper university student, I don’t need a student visa. Therefore, when I arrive in Peru, my passport will probably be stamped with some sort of 90-day touristy visa-ish thing. And I will go on with my life.

Now we have come to the other things. tickets. applications. deferral letters. lists. Let us begin with tickets.

Before Beach Week (a biennial, week-long beach gathering of my paternal extended family), Mother had been searching for tickets to Peru and had found nothing fantastic. Then we went to Beach Week, where Uncle Tom revealed the wonders of Spirit Airlines. To put it bluntly: Spirit is cheap. Their flights cost only a third or maybe less of what other airlines charge to fly down south. ‘Tis wonderful! Of course, they don’t fly a huge number of places, but thankfully, Lima, Peru is one of the places they do fly.
The other thing about flights that is being considered is whether or not one of the parents will accompany me to Lima and send me off to Cusco. The reason for such an odd move is that there is no possible way to fly to Cusco from home without spending a night in Lima. And the parents are not quite thrilled at the thought of me spending a night in a foreign country by myself, to say the least. I am not quite sure what I think about that prospect. Regardless, one or another of my parents will probably fly down to Lima, maybe a few days early so we can tour the city, and see me off on my flight to Cusco.

I gave up on the second set of Panama DTS people (the ones on some Panamanian island called Bocas del Toro). I emailed them weeks ago and have recieved no response whatsoever. Therefore, I printed off the application for original Panama DTS and have begun the gradual process of filling it out. One must never rush these things. Or at least I do not intend to this time.

Yesterday I finally received a letter from UNC-CH. While waiting for a few brief minutes after finishing cooking supper for dad to come home so we could eat it, I moseyed down to the mailbox. I instantly recognized the UNC-CH logo on the envelope with my name visible through the flimsy plastic window of the envelope. Still juggling the rest of the mail, I ripped it open with my teeth and scanned the letter. SUCESS! Gracious and sensible Mr. Farmer granted me a deferral until the fall of 2012. God be praised! Along with some kind but scripted sentences about successes and other such worthy goals, the letter detailed the terms of my deferral: I must not deviate from what I outlined in my deferral request; I must not take any college courses; I must pay whatever fees I owe to UNC-CH; and I must write again by December 31st to confirm my deferral. Sounds feasible. My gap year is officially permissible.

I started a packing list. I discovered about a week ago that I was coming up with random but vital and not entirely obvious things to bring to Peru. And I was not writing them down. Afraid I would forget my sudden packing inspirations, I titled a loose piece of notebook paper “Peru” and jotted down my thoughts. I have been adding to it as items come to me. I have not yet started my comprehensive packing list. The current one is for things I might forget about, like cold medicine, chapstick, peanut butter (oh yes), and extra led for my mechanical pencils (just thought of that one and wrote it down). With any luck, I will have exactly everything I need, no more, no less, with me in Peru.

bits and pieces

Wow. It’s been a while since I last posted, but not much has happened. I just have a few bits and pieces of information about various gap-year related items to relate to you, my dear reader(s).

I finished that second (“primary”) application to the Peru Spanish school program. I sent it in. I reviewed it over the phone with the nice lady with whom I have been communicating. That conversation, by the way, was really just to remind me that I’ll be a minor that and I should obey my host family’s rules and that I shouldn’t try to order a beer or something, et cetera. Besides informing me of things I already knew, the lady also answered questions I had like what the name of my school is (Academia Latinoamericana), what telecommunication option is best in Peru (a calling card), and what to do about altitude sickness (sleep a lot, don’t physically exert myself much, and consume anything containing ginger). A day or two after the phone call, I received an email notifying me that I had been accepted into the Peru gap year program. Attached to the email were six PDF files with everything from a brief Peruvian history lesson to a packing list to advice about culture shock. Printed that. Read it. Twas rather amusing, slightly helpful, and somewhat interesting. Now I am waiting to hear who my host family is, which information I am not guaranteed to have until a week before I leave. Supposedly people are typically informed much sooner. We shall see.

As for the DTS options (for your reading convenience: Columbia, Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua, Argentina, and Spain), I proceeded to look at the websites of each location, searching for information about the bases and conformation of the DTSs’ dates (the DTS I attend must start in January 2012). I determined that two of the bases, Columbia and Costa Rica, did not have 2012 DTSs at the correct time or for the appropriate amount of time, so I eliminated those two. Although I had been convinced for at least a week and a half that I really wanted to go to Spain, I concluded after some more thought that I did not. And here’s why: I currently fully intend to spend as many semesters of college abroad as possible (why go to college in the US when I could pay the same tuition and live in another country?). There are not many study abroad programs available in South and Central America as there are in Europe. Therefore, I want to “save” going to Spain for when I am in college and can study abroad there. Oh, and I think the last few sentences make more sense if you know that I don’t want to go to the same country more than once if I can help it; I’d rather experience other countries and return later if I can or so desire. Anyways, I eliminated Spain. About a week ago, I emailed the YWAM bases in Panama, Nicaragua, and Argentina to further enquire about the DTS dates that were unclear on their websites. I also emailed a YWAM-affiliated elementary school in Panama to find out of I could perhaps teach or teacher-assist there. Argentina emailed back to tell me that their single DTS lasted an entire year. That’s out. The Panama school emailed back to say that their school year is from March to December. Can’t do that. Nicaragua replied that their DTS starts mid January. Hey, that works! Panama has not yet answered my inquiry, which is unfortunate since I liked the looks of that base best.
As you may recall, I have to send in my pretty-please-with-a-mango-on-top-grant-me-a-deferral-til-2012 letter by July 1st. That day happens to be this Friday. Fortunately, I have already written a paragraph or three of introductory periphery and blither blather about the Peru program. Now, unless I receive an email from the Panama YWAM, make my decision between it and Nicaragua, and apply within the next two days, I intend to finish that letter with a few paragraphs on my DTS plans, put forth in the futuristic, I-intend-to-I-plan-to-I-will tense, naturally. Then, once I (hopefully) am granted my deferral, and once I have applied to a DTS program, all that will be left will be to send money here and there and wait.

Travel-wise, airline ticket plans for Peru are currently in progress. Mother did discover that it takes no less than two days to travel to Cusco, Peru, unless one desires to arrive in the middle of the night.
From what I have googled, I should not need a student visa to enter Peru (something I still need to call the US Peruvian embassy to confirm) but should simply be issued the sufficient 90-day tourist visa upon entry.
Speaking of travel documents, tomorrow we are going to try to renew my passport for the third time. Yup. Third try. The first time the post office guy informed us that he needed a photo copy of my driver’s license (something that had not been mentioned in all the fine print I had scrutinized on the US Passport website). Of course, I had left it at home since I should not have needed it. The second time, at an office in our local university, the lady thought my taken-at-home-and-edited-with-a-special-passport-tool picture was too dark and complained that I was submitting my old passport instead of a copy of my birth certificate as proof of my identity (neither of which the other guy had mentioned). She suggested they take my picture, but I declined, having already observed the ghastly photographs taken by that office for the university IDs. So, tomorrow we go again, with two versions of a bright, new picture and copies of my driver’s license, Mother’s license, and my birth certificate. Only the US government could deny us. Bah.

the second half: DTS

Even though I’m still filling out the primary (even though it was second) application for the Peru program, negotiations and option-weighing about the second part of my gap year have been somewhat continuous. The reason for such an immediate start on the planning for my life during the spring 2012 semester is an impending deadline: namely, the deadline for requesting an enrollment deferral from college. Speaking of college, I don not think that I have yet made clear that at this point I intend to attend UNC-Chapel Hill upon my return from my global adventures. Since I already applied (to avoid the inconvenience and pain of trying to fill out college applications from out of the country during my gap year) and was accepted, I must send in a written request to some certain person, in which letter I put forth all of my plans for my gap year and, in essence, beg the person to let me begin my freshman year of college in the fall of 2012 instead of 2011. According to what little I have read on the deferral matter, not many people ask for them and most are granted them if they have decent reasons and explanations and plans for their request (an insufficient reason, probably: I want to stay home and eat my parents’ food and read Lord of the Rings instead of going to school). Anyways, I have to request my deferral by July 1st, a date which is rapidly approaching, much to my dismay.

Now, after that digression, on to the real reason for this post and its title. For the second part of my gap year, I will be doing a DTS. That, my dear people, is short for Discipleship Training School, a program made possible by YWAM (which itself stands for Youth Without Any Money, or Youth With A Mission, depending on if you ask my dad or someone else). YWAM (pronounced why-wham) is, according to my vague understanding, a mainly evangelistic missions organization that has bases around the world. When they feel so lead, these bases choose to host DTSs, upon which occasions youth-ish people (say 18 to 25 years old; just kidding, their website says 17-35 – yipes that’s old! no offense to people age 35) descend upon their base en masse for three months in order to learn about evangelism and other things. The participants go to classes daily, where “speakers” – perhaps some person from the base or perhaps someone from elsewhere – teach on various topics. After the three months of the classroom-type factual learning, the group takes their knowledge and goes somewhere else (typically another country) to evangelize while doing something like teaching English. [Okay, I’m getting tired of describing this. If you are really desperate to read more about it, just click on YWAM and DTS phrases I linked above.]

The way it was decided that I would do a DTS for the second part of my gap year went as follows (and I paraphrase):

Claire: Dearest Mother and Father, I wish to go to Spanish school in Peru or Ecuador for the first part of my gap year, and for the second part I would hope to do some wild animal rescue work in Ecuador or Costa Rica.
The Parents: Okay, the first part sounds great! Apply now. But, we don’t like the second part. You need to work with people, not animals.
Claire: Woe is me. I really want to play with monkeys and parrots.
The Parents: We really don’t want you to do the animal rescue thing. We want you to do a DTS.
Claire: There are not any DTSs at the right time.
… Some time passes and Claire realizes there are DTSs during convenient dates …
Claire: Drat.
The Parents: YAY!
… Some more time passes …
Claire: I still don’t want to do a DTS. I’ve already mentally thrown it out the window. And I don’t want to reconsider it or change my mind. That’s against my principles.
The Parents: Ohhhhh, it’s against your priciples! That’s really the problem, isn’t it?
Claire: Maybe…probably…yeah. But still! I shan’t change my mind!
… Time passes …
The Parents: We really REALLY REALLY think you should consider doing a DTS.
Claire’s Translation of The Parents’ Most Recent Words: You are going to do a DTS. It is your DESTINY!
Claire: Arg. Are you sure?
The Parents: Yes, in fact now we think God’s telling us you should do a DTS.
Claire: Oh, well then, I suppose I should. I guess.
Claire to Herself: And, besides, they aren’t giving up. And that would be kind of bad to be like Jonah.
Claire to the Parents: *sigh* Okay.
The Parents: GOOD! Now, pick out the locations from which we, in conjunction with you, of course, will shall choose.
Claire: Here we go again. More research for me.

And now, after the aforementioned more research, the location options are (in no particular order) Columbia, Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua, Argentina, and Spain. If you have your geography in mind at present, you might note that some of those countries are not in South America. You might even observe that one is in Europe, of all places! Well, as it turns out, I have inadvertently expanded my gap year options. Originally, I planned to stick to traveling in South America. However, now I have simply limited myself to Spanish-speaking countries.

So, there you have it. I’m doing a DTS in some country where everyone but tourists and expatriates speaks Spanish.

Oh, one last thing. Regarding the application to the Peru program, I’m almost finished. It and some more money need to be turned in by June 6th, which shouldn’t be a problem, providing I can come up with about 500 more words worth of blither blather to say about myself. Until my next post (no duh)!