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Deep into South America

For 5 months (maybe more!), Jared will be seeing the lands of Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia. He will experience teaching in another country and language, as well as climb some 6000m volcanoes, surf, bike down the world's most dangerous road, explore deserts and jungle, and meet many exciting people (I had to take all the surfing comments out, as I only surfed twice and will be in the mountains for the rest of my journey). Come join him on his adventure, in which he has said many times he does not plan on coming back from ...

Diary Entries

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Location: Calgary, Canada

Back at home, the sun blazes, the cowboy hats are out, the beer is flowing like water and the beef comes with a hefty helping of Bulls Eye. Reverse culture shock has hit me hard as I quickly adjust back to the Albertan lifestyles so truly displayed during Stampede, but I think I have coped quite well. Visiting with my family has been great, catching up and sharing stories, both from here and afar. It is so nice to see mom and dad and sister Kim after so long away, as well as other family members who live in the area (sorry I can't make it out to Kelowna to see everybody else!). A visit from close friends on my first weekend back was a wonderful surprise as well (congratulations to both Chad and Jessie and to Greg and Candice!).

Craziness has set in to a certain degree though, as getting unpacked from 5 months in South America and getting repacked for 11 months in the Dominican Republic on top of visiting and trying to enjoy a little bit of Calgary summer (especially when it is this nice) is a pretty intimidating task with only two weeks to do it in.

Well, time to wrap up the site now. Pictures of the last week in Toronto will come soon, I accidentally left my memory card with ALL of my pictures in Toronto in Ingrid's friend Jen's computer, so as soon as it arrives in the mail, I will add more photos.

Thank you to everyone for continuing to check my site throughout my time away. I absolutely loved hearing from everyone, and knowing that more were checking just out of pure interest in what kind of trouble this skinny blond kid could get into on the continent to the south. Thank you for all your kind words of encouragement, support and love, it truly means so much when you are away from (almost) everything you know for any period of time. Special thanks to some of the people who made my trip truly unique and something I will never forget: Echo (an incredible friendship has been built between us, two tall blond kids running through Lima, you will be a truly amazing teacher, enjoy your time in The Gambia!), Heather (every moment spent with you brings me so much internal growth, I truly value our friendship), Marc (Cusco and Machu Picchu would not have been the same, so glad to have shared that with you; and thanks for putting up with me when I got soooooo sick [140 lbs, yikes!]), Las hermanas Claudia, Patty, y Ursula (yo disfrutaba todo mi tiempo con ustedes, muchisimas gracias por haciendo mi tiempo en Lima un grande experiencia, escribame mucho!!), Annie (without you, none of this would have been possible, muchas gracias for opening your home to us and making the connection with the school, I wish you the best of luck with your new teaching postition at the CBE!), Santa Rita de Casia (memorable times as 'a friend from Canada', oh how much you taught me) to the Pulpans (thank you so much as well for opening your house to me, I truly felt like a part of the family in my short stay, and thank you as well for the fantastic picnic day at Niagara), Nora and Stephen (again, thank you so much for opening your home to me, my time spent with you was truly unforgetable from the Peruvian party to my multicultural tours of the city), to Ingrid (you were absolutely flawless as a hostess, I enjoyed every second I spent with you and cannot wait to see you again), Marc (again) and Adam (Montreal ... wow, 48 hours of wildness, glad I could join you guys for a bit of the ride, wish I could have spent the entire summer learning French with you guys), to everyone who supported our trio way back in January at our fundraiser (because really, your help brought everything together for our volunteer experience), to everybody I met along the way and/or may have missed [sorry!] (an experience is never full without the people you take along with you) and of course to my family whose support was never ending and helped me remain focused on what needed to be done and to be strong at all times. Muchismas gracias a todos.

On to the Dominican and the beautiful Caribbean, where everyone dances instead of walks to get from A to B, where the rum flows like water, where I will yet again stand out horribly in any crowd. Where I will begin my teaching career at the Ashton School of Santo Domingo and a new phase in my life. Keep in touch por favor. Suerte a todos.

Ciao.

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Location: Calgary, Canada

Oh so busy, thats the phrase of my life right now.

My final week in the T dot was an absolute riot. Spending time with Krustmate Nora and her husband Stephen brought me to the east side of Toronto and gave me more insight to what an actual multicultural city looks like (Calgary fails in comparison in this regard). I saw Little India, Greektown, Little Italy, the Corso Italia (completely different Italian section than Little Italy), and other communities home to people from all over our wonderful world. Taking a street car through a section of Queen Street where many people from Africa live and walk down the streets dressed in traditional clothing. Cheering for Los Mexicanos in the FIFA U-20 World Cup in a Portuguese bar in Little Italy (kinda not a great idea when Mexico is playing, and beating, Portugal; Ana, Isa, Daniel you would have loved it!). Going from an amazing and large festival in honor of Africa to a street parade on the Corso Italia. So much culture, and I absolutely loved every minute of it! In the mix of it all, spending time with Nora and Stephen was absolutely incredible, as they are both so incredibly intelligent and worldly. I truly valued my time with them (as I did the entire time out east), and learned so much from our amazing conversations. And just for a little touch of 'home', they arranged for a little Peruvian party with some friends of theirs who had been to Peru and actually had adopted two Peruvian children. We all shared our stories from our experiences in South America, drank Pisco Sour, ate Papas Huancaina and had a fantastic time!

I also had some time to myself this week, and decided to take the opportunity to see the touristy sights of Toronto without forcing it upon friends who have seen them countless times. With CityPass in hand (great discounts!), I visited the Ontario Science Center (gonna be a science teacher, better know some science!), the CN Tower (the staggering height of this was fully realized when I saw how small the Air Canada Center [where the Leafs play] was), the Hockey Hall of Fame (I touched the Stanley Cup!) and Casa Loma (huge mansion used in X-Men movies). Of course, I was accompanied by a huge gaggle of tourists the entire time, but fun nonetheless. I did get to go to the Royal Ontario Museum with Nora and Stephen, who both have a lifetime of experience in art and provided a wonderful visit to the ROM for this young appreciator. Also included in the CityPass was a visit to the zoo, where I was accompanied by the lovely young Julianne Pulpan and her boyfriend Chris for a ridiculously scorching walk through a very well-done zoo (my favourites were the gigantic and baby orangutans and the Sumatran tigers, and the elephants were great as well).

After my time spent in the east of Toronto, I headed back west for the remainder of my time to stay once again with the Pulpans. Ingrid and I, along with some of her friends proceeded to party up a storm in the TO on a fantastic saturday night with a funner-than fun dance party session at the Dance Cave (looks as it sounds, like a dark cave where everybody just dances like nobody's watching, my kind of place).

To wrap up my time in Eastern Canada, part of the Pulpan clan (Gabe, Peter, Julianne and boyfriend Chris) took me to see one of the great natural wonders of the world - Niagara Falls. We chose a great day to head to the misty falls, as the condensation coming from all that power that lingered in the air helped us greatly in trying to stay cool, as the temperature reached 36* c, which in southern Ontario feels like 45* c. Nonetheless, Niagara is very humbling to stand next to, as the amount of water coming from both falls (Canadian/Horseshoe falls and the American falls) is mind-boggling. Truly a beautiful and romantic sight to see at the end of a trip that was full of some of the most amazing natural wonders I have ever seen.

To cap off my trip, Ingrid arranged for a couple of her really close friends to come watch a movie and eat delicious Ingrid-made baked goods on my final night. As the hours ticked closer to coming back home, life was perfect with great company, watching Donnie Darko and eating unbelievable banana-chocolate chip muffins.

As I waved goodbye to the east, I said hello to the west, to home, to the Stampede and bbq. The party doesn't stop...

Wednesday, 04 July 2007

Location: Toronto, Canada

I had to write this as well, as its been quite entertaining to Ingrid, Jen and I since I got here. My reverse culture shock. I can't stop speaking Spanish. It has become ingrained in my vocabulary, and comes out without thinking all the time. At Tim Horton's for example (because I had to have a Canadian donut, more to come on food), I was asked if I wanted my bagel toasted, and I responded, "si, por favor". the little oriental trainee had no idea what to do with me. it happens a lot, and i think its really funny.

I also can't stop eating. I have cravings for everything. Its like I didnt eat in Peru, which is a complete lie, I ate REALLY well when I was there, maybe skipped some meals due to traveling every now and then though. But I eat everything in sight right now. It takes a lot of work to get full. Plus, I can't help but see things like Tim Horton's and want a Maple covered donut (and everything bagel with strawberry cream cheese, mmm so good). Or see a brick of solid fudge and devour it within a few hours, something that would make the majority of people sick Im sure. I eat many postres/desserts (see, more spanish), but Im also finishing everyone else's meals, something I have never really done. Ingrid thinks its hilarious as I see all kinds of junk and instantly want to eat it. Walking downtown and smelling all the different street meat vendors was so so so hard to just walk by without buying a giant hot dog. I think my crazy cravings are going down now, but for the past week its been a little bit ridiculous. I dont know why it happened, its not like I didnt have access to all kinds of food in Peru, including the sweets and non healthy bits (thats in abundance in South America), and its all so much cheaper there, but as soon as I stepped off the plane, its been almost uncontrollable. Good thing that the Pulpans and Nora and Stephen are very health-concious, I have a chance to get back in the right direction at least.

Make sure you keep reading on to the next entry.

Tuesday, 03 July 2007

Location: Toronto, Canada

Readjusting back to life in Canada has been a really funny experience. While I am not actually home yet, I have been thrown/flown from the Andes right into the fully developed metropolis of Toronto (I say developed as in not a developed country, such as ...Peru). I have been staying with the Pulpan's, family friends who have so kindly opened their doors to this silly hippy who cant stop speaking Spanish with an appetite like nobodies business. One of their daughters, Ingrid, who is my age, stayed with my family and I for about 8 months in 2005/2006, and has become my amazing guide to life in the east since stepping off the plane. The hospitality I have received from the Pulpan's has been nothing short of incredible, and has made my return to the great white north absolutely amazing.

So, the quick rundown on my express tour of Eastern Canada so far: started it all off with a (started out) fun family outing to pick strawberries for jam and freezing (ended a little scary though). Following the strawberries, Ingrid and I headed downtown for a walk along Queen St., Yonge St., Chinatown, and Kensington (super cool). Absolutely incredible to walk down a street in Canada with so much history attached to it (Queen, Yonge) and see super modern skyscrapers standing next to a 300 year old building coated in beautiful vines which sits next to a beautiful park (which just so happened to be hosting a small jazz festival). The multi-culturalism, and quite honestly, bounty of culture, is everywhere here, as I hear countless languages walking down the streets (in Kensington I was able to keep the Spanish going as I met a super nice guy from Southern Mexico), see stores meant for every walk of life from all over the globe, see elements of the fashion world (which I don't pay attention to at all); it is a big explosion of excitement everywhere I look! Montreal is most definitely on the same train as Toronto in that regards, maybe even more so in some ways, but I'm getting out of sequence. Following our walk through the streets, we ate at a fantastic vegetarian restaurant (I ate my first vegan meal, oh my) which was later followed by incredible locally made ice cream crepes with nutella in Etobicoke. mmmm. The following day brought Ingrid and I to Center/Toronto Island (I can't remember what it is actually called), an absolutely beautiful island off of downtown, where we had an awesome picnic and rented some funkin cool cruiser bikes to tour the island on (pedal brakes!) It was such a fun afternoon. Later on, Ingrid, her best friend Jen and I went to Ribfest, a huge annual extravaganza of award-winning ribs (there are awards for ribs?!?) from all over North America. Great fun too, and actually reminded me a little bit of home.

One big thing I was ridiculously excited about for coming home was what I had planned for Canada Day. Everything worked out so incredibly well with this quick little trip that it just had to be done. I was going to be in the east with Ingrid, my friends Marc and Adam were going to be in Montreal, and the great Manu Chao just happened to be playing at Parc Jean Drapeau in downtown Montreal for Canada Day. With luck like this, I couldn't pass it up. So Ingrid and I went for a 48 hour party in Montreal for the weekend. Wow. Montreal has a lot to offer. We arrived at 1130 Saturday night and had no problem partying until 400 am (after late night poutine, yikes!). The night life is insane! It is really interesting though feeling like a foreigner in Canada, as French is definitely not at a working level for me. So I just spoke Spanish instead; it was fun because I wasn't communicating in English, but really the only other people who understood me was Marc and Adam. We hung out at this place called Tam Tams on Canada Day, this huge parc on the side of Mont Royal filled with all sorts of people from every walk of life but all out for good times. Constant bongo beats, crazy hippie girls dancing up a storm (I was dancing away too, but not with the crazy hippie girls), liberal local laws, medieval battles (? strangest Sunday activity I have ever seen), along with super cool company (Ingrid, Marc, Adam, Maggie, Alaina [thanks for sticking around!! so glad I got the chance to see you], and a super surprise encounter with Megan) made for a wicked day. Of course the day got even better as Manu Chao got nearer. We had to deal with rain during the show, but we didn't care, as St. Alvia, the Planet Smashers and (without a doubt) Manu Chao provided us with ultimate entertainment. It is so hard not to feel good and be muchisimo feliz when listening to his incredible mix of Iberian-Latin American music; its just so friggin good. The show ended with Montreal's fireworks display, how perfect. But the party didn't stop there either... So the following day was more for touristy things, bringing our Western gang through the streets of beautiful Old Montreal and to the harbour, like a walk through time. I absolutely loved all the cafes everywhere, giving it a bit of a European flava to the scene, but still so unique from anything I have ever seen. And a trip would not be complete without a smoked meat sandwich from Schwartz', which ended up being a friggin amazing surprise. I figured it would be good, but it was absolutely deliciously delicious! 48 hours in Montreal definitely is not enough, but it was a great taste of what it has to offer, and definitely warrants another, more extended visit in the future.

Now, I am back in Toronto, but on the east side, visiting my Krustmat (Latvian for Godmother) Nora and her husband Stephen. I have wanted to visit Nora my entire life, and just finally managed to do it just shy of a quarter of a century. She is a world traveler, lover of the arts, and all around one of the most interesting and inspiring people I have ever met, and I am so excited to spend some quality time with her on her turf. It should definitely be an exciting last week away from home!

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Location: Lima, Peru

Only hours away now from being homeward bound ... hope Eastern Canada is ready for a long, blond haired, slightly latinized hippie character. Ciao America Sur, seguro que sí nos vemos mas tarde. Gracias por todos, yo disfrutaba mi tiempo contigo.

Toronto and Montreal (yikes, French now! ¡no funciona!), here I come!!


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Recent Messages

From brittany ms. blackbu
whoa your back sorry i have not talked in little drop by when i'm in grade six!!
Response: sorry brittany, i wish i could stop by your class, but as it turns out i am teaching in the dominican republic this year, so I am a long ways from home. have a fantastic last year of elementary school!!
From Marta
Hey Jared,
What an incredible adventure, or shall I say adventures. I'm super jealous! Guess I'll just have to live vicariously through all your amazing pics. Sorry I didn't post anything before now, but I have checked in periodically to see how globe trotter Jared has been making out.
Response: So great to hear from you!! Thanks so much for your kind words. I hope that your final semester went well, Im sure you are happy to be done it all. Definitely stay in touch, I would love to hear more about what you will be doing for your first year as Ms. Wereley!
From claudia (lima- peru)
eyyy Jared!!!!! como andas? q bueno verte tan divertido en las fotos! te cuento q en la universidad too bien, 1º puesto again! ,,,jiju...!!!! nunca te di gracias por todo!!!!!! de verdad la pase muy bien contigo y me diveri mucho, eres un chico muy alegre y divertido!!!!!. Sigue con tus aventuras locas and never forgivme ok?
see you!!!!!
kisses.
clau...
Response: felicidades Claudia!! siempro la maxima, no? gracias a ti por todos, yo disfrutaba todo mi tiempo contigo! por su puesto, nunca voy olvidarte (forget ;) ) mucha suerte con tu universidad, y escribame mucha chica! besos
From Blake
Dude, when are you home. We have lots to catch up on. Plus you get to see your cousin in a cast, limping around and on T3's.
Response: party hardy, thats how we roll. guess you got a little intense, i look forward to hearing the story behind it (but i feel bad at the same time, summer sucks for casts). i am home on wednesday, lets catch up how we do best, under the influence. see you soon bro.
From Tim
SOUNDS PRETTY AMAZING! I am done work for the summer, just getting ready to start climbing all summer... I hope to see you soon and hear all about this crazy trip in person! Nice one, brotha!

Tim and Meg
Response: Its soo good to hear from you guys!! I will definitely have to catch up with you when i get back, hopefully even scale some rock, but if not a pint is definitely in order! Hopefully you will be in town this month, I will get a hold of you when I get back. Excited to catch up with you guys, see you soon!
From ana
Hola borrachito! ya de regreso a Canada? espero que hayas disfrutado todo tu tiempo en Sudamerica y no olvides todos los amigos que hiciste y todos los buenos momentos que viviste.
Cuando sigue Mexico? te estaremos esperando.
Un abrazote borrachito!
- Ana
Response: Hola borrachita! si estoy en canada ahora, y disfrutandolo mucho! (oracion funciona o no?) por su puesto yo he disfrutado todo mi tiempo en sudamerica, y nunca yo voy olvidar mis amigos de alla. Ojala, me voy a mexico muy pronto, yo quiero mucho!! hablamos pronto borrachita!
From PATTY
AMIGO LINDO SORRY NO TE VI Q PENA ME SIENTO MAL MUY MAL QUISE DESPEDIRME DE TI Y NO PUDE TE VOY A EXTRAÑAR MUCHO MUCHO MUCHO TE ADORO OJALA VENGAS PRONTO PARA IR A MANCORA OK TE DESEO LO MEJOR OJALA NOS VEAMOS PRONTO MY GUERO LINDO TE ADOROOOOOOOO BSOS MUCHOS KISSESS I LOVE YOU FRIEND FOR EVER!!! GOOD BYE MI CHIQUITO LINDO BYE
Response: no problema patty, yo entiendo, tu uni es mucho mas importa! te voy a extranar mucho tambien, he disfrutado todo mi tiempo en peru y con ustedes! escribame por fa, yo quiero escuchar de ti. suerte para ti y tu familia mi amiga! muchos besos amiga!
From Kim (Heathers Mom)
Hey Jared,
Its been a pleasure reading and watching your adventures along with Heathers. Especially when I don't hear from her for a little while, its great to have another source to make sure she's doing fine. Thanks again & Happy Trails!
Kim Z
Response: What a fantastic surprise!! Thank you so much for your kind words! Heather definitely has been a busy girl lately, getting in all that she can of the incredible surroundings in Huaraz (currently, she is on another 4 day trek, and hasnt really been in Huaraz for over a week). It was an absolute delight to meet up with her down here. Take care Kim! Talk to you soon hopefully!
From Kate
RC's are done and only 2 more quality days left. Nerves are frazzled and even the kids are ready for a break. The farm is really looking like a haven now.
I won't have a computer or Internet at the farm but will check in when I return to the city. Enjoy your travels - when are you home??? The CBE is hiring and we need a grade 6 teacher at Mulloy!!
K
Response: Another year in the books, time for 2 months of wonderful tranquility! Are you going to spend the entire summer at the farm, or are you going to be back in town at all? I would love to meet up for a coffee or other varied bevy, I am home more or less from the 11th of July till the 28th, let me know if we can meet up. Sorry to say though, that grade 6 position won't be taken by me. Talk to you soon!
From PATTY
JARED!!!
Donde estas q mal, te extraño guero, ojala estes muy pronto por aca, se tee xtraña ven a visitarme cuando estes por lima ok...besos amigo gringo..........NO!!!!!! sino GUERO jajaja cdte kisses ...patty
Response: Patty, que onda!? ahora estoy en lima, ven a miraflores!! te extraño tambien chiquita, ojala nos encontrarnos hoy dia por pisco y chela. besos amiga
From breanne
yeah the new photos are sweet you look like your having a blast
Response: thanks Breanne, totally am, but sad as I leave soon :(
From Blake
Hey buddy, haven't talked to you for awhile. Sounds like everything is incredible other than being sick (that sucks). Take it easy and get that bug out of your system. See you in a few weeks.
Response: Hey cuz, I am surrounded by stunning beauty so I can't complain too much. The sickness slowly leaves for now, so Im pretty happy about that. Excited to catch up with you soon, I hope you enjoyed your time in Italy and Montreal (Im sure you did), i look forward to hearing all about it!
From ana
Hola Jared! Saludos desde Mexico! me da gusto que te este llendo muy bien. Espero que tu enfermedad se vaya pronto y te sientas mejor para que puedas disfrutar Jatun Mache y Huaraz.
Un fuerte abrazo!
Me voy el Jueves a Utah a trabajar por dos meses :)
Response: Hola Ana!! Gracias por tus saludos y tus deseos por mi salud. Yo quiero mucho a disfrutar aca, y ojala me voy a escalar vallenaraju en jueves/viernes. Un grande fuerte abrazo para ti tambien, y yo espero te vas a tener un tiempo increible en Utah!! suerte en las EEUU! ciao chiquita
From Claudia :)
Jared!!! hola amiio cmo estas? espero que la estes pasando xvere en mi pais, te cuento que ya termino mi universidad el jueves!! Vuelve pronto.... LIMA te extraña jiji :)
Response: muy chevere, Lima me extrana ;) no tienes mas uni despues jueves?? por que? me voy a volver a lima en 26 de julio, un semana y media, ojala tu horario estare libre en eso dia. hasta pronto shumaguermi (uuu, algo en quechua)
From Roxan
Hey Jared!
Just a quick note to say hi and let you know how happy and proud we are of you... taking on new challenges and creating your own unique expreiences on a daily basis.
I don't get a chance to check out your website too often (this is a work address...) but I have enjoyed your stories and photos immensely.
Misty and Jordan say hi, and we hope to see you in a few weeks. Please take better care of your health! Luv, Rox
Response: So good to hear from you Roxan! Thank you very much for the kind words, they mean a lot to me. I am excited to catch up with you and Misty and Jordan within the next month (yeah for bbq!!) Hasta pronto
From breanne
hey mr b, how you doing sorry i haven't e-maild you latly but my computer wouln't work
Response: hey breanne, dont worry about it, hope you like all the new fotos
From Kate
Glad to read that you're having such a memorable and fabulous experience.
We are winding down...only 12 more days to go. Lots of finish up projects plus teacher work but June 29 will be here in no time!
Wish you well. K
Response: Always a pleasure to hear from you Kate! Another year in the books, Im sure you have an enjoyable yet busy summer planned out at the farm, so hopefully the last few days dont drag on too much. I have two more greetings that you may want to share with the students, both from the Andean people of Perú: Kamisaraki (Aymara) and Imanoya quekayanki (Quechua, Perú's 2nd national language, language of the Inca). Talk to you soon Kate!!
From kmat NORA
I like to "save up " my Jared reading for weekends and haven't caught up with you for a few weeks.
Wow - what astounding travels. Ecuador sounded wonderful and your mountain voyage photos are so beautiful ( as is your lovely friend Heather ! ). I so thrilled that you are coming to Toronto. Send details when you know them and rest assured a bed and a full fridge await, though obviously all you need is a guava or two and a hammock.
Enjoy life my dear !
See you soon
Kmat NORA
Response: Again, I always love hearing from you! Its been an incredible couple of months, I cant wait to see you in person to spill all the beans. I will email you a somewhat plan for my time in the east, thank you so much for bringing me in, I look forward to meeting Stephen as well! see you in a couple of weeks! Jared
From Guera
Hola there Guero!
Como estas? Como te fue, tu trek con Marc? I hope all went well and you guys had some good times, can't wait to see pictures, hope you guys had a fresh stock of coca leaves for the altitude and loved every minute of the trek,
Hasta luego Guero,
Besos!
Response: Hola Guera!! mi trek con marc fue fantastico, un poco problemas pero todo esta bien! I cant wait to show you the pictures from Cuzco and MP. Hasta muy pronto mi buen amiga! Guero
From ana (mexicana)
Hola Jared! que tal el trecking de Huayhuash? increible no? espero que luego nos cuentes como te fue. Isa y yo ya estamos en Guadalajara, extrañando muchisisismo Peru y a ustedes. No queria regresarme todavia, ustedes hicieron que nuestro tiempo alla estuviera todavía mas divertido. Muchas gracias por todo y sigue disfrutando Huaraz por nosotras. Los extrañamos un abrazo! visitanos pronto! Si se toman un pisco sour, brindan por nosotros :)
Response: Huayhuash iba increible!! Yo tuve muchisimo divertido con ustedes, estoy muy feliz encontramos un otro vez en Huaraz. Disfruta tu tiempo en Guadalara antes tu viajes a EEUU. Nos vemos pronto, yo quiero mucho visitarse en Mexico muy pronto! Pisco sours y tequila por todo! hablamos pronto amigas.
From Lauren
Hey Jared,

Those pics are amazing!! Crazy animal life down there!! Hope you two are enjoying the mountains and all they have to offer!! We are in Ko Samui, our favorite Thai island so far!! We're heading to Cambodia and Vietnam soon though to soak up some history!! Have a cervasa for us!
Response: Thanks a ton Lauren! Glad to hear you two are having a blast in SE Asia, a wild time is guaranteed there. I really hope you enjoy Cambodia and Vietnam, I cannot wait to visit that area! Cervezas por todo, y disfruta la playa!!
From brittany
shurken head freaky sorry but yikes
Response: thats just how some people have lived, its normal in that part of the world
From Brittany
omg wow i wish i could go there now
Response: its all truly incredible Brittany!
From Yori
Hey Jared! Your pictures are amazing! I can't wait to get to Bolivia!! Hope that you are doing well... cuídate
Response: Thanks a ton Yori!! I really hope you love Bolivia, my time there was absolutely incredible. Hopefully we can still meet up in Cuzco at the beginning of June! suerte amiga
From Blake
I heard you got yourself a "real job". Congrats buddy. Our little hippy is growing up so fast. Next thing you know you'll be packing your own lunches and everything. Take it easy buddy, keep your stick on the ice.
Response: Thanks bro, Im really stoked to have a 'real job', but its super intimidating trying to figure out all i need to know about moving and working in the DR. As far as lunches, its too soon to tell...
Cuidate primo.