You may have lived in AQP for five years if…


September 1 is the 5-year anniversary for Team Arequipa. That is hard to believe. I KNOW that I could add more to this list, but here are the ones I thought up for now:

1. Brown eggs look way more normal than white eggs.

2. You use avocado, red onion, roma tomatoes, and lettuce on all sandwiches year-round.

3. You can recognize the difference in tune from the trash truck and the recycling truck.

4. The trash truck music no longer makes you think of an ice cream truck immediately.

5. Seeing a llama is like seeing a cow on the side of the road. (It is that normal.)

6. You find yourself saying “it’s cold (when compared to the U.S., it really isn’t)” all the time.

7. You order your produce and baking ingredients from the market in the metric system with ease. You also know your own personal recipes in metric system measurements.

8. Your 3-year-old can use the word “sewage” in its appropriate context. (She also points out in passing any water out on the street, “Don’t step in it. It has poopoo and peepee in it.”)

9. Your one-year-old knows the correct way to hail a cab or get the combi to stop.

10. Your almost two-year-old demands to stand in the taxi holding on to the bar over the door. He does this because this is how people stand in the public buses.

11. You are finally comfortable showing up to a party one hour late.

12. When you plan a party, you are not surprised when people show up an hour late or later.

13. You have perfected stovetop popcorn and you comment or think frequently, “There is no going back to that gross microwave stuff.”

14. You have forgotten what good milk products taste like.

15. You use tons of high altitude recipes.

16. You have a homemade recipe for bisquick and stewed tomatoes.

17. Walking 2 miles to get somewhere is normal.

18. You can navigate the city in different combis in order to buy all the kids’ school supplies (without asking for help).

19. Your list of “Things I miss eating from the states” has dwindled from around 150 things to about 5–good Tex-Mex being right there at the top.

20. You have at least two children that have been born here and know that you can spore points immediately in a new relationship if you share that with Peruvians.

21. You can’t think of the English word for certain things, but the Spanish word comes automatically (it happens for me with spices and herbs).

22. You use “Si” and “entonces” accidentally when speaking in English.

23. You refer to evaporated milk as “Gloria.”

24. You are able to teach a visitor to make rocoto relleno and pastel de papas on Arequipa Day.

25. You know that there will be some type of drama every time you leave the country.

26. You no longer think it is surprising when the school asks you to rent a costume for your kids THE DAY BEFORE they are supposed to have it.

27. You don’t feel guilty about not completing homework assignments that ask ridiculous things because you know you have gained the reputation as “that parent” and they know you won’t do it.

28. Your kids beg to have Aji de Gallina every.single.week.

29. You have fallen in love with many people in the Peruvian culture, and it absolutely breaks your heart to think about leaving Peru.

30. You have lived through 5 summers of interns.

31. Peru will always be a part of you and known as “first home” to your three children.

Greg, Kyle, and Larissa, can you add anymore to the list???

You may have lived in AQP for five years if…

3 thoughts on “You may have lived in AQP for five years if…

  1. lLinda says:

    Wow…you are amazing. Just reading all that you have learned is so dear. To think you live it every day. I am in awe of all of you, and so very thankful. love and blessings! Joe and Linda


  2. 32. You do a double-take upon seeing another white person outside of downtown.

    33. You think to yourself “Hey, there’s a gringo” and somehow don’t consider yourself in the same way.

    34. You haven’t used a vacuum in years.

    35. Dishwashers and dryers seem unnecessary. It doesn’t take that long without them…

    36. You really wish there were good English translations for “tener ganas” and “demorar” and “tramite” because Spanish captures it best.

    37. You tend to read signs (even in the States) with a mental Spanish accent.

    38. You mentally rehearse your Spanish phrasing as you near a situation – then realize you are on furlough and the Sonic people wouldn’t understand your request for a Route “cuarenta y cuatro Coca Cola con vainilla”.

    39. A cloudy day in any month other than January – March is conversation-worthy.

    40. Trying to come up with “Peru” stories gets harder and harder because it’s just your normal, comfortable life.

    41. When your kids play school, they “teach” in Spanish. Even the 3 year old.

    42. Your one-year old can accurately differentiate who receives an English “Hello” and who gets the Spanish “Hola”.


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