Arequipa, Peru

Now that I have mentioned exchange I would like to share another part of my history. Probably the BEST experience of my life by far is ROTARY YOUTH EXCHANGE!!! I don't know if anything has shaped me as much as those months in South America. I originally had wished to go to Australia then I saw pictures of Machu Picchu and fell in love. I knew I had to go to Peru and made it happen. I shipped out on the anniversary of Peru's independence in 2004, I was a mere 16 years old leaving my family and friends.  I lived in Arequipa Peru. The white city. There were around 27 other exchange students in my town from all over the world. Brasil, Germany, Holland, Australia, and closer to home Iowa, Ohio, Vermont, Colorado, Arizona, Washington and two others from Oregon. We all became close knit friends, especially M from Iowa as we attended the same school. 
Here's a photo montage of the year.
Rotary Gathering
My Peruvian host family.
Notice the cathedral in the back, love this pic
Native Peruvians in the Plaza
Calle San Francisco where things happen!
El Misti
My exchange besties in the plaza
Arequipa's Tambo River
My grandparents visiting
Opening a package at the post office

El Turko, the "spot"
The laundry on our roof
Shoelace man.
Me in Class
This is serious. I was in 3rd grade to improve my spanish skills
School was boring for M and I
We seriously had to brush our teeth after lunch daily.
The teacher passing out tooth paste. I am not kidding.
Carnivales = water balloon fights

Carnivales also = polvo!
Rotary took us to Cusco and Machu Picchu and when my parents visited for my birthday  we also travelled there.

Mom in Cusco
Cusco Cathedral
Machu Picchu
Rafting trip for my 17th birthday on Rio Urumbamba
Mom jumping and me watching!
We toured a Canyon that is twice as deep as the grand canyon and super breath taking!
Traditional Peruvian Dress in Colca Canyon
Peruvians in Colca

Colca Canyon
 When my grandparents visited we travelled the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador, AMAZING!
Beautiful Galapagos
Ship on the Galapagos sunset
Blue Footed Boobie in the Galapagos

M and I in our rotary jackets 
I think this is a hilarious picture
Christmas in Ilo

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