Earth Day & Peruvian wrap-up

Happy Earth Day! Go pick up some trash, turn out the lights, and plant something!

So, yeah! I am home. I leave again on Friday, but let’s not talk about that right now.******

I loved Peru. I loved the kindness of the Peruvian people, the energy of Lima, the incredible food, and the experience of a world very different than mine. Turns out, I was able to limp along better in Spanish than I thought, too. Peru is a vast country, with a fascinating history and mix of cultures. I know that my way-too-short stay there was essentially like skipping a stone across the the ocean. But my brief glimpse was lovely.

Let’s roll the tape!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Plaza de Armas at the heart of the city.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Soccer game in a courtyard.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic My awesome ceviche and a glass of my new favorite drink, chicha morada, made from purple corn and spices.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic I even ate a lima bean, even though it’s one of the few foods I hate, because, “when in Lima…”

Image and video hosting by TinyPic At the ruins of the pyramid at Huaca Pucllana, built by a pre-Incan people, the Lima. It is in the middle of Lima and is incredible.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic This guy works in a bookstore in the Miraflores neighborhood – that’s his favorite book.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic They’re reading Joe Hill in Peru!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic And yes, it’s official: Stephanie Meyer has taken over the planet.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic The 8th grade girls bookclub from the school. I ADORE the kids at the Colegio Roosevelt!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Back to the grocery store, called Vivanda, where the yogurt shelf has these goodies.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic And there is half an aisle – a long aisle – devoted to evaporated condensed milk. Peruvian desserts take the concept of “sweet” to a new level.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic I tried tres leches, purple corn pudding, sweet potato doughnuts with syrup, and other things I don’t remember the name of, but this (the one in the middle with the seeds) – cheesecake de maracuya – that’s right; passionfruit cheesecake, was indescribably delicious.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic But the best fusion I’ve ever tasted? Peru + Japan = yumminess. Sushi topped with MANGO!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Which isn’t to say that you can’t find decent junk food, if you’re in the mood. Bembodog!!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Best sign of the trip, found in the duty-free store at the airport.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic So good-bye, Peru. I can’t wait to go back!

****** I am going to Los Angeles! Can you come out and see me this weekend?

12:30 – 1:30pm Young Adult Fiction Panel: “Problem Child” Location: Moore 100
Moderator: Jonathan Hunt
Panelists: Laurie Halse Anderson
Suzanne Phillips
Nate Powell
Jacqueline Woodson

2:30 – 3:30 pm Booksigning
Location: Penguin/Whale of a Tale Booth, #816

Hasta luego!

Couple quick pics

I have an early start today, so only have time to post a couple pics.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic My first llama sighting!!! This was at Huaca Pucllana, the pre-Incan ruin in the middle of the city. EXTREMELY interesting place!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Crime can be a problem here, but the government has responded with a visible police presence. The police are the nicest I’ve ever met.

More later!

Still llovely in Llima

Am dashing off to the school today. Will try and post blog and photos from the weekend tonight.

One fascinating point – most of the web pages I look at are coming up in Spanish first, like MySpace and Facebook. LJ comes up in English.

More airport coffee, llooking for llamas

I’m back in the Atlanta airport, waiting, this time, for the plane that will take me to Lima, Peru. No, this is not part of the book tour. I am going to Lima to speak at an American School there, the same way that I went to Warsaw, Poland in 2007.

Many people have written to ask if I’ll be going to Machu Picchu. Sadly, the answer is no. I get altitude sickness easily and I have wicked asthma – the combination of the two makes it unsafe for me to travel to altitude alone. But I hope I can come back with the Beloved Husband one day. He will take many photos of me wheezing or passed out amongst breath-taking scenery.

I am under strict orders from BH to avoid wheatgrass, btw. He would be happiest if I abstained from all adventurous eating on this trip. Not sure I’ll be able to comply fully (I’m going to PERU, for crying out loud. Must try new food!!!) But no wheatgrass. Never, ever, ever, ever again. And no llama beans, thunderchiken. No, thank you.

This weekend I will be absorbing a tiny bit of Lima courtesy of the peripatetic Hoiseth family. Monday – Friday I’ll be giving presentations about my books and writing workshops at the Colegio F. D. Roosevelt. Late Friday night I start the long journey home. I would have loved to schedule some vacation time, but the next week I head to California for the LA Book Festival, and shortly after that is the International Reading Association Conference in MN.

At this point, being able to wake up in my own bed for a week running will feel like a vacation.

I am not sure if I’ll be able to blog or tweet from Peru. So I will post a bunch of links right now to keep you busy while I’m gone:

1. Publisher’s Weekly has a nice article (with photos!) about how I used Twitter on the book tour. Hello new media! You can read my Twitter stream here, if you want.

2. The YAthenaeum has posted a terrific recap of the poetry slam, Time Warp, and my time at Books & Books, complete with video. Booksellers – if you’re looking for a model of how to run a teen book club, here it is.


Watch my Q & A session from my book tour stop at Kepler’s in Menlo Park, CA. Really there was a BUNCH of people there, but no one wanted to sit up front. They had no doubt heard out my tendency to foam at the mouth and spit (unintentionally, of course) when I get on a rant.

And spitting brings us, at llong llast, to llamas. I have been assured that I won’t see any llamas in LLima, but I might get llucky. I am llonging for a llama encounter. I am playing with all kinds of multi-llingual puns along of the lines of “Como se llama, llama?”

(If you were walking with your dog and you saw a llama who resembled Perry Como, you might ask your dog, “Perro, como se llama llama?” And then, if LLorenzo LLamas joined you….)

I definitely need to get more sleep.

I’ll be back here sooner, hopefully than llater.