Friday, December 13, 2013

Farm Days

When entering K38 you think you are coming into a beautiful tropical paradise: lush mango trees, huge lemon trees, cows, baby horses, and tons of room to explore, run around, and breathe in sweet Peruvian jungle air. But then you wake up and realize you are at K38 to work.. not just to help clean around but to do MANUAL LABOR in the sun from 8-12 and 2-5pm again and your perspective changes just a little bit.

Welcome to the hard core jungle where the sun beats down on you making you shimmer and bugs enjoy nesting on your skin. There's huge wasps in the trees and many snakes waiting in their holes in the ground. In the first 3 hours I worked out there I got stung by 3 huge wasps! One of them left a two sore on my neck that is there right now. We also saw 2 snakes at the farm this week. That means I've seen 3 in Peru so far. Not as bad as it could be- but it definitely doesn't make me happy either.

When we finished the work, K38 was like a dream. I had my own bedroom and my own fan. I walked outside one morning and picked mangos off the ground. After searching through the mostly rotted or broken mangos, I found 4 descent looking ones. 2 of them were quite tasty. I finally learned why mangos cost so much money! Mangos are found in trees that are 50-100 feet up in the air. You have to wait for them to fall to the ground when they are ripe. Some of them break and some of them are devoured by the animals around or fleas. Therefore it is quite a job to find good, perfect mangos. Nevertheless Peruvian mangos are in abundance at every little store and outdoor supermarket and will outdo American mangos 10X any day.

We harvested cacao plants for our work, hoeing around at the jungle vines and rotten yucca trees. Cacao plants somehow make chocolate... I can't even imagine all the work that goes into that. Just harvesting the cacao is a nightmare= literal nightmare! I can't describe how miserable and hard it is to harvest and hoe everything down except for those little cacao in the heat of the day. It also gives you a real heart for the Peruvian manual labor workers. They are often working as hard as they can in the hot sun for less than one sole an hour (less than thirty-three cents)! It's just crazy to imagine living your entire life like that- working as hard as you can in the sun- just to get by and supply your families needs.

The farm was beautiful but I'm exhausted and so glad my time there is over for now. My hands have reacted again, swelling, turning red, and itching- this time I know the cause! I'm allergic to the huge lemons they have at K38. When the skin and lemon juice touches my skin it sets off a severe allergic reaction. I think I will be ok this time since I discovered it way faster than last time! The doctor gave me medicine like Cetirizina and Pretnizone. Please pray that my hands get better and don't fully react to the point where I can't move like last time.

I was excited to return back to K8 and see my other friends again. It's amazing how much I could miss them in only a few days. Katie Kat and I made these delicious homemade pancakes tonight and served it with nutella and peanut butter we got in a package from a friend. Here's the recipe in case you want to try:


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, or vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Assorted toppings, such as butter, maple syrup, confectioners' sugar, honey, jams, preserves, sweetened whipped cream, or chocolate syrup


  1. STEP 1

    Preheat oven to 200 degrees; have a baking sheet or heatproof platter ready to keep cooked pancakes warm in the oven. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt; set aside.


  2. STEP 2

    In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, butter (or oil), and egg. Add dry ingredients to milk mixture; whisk until just moistened (do not overmix; a few small lumps are fine).
  3. STEP 3

    Heat a large skillet (nonstick or cast-iron) or griddle over medium. Fold a sheet of paper towel in half, and moisten with oil; carefully rub skillet with oiled paper towel.
  4. STEP 4

    For each pancake, spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons of batter onto skillet, using the back of the spoon to spread batter into a round (you should be able to fit 2 to 3 in a large skillet).
  5. STEP 5

    Cook until surface of pancakes have some bubbles and a few have burst, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip carefully with a thin spatula, and cook until browned on the underside, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer to a baking sheet or platter; cover loosely with aluminum foil, and keep warm in oven. Continue with more oil and remaining batter. (You'll have 12 to 15 pancakes.) Serve warm, with desired toppings.

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