Hey all,

So i should have written this a long time ago…but as I sit here having retuned to the states nearly a month ago, I figured this could be¬†therapeutic¬†now as all my friends gear up for a conference that on health projects that I would have been at if I were still in peru.

I made probably the toughest decision i’ve ever made to come home after a long and tough road that I thought was all “part of the experience”. In the end, when “part of the experience” has you down and feeling things that you can’t control and really can’t talk to administration about due to its personal nature and also just due to the nature of how we as Americans percieve the concept of feelings and morale differently than other cultures. Coming home was due to many different factors that I won’t necessarily go into. I think in my video blog I was able to successfully portray all the positive and happy aspects of my experience in Peru…which honestly, I will ALWAYS look back fondly on. The trouble is, there was so much that I ignored and chose not to address simply to “stick it out”; endure the tough stuff, it’ll be worth it in the end; just keep going so that you can say you did it.

I couldn’t be one of those people who “stuck with peace corps” just to say that they “did it”; completed it. For what though?

I had too much invested in why I was there…too much desire to really be thriving in my site and loving the situation I was in. The people were wonderful…I have nothing bad to say about any cultural aspect of my time, that is the part of the experience that I loved so much as an anthopologist…but when you know that something just isn’t right about the idea of you staying for two years and feeling certain feelings of being down like I did, the stronger thing to do is to reevaluate. So I did just that. I went into Lima for some good clearing of the mind. It was an incredibly rough week for me. Thank goodness I was with one of my best friends in Peace Corps, Sophie, also an Ancash volunteer so I was really able to have a friend’s perspective on all of my processing as I went through the arduous task of realizing that I was probably making the decision to go home.

As a truly determined Peace Corps Volunteer, the thought to go home doesn’t enter your head ever…until it does. Then there is almost no denying it.

So there I was, coming to the realization that I was going to be leaving. NOT quiting. Leaving. I had given Peru such an effort. And damnit, I walk away accomplished. For anyone who belittles another volunteer’s experience simply because they didn’t complete the two years, doesn’t consider how different every peace corps volunteers experience as being SO different from the next…so unique to that specific American. What I did experience, was truly something I will always have with me…but noone else will know all the challenges that that meant FOR ME.

I’m back now. Noone really asks about my time in Peru past the extent of simple questioning…which I knew would be the case, so this isn’t upsetting. I find it strange though that you live it…then you return and really, there’s no processing of what just happened. There is obviously noone here to talk to me about what I did more indepth or what it was like to see what I saw daily…things that I wouldn’t think were that interesting at all. I remember going for one of my last hikes with Shannon thinking, there are things that I see every day here that I just don’t think are interesting or strange but that someone from home wouldn’t believe are part of daily life. And I’m not talking eating guinea pig, traditional polleras, or head soup…I’m talking about like a cow crossing the street, the infamous bus ride over the cordillera blanca, malnourished children on the streets, mothers carrying their babies on their backs, older women spinning the wool on their sticks to weave with, using a letrine…

I hope that people might read this and realize that not completely two years isn’t something to be looked down upon. I say this not having experienced any sort of negative feedback from my friends here at all…so this wasn’t triggered by anything particularly…It’s more of just me justifying why I feel so nostalgic now about a place and about people that I truly didn’t want to leave. Yes, I did make the decision, but I was once told that we have the ability to just make the decision to be happy…that if we are sad or depressed, that it’s almost as easy as flipping on a light switch (even if it’s a gradual one) and we have it in us to be happy. I didn’t agree with this at all when I heard it. I thought it to be rather naive advice to distribute…to think that there are no oustide actors that can really make us feel one way or another isn’t right (not to say that we are completely influenced in our morale or mood by outside influences but to ignore that is naive in itself I think). Eventually I realized though that the decision for me to “decide to be happy” was to make the unhappy decision to return home.

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The Santa Cruz Adventure one

Well hello there. . . ;)

This video is one that I’m super proud of not only because I finally figured out how to get this new HD camera uploading to youtube but also because it’s just really damn good.

The volunteers in the department of Ancash were invited by one of the tourist organizations in the Huaylas Valley where two of the PC volunteers live (erica and callie) to par take in a clean up of one fo the most famous treks with in Ancash. The Santa Cruz trek usually takes about 4 days for “normal” tourists…we bad-ass volunteers did it in 1.5 days! …all the while picking up trash and helping to make the environment that much better for this upcoming season.

I always think it’s important to have the opportunity to cross over to help and participate with other PC programs, in this case the environment program. We’re all in it together after all.

This video is just a great little clip of how even when getting together to work on a project as large as cleaning up one of the most famous treks in Peru, our group of Ancash voulnteers can still have an all out blast while doing so.

This one is for you guys…you keep me going!

-T

The Santa Cruz Adventure one

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The BIG COMEBACK one!

Alright people.

It’s been a while since I’ve had the privelidge of posting a new video on the blog…so here it is. A taste of what’s to come. I’m in better spirits after a rough patch. I live in the town of Chavin now where the ruins that date back to before 800 bc are at. I have a hot new pad (with tour to come) and just a new morale to attack this truly challenging experience with.

This video serves as a taste of what is to come from your favorite Andean entertainer. I can’t wait to continue filming my adventures in Peru for all of you! This is totally my vice and it is with out further adothat I have the pleasure of saying…

HERE IS MY BIG COMEBACK!

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so…i’m out of the dark ages and finally a skyper!

yep…i’m finally a skyper! Weird to think i never really jumped on this banwagon, but hey add me as a contact and we can chat directly for free…what’s not to dig about that!?

my username is: tyler.d.brown

Also here’s my address cuz people have actually wanted to send me stuff…which you know I love that idea. (despite what people may have thought, my address DIDN’T change from what it was before…still have to come into Huaraz to pick up my mail.)

PCV Tyler Brown

Casilla Postal No. 277
Serpost Huaraz
Ancash, Peru

So that’s some good info for now…love staying in contact with you guys and really appreciate all the support from everyone these last couple of months. The big video comeback will be soon…so stay tuned!

love,

T


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just rollin’ along

Hey guys…so sorry the blog/vlog has been a bit neglected as of late but with reasonable cause I assure you… I have been going through some rough stuff getting situated in my new site (dealing with getting a new home [which i now finally have!], complying with peace corps’ requirement to live with a family and reajusting to a new family at that…etc). I am hopeful that I’m headed in the right direction though and things will really start taking form soon here.

I also will hopefully be getting a new camera here soon to continue with my videos…which I have honestly been lost here in Peru with out. It sounds strange, but that was like my creative outlet…my way to express my experience here and I feel pretty lost with out that vice…so soon I hope!

quick note.

couple of days ago, I was with shannon. We saw a young girl with a cheap little backpack in san marcos. The backpack had a high school musical theme. plastered across the front was dreamy zac efron’s face. Do you think zac efron has any clue that he is reaching little children in the third world with his franchise?… just something to think about…

thinking about you all and missing home fiercely.

T

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Update

Where to begin…

All the Peru 12-ers just returned from a three day conference in Pacasmayo…an event meant to serve as an opportunity for reflecting and reuniting with your training class. It was a very loaded couple of days with some unfortunate happenings at the beginning which negatively affected the rest of the conference.

On the first night, there were to incidents of robbery. One was a group of four volunteers walking back to the hostel. The second was with two volunteers, a guy and a girl..the guy happened to have all my possessions because I thought it would be responsible to leave them with him while I wadded in the ocean with a couple of other peace corps volunteers. They are all held at knife point and were pretty tramatically affected by the violent acts of theft.

My heart goes out to those physically affected by the incidents. My things were taken in the second incident which left me in abit of a funk, but in the end, it’s just stuff…trying to get things replaced will just be a bit of a process. I wanted to give you all the heads up that the production of videos might be on hold for a little while seeing as the video camera was in my bag that was robbed. Maybe I’ll get a collection going to get it replaced so that my andean mountain film productions can commence once again, sooner than later.

I guess it just goes to show you… you can be responsible and do everything right, but still things can go wrong. And now back to Conchucos to develop my new site. I should be settling in and actually be making my home a home for the remainder of my service with in the next two weeks.

That’s all for now…miss you all…

-T

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The escape to trujillo one

Here are some of the candid shots from my little get away to trujillo after my move from Chucos. I had a great time with the PCV’s that hail from that region of Peru.

remember when rebecca was queen of carnaval… unforgettable.

The escape to trujillo one

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