This summer we won't be sending the kids to camp and hitting the beach. Instead, on June 26th, Scott, Melanie, Lucas and Sydney depart for a 2 month adventure in Peru where we'll immerse ourselves in peruvian culture, volunteer to help those less privileged, hike the Inca Trail and live in the jungle. Follow our blog for regular updates, pictures and videos from all 4 of us.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Aaaaannnnnndddddd...we're back!

After 9 weeks we finally returned to the United States exactly 1 week ago.  We've spent the last week recovering from the adventure...showering, washing clothes, drinking water straight from the tap.  I even shaved off my beard...check out the before and after shots:

We spent our first night back in the LAX Hilton, and enjoyed a gourmet breakfast the next morning at Carls Jr.!!!  After enduring a few hours of car trouble, we finally got on the road and headed out to the desert for a few days of downtime (since our house was still occupied) where we did nothing more than sit by the pool, relax and eat anything other than rice or potatoes!  We finally made it back to our house on Friday, and have spent the last several days unpacking before the kids go back to school tomorrow.

Since we've gotten back we've gotten tons of questions about the trip.  Of course, we're more than happy to regale people with crazy tales of the zoo, adventures at Lake Titicaca, or all the weight I seemed to have lost (I lost some 15lbs), but the conversation always seems to come back to whether our kids now have a different perspective after living abroad.  The answer is definitely 'yes', but it's less an appreciation for all our luxuries we enjoy (cars, houses, toys, etc.) and more an appreciation for the basic standards that we in the U.S. have grown all to accustomed to.  Things like...

  • Ice -- Peruvians don't ever have ice and drink most drinks at room temperature (think warm coke).
  • Working sewers -- Being able to throw our toilet paper in the actual toilet.
  • Water -- Having access to water 24 hours a day...being able to drink it straight from the tap, having a hot water heater with access from every faucet.
  • Clothes Dryer -- Drying your clothes in a dryer and not outside on a line.
  • Food Variety -- Not eating bread, butter and cheese for every breakfast or having rice/potatoes for every lunch/dinner.
Keep in mind that the way we lived while in Peru was considered "middle class" for that country.  

Anyway, that's pretty much it for our blog posts on Peru.  Perhaps we'll use this forum to continue to post family updates if any of you are actually interested in the more mundane happenings of the Silvermans.  

Thanks for following our summer adventure,
Scott, Melanie, Lucas & Sydney

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Our Israeli Brothers

Not surprisingly, there aren't many Jews in Peru so when Melanie happened across a little area of Cusco with lots of hebrew signs it was worth a little more exploration.  As it turns out, Cusco is a popular tourist spot with Israelis so one Saturday a few weeks ago we decided it was worth trying out Cusco's only bagel place for lunch.

Simply named, The Bagel Cafe is exactly what it sounds like...they serve half decent bagels, cream cheese, tuna melts, pizza bagels and pretty darn good milkshakes.  It's run by a guy named Ohad Duchovny and his twin brother Gilad...both moving to Peru from Israel.  Ohad was very funny serving us himself, and it was a great lunch.  In fact, the kids asked to go back several times afterwards, but we never had the opportunity.  We enjoyed it enough that we even tried one of the other restaurants run by the brothers...a Sushi place if you can believe (who knew Israelis ate sushi?).

Anyway, we figured Ohad would soon forget the 4 Jews from Orange County, CA and our paths would likely never cross again...but we figured wrong!!!  As it turns out Ohad, Gilad and their father decided to take a trip to the jungle at the same time as we did and stay at the same lodge.  We're sitting at dinner one night and Lucas looks over at me and asks "Is that the bagel guy, Dad?".  Sure enough it was...and he remembered us too!  Well, weather delayed our return from the Jungle so we had to spend an extra night in Puerto Maldanado, and we hung out that extra night with the Duchovny family.  The dad loved Lucas & Sydney and by the time we finally landed back in Cusco, the 7 of us had become fast friends:

Anyway, if you ever find yourself in Cusco and craving a bagel (or sushi) we know the perfect spot...just drop our name and our Israeli brothers will hook you up.