hello from lima, peru!

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hello from lima!  my wifi has been a little spotty but as i shared on my instagram last night, we are currently in peru!

it’s been an incredible experience for our family so far and we are so glad we are here.  josh and i decided last minute to book this trip. like, we bought our plane tickets on friday morning and left early sunday! (sometimes the cheapest way to find tickets is to book them last minute! not always, but in this case it worked out nicely!)  i don’t know if it means we’re super spontaneous or just complete idiots thinking we can do this sort of thing with three kids, but we went for it.

peru has been on our list of places we have been wanting to visit for a long time, and including an element of service for our family while traveling has also been something we have been wanting to do more of (although difficult to sometimes do abroad with small children, which is why after josh found this nonprofit online and emailed them to see if they’d allow a family with two toddlers and a ten month old to help serve, we jumped on it when they replied YES!) it is called cross cultural solutions. the experience is one we will remember forever.

we ended up extending the invite to come with us to some of my family, and my sister rebekah who lives in LA took the bait and is down here with us for the first part of our trip! my dad is also coming down tomorrow which is the best news ever because he is more familiar with the area and it’s his birthday weekend and he is also fluent in the language (although bekah and josh speak spanish well too, even though they both claim they don’t. and honestly samson counting to 5 in spanish is better than i can do!) it’s a party too, because our friend jenner (who has helped us put together our NYC guide videos and also traveled with us to amsterdam) is here for a few days! we thought it’d be a long shot when we called him friday night at like eleven in the evening all like, hey…. wanna come to peru and help us create something fun!? i always enjoy putting together our own videos, but since we are helping serve down here, and also trying to really be aware of the kids (conrad is still so small and still crawling a bit so need to give him extra attention) anyway, we figured it might be best to have some help of our own! 

i’ll share more soon, but below are a couple of photos josh and i took over the last few days…

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serving lunch to our new friends!

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eleanor really broke out of her shell this trip and went to town dancing by herself for her new friends for about half an hour to traditional peruvian music!

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and then, she pulled papa up to join her!

4and samson went around the entire circle of people to shake their hands! i really could not get over his determination to make sure he got around to everyone. no one forced him to do this! he did it all on his own and it touched my heart so much! such a sweetheart. this experience has definitely been a powerful one for our family so far.

  1. Stephanie

    Come to Chile!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. sarah jane

    My husband and I went to Ayacucho with Cross Cultural Solutions before kids and had an awesome experience. Cool to see you’re down there with them. Enjoy!

  3. hanna

    This looks like an awesome trip! –Hanna Lei

  4. Megan

    What a fun trip! I absolutely cannot wait to see more pictures and hear more about it

    have a wonderful time // http://www.lifeloveandbe.com/

  5. This is amazing!!!!!! Can’t wait to do stuff like this with my family one day or even just myself with a few friends. This is an awesome idea. No better way to show the love of the Heavenly Father than to be a blessing to others. Bless you and your family.

  6. Kate

    Such a wonderful experience for your children! Can’t wait to see more pictures from this exciting trip. :)

  7. Jenn

    I can’t wait to hear more! What a beautiful thing for your family to share! My husband wanted to visit Machu Picchu with our 18 month old… we are still planning that expedition!

  8. Julia

    This made me so happy! I went to Arusha, Tanzania with Cross Cultural Solutions in 2006, and am so grateful for the experience! I hope that you and yours are able to accomplish a lot with your time there; thanks for being such positive role models! xx

  9. Carlee

    Oh my gosh how cool. Your family is so awesome for doing something like this and what an amazing experience for your kids.
    Carlee
    Little Sloth

  10. Kal

    Where are your jeans from in the pictures? I am trying to find jeans that are tight at the bottom like yours. Thanks!

  11. evanda

    Ah. This is magical. There is nothing like serving others. I do missions in haiti & it is the most rewarding feeling. I come back a better person & with a better outlook on life in general. For me I work in villages & one orphanage in particular & it has literally become my life- I went in thinking I was going to teach these kids about love & boy was I wrong. They have taught me more than I could ever teach them.

    So happy to see you including your little ones! I cannot wait to have kids of my own & take them along with me.

    –Evanda

  12. Andy

    Next time you should visit Buenos Aires, Argentina! What a great experience!

  13. Kristen

    This is so inspiring! The pictures of Eleanor dancing with Josh and Samson shaking hands with everyone is truly truly touching. So glad your family could take this trip. I will definitely be looking into Cross Cultural Solutions. Thanks for sharing

  14. Paige

    This is so amazing! Good for you guys! You do an amazing job at giving your kids amazing experiences!

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.com

  15. Morgan

    Oh enjoy! My husband and I went to rural Kenya for a month to do medical missions and it was such a life changing experience. I cannot wait to bring our babies to places like that and let them serve with us.

  16. alyssa

    i love seeing you guys give back. this is the best. x

  17. avital

    OMG that picture of Samson shaking hands with the old people made me laugh hard. your kids are the sweetest ever!

  18. fiorella

    i think it’s amazing, the fact that you guys are doing this blows my mind!! i’m from peru and i always read your posts. as a mom of a year and a half daughter, i find your posts very inspiring!
    i was wondering if you guys are planning to have some sort of meeting with your local readers? i don’t know if this sounds weird haha.
    anyways, if you need any tips, don’t hesitate on writing! i know this is a long shot, but i’m here if you need tips on restaurants, local designers shops, playgrounds, etc.

    have fun!!

  19. emily

    You guys are the nicest!

    EmmyJake

  20. LS

    This is not meant to be snarky but Samson and especially Eleanor are definitely not toddlers. Anyone over three is considered “preschool age’ in terms of child development stages. You have two preschoolers and a 10-month old. This is not meant to diminish your experience (lord knows traveling with three kids that young is quite a THING and I wouldn’t be able to handle it myself!!) Sorry to point it out but this is my field of work and for some reason it always bothers me when people do this- it’s like calling a 2-year-old a “baby” still or a 21-year-old a “teenager.” They are simply no longer in that developmental stage.

    Anyway, carry on with your trip! I hope it’s lovely.

  21. Carly

    I love, love, love that you guys are involving your little ones in charitable work. Such an inspiration and a good thing for them to learn
    Dresses & Denim

  22. Becky

    When I was 19 I went to India for 10 weeks through Cross Cultural Solutions (I 27 now). I fell in love with India and so moved there after college, learned Hindi, and have returned back and forth many times now. While I was on my trip I was first exposed to the world of public health and medicine, and it led me to become a doctor – I plan to return to India to work there when I am done with my training.
    All in all, it was a life changing experience. I am often skeptical of “service” vacations where you pay an exorbitant amount of money to go “help” people who don’t actually need help but may need that money you just dished out, however CCS is a pretty great program and is quite mindful of these types of conflicts.
    Awesome that you are doing this with the whole family!!

  23. Oh this is so amazing and inspiring I can’t wait to read more about the project and see how you’re all doing! Lots of love,

    Yara

  24. This post literally made me cry! My older brother served a mission in Peru, so it holds a special place in my heart and I look forward to visiting there someday.
    When I was a younger, my family and friends would go to Mexico at Christmastime to bring gifts to the families there, and even though we didn’t speak the same language I felt such a connection with the children there. It was such a neat experience and I’m so grateful that my parents did that for my siblings and I. I’m sure that your kiddos will cherish their memories of this time in the same way.

  25. this warms my heart so much! y’all are such a sweet family and inspiration to those of us just starting to think about starting the journey to parenthood. my husband’s family lives in Greece and I love the idea of traveling there with kids and friends and whoever else can go in tow! Especially the idea of volunteering while we are there (especially as the refugee crisis has no end in sight and will continue to need volunteers for years in the future!)

    PS IF you ever want to go to Greece, I am officially a pro tour guide – I organized our real-life Big Fat Greek Wedding complete with 40 Americans (pics/info in website link)

  26. McCall

    My little brother left on his Peru Lima West LDS mission YESTERDAY!!!I wish I got a call from you to join. Ha. How fun!! Your family is the best!

  27. Sierra

    You guys are so cool.

  28. I admire your family so much. You are such wonderful parents by teaching your children such good values at a young age!

  29. Claire

    You guys are amazing! I love Peru (and all South America btw), you will love it! I did a month of volunteering in a school in Cusco and it was one of the best part of my trip! The kids are so great and I learned so much.
    Also, it’s very good that some on you can speak spanish, peruvians are really friendly!
    I really hope you’ll enjoy your trip! Don’t miss Cusco and the Machu Picchu of course (but be careful with the kids, it’s really hight and sometimes difficult to breathe).
    Disfruta!
    All the best from France and please share a lot of pictures, I’m so nostalgic from my time in South America!

  30. Paulina

    Welcome to Latín America!!!!!!
    Your family is awesome, i’m from Santiago de Chile and always read your post. Have a nice time in Peru. :)

  31. Carla Lauti

    This is the sweetest thing! And to show your kids the act of serving others and just having fun with it and everything!! Perfect example of the pure love of Christ and in time for the holidays! Not saying that we should be doing this only this time of the year but it’s just perfect!

  32. Lauren

    What an amazing experience! I’d love to do something like this at some point in my life, it always feels good to do something for others and it’s nice you’re teaching your kids that. :)

    http://helloitscherry.blogspot.co.uk/

  33. Wow! You guys are amazing! One day when I have a family of my own, I will think of you and say if Taza can do it, I can too!

  34. This warmed my heart! My husband and I are getting ready to embark on a year long mission to Guatemala, so seeing this post made me excited to serve and calmed my nerves a bit :) Thanks for sharing!

  35. Lorena

    Welcome to my country!! What a wonderful thing you and your family are doing! Hope you have a great experience and enjoy Peru! Try to eat as much as possible, the food here is incredible :) !!

  36. Joselyn

    I’m peruvian and I’m very happy that you visited my country :D
    I love your blog !

  37. Noelia

    Hi!! I cant belive you are here in Lima , I always read your blog, when I started I fell in love with it, I went back to your first post and started from there..I got married 2 years ago im afraid about having kinds..and watching you is like a beatiful example of the kind of family i will like to have, i really look up to you.
    your family is full of love and i really apreciate you all share your time with such aa kindness here.Im so exited that i gave a shout when i read this at my office jaja, everybody turn to see whats my problem!!
    if you have a minute in your trip..i will like to meet you..well i know is very difficult..but if there is any chance i could still 5 minutes just to say hi..i will really appreciate..if not I hope you enjoy your time in my country..enjoy our food!! :D (I apologiaze for my bad english )

    Noelia https://losrodrigos.wordpress.com/
    [email protected]

  38. Casey

    This is so exciting! I can’t imagine deciding on a Friday night to buy tickets to a foreign country and especially with little kids and in a part of the world that can sometimes be dangerous for Americans to travel, that is so cool! . I admire you so! Also, my mom’s friend asked me to babysit over the Christmas holidays. My mom said she has toddler twin boys and an infant girl. I was thinking toddlers were under age 3 so I was freaking out a little. I feel MUCH better knowing that she meant older kids since yours are 3-5 aren’t they? Much easier! Anyway good for having an adventure. It’s so neat that you all can be so spontaneous, you’re super blessed! <3

  39. Melissa

    We just got back from Peru with our three little ones! Like in September. So don’t worry, you’re not nuts (or maybe both of us are)! Are you staying in Lima or going elsewhere also? Be careful if you head up to Cusco, the change in altitude is killer.

    Also, if you’re looking for any other great causes, check out KrochetKids Peru. http://www.krochetkids.org/what-we-do/peru/

    We didn’t end up getting to visit them and I was super bummed.

    Hope you have a great trip!

  40. Naomi Hess

    So cool that the kids hearts and personalities are thriving in this experience!

  41. Claire

    Hello Naomi, I saw on Instagram that you are now in Cusco, you will love it! It was one of the best part of my South America trip!
    I hope it’s not to late but I have an advice about Machu Picchu! Take the train from Cusco, you will love it, it’s really beautiful. And Samson will be the happier little boy! ;)
    After, sleep in Aguas Calientes and took the first bus to Machu Picchu (4 am). No tourist and the sunrise! These pictures are always in my head.
    All the best from France, Claire.

  42. Barbara

    Oh amazing experience for the kids.
    I have a boy in Conrad’s age and I’m reluctant to go On trips longer than a day because I don’t know what to feed him if I don’t have anything packed from home. How do you handle that? do you take food from home for a few days or you buy from the supermarket?

    All the best from Greece

    ***you should plan your next trip here. you’ll love it.

  43. Lulu De la Rosa

    love it!!!!

  44. Margo

    This is so AWESOME!!!

  45. Anna

    you are a lovely family , you inspire me to do so , to take you as an example . Happy and very loving – such parents are. kisses

  46. Rachelle

    Where do you look for your cheep flights? I haven’t been lucky enough to get cheaper last minute flights!

  47. What a precious little girl, Eleanor! Looks like your family visited an old people place. I can’t imagine the experience you have as the whole family since I haven’t had one but I am looking forward.
    Best wishes from Vietnam xo